P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Translation scam in Delhi gurdwara committee
Varinder Walia and Pawan Kumar

Amritsar, March 13
“I can’t understand or read Punjabi … It was the grace of the Almighty which made me accomplish the gigantic task of translating Guru Granth Sahib into different languages”.

These are excerpts of video clips taken during a sting operation, which exposed the biggest ever ‘translation scam’ of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) spanning over four decades.

This is for the first time that spy cameras were used by certain Sikh organisations to expose the DSGMC .The translation/transliteration done by Mr Vemaraju Bhanu Murti, a Telugu-speaking person, and assigned by the DSGMC, had glaring discrepancies . The translation and publication of Gurbani involved a huge budget, which seem to have gone waste.

The sting operation was carried out by the Delhi-based Global United Research and Service Institute of Knowledge for Humanity (GURSIKH) along with the Naujwan Khalsa Phulwari (NKP). These organisations have urged Akal Takht to get the matter investigated and take stern action against the guilty.

However, Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna, President, DSGMC, has said that he had withdrawn the work from Mr Murti. He said the DSGMC would constitute an inquiry committee to take action against those who were involved in assigning the translation task to a non-Punjabi-speaking person .

Dr Sukhpreet Singh Udhoke, vice-president of GURSIKH, and Mr Avtar Singh of the NKP at a press conference here today alleged large-scale misuse of golak funds in getting Guru Granth Sahib translated into Telugu and 17 other languages.

They alleged misappropriation worth lakhs in connivance with DSGMC members. They alleged that Mr Murti was honoured with siropa and described as ‘panth vidvan’.

They alleged that during the translation, the meaning of certain stanzas of Gurbani was distorted.

Dr Sukhpreet Singh said from 1962 to 1999 only Sukhmani Sahib and Japuji Sahib was translated and that too only in Telugu, but surprisingly after 1999 till 2002 the same person was able to translate Guru Granth Sahib into 17 languages in a short span.

Mr Avtar Singh alleged that during the translation of Guru Granth Sahib, maryada was not observed. He requested the Jathedar Akal Takht to immediately ban and stop the publishing of the translations.


Gurdwara panel chief in the dock
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 13
The president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna, is in the dock following his meeting with Joginder Singh, Editor of Spokesman, an English/ Punjabi monthly, who had been ex-communicated from the Panth.

The ‘hukmnama’ (edict), issued from Akal Takht had directed the Sikh masses to snap all ties with Joginder Singh.

The latest addition of Spokesman had published a picture of Mr Sarna visiting its office.

Mr Sarna said he had visited the office of Joginder Singh to give his version in connection with a news report. He said he was ready to appear before the Takht to clarify his position.


UK engineer’s holy feat
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 13
A UK-based engineer, Mr Gurdev Singh, today presented handwritten Guru Granth Sahib to Akal Takht here.

Mr Gurdev Singh completed this gigantic task in two and a half years. Interestingly, he learnt Gurmukhi - the script for writing Punjabi, a few years ago for the task.

More than 50 persons from the UK arrived here today to hand over the handwritten Guru Granth Sahib.


Pollution threat looms over Katasraj
Rashmi Talwar

A panoramic view of seven Shiv temples which are without idols and ‘kalash’ (elongated tip of the dome), in Katasraj.
A panoramic view of seven Shiv temples which are without idols and ‘kalash’ (elongated tip of the dome), in Katasraj. — A Tribune photograph

Amritsar, March 13
The holy Katasra in Pakistan, considered the second holiest shrine for Hindus after ‘Jwalamukhi’ in undivided Punjab, is connected with ancient temples of Lord Shiva and the Pandavas. It is also known for the little known Buddhist stupa and historic ‘haveli’ of Hari Singh Nalwa, general of the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It is facing a threat of pollution in its “unsullied” mountainous air and its natural pure water springs and water bodies due to cement factories being allowed by the government .

Three cement factories are operational and three more are in the offing in the nearby area of Choa Saidan Shah, 3 or 4 km from the historic shrines. According to sources, ‘Bestway Constructions’, ‘DG Cement’ and ‘Chakwal Cement’ concerns are in the pipeline.

Locals here who mainly have meagre sources of income from farming-related activities, mining and industrial labour and public sector are sore over the alleged acquisition of their land by private cement moghuls due to abundance of limestone and other raw material for cement.

Last month, a protest was launched by locals that forced the companies to assure them employment and to take anti-pollution measures. Experts feel that the assurances were merely lip service and the effects could contaminate the water that flowed from the holy sarovar of Katasraj and was supplied to some 40 villages in the vicinity, besides other water sources.

Apprehensions have also surfaced over the marine life and natural habitat that has hundreds of migratory birds, besides peacocks, in ‘Kallar Kalar’ nearby, encompassing the composite beauty of the holy area to be affected.

A cement factory already exists at Tatral village near here. The shrines are devoid of much vegetation and a holy ‘Shisham’ tree that legend states was half burnt and half green, is a mute spectator to ruin of these shrines .

The development work sanctioned by the federal Ministry of Culture and Youth Affairs with a grant of Rs 2 crore for the site has invited doubt from the Hindu jathas visiting here. New construction of concrete steps and guest house adjoining one of the ancient structures were pointed out as eyesores, incompatible with the ancient architecture, a majority of which is known to be influenced in a unique blend of Kashmiri and Gandhara tradition, according to some experts.

Jatha leader Prof Krishan Chand had suggested that development should be in congruity with shrines and modification of existing new structures could be taken into account. Lt-Gen Zulfiqar Ali Khan (retd), chairman of Evacuee Trust Property Board, when asked about cement factories, said he was not aware of the development.

Katasraj is also connected to Alberuni, a famous muslim scientist and explorer who learned Sanskrit here and performed experiments.

Mr Ravinder Kumar Chibber, the only Hindu member, zila council of Chakwal, said a joint committee needed to be set up for the maintenance , renovation , restoration and upkeep of this sacred historic site.


State needs special package, says Ashwani Kumar
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

The erstwhile princely state of Nabha, which was once home to Punjab scooters, should now look forward to its second industrialisation phase with a multi-crore industrial unit, manufacturing heavy transport vehicles, for the defence forces, coming up there soon.

Though the state government was yet to decide about the exact location of this Rs 3,500 crore project, Amritsar and Patiala were the front runners to grab this industry. Sources in the Punjab government maintained that an agreement with Chennai-based Ashok Leyland Limited had been reached at the instance of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, in New Delhi last week.

There had been insignificant growth of industry in Patiala, home district of Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. With the heavy transport vehicles manufacturing unit coming up, a long standing demand of the residents of the area would be met.

Chandigarh, March 13
Massive industrialisation starting with three major industrial projects, one each in the three regions of the state, is the only hope for reducing the growing unemployment in Punjab, says Mr Ashwani Kumar, MP, demanding special treatment for the state for its economic revival.

Stressing the need for restructuring the basis of state’s agricultural economy, he wanted the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to treat Punjab as a special case, having borne the brunt of all Indo-Pak wars and a long period of sustained terrorist activity so that its economic revival through industrialisation was seen as a national obligation.

Mr Kumar, who had sent a three-page letter to Dr Manmohan Singh last week not only wanted instructions to Hindustan Petroleum Corporation for initiating the Bathinda Refinery Project but also insisted on setting up an integrated food processing unit in the industrially backward district of Gurdaspur.

Gurdaspur, he said was gateway to Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh and had convenient rail links. A civil airport at Pathankot would further facilitate connectivity and enhance its business as well as tourist potential.

A major heavy industry project in the central sector would help revive the small sector industry in Batala, Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana, suggested Mr Kumar hoping that these projects, once commended by the Prime Minister, would significantly enhance the employment potential.

Besides Mr Ashwani Kumar, there were others who had been advocating the need for accelerating industrialisation in Punjab as they felt that agriculture alone, could not sustain the state’s economy any longer.

Mr Kumar said that setting up of three heavy industrial units, one each in Majha, Malwa and Doab regions, would not only encourage the establishment of smaller ancillary units and service industry in the state but also give the necessary diversion from agro-economy to industrial economy.

“The choice of heavy industrial units is of course best left to the instrumentalities of the government keeping in view the competitive advantages of the state. The state government would be able to extend all possible cooperation, including the requisite incentives for setting up economically sound and sustainable projects,” wrote Mr Kumar in his letter.


Dalit NRIs to protest in Greece today
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, March 13
At least 15,000 NRIs, including a large number of Dalits, will organise a demonstration in front of the Indian Embassy in Greece tomorrow to protest against the indifferent attitude of the staff of the embassy, misbehaviour with Dalits, removal of the portrait of Dr B.R. Ambedkar from the embassy, corruption by embassy staff and the threats issued by the Ambassador to Dalit leaders.

This was announced by the general secretary of the Social Welfare and Dr B.R. Ambedkar Mission Society, Greece, Mr Sat Paul Singh Birah, while talking to The Tribune here this afternoon. He said the portrait of Dr Ambedkar in the embassy had been removed during the visit of Union Sports Minister Sunil Dutt, who had hoisted the National Flag in the Indian-Embassy last year.

He added that Dalit organisations had met the embassy staff to get the photo installed again. He alleged that the Indian Embassy in Greece was engaged in large-scale corruption and had been issuing passports to those who were not present in Greece.


Poisoning vegetables with pesticides
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, March 13
Think twice before consuming shining violet brinjals or extra large cabbage having purple colour at the stem. These vegetables that seem to be fresh and healthy might be laced with harmful pesticides. The data collected from vegetable growing belts of the district reveals that farmers are using banned and not recommended pesticides on vegetable crops. These pesticides can have adverse affects on human health.

In the Dera Baba Nanak belt of the district a large numbers of farmers have switched over to vegetable growing. The area is famous for off-season vegetables. However, off-season vegetables come at a price. Farmers here have to use unrecommended pesticides to sustain the off-season vegetables.

Sources say farmers are spraying thimat pesticide, which is recommended for rice and cotton, over cabbage. Thimat an organo-phosphorus compound has residual effect for about 45 days. Farmers sometimes spray the pesticide on cabbage just a few days before harvesting and sending the produce to market. This leads to the intake of harmful pesticides by unaware consumers.

The direct effect of consuming Thimat-laden vegetables is gastric trouble and headache. However, the pesticide also has adverse indirect effects on the human body.

The Horticulture Department officials say due to an excessive use of pesticides, the pests are now becoming resistant to them. Due to it, farmers are using more poisonous pesticides to control them. In some of the cases, farmers have been found to be using copper sulphate, a poisonous substance, for controlling pests on cabbage.

The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has recommended endosulphan and axalix for cabbage. In addition to that farmers dip brinjals in methaline before supplying them in market. This gives shining violet colour to brinjals, that attracts customers. It, however, has harmful effects on the health of the consumers.

Taking into consideration the harmful effects, 38 organic and phosphorus-based compounds have been banned for use in agriculture in India. Formulations like phosphamilon (85 per cent SL), methomyl 24 per cent L and metho12.5 per cent have been banned in India. However, formulations with little lower concentrations continue to be manufactured and used.

The Central Insecticide Board though bans the manufacture of certain pesticides but there is no act to monitor the use of pesticides by the farmers and contamination caused by them in food products. An expert committee appointed for the purpose in 1996 pointed out that the lack of monitoring agencies was resulting in tardy implementation of many regulations regarding the use of pesticides in the country.

The Agriculture Department authorities also endorse the fact. They allege that they have to turn a blind eye to the use of harmful pesticides by farmers as they have no authority to stop them from doing so. The solution to the problem lies in the categorisation of the organic produce by the farmers.


Media urged to rid itself of obscenity
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, March 13
A state-level seminar was organised by the Multi Media Association (MMA), Punjab, here today in the memory of the late Giani Jagjit Singh, a columnist on Akali politics and the third journalist victim of militancy in 1986. The speakers sought the cooperation of both electronic and print media in the eradication of obscenity in journalism.

The speakers, while holding responsible to some extent both print and electronic media for provoking indecency, held the existing political structure more responsible by stating that it was devoting its entire time to achieve its personal goal and had failed to perform its duties to protect the interests of the society.

In his keynote address, Mr Jatinder, Assistant News Editor, Nawan Zamana, a vernacular daily from Jalandhar, while expressing concern over the denegration of human psychology and the criminalisation of politics, underlined the need for checking the male domination for the development of the role of women in the society. Effective steps and measures should be taken up for the promotion of moral values, he said.

Ms Jasbir Kaur, Mass Media and Education Officer, Health Department, Punjab, emphasised the need for giving more importance to women in the national interest. More stringent measures be taken for curtailing the sex determination tests and crime rate, she said.

Presiding over the function, Mr Alok Shekhar, Deputy Commissioner, appealed to the media to desist from sensationalising news.

Mr Avtar Dhillon, Alpha Punjabi, Noida, Mr Avtar Singh Brar, Mr Kushal Deep Singh Dhillon, local MLA, and Mr Balwinder Hali, convener MMA, also spoke.


Brigade of The Guards holds get-together
Tribune News Service

Sirhind, March 13
To maintain the espirit d' corps and strengthen associations between the present and the past generation of soldiers, serving and retired officers of the Brigade of The Guards held a social get-together here today.

Hosted by a former Colonel of the Regiment, Lieut-Gen H.R.S. Mann, the event saw officers and their spouses driving down from Chandigarh, Chandimandir, Patiala, Bathinda, Mussoourie and Amritsar.

Besides veteran officers, some of whom were commissioned into the Army as far back as 1947, the commanding officers of four guards battalions attended the meet. A few officers who had opted out of the Army long ago also joined in to maintain regimental affiliation.

Brigade of The Guards is the seniormost infantry regiment of the Army and the history of some of its battalions dates back to over 200. Periodic get-togethers are organised to maintain camaraderie amongst officers and also to serve as a link between the present generation of officers and the stalwarts who have hung up their uniforms.


Trace missing farmer’s family, says BKU (E)

Chhaapa (Barnala), March 13
The Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta) today held a conference at the village to ask the authorities to trace a missing farmer family. Thousands of people participated in the conference. People from the farming fraternity expressed concern over the deteriorating conditions of farmers in Punjab.

While addressing the conference, BKU district president Manjeet Singh Dhaner came down heavily on the state government for the indifferent attitude adopted towards farmers. He said it was shocking that even after 20 days when the family of farmer Jang Singh went missing from the village no one from the government or state machinery bothered to do anything.

Mr Dhaner held responsible the anti-farmer policies of the state as well as central government for the deteriorating condition of farmers. He disclosed that farmers of Punjab had about Rs 12,000 crore as loan. They were not able to repay the loan keeping in view the tough competition posed by the WTO.

Lok Sangram Morcha convener Narain Dutt asked the state government to make serious efforts to search for the family of Jang Singh. He said the standing crops of Jang Singh be harvested in the presence of the panchayat and kisan union. The money thus collected by selling the crops be deposited in the government treasury so that Jang Singh got his money whenever he came back. The kisan union passed a resolution asking the state government to waive of the loan of Jang Singh. The union warned that the government would not be allowed to take hold of the home of Jang Singh.


Visiting Hoshiarpur like a Haj for her
Ravinder Sud

Hoshiarpur, March 13
The ongoing process for making cordial relations between India and Pakistan has created goodwill among citizens of both countries and has given them an opportunity for visiting their ancestral villages after a long gap during Partition.

These views were expressed by Ms Farkhanda Lodhi, a short story Urdu writer, at the house of Prof Prem Kumar Nazar, an Urdu poet here today.

Ms Farkhanda Lodhi, who came with her husband Sabir Lodhi, a visiting Professor of Urdu at Oriental College, Punjab University, Lahore, to participate in the 21st Punjabi conference at Patiala, belonged to Hoshiarpur city.

She was 11-year old when her family migrated to Pakistan during Partition in 1947. She had a will to visit her ancestral house again since her childhood. The ongoing negotiation process between the two countries had brought the opportunity for them and they were given visa for visiting Punjab for their participation in the conference.

After participation, Ms Farkhanda Lodhi came to Hoshiarpur last night and stayed with the family of Prof. Prem Kumar Nazar. She, along with her husband and Prof. Prem Kumar Nazar visited Ashok Nagar Mohalla this morning. Mr Sudarshan Kumar Puri, former Municipal Councillor, took them to her parental and maternal houses located adjoining to mosque Sande Khan.

On seeing the houses and mosque she became so much emotional that tears rolled down her cheeks.

She met residents and saw the mosque from inside where a sewing and tailoring school is being run. She went to Bazar Vakilan, Dabbi Bazar, Bahadurpur Gate, Pahari Katra and Sheesh Mahal Bazar. She recognised book shops, along with the names of their owners from where her family used to purchase books.

She said she had a deep memories of her childhood and had a great affection for the city. Her visit to Hoshiarpur was equivalent to her Haj pilgrimage, she claimed. She said 90 per cent of her writings were based on Hoshiarpur and its surrounding areas.

Replying to a question, she said the negotiations between India and Pakistan should be continued which would definitely bring positive results.


Blood donation camp organised
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 13
About 49 volunteers donated blood at a blood donation camp organised at the local Partap Nagar the by United Welfare Society.

As per a press note issued here today, blood was donated for Government Rajindra Hospital, Patiala.

While speaking at the camp, Mr Pyare Lal Bansal said this organisation had also been fulfilling the blood demand of city like Patiala along with Bathinda also. He said the next camp would be organised at Goniana, where the team from Patiala would reach.


Rs 15,000 donated for benefit of prisoners
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 13
Dedicated Brothers Group, a voluntary social organisation, today handed over a cheque of Rs 15,000 for the benefit of prisoners of Central Jail.

The cheque was handed over by Mr Rakesh Kumar Vermi to Mr Rakesh Kapoor, DGM, State Bank of Patiala who in turn presented it to the Jail Superintendent, Mr G.S Sidhu.

The money has been given to 25 needy prisoners who intend to take the BPP examination of the Indira Gandhi Open University slated to be held shortly.


BJP flays move on market fee
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, March 13
Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, MP and BJP chief Punjab, criticised Capt Amarinder Singh’s government for its proposal to make the collection of market fee on vegetables and fruits in vegetable markets through private contractors in the state.

In a press note here today, Mr Khanna said the proposal would encourage corruption and affect farmers. He instructed the Beopar Mandal Cells of Punjab BJP oppose the proposed decision.

He said the BJP would also launch agitation to make pressure on the government to review the decision.


GGSTP files revision petition against APFC’s order
Tribune News Service

Ropar, March 13
Claiming that the Guru Gobind Singh Thermal Plant, Ropar, was not liable to pay Rs 40 lakh due as provident fund to the employees and labourers working with contractors and cooperative societies, the authorities concerned of the plant have filed a revision petition against the order passed by the Assistant Provident Fund Commissioner (APFC). Talking to The Tribune, the General Manager of the Thermal Plant, Mr R.S. Sohal, said, “We have filed a revision petition challenging the order of APFC, Punjab and Chandigarh, to freeze the bank accounts of the thermal plant for failing to deposit the amount.

“We filed the petition three days ago as the thermal plant was in no way involved in the case and could not be directed to deposit provident fund in favour of the employees and labourers working with contractors in the thermal plant,” Mr Sohal said.

The APFC had issued a notice to the thermal plant authorities in 2002 to deposit Rs 38.78 lakh as damages caused for the late depositing and assessing of provident fund. But the authorities failed to deposit the amount along with 1.37 per cent interest within the fixed period.


Case against Badal adjourned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
A local court yesterday adjourned a defamation case filed by Mr N.S. Minhas, a local Akali leader, against the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to April 30.

The case was filed by Mr Minhas alleging that the Chief Minister, who was then the President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), has lowered the prestige of the former Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and his family.

It was alleged that the PPCC had launched a slander campaign against the Badals during the run-up to the Punjab Assembly elections of 2002. The advertisements against the Badals alleged that they had amassed huge wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income while in power

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had stayed the proceedings in case yesterday and fixed May 19 as the next date of hearing.


BJP for all-party meeting on suicide by farmers
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 13
Mr Harjit Singh Grewal, general secretary of the Punjab unit of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), today asked the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to convene an all-party meeting immediately in connection with the suicide committed by debt-ridden farmers in Punjab, as more than 325 farmers had already committed suicides due to debt and poverty in the past three years in the Malwa region of the state.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Grewal said the Punjab BJP had also written to Capt Amarinder Singh in connection with convening an all-party meeting to solve the debt-related problems of farmers and discuss the issue relating to suicides by debt-ridden farmers. He said a BJP MP would also raise this issue in Parliament.

Mr Grewal was here today in connection with a meeting of the district unit of the party, which was addressed by him before the press conference.

Mr Grewal said the Punjab BJP would hold a meeting of its state working committee on March 28 at Abohar to discuss the issues relating to the problems of farmers. He said after that the party would organise district-level dharnas to raise these issues in a big way.

He said BJP MLAs would raise the issues related to farmers, employees, labourers and development in the Punjab Assembly during its session.

He criticised the Congress for re-enacting Dandi March, this saying that great persons belonged to all, not only one party.

He said on the one hand the Congress was remembering Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi March, while on the other hand the Central Government, led by the Congress, was going to impose 4.4 per cent tax on salt.

He gave credit to the media for the victory of democracy in Jharkhand where the Soren government had to go and BJP-led parties formed the ministry. He criticised the Punjab Government for not declaring a holiday on Shivratri.


Progressive farmers honoured
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 13
Plantsman’s Seeds today honoured farmers who have successfully diversified their cultivation patterns by relying on flower seed crops instead of wheat and paddy.

Progressive farmers of the state were presented mementos by Plantsman’s Seeds on their annual flower field day held at its farms at Rakhra Village. The company, which has been exporting flower seeds to Europe and the USA since 1993, organised the flower day amidst the backdrop of 40 acres of flower seed crops.

Mr B.I.S. Chahal, who was the chief guest on the occasion, gave away prizes.

The farmers said they wanted to increase cultivation area for seed production. They were also enthusiastic that with the changing trend in the agriculture scenario, they have an alternative choice of crops which they can switch to.

A programme of music was presented by a singer from Ludhiana . It was a different experience for the farmers who had been exposed to a new and emerging field of profitable agriculture.

The Managing Partner of the company, Mr Abdul Wahid, said with the guidance of Plantsman’s Seeds, research backing of Punjab Agricultural University and with help of the Punjab government can become a seed state.


Three arrested in fraud case
Our Correspondent

Muktsar, March 13
The district police yesterday arrested three persons for their alleged involvement in cheating people.

Police sources said the five accused, Raj Kumar, alias Kala, Gurshinder Singh, alias Babbi, Amanveer Singh, alias Amni, Kala Singh and Bhagi went to the house of Mr Paramjit Singh Pamma, a resident of Lalbhai village of this district on March 6. The accused claimed that they had the art by which they could double their money.

Police sources said Mr Paramjit Singh gave Rs 50,000 to the accused as he wanted his money to be doubled. The accused handed over the packet to Mr Paramjit Singh and asked him not to open it for the next three days. The accused promised that they would come after three days and the packet should be opened in their presence only.

After three days, when the accused did not come, Mr Paramjit Singh opened the packet and found plane paper inside. He lodged a complaint at Lambi police station and a case was registered in this connection.

After a successful raid, the police managed to arrest Raj Kumar, Gurshinder Singh and Amanveer Singh while two others are absconding. An amount of Rs 3 lakh and a pistol had also been recovered from them.

In one more fraud case, Mr Niranjan Singh, a resident of Shiniwal Kalan village falling in Barnala police district, lodged a complaint that four persons had cheated him by saying that they could double his money. He and Mr Nirbhai Singh, a resident of the same village, had handed over Rs 50,000 each to Tinnu, Gurmeet Ram and Kala Singh at Virk Khera village on the Fazilka road as promised by the accused.


Constable held for smuggling opium
Tribune News Service

Talwandi Sabo, March 13
Malkit Singh, constable in IInd Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB), based at Ladda Kothi in Sangrur district, was today arrested by the local police for smuggling narcotics.

Malkit Singh was arrested while smuggling opium from Haryana to Punjab in a bus when a police party searched the same on a specific information. About 80 gm of opium was recovered from his bag.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that Malkit Singh had been indulging in the smuggling of opium for the past many years. The accused had minted huge money in smuggling.

Mr Jaspal Singh, DSP, Talwandi Sabo, when contacted, said the police party managed to arrest Malkit Singh after getting a tip-off about his movement in the Talwandi Sabo-Sangat Mandi road area.

He added that Malkit Singh, who belonged to Dadu village in Sirsa district of Haryana, had been procuring the narcotics from Haryana and supplying these to various destinations in Punjab and elsewhere.

He added that the police party had started identifying the landed as well as other property acquired by the accused with the money earned in by smuggling narcotics.

He said the Commandant of IInd IRB had been informed about the incident. A case under the NDPS Act had been registered at the local police station.


One arrested for carrying intoxicants
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 13
About 11 boxes carrying 660 bottles of Kolsedyl, a cough syrup used as a drug for a ‘kick’, were recovered by the police today from a local resident.

Police sources said when some policemen were on duty at the Dabwali road, Subhash Kumar was stopped and asked to show the bag he was carrying. After checking, one box containing 60 bottles of Kolsedyl was recovered from him. The accused confessed that he was also having more stock of drugs at his house. The police recovered 10 more boxes containing 600 bottles of Kolsedyl from his house.

The accused also confessed that he had been buying these drugs from Dabwali and selling each bottle for Rs 100 to school and college boys.

A case has been registered under the NDPS Act at the local police station.


Blind murder solved
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 13
The district police yesterday claimed to have solved a blind murder with the arrest of three persons, including a woman.

Mr Harmanbir Singh, SP city, in a press note issued here, said Swarn Singh was missing for the past nine days. During investigation it was found that his wife, Kulwinder Kaur, had illicit relations with Gola of the same village.

The police arrested both the accused who admitted that they had strangled Swarn Singh to death with the help of Hazara Singh and threw his body in the fields.

A case under Section 302, 201, 34 IPC, has been registered at Rajasansi police station on the statement of Dalbir Singh, brother of the deceased.


Hit-and-run victim dead
Our Sports Reporter

Rajpura, March 13
A 10-year-old boy Shankar Paswan, who was admitted to Civil Hospital Rajura by some car occupants after being hit by their vehicle on the Rajpura-Patiala road, died today.

Sources in the police said that the boy sustained critical injuries when a Maruti car (PB-11K-3339) heading towards Zirakpur from Patiala knocked him down near the New Grain Market.

The car occupants took the victim to the hospital, admitted him there and escaped from the scene. The body has been sent to the postmortem. A case of rash and negligent driving has been registered against the car owner on the complaint of victim’s father Mr Bijan Paswan, hailing from Bihar.


2 Home Guard jawans arrested
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, March 13
The district police arrested two Home Guard jawans yesterday after they were allegedly found siphoning off sacks of wheat from FCI godowns where they had been deployed.

Ajaib Singh of Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar and Gurdev Singh of Patarkala village, were arrested and a case has been registered at Sadar police station. Nearly 10 sacks of wheat were recovered from their possession.


Academics discuss higher education
Our Correspondent

Barnala, March 13
Academics must have professional outlook, said Prof B.D. Budhiraja, Dean, College Development Council, Panjab University, Chandigarh, while delivering his presidential address as the chief guest at a symposium “Higher education in Punjab: present status and future challenges”.

This University Grants Commission (UGC)-sponsored seminar was organised by Desh Bhagat College, Bardwal (Dhuri), about 30 km from here, in the college auditorium yesterday. Professor Budhiraja stressed that teachers should go in for an introspection and be dedicated to the profession.

Dr Sucha Singh Gill, a renowned economist and teacher at the Economics Department of Punjabi University, Patiala, delivered the keynote address and presented a paper on “Financing of higher education”.

Dr Gill regretted that the Punjab Government was relegating the higher education to the non-priority area by shifting its budget to primary and secondary education.

Dr Sangeeta Handa expressed concern over the humanities and social sciences groups fast loosing their sheen for want of dedication and devotion on the part of the teachers concerned. Dr Jaswinder Singh Brar dwelt on various issues related to public spending on higher education in Punjab and Dr Balwinder Singh Waraich on student problems and their impact on higher education.

Prominent among those who took part in the symposium were Mrs Gurmit Kaur Bhattal, Principal, Government Ranbir College, Sangrur, Mr P.C. Sharma, Principal, SBAS Khalsa College, Sandaur, Dr Baljit Singh Sidhu, Deputy Registrar, Punjabi University, Patiala, Dr Amarjit Kaur, Prof Sharda Attri, Dr Rajesh Gupta, Dr S.S. Bhattal, and Prof Charanjit Bedi.

Dr Sanjiv Kalia, Principal of the host college, thanked the participants for a healthy debate on the topic.


Parents should not ‘foist’ their ambitions on kids
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 13
Parents' authority is God-given, their rights are inalienable. Parents are bound by an obligation to provide, to the best of their ability, for the all-round education and well-being of their children.

This was stated by Mr Swaran Singh Sodhi, managing director of Scholar Fields Public School, here. Addressing a seminar on the role of parents in the education of children, Mr Sodhi said parents were the world's most influential professional people, yet they were the one group of professionals who were mostly never trained for their work in life.

Mr Suninder Singh Chadha, chairman, Scholar Fields Public School, while speaking at the seminar said parents should do what they do best, namely provide their children a home and support. "Stop projecting your ambitions and desires and fantasies on your children. We should not dictate our children, we should guide them", he said.

Mrs Indu Sharma said the very foundation upon which all education was built lay in the original nature of a child. Heredity provided the raw material of education which environment fashioned and moulded. The difference between this child and that was largely the difference between one parent and another.

Others who spoke at the seminar were Mr Sanjay Inder Singh Chahal, chairman, Panchayat Samiti, Patiala, and Dr T.R. Sharma, well-known educationist.

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