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Nihangs display martial valour
14 lakh pay obeisance at gurdwaras
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, March 27
A magnificent display of martial art skills by thousands of Nihangs in a procession led by horsemen and Nihangs on elephants marked the last day of the Hola Mohalla festival at Anandpur Sahib here yesterday. Dressed in blue, Nihangs exhibited battle skills with traditional weapons on the roads of the holy town.

Nearly 14 lakh devotees from India and abroad paid obeisance in different gurdwaras of the holy town during the three-day celebrations.

The march past by 13 different groups of Nihangs armed with swords, rifles, “katara” and “barcha” began from their respective deras at about 11 a.m. After demonstrating their performance in streets of the towns all their way, the groups converged at the Gurdwara Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib at about 2 p.m. Nihangs as young as four-year-old to above 60 years old were seen exhibiting their skills with swords and performing gatka.

The main event of festival a procession of all groups of Nihangs, includes the Budha Dal, and the Tarna Dal, proceeded from Gurdwara Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib about 3.30 p.m. The march was delayed for about one-and-a-half hour following security reasons. Nihangs followed this on horses, cars, jeeps, trucks and buses. Besides exhibiting their skills, the Nihangs also sprayed colours on all people on their way. The devotees considered it as blessing from the Guru. The procession passing through different gurdwaras ended at the Charan Ganga river. Thereafter, the groups exhibited martial art skills on horses in the stadium.

“The third day of the festival belongs to the Nihangs. Guru Gobind Singh started the tradition in 1701 to train his forces for the war. Since then, the festival has been celebrated with great fervour in the town, said Nihang chief of the Shiromani Panth Akali Budh Dal Balbir Singh.

“We get up at 3 a.m. After reciting Guru Granth Sahib, we take four hours to dress up in the traditional way,” said three Nihangs who were the main attraction of the procession — Major Singh (35-kg turban), Kulwant Singh and Khardul Singh (25-kg turban each). The three Nihangs led the procession of the old faction of the Nihangs Budha Dal.


Khalsa complex Phase I by next year: CM

Anandpur Sahib, March 27
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today announced that the first phase of the Khalsa heritage complex was likely to be dedicated to the nation next year.

Reiterating the firm commitment of state government, he said this distant dream would ultimately become reality as all modalities with regard to its completion had been finalised.

Addressing a political conference on the auspicious occasion of Hola Mohalla here, he said Rs 200 crore project was initiated by the Akali-BJP government during the 300th birth anniversary celebrations of the Khalsa.

The Chief Minister announced a scheme to ensure 100 per cent safe drinking and sewage for the inhabitants of Anandpur Sahib on this occasion.

Later, he alongwith his Cabinet colleagues paid obeisance at the sanctum sanctorum of Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib where he was presented with a Siropa. — UNI


Victim of French ban on turban seeks help from Sikhs
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
Jasvir Singh, a Sikh student who was expelled from a public school in France for wearing turban, his mother Surjit Kaur and his brother Karamvir Singh have come to Punjab to seek help of Sikh politicians and religious leaders.

They met Sikh high priests yesterday at Anandpur Sahib. They also sought help of people of Punjab in this connection by joining a brief protest held by Nihangs and other Sikhs to seek the quashing of ban on wearing turban in French public schools.

Mr Karamvir Singh, elder brother of Jasvir Singh, talking to The Tribune on phone from Jalandhar, said today that the turban issue had not been resolved yet. Sikh students wearing turbans were not allowed admission to public schools where education is provided free of cost.

Ms Surjit Kaur said Jasvir Singh, who was rusticated from the school along with Vikramjit Singh, Ranjit Singh, Gurjot Singh and Gurmolak Singh in France for wearing turbans in the school, was now studying through correspondence. But whether he would be allowed to take the examination or not was not clear yet.

"We have written to the French authorities concerned in this connection but they have not responded yet", she said.

Ms Surjit Kaur had migrated to France in 1984 while her husband, Mr Gurdial Singh, had settled there in 1980.She belongs to Dhirpur village, near Hamira, in Jalandhar district. And her in-laws are from Khurla Kingra village, near Jalandhar.

Ms Surjit Kaur said, "I and my sons met Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti and Jathedar Tarlochan Singh at Anandpur Sahib yesterday. We sought their help on the turban issue." Even private schools have refused to admit Sikh students wearing turban during school hours.

Mr Karamvir Singh said he was now pursuing a course in commerce. "I had to wait for three months to get myself admitted to a private school after passing 12th standard", he said. Jasvir Singh had been studying in Louise Michel Public School located in the Bobigny area on the outskirts of Paris.

Mr Karamvir Singh, who is also a director of the United Sikh Organisation, which works to protect the rights of Sikhs in Europe and the USA, said Sikh leaders should build pressure to make the Indian Government take up the turban issue with the France Government.

"The Indian Government can get the issue resolved in no time", said Mr Karamvir Singh. He said Dr Manjit Singh Randhawa had taken up their cause with various Sikh leaders. As Dr Randhawa had requested the Sikh high priests to give a call to all Sikhs to wear " kesri" turbans on Thursday and Baisakhi to express solidarity with French Sikhs.

Ms Surjit Kaur said Jasvir Singh would not compromise on the turban issue. He would continue to fight on the issue without bothering about the consequences.


Akal Takht honours Tohra posthumously
Varinder Walia

Tribune News Service

Bibi Joginder Kaur, widow of late Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, receives Panth Rattan award from the Jathedar, Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti , the SAD President , Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and the SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, awarded to the late leader posthumously on Sunday.
Bibi Joginder Kaur, widow of late Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, receives Panth Rattan award from the Jathedar, Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti , the SAD President , Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and the SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, awarded to the late leader posthumously on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Rajiv Sharma

Amritsar, March 27
The hastily organised function to honour Gurcharan Singh Tohra, a former President of the SGPC with the Panth Rattan title posthumously at Akal Takht, today drew flak from his close confidants. Bibi Joginder Kaur, widow of Jathedar Tohra, received the title.

The late Jathedar Tohra becomes the first Sikh leader to receive the title of Panth Rattan posthumously. Though Master Tara Singh, a legendary Sikh leader was also honoured with the title, it was not presented from Akal Takht.

Giani Sant Singh Maskeen, a renowned ‘katha vachak’ of the Sikh Panth who died recently, was honoured with the title of Gurmat Vidya Martand. His widow, Bibi Sunder Kaur, received the title. Both titles were given by Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht in presence of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President Shiromani Akali Dal, and Bibi Jagir Kaur, and senior leaders.

Eyebrows were raised when Jathedar Tohra ,who was described as ‘traitor of Sikh Panth’ during his “war” with Mr Badal before the tercentenary celebrations of the Sikh Panth, was honoured with the title of Panth Rattan today after his death.

Similarly, Giani Maskeen, who was honoured with the award of Bhai Gurdas and title of Gurmat Vidya Martand posthumously was once denied to perform ‘katha’ at Manji Sahib (Golden Temple) by the then Manager, Darbar Sahib.

Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, an SGPC member who remained a close confidant of Jathedar Tohra till his death, said the function was not properly organised. He said if the Jathedar of Akal Takht or others were short of time, the function should have been postponed.

The titles given to the widows of Jathedar Tohra and Maskeen carried citations, plaque and ‘Sri Sahib’ (kirpan). The Bhai Gurdas Award also carried a cash of Rs 1.25 lakh. Bibi Jagir Kaur said the Bhai Gurdas Award was approved by the SGPC recently and Giani Maskeen was the first to get it.

The titles were bestowed on the basis of their contribution to the Sikh Panth. Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh and Giani Tarlochan Singh, Jathedars of Takht Damdama Sahib and Kesgarh Sahib were also present on the occasion.


Pak students bring aid for tsunami victims
Pawan Kumar

Amritsar, March 27
A delegation of Pakistani girl students today brought aid for the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for helping tsunami victims. The delegation will meet the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, in New Delhi tomorrow.

The delegation comprising nine students and seven women teachers led by Prof Durray Nazaf Bukhari, Head Mistress, belongs to Resources Academia School, Lohare.

They crossed over to India through the Wagah joint check post here today.

Professor Bukhari talking to The Tribune said students from first standard to 12th standard of the school collected an amount worth about $ 1,000 to make their ‘small contribution’ for the rehabilitation of victims.

Ms Anjum Qureshi, another teacher accompaning the delegation, said it was a good sign that children, who were future of both countries, were concerned with on another’s sorrows and were ready to help.

She said students made this contribution under the society of the school named ‘Savera’.

Aisha Babar, a girl student, said she was visiting India for first time and very enthusiastic about it. She, however, rued that she did not have visa for Ferozepore where her grandparents used to live. She said they should have the permission to visit all over India without any visa restrictions.


They ventured into crops with medicinal value
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
They appear to be ordinary farmers like million others across Punjab, but certainly they are different from others .They have ventured in the area where others fear to tread. They are Mr Harjinder Singh, Mr Amarjit Singh and Mr Raj Pal Singh.

At their native Kheri Garanga village near Kharar, they have grown high-value medicinal crops which consume minimal water.

Mr Amarjit Singh, who is also Sarpanch of the village, has sown isabgol and milk thistle, both most sought after medicinal herbs by practitioners of ayurveda in India and abroad. In fact, Isabgol is also given top priority by allopaths now-a-days for the treatment of stomach-related ailments.

These farmers have grown Isabgol first time that is sown in November and harvested in the March end. They got seeds from the Golden Harbal and Research Centre free of cost and the centre has also entered into a buyback arrangement with these farmers. Mr Harjinder Singh, a postgraduate, says that the isabgol crop was not irrigated even once. Rainwater was more than enough for it.

Dr Hemraj Jadla, who supervises and advises farmers, says that from one acre, farmers could save between Rs 20,000 and 30,000 in a year. There is no over head cost as only organic manure has to be given to it. No chemical fertilisers and pesticides are to be used. Its seed is separated from its flowers after its harvesting.

Another crop sown by these farmers is a milk thistle. It is a thorny but a flowery crop. It is sown in October and matures for harvesting in four months. Seed separated from its flowers has high medicinal value. It is used for curing liver ailments. From one acre, according to Dr Jadla, farmers can have seed yield up to 20 quintal and earn about Rs 50,000 in a year. Its market is available in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Delhi and 
Indore. This crop too needs minimal water.

“We have taken the risk of venturing into the new area. Water is not available in our area. And these crops suited us most. If all goes well, these crops may prove a goldmine for us in due course”, they said.

There is lot of scope for growing stevia in Punjab. It is very high value crop. Its leaves are said to be 30 times sweet that normal mill sugar. Both its leaves and stubs are used to prepare medicines.

Leaves of plant contain variety of minerals, vitamins and other immune boosting agents and factors. It is highly useful for diabetics and even extremely useful for bodybuilders and obese persons, who attempt to loose body fat.

It is almost free from fats, says Dr Jadla. Return from this crop in a year is in the range of Rs 90,000. Once sown in March, it can be repeatedly cropped after every four months for five years. Sona mukhi is an other crop that ensures high returns without minimal overhead cost.


Jagmeet Brar attacks Hanspal
Prabhjot Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
Supported by several prominent Congressmen of Moga, former Member of Parliament and Member of the All-India Congress Committee (AICC), Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, today mounted a scurrilous attack on the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief, Mr H.S. Hanspal.

Led by a former Secretary of PPCC, Mr Amarjit Singh Brar, and a former President of District Congress Committee of Moga, Dr Tara Singh Sandhu, and party candidate in the last Assembly elections, Mr Vijay Sathi, a number of prominent Congressmen of Moga not only assailed the PPCC for recommending the suspension of Mr Brar from the party but decided to honour him publicly for his politics of courage and probity.

These Congressmen alleged that while liquor auctions in Punjab were only a “farce” showing a marginal increase of 2 per cent, Haryana by holding open and transparent auctions recorded an increase of 18 per cent. Unlike Punjab, Haryana did not allow monopolisation of liquor trade.

The PPCC did not recommend suspension of those who opposed party candidates in the last Lok Sabha elections but was in utter haste to recommend suspension of a staunch Congressman who had been fighting the Akali Dal supremo, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in his citadel for the past 30 years.

The Punjab Government, by allowing monopolising of liquor trade, had not only suffocated small and marginal players in the trade but had also given a severe blow to the tottering economy of the state, these leaders said.

Though the present Congress in the government in Punjab was the result of hard work, dedication and commitment of all partymen yet only three persons were monopolising the show. There was an atmosphere of gloom in Congress circles as the membership of the party has been shrinking.

Mr Brar, they said, apprised the party high command of the ground realities with his note on liquor auctions in the State. It was now for the party high command to initiate action and restore confidence of workers in the party.

Meanwhile, reminding Mr H.S. Hanspal of his own statement that “no action can be taken against an AICC member without the approval of the party high command,” Mr Brar alleged that Mr Hanspal has now gone a step further, by demanding his “social boycott”.

“Marry in haste, repent at leisure,” quipped Mr Brar, expressing terrible shock at the latest resolution adopted by the PPCC recommending his suspension from the party to the high command.

“The call for social boycott by five office-bearers of the party led by the PPCC chief against me on the auspicious occasion of Holi is deceitful and unfair. The fundamental principles of the party constitution have been flouted with impunity. One of the great English writers, Oscar Wilde, had once said : the soul is a terrible reality, it can be bought and sold, and bartered away. This is what has happened in the present context,” said Mr Brar.

Mr Brar maintained that he talked to half a dozen district Presidents and senior party leaders who were all taken aback and unaware of the imaginary self styled unanimous resolution. “There has to be a meeting of the executive committee before passing a resolution. Further, the PPCC President did not even care to consider inner contradictions regarding some controversial decisions pending before one of senior leaders of the party, Mr Pranab Mukherjee. The directions of the party high command have been crystal clear to wait for the final verdict which could come only after Ms Sonia Gandhi has been consulted.

“Action against me has been initiated on the plea that I informed the party high command about the fraudulent liquor auctions and some vital points in the Punjab Budget, like imposing of cess on diesel by which the prices will go up by Rs 4 a litre. This increase will have a negative impact on peasantry of the State. Is this the sin I have committed ? Such notes are a matter of routine. I also stated in the note that if elected members of the Punjab Congress Legislature Party (CPL) are heard individually, they would effectively endorse my views,” he added.


Pall of gloom at Dhimawali
Sleepy driver caused the accident
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Dhimawali (Faridkot), March 27
A pall of gloom descended on this non-descript village of the district when the news of ex-servicemen Major Singh and his family members getting killed in a road mishap reached here this morning.

Women of the village converged at Major Singh’s residence to share the grief of the family hit by the tragedy, while men rushed to Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, where the bodies were being brought for post-mortem examination.

Speaking to The Tribune, a group of villagers said a day before the tragedy struck there was a flow of relatives and friends at Major Singh’s house to see off his daughter, Kulwinder Kaur. She was to take a flight to England where her husband had been working for the past few years. This would have been her second trip on Visitor Visa to England ever since her husband migrated. Her husband, Sukhpal Singh, who is basically from Kotkapura, was staying in England along with her mother. The family had planned to pay their obeisance at the Golden Temple after seeing her off at the airport.

Family members at the village come to know about the mishap within an hour of its occurrence. A brother-in-law of Kulwinder Kaur hailing from Hoshiarpur had already reached Amritsar and he was in touch with her through mobile phone. At around 6.30 am when he called her up to find out as to where they have reached, he was shocked to learn about the accident from a policeman.

Kulwinder’s sister, Jaswinder Kaur, also accompanied them along with her husband Sewak Singh of Machakikalan village, and their children, Gurpreet Singh and Nippe. Major Singh’s son, Bhola, who lost his two children, Maninder Singh and Mannu, fell unconscious on coming to know about the mishap and had to be admitted to a hospital. Major Singh’s other son, Lovely, has migrated to Dubai.

Sources said the driver of the Qualis was feeling sleepy prior to starting off. He had reportedly returned after celebrating Holla Mohalla at Anandpur Sahib and had not slept properly for the last couple of days.

Sources said he had also requested some other drivers at the taxi stand of Kotkapura to drive his vehicle to Amritsar, but nobody came forward.


Kanjhla elected district SAD chief
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 27
Amidst unruly scenes, hurling of abuses on each other, slogans and counter slogans by supporters of Dhindsa and Barnala groups in Darbar Sahib of the Gurdwara Nanakiana Sahib and its Langar Hall, near here, a four-hour-long exercise for electing the President of the district unit of the SAD ended in a fiasco yesterday. Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan, election observer, appointed by the SAD chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, could not announce the outcome of the election in the Langar Hall, where election proceedings were initiated by him.

All this happened in the presence of Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, secretary-general of the SAD; Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan, election observer; Mr Gobind Singh Kanjhla, Mr Gobind Singh Longowal, Mr Balbir Singh Ghunas, Mr Malkeet Singh Keetu, Mr Parminder Singh Dhindsa and Mr Gaganjit Singh Barnala, all SAD MLAs from the district; and several other SGPC members.

However, Mr Sekhwan, declared Mr Rajinder Singh Kanjhla, a loyalist of Mr Dhindsa, elected as president of the district unit of the SAD at a press conference organised held at a hotel here yesterday. Mr Sekhwan declared had Mr Kanjhla been elected unopposed because no other name was proposed against his candidature.

Mr Kanjhla’s name was proposed by Mr Gobind Singh Kanjhla, MLA from Sherpur, and was seconded by Mr Gobind Singh Longowal, MLA from Dhanaula. Then Mr Sekhwan asked Mr Gaganjit Singh Barnala, MLA from Dhuri, to propose a name of his choice, but instead of proposing any name he started delivering a speech, which was opposed by the Dhindsa supporters. On this the supporters of both factions raised slogans against each other. Under these circumstances, Mr Sekhwan preferred to leave the venue without announcing the election result.

Mr Sekhwan also said beside a large number of delegates, Mr Rajinder Singh Kanjhla had the support of five MLAs and all 11 SGPC members belonging to the SAD. He also expressed regrets over the unruly scenes in Darbar Sahib of the gurdwara and termed the incident as unfortunate.

Mr Gaganjit Singh Barnala said the election process could not be completed because Akali workers objected to Mr Kanjhla’s name being proposed for the post. He said he tried to reach a consensus over the election of the district president, which could not materialise.

Earlier, Mr Sekhwan was forced to hold closed-door talks with Mr Dhindsa, Mr Gaganjit Barnala and other MLAs in this regard.

Meeting continued for two hours but failed to elect a consensus candidate.

On this election observer called a meeting in the Langar hall which ended in a fiasco following proposing of Mr Kanjhla’s name for the post.


Bibi Jagir Kaur faces SAD (A) protest
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 27
Hundreds of SAD (A) activists led by Mr Iman Singh Mann, son of Simranjit Singh Mann, waved black flags and raised slogans against Bibi Jagir Kaur, president of the SGPC, when she came to attend annual convocation of Mata Gujri College, here today.

The SAD (A) activists staged a dharna in front of the college and it continued till the proceedings were completed in the college.

The district police and administration had made elaborate security arrangements to prevent any untoward incident.

Speaking on the occasion Mr Iman Singh Mann said it was unfortunate that a woman who had murdered her own daughter was heading the supreme religious institution of Sikhs and had come here to award degrees to girl students.

Meanwhile, Bibi Jagir Kaur presided over the annual convocation of Mata Gujri College and awarded degrees to 95 post graduate students and 334 graduates. She said the SGPC was making all efforts to provide quality education in its institutions.


Save forests, says Bahugana
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 27
Mr Sunder Lal Bahuguna, a noted environmentalist and founder of “Chipko Andolan”, has asked the Union Government to chalk-out a Himalayan policy to save the forests and make arrangements for tree farming there.

Mr Bahuguna, who was here in connection with a function of local Pingalwara, said yesterday that there was a need of plantation of four types of trees, namely fodder trees, fuel and timber trees, fertiliser leaves’ trees and fibre trees. He also said the forests should be declared protected forests.

Mr Bahuguna further said oxygen, water and soil were very essential for the survival of human beings, so everyone should utilise the same at the minimum level. He also stressed upon the need of finding alternatives to these three things. He said the people should plant maximum those trees, which provided oxygen in a big way.

Mr Bahuguna said in view of the wheat-paddy cycle in Punjab, there was a need to strengthen the tree farming to save the state. He asked the Punjabis to be aware about planting trees, if they wanted to save themselves from destruction in the future.

Mr Bahuguna stated that a social worker always thought about coming generations where as a politician thought about present and his gains. He asked the countrymen to love trees like their children for the coming generations and the country as a whole.


Sukhbir lays stone for old age home

Moga, March 27
The Akali Dal MP, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, today laid the foundation stone for an old age home here.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Badal said on returning to power the Akali-BJP combine would set up an old age home in every tehsil of the state, as elderly were not being looked after well these days. He appreciated the efforts of people coming up with such noble ideas. Attacking the state government, Mr Badal alleged anomalies in awarding liquor contracts to Ponty Chadha and demanded impartial probe into the matter. He said the allegations of corruption levelled against Akalis were “baseless” and said he would quit politics if the charges against them were proved.

He alleged that the Cong government had not taken up any development work in the past three years and it had been only indulging in the politics of “suppressing” its rivals. He said the Shiromani Akali Dal would soon launch an awareness programme to sensitize people in this regard. — OC


Boy travelling on bus roof-top electrocuted
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 27
The denial of seat in a bus allegedly by the conductor to young boys, who earned their livelihood by sorting out the garbage, claimed the life of one of them when they touched the live power transmission lines while travelling on the roof of bus, today.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that Ravi, who along with five others were forced to travel on the roof of bus from Dabwali allegedly by the conductor as they were having shabby looks and were smelling came in contact with live power wire on Dabwali Sangat road and died on the spot while other five identified as Kulwinder, Gogi, Sunny, Salim and Paramjit Singh suffered injuries after they fell down after hitting the wire.

Information revealed that though all these boys who were engaged in extracting the scrap and other things from the garbage, were allegedly forced to travel on the roof by the conductor despite the fact that they had paid their respective fares and were issued tickets. More so when a number of seats in the bus were vacant.

The injured were shifted to local civil hospital.


Bank staff hold rally
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, March 27
On a call given by the All-India Bank Employees Association and as part of nationwide campaign against the UPA govt’s stance on the issues regarding bringing down equity in the public sector banks to 51 per cent, the Punjab Bank Employees Federation organised a protest rally here at Punjab Mata Vidhyawati Bhavan yesterday.

Mr N.K. Gaur, Secretary, All-India Bank Employees Association, said banks in developing countries like India deal with money generated from hard earned savings of the people and this should be utilised for public welfare and national economic development.


‘Karah parsad’ distribution computerised
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 27
After the installation of ‘chapati’ making machine, the unique water filtration plant at Darbar Sahib, the SGPC management has once again gone hi-tech with the computerization of “karah parsad” distribution and cash collection. Computerised slips would replace the manual receipts used earlier.

PCs have been installed at all 13 counters linked to a centralised wireless server.

The service was inaugurated by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, president, SAD, here today.

The Golden Temple already has its own website and bookings of ‘akhand paths’, ‘karah parsad’, ‘cash’ as well as ‘langar’ can be easily made from around the world via Internet, especially by NRI Sikhs or other devotees wishing to donate.


Pingalwara celebrates installation day
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 27
The local Pingalwara, a branch of the All-India Pingalwara Charitable Society, Amritsar, today celebrated its fifth installation day on its campus here. The bhog ceremony of Sri Guru Granth Sahib was performed in the morning. Hazuri Ragi Bhai Randhir Singh Amritsar and Dhadi Jatha of Giani Sarup Singh Kadiala performed kirtan on the occasion.

Mr Sunder Lal Bahuguna, an environmentalist, honoured Dr Parmod Kumar, Dr Harbans Singh and Dr Parminder Kaur on the occasion. Mr Bahuguna, Swami Diviyanand from Almora district in Uttaranchal, Dr Inderjit Kaur, president, All-India Pingalwara Charitable Society, Amritsar, and Mr Tarlochan Singh Cheema, chief administrator, local Pingalwara, also spoke on the occasion.


Truck union’s factions merge
Our Correspondent

Khamano, March 27
Truckers of Khamano and surrounded area heaved a sigh of relief when two factions of truck union decided to work together.

A meeting in this regard was held at the office of Guru Nanak Truck Operators Union Khamano in which industrialist Baljit Singh Uppal, Mr Hari Chand, Block Congress President Sukhdev Sharma and many more members of the two factions took part Janak Singh Uppal was unanimously elected President and the second Khamano Truck Operator Union was merged with Guru Nanak Truck Operator Union.

The president said Malkit Singh Bhambri, Blora Singh Bilaspur, Pal Singh Bhutta, Jagjit Pal Khamano, Avtar Singh Bhambri, Swarn Singh Barwali Kalan, Harminder Singh Hawara Khurd and Dilbag Singh Khamano Kalan will continue as members.


SBOP staff celebrate  Holi
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 27
The cultural committees of the State Bank of Patiala head office and Patiala zone celebrated Holi by organising a cultural show- `Rang Tarang’ yesterday at the bank’s Auditorium.

Mr Yogesh Agarwal, Managing Director, was the Chief guest and Mr. Ashok Mukand, Chief General Manager was the guest of honour. 
Folk dances was performed by the bank employees and folk and group songs that were adjudged first and second at inter bank drama competition at Bhopal recently were also presented.

Mr Aggarwal, appreciated the initiative of the cultural committees in organizing the cultural show and asked the committees to continue organising such shows.


Rs 60 cr to be spent on Punjab villages
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 27
The Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats, Punjab, Mr Lal Singh today announced that more than Rs 60 crore would be spent on villages before March 31. He was talking to mediapersons after laying the foundation stone of the sewerage system in Manauli village here today.

Accompanied by the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, the minister added that over Rs 75 lakh would be granted to the Kharar constituency out of this amount. The minister laid the foundation stone of the Rs 25 lakh sewerage project in the village.

Listing the achievements of the government the minister added that more than 1500 villages in the state would be run as model villages. Three villages Simbalmajra, Gadlana and Chunni had been chosen as model villages from the Kharar constituency. He informed mediapersons that sewerage projects worth Rs 32 Lakh each would be implemented in at least one village in every constituency in Punjab.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh said the Manauli -Mohali road would be repaired soon through as part of a NABARD project.


Govt ‘failed’ to take up crops losses with Centre
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 27
The state government has failed to take up the case of huge loss caused to crops in Punjab due to hailstorm recently with the Centre.

This was revealed from a written reply given by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, to a question raised by Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, a Member of Parliament and General Secretary, Shiromani Akali Dal.

Talking to The Tribune, here today, Mr Badal showed the record of the Parliament in this regard. The question raised by Mr Badal reads, “Will the Minister of Home Affairs state the quantum of loss of crops due to recent hailstorms in Punjab and Haryana district-wise?”

Mr Badal said that it was a matter of great concern that Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, who had been making tall claims of being performer, could not put up the case of Punjab farmers so far. He said the compensation to the farmers would be delayed un-necessarily. He said this showed the ‘non-governance’ of Capt Amarinder Singh government which had been surviving on ‘gimmicks’ only ”.

The reply of Union Home Minister is reads: “The state government have not informed this ministry about the loss of crops due to recent hailstorm. The farmers are entitled for relief for crop loss as per the norms and guidelines out of the funds available with the states under the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) to which the Government of India contributes 75 per cent.”


Rs 14.8 crore improvement trust budget cleared

Barnala, March 27
The Improvement Trust, Barnala, has passed a budget of Rs 14.8 crore for the year 2005-2006. The House passed the budget unanimously. The major thrust this year is on development and new schemes.

Mr Paramjeet Singh Mann, said here today that the trust had allocated a sum of Rs 5.77 crore for the land to be acquired for the new residential as well as commercial schemes. Mr Mann said the trust had planned a residential scheme on Handiaya Road. This is after a gap of about 10 years that the trust is planning to float a new residential scheme to meet the increasing demand of the public.

A sum of Rs 5.81 crore has been earmarked for the various development projects. — OC


In-laws booked in dowry death case
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 27
The local police has registered a case of abetment to suicide against the in-laws of Sandeep Kaur, who allegedly committed suicide at Bhamdi village, 8km from here on Friday. Daljit Singh, husband of the deceased, has been arrested in this connection.

Sandeep Kaur got married to Daljit Singh of Bhamdi village about three months ago. She committed suicide on Friday by hanging herself at her in-laws house. She was preparing for the BA (IIIrd year) examination as books were found lying open on her bed. Sukhwinder Singh, father of the deceased, had lodged complaint against Surinder Kaur, mother-in-law, Daljit Singh, husband, and Rajinder Singh, father-in-law and a member panchayat of the village.

He alleged that his daughter in -laws family had not informed them about the incident. They did not allow her to meet the family. The police had registered a case under Sections 306 and 34 of IPC against the three accused.

The body of Sandeep Kaur has handed over to family members after a post-mortem examination by a team of three doctors at the Civil Hospital on Saturday. The body was cremated at Khanna on Saturday.

SHO of Sadar police station said the raids were being conducted to arrest the accused. Teleprinter message had been flashed to airport authorities to stop the father-in-law of the deceased from fleeing to the U.K, he added.


Singer ‘dupes’ man of Rs 7 lakh, probe ordered
Tribune News Service

Moga, March 27
Taking a serious notice of a complaint against Punjabi singer Balwinder Bawa and her husband, Khushdil, the SSP has ordered a probe into the matter.

According to sources, Major Singh of Tatariyewala village had accused the singer of allegedly ‘duping’ him of Rs 7 lakh on the pretext of sending his son abroad. In his complaint Major Singh stated that he had handed over his son, Randhir Singh’s passport, his eight photographs, and Rs 7 lakh to Bawa and her husband in the presence of a few persons.

Major Singh said they promised to send Randhir to England with a group of singers. The sources said Randhir was sent to Moscow where he was caught when he tried to sneak into a neighbouring country’s border. He was imprisoned for six months in Russia, following which he “disappeared”. Now, nobody knows the whereabouts of Randhir and his father has alleged that all this was done under a “conspiracy”.

He further alleged that he tried to extract some information regarding his son from Bawa and her husband, but to no avail.


Two minor girls missing
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 27
Two minor girl students of class VIII had been missing from Guru Harkrishan Nagar area since last Friday. The police has started investigation after receiving complaints from the parents of the girls.

According to information, Manjeet Kaur daughter of Ghola Singh and Meena daughter of Shri Ram residents of Guru Harkrishan Nagar came to Gurdwara from their houses in the evening.

But they did not return. Parents searched for them but failed. Next day police was informed. Some residents alleged that the girls had gone with two migrant labourers as they were seen with them at 7.30 p.m. on Friday. It is said that migrant youths were living in the area and working artisans. They are also missing from their house.


30-yr-old ‘killed’ by husband
Our Correspondent

Batala, March 27
Jyoti (30), daughter of Manohar Lal, a resident of Quadian was killed allegedly by her husband Pardeep Kumar (35) yesterday. Pardeep is son of Mr Des Raj, a resident of Bhandari Gate, Batala.

Jyoti had three children, one boy aged about 10 years and two daughters aged six and four years.

The body has been sent to Civil Hospital, Batala, for post-mortem examination.

A case under Section 302, IPC has been registered.


Hamara School
Inculcating leadership qualities among students

Set amidst lush green surroundings, away from the hustle and bustle of the city life and in a pollution-free environment, Saffron City School, Fatehgarh Sahib, was established at the dawn of the new millennium. It was a long-cherished dream of its patron, Mr Karam Singh, Chairman, who wished to provide career opportunities to the children of this area and make them useful citizens of society.

The students are constantly exposed to multimedia presentations, modelling, games, art and craft, music etc. They participate in fancy dress competitions, vegetable week, fruit week, clay modelling etc. To cater to their finer senses and drawing upon the multidimensional cultural heritage, various competitions in singing, dance and art and craft are conducted regularly.

Sports are a part and parcel of the school system as it teaches them about the teamwork and leadership. The school has sprawling well-laid out grounds suitable for any kind of sports activity. It has a well-maintained roller-skating rink, basketball courts, football and hockey grounds and a cricket pitch. Besides, the students of the school participate in carom, kho-kho, cycle and cross-country. As a member of the British Council Library, the institution has participated in the YLE (Young learners Examination) and the school faculty has also attended workshops and orientation programmes by the council for effective language teaching.

Also integrated into the school calendar is trekking and camping and other numerous excursions, which are eagerly awaited events for the children. To infuse self-confidence and independence in the child night-outs are organised for the children.

Young talents growing up in this modern complex world have many difficulties to face and opportunities for personal achievements are often limited. The Duke of Edinburgh scheme provides an introduction to worthwhile leisure activities and voluntary services, as a challenge to the individual to discover the satisfaction to achievement. Some of these activities conducted by the students were funds for the flood-hit victims and making and selling of rakhis to raise funds for the needy. 



True education is the development, progress and maturity of both mind and heart — for they mutually influence each other. Education should not only equip the students with values to enter the main stream and shoulder the responsibilities of life but also become honest, upright and considerate human beings. Since its inception, the school has believed in a holistic approach, endeavouring to give its students an inspiring and invigorating learning environment.

The school offers its students a wide array of activities, most notably, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, which has taught the students that compassion and empathy are an essential requisite of life. 


Varsity honours 60 students
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 27
Guru Nanak Dev university honoured more than 60 student who brought laurels to the university by winning the overall championship trophy of north zone and all India inter-varsity national youth festival at a special programme held to facilitate them, here today.

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.P. Singh, awarded them mementos. The varsity also honoured winners of inter-varsity youth festival organised by the DPI, Colleges.

Mr Baljit Sekhon, Director, Youth Directors, Youth Welfare of university, stated that the varsity had won the all-India inter-varsity youth festival for the fifth time in succession.

The festival this time was organised by the Association of Indian universities in association with Union Ministry of Cultural Affairs at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. The university also won the overall championship trophy of Punjab state inter-varsity youth festival by winning 15 categories from a total of 16, held by the DPI (colleges) Punjab, at Amritsar recently.

The following were honoured: DAV College (Amritsar): skit (Krantipal Singh, Vikramjit Singh, Sandeep Signh, Tejinder Singh, Kuldeep Singh and Pardeep Singh).

APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar: Group song (Indian), group song (western), light vocal (Indian), western vocal (Solo), classical instrumental (percussion), classical vocal, one act play and on-the-spot painting, respectively: Sughanda Mishra, Karndeep Kaur, Narinder Kaur, Satinder Kaur, Sumeet Aggarwal, Rohini, Gurpreet, Shivanideep, Gurvinder Singh, Ravinder Kaur, Gurbachan, Ritu, Bhawnpreet, Manpreet Kaur, Kapil Sharma Surbhi, Sonia Thakur, Sharndeep Kaur, Mani Arora, Isha Kalia and Indu Sharma.

Instrumental (non-percussion): Gurpinder Kaur, GNDU campus, Amritsar: Quiz: Rattanbir Singh, Shuvdeep Bhattacharya and Harkirtan Kaur.

Punjab State Winners: Hansraj Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Jalndhar: Giddha and cartooning individuals: Parneet, Sandeep, Navjot, Hargundeep, Tajbir, Puneet, Amanjot, Pooja Ahuja, Baljit, Gagandeep and Navdeep.

SR Government for Women, Amritsar: Classical dance (rythmn); DRV DAV College, Phillaur: Folk song (Sukhjinder); DAV College, Jalandhar: Bhangra (Amrtipal, Varinder Birla, Harbir, Lakhvir and Sunnpreet.

BBK DAV College, Women, Amritsar: Collage and histrionics (Vibha Bhagat).

APJ College of fine arts, Jalandhar: Group shabad /bhajan, group song (Indian) classical vocal, on the spot painting, geet/ghazal, clay modelling and poster making (Arvinder Kaur).


Jashan — 2005 opens at GND varsity
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 27
Mr Jatinder Brar, eminent playwright and president, Punjab Naat Shala, inaugurated a cultural programme, Jashan-2005, by lighting the ceremonial lamp at a hall on the premises of Dev University here today.

Competitions in Bhangra, nautanki, historionics and one act play were organised today. Skit, twisted news, quiz, creative, western and folk dances would be organised tomorrow while Gidha and choreography competitions would be organised on the final day.


Mohindera College, GCG win titles
Our Sports Reporter

Patiala, March 27
Mohindera College, Patiala, has won the General Championship trophy in the men’s section in the Punjab University Inter-College Championship while Government College for Girls (GCG), Patiala, reigned the women’s section.

Dr S.S. Boparai, Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University distributed the prizes, at a ceremony held in the Arts Auditorium of the university campus yesterday.

Sports Advisor and former Olympic hurdler G.S. Randhawa, Director (sports) Mr Raj Kumar Sharma were among others who were present on the occasion.

Prominent sportspersons of the university who represented the country in various meets abroad were also honoured. 

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