P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Sarbjit’s photo goes missing
Pak bans entry of family members
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Bhikhiwind, September 9
The fresh picture of Sarbjit Singh, sent from Kot Lakhpat Rai Jail, Lahore, received on September 6 by his family, has gone missing from his ancestral house here.

Ms Dalbir Kaur, sister of Sarbjit Singh, said she was shocked to learn that someone took the picture of his brother away without telling the family members. The letter and picture of Sarbjit Singh were brought from Pakistan by Mr Dipak Kaul, Consul Visa, and Mr S.C. Sharma, Attache Visa.

Yet another shock for the family is that the Government of Pakistan has banned the entry of family members of Sarbjit Singh. Talking to The Tribune, Ms Dalbir Kaur, said she had received a call from Mr Abdul Hamid Rana, Lahore based lawyer of his brother, who told her that Pakistan Government apprehended that the family of Sarbjit would not be safe in Pakistan as there could be backlash by the victims of bomb blasts for which Sarbjit Singh was given death sentence.

Earlier, she received a couple of telephone calls from Pakistan based journalist, Mr Nadim, who said there were news published in various newspapers of Pakistan, about the denial of entry to the family members of Sarbjit Singh. Ms Dalbir Kaur said Mr Rana was in the process of filing fresh writ petition in the Supreme Court. She said Mr Rana had claimed that the fresh developments, including the eyewitnesses turning hostile, would help in the release of Sarbjit Singh. Mr Rana had received Rs 75,000 as the second installment of his fees from the Canada based South Asian Human Rights Group.

Earlier, this group had given first installment of Rs 1 lakh to Mr Rana.

Meanwhile, the family members of Sarbjit Singh including his wife Sukhpreet Kaur and teenage daughter Swapandeep Kaur, at the Akal Takht prayed for his release.


Anxious wait for Tanda resident’s release
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Tanda (Hoshiarpur), September 9
Though she had not seen her father even after birth, four-year-old Ramandeep Kaur rushes to the main gate her house in Kalloa village, about 7 km from here, whenever someone rings the doorbell. She tries to recognize her father whom she has seen in the photo-album.

Daughter of Mr Bhajan Singh, who is lodged in Kot Lakhpat Jail in Pakistan for the last over five years, Ramandeep along with her elder sister Inderjit Kaur, grandfather Mr Sohan Singh and grandmother Mrs Kaushalya Kaur had to return home disappointed from the Wagha border thrice when the family could not see their son released.

The family is now anticipating the arrival of Mr Bhajan Singh along with other Punjabi youths to be released on September 12 after India and Pakistan decided to release 1,100 prisoners in different jails of both the countries.

Ms Jasbir Kaur, wife of Mr Bhajan Singh, who could not accompany her family members to receive her husband earlier, has decided to go to the Wagha border this time.

According to reports, out of 64 Punjabi youths lodged in Pakistan jails, 10 belong to Hoshiarpur district.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Sohan Singh, an ex-serviceman, claimed that he had gone to receive his son when Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh brought back some Punjabi youths from Pakistan. My wife could not hold back her tears back we returned home disappointed for the third time, ” recalled Mr Sohan Singh.

“We are sure that Bhajan Singh will be back this time we have given all the supporting documents to the Pakistan High Commissioner after physical and residential verification from the Tanda police, “ hoped Mrs Kaushalya Kaur mother of Mr Bhajan Singh.

“I have been praying to the God for his health. We lived together for about six months after our marriage in 1997. After two months of the marriage, Bhajan Singh left for Greece to re-join his duty in a private company. He again came back in 2001 and left after a couple of months. We came to know that Bhajan Singh has been put behind bars in Pakistan when family members of Mr Amarjit Singh, a resident of Bhariya village, informed them that her husband has been arrested by the Pakistani police and lodged in Lakhpat Jail. Amarjit Singh was also in the same jail and was released last year” she recalled.

The family did not hesitate to thank politicians, especially Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, MP from Hoshiarpur, and the Central and state governments who initiated efforts for the release of Indian youths, who fell prey to travel agents and are languishing in Pakistan jails.

Residents of the village have made all arrangements to go to Wagha border to receive their son and celebrate the occasion with beating of drums and distributing sweets on his arrival in the village.


5 units of thermal plant shut as lightning strikes
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Ropar, September 9
The Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal plant here today faced major problem of power generation when its five units out of six units were shut down due to lightning here in the morning.

Sources in the thermal plant said five units were tripped and stopped generation at about 9.30 am. The state has suffered a loss of 250 lakh units till 2 pm. Later, three units were made functional but two units are still not functioning. The unit no. 5 is expected to become operation in the late night, while unit no. 6 will remained shut following the low demand for power.

The sources said with the closure of the Naptha Jhakri project in Himachal and also the central and the western gird, the state has been suffering a loss of 100 lakh units every day. But after September 15, agriculture load will be reduced and people will face less power cuts.

PSEB sources said the power cuts in the state had been reduced to minimum today due to less power consumption triggered by rainfall. The residence, facing power cuts for more than 10 hours, today faced a few hours of cuts.

When contacted the Chief Engineer of the Thermal plant, Mr N. K. Arora, said due to lightning there was fluctuations in voltage and five units had to be shut down.


Tibetans reconciled to Chinese sovereignty: Rinpoche
Vimal Sumbly and Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Tibetans have at last reconciled to the idea of Chinese sovereignty over Tibet, provided China grants them the National Territorial Autonomy along with their democratic rights.

The negotiations between the Chinese authorities and Tibetan leaders have already reached a crucial and decisive stage. The two parties have already held four rounds of talks and these are progressing well.

In an exclusive interview with The Tribune here today, Prof Samdong Rinpoche, Prime Minister, Central Tibetan Administration (also called as the Tibetan Government in exile) attributed the positive development in Sino-Tibetan talks to the improvement in the Sino-Indian relations during the last few years.

He said India’s relationship with China would have its obvious impact on the Tibet situation. “As the relationship between India and China has improved, there has been positive progress towards dialogue between Tibetan leaders and Chinese authorities as well,” he remarked.

When asked as how the Tibetans could come down to agreeing to the National Territorial Autonomy from their original demand of complete freedom, Prof Rinpoche said there had been a lot of demographic changes in Tibet. He said: “We do not have even a small fraction of Tibet (in terms of geographical boundaries) what we used to have originally and even in the left over Tibet, the Tibetans have been transformed into a minority because of massive demographic changes.”

He said, as long as the pure Tibetan national identity was retained, nobody would mind the Chinese sovereignty.

Prof Rinpoche, who seemed to be in a reconciliatory mood, appeared quite optimistic about the settlement of the issue between the Tibetian leaders and the Chinese authorities. He hoped that the Tibetans could be able to return to their homeland and an exclusive national identity would be established once again.

He said when there could be evacuations of Jews by Israel from the Gaza Strip, there could always be similar evacuations of Chinese from Tibet as well.

He made it clear that the Tibetans were neither seeking separation nor complete independence from China. “We want national autonomy that preserves our national identity with all democratic rights,” he remarked, while hoping a permanent settlement of the issue would be reached soon.

He said the fourth round of talks between the Chinese and the Tibetan leaders concluded recently in Switzerland, while the next round was expected to be held any time in near future. The direct negotiations between the two parties started in 2002 only.

There are about one lakh registered Tibetan refugees in India. He said they were grateful towards the people and the government of India for the support and cooperation they got during their exile.

Earlier, he was accorded a warm reception by the members of Tibetan community who trade in woollens at the Ludhiana railway station. He was here to attend a cultural show organised by the Tibetan community to raise funds for various development projects for the Tibetans living in exile in various parts of India.


Chunni Kalan village to be made sub-Tehsil
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 9
Mr Bir Devinder Singh, MLA, Kharar, while presiding over the inaugural function of a school building at Khanpur Gehlan village in the district, announced that he would make all-out efforts to award the status of a sub-Tehsil to Chunni Kalan village in the district, which is a part of the Kharar constituency, so that all the revenue-related problems of the people of this area were sorted out at their doorsteps.

He said he would soon call on the Chief Minister in this regard and hoped that an announcement in this regard would be made by the Chief Minister himself. Earlier he inaugurated the new school building constructed at a cost of Rs 1.20 lakh.

Addressing a gathering, Mr Bir Devinder congratulated the Chief Minister for announcing free electricity to the agriculture sector and the Dalit families, which would give them relief.

He said that it was a matter of pride that Mr Michael Dell had decided to set up Dell Computers, a mega project at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore at Mohali, which would generate employment for 1,000 unemployed youths of the state.

He said with the setting up of this project, hundreds of ancillary units around Fatehgarh Sahib, Ludhiana, Ropar and Mohali would come up at a cost of Rs 800 crore and Mohali would find a place on the international map in the field of IT.

He called upon the people to donate generously for the cause of education. He said the government had given the right to every MLA to get 15 km of roads in his constituency constructed according to their wish.

He announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the boundary wall of the school and widening of the Rampur-Kanpur Behlan road.


Medical colleges: observers named for counselling
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
The Punjab Government today nominated its observers to oversee the counselling of students for NRI and management quota seats in medical colleges in the state. In a separate development the government also issued a clarification on the fee to be charged by private medical, dental, ayurvedic, nursing and homoeopathic colleges.

Counselling for the MBBS, BDS, BAMS and BHMS courses has started for the NRI and management quota seats and the following are the observers: Luxmi Bai Dental College, Patiala - Dr Surinder Singh; Desh Bhagat Ayurvedic College, Mandi Gobindgarh — Dr Dharam Pal; Urmila Devi Ayurvedic College, Hoshiarpur — Dr V.K. Kaushik; Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College, Ludhiana — Dr A.S. Gill; Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana — Dr Subhash Kaushal; Sri Guru Nanak Dev Homoeopathic College, Ludhiana — Dr A.S. Gill; Desh Bhagat Dental College, Muktsar — Dr B.K.Kapoor; Desh Bhagat Dental College, Muktsar — Dr Jai Kishan; and Guru Nanak Dev Dental College and Research Institute, Sunam — Dr B.K. Kapoor;

Meanwhile a spokesperson of the Department of Medical Education and Research gave out the fee structure for all courses and institutes in Punjab for the 2005-06 session. Entrance test: cost of prospectus — Rs 750; application fee for PMET-2005 — Rs 1250 (50 per cent for SCs/STs); and fee for admission — Rs 500. Private Institutes: (annual and provisional fee) medical institutes - Rs 75,000; dental institutes - Rs 55,000; and ayurvedic and homoeopathic institutes — Rs 35,000.

The spokesperson said these amounts included all kinds of charges. Nothing extra would be charged from the students. The fee would be payable on an annual basis and the institutes should not insist on the candidate depositing the fee for the entire course in advance. At the most, candidates could be asked to furnish a bond/bank guarantee that they would be liable to pay the balance fee for the whole course even if they left the institute midway through the course, said the statement.

The fee would be refunded or adjusted if candidate was shifted from one college to another in the subsequent counselling. The government also clarified that admissions in respect of government quota seats in CMC, Ludhiana, and its associated dental and nursing colleges would be made in accordance with the orders of the Supreme Court dated June 1.


Mann accuses Centre of glorifying genocide
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 9
Accusing the Union Government of “glorifying genocide” while flaying terrorism, SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann today alleged that India was not ready to act against perpetrators of genocide and instead was providing them ‘Z’ security.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Mann said the Nanavati Commission report had pointed fingers at Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, but none of them was arrested. On the other hand, when his party wanted to commemorate the “martyrs” of Operation Bluestar, SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur met the Prime Minister and they were thrown behind bars on the very next day, he charged.

On the Punjab Chief Minister announcing free power to farmers, Mr Mann said Mr Badal and Capt Amarinder Singh thought that they were obliging the farmers, which was not the reality. He termed the state government’s policies as anti-farmers, stating that the prices of fertilisers were stable, while those of diesel had shot up.

Lashing out at Capt Amarinder Singh, he said the state government had ordered 18 luxury cars worth Rs 18 lakh each for the ministers, of which three would be for the CM’s personal use. He said the CM had already spent Rs 5 crore on renovating his office.

“If he has got so much money why doesn’t he waive off farmers’ debt,” he asked.

On the blame game over fomenting trouble in the state between Mr Badal and Capt Amarinder Singh, he said both of them were signatories to a missive shot off to the UN General Secretary on the issue of “Khalistan”. He asked as to why the CM was now running away from a debate over terrorism in the state Assembly after calling Mr Badal a hypocrite.

Mr Mann said his party would hold a rally in Sarai Pattan in Ropar district on September 13 in memory of 34 martyrs of Tarn Taran.


Tributes paid to Asal Uttar hero
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Asal Uttar (Amritsar), September 9
Warm tributes were paid to Abdul Hamid Company Quarter Master Havildar (CQMH) who had destroyed three Pakistani Patton tanks apart from disabling the fourth in the Indo-Pakistan war in 1965, on his 40th martyrdom here today.

A three-day fair was organised in the village stadium that concluded today with memorial service at the CQMH Abdul Hamid Param Vir Chakra Memorial. Function by the Khem Karan Brigade under the aegis of Golden Arrow Division with matches of volleyball and kabaddi followed by a free medical camp for locals and ex-servicemen. Besides this a number of food stalls, CSD canteen services were also set up. A community kitchen (langar) was organised at village gurdwara on all three days.

Brig N.S. Kapur, of Golden Arrow Division, said that in the Indo-Pakistan conflict of 1965, CQMH Abdul Hamid of 4th battalion of Grenadiers Regiment was deployed at Asal Uttar as commander of a recoilless gun detachment when the Pakistani forces launched a major offensive led by a regiment of Patton tanks on the location held by Four Grenadiers. Though under intense artillery shelling and tank fire, Abdul Hamid moved from one firing position to another and pulverized three patton tanks of the enemy. However, while engaging the fourth tank he was fatally wounded by an enemy shell. Abdul Hamid’s courage, disregard for personal safety and act of bravery in the face of enemy were a shining example of valour and high traditions of the Indian Army.

Brig Kapur was the first to lay a wreath and pay tributes to the martyr. Other military and civil dignitaries also laid wreaths. With prayers and humility in each one of the present offered silent tributes and salutations when bugles sounded the last post.

Mr Kirandeep Singh Bhullar, Deputy Commissioner also laid a wreath on behalf of the Punjab government.


Tension over razing of religious place
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Tension prevailed in Dhaula village in the Basti Jodhewal area here since last night following the alleged razing of a place of worship. Members of two different communities have been staking their claim over the ownership of the building since Independence of the country.

Trouble arose when a portion of the building was allegedly found razed late last night. Members of the Muslim community, who have been claiming that the building was a mosque before the Partition gathered in large numbers at the site. The members of Sikh community also assembled there.

Timely intervention by the Basti Jodhewal police prevented a major clash between the two communities, though heated arguments continued to take place. The police was deployed in the village to prevent the escalation of tension.

The SHO, Basti Jodhewal, Mr Jaswinder Mangat, said the police had managed to convince both parties to sit across the table to sort the matter amicably.

Leaders of both communities have made their claims about the ownership of the building as well as the sequence of events that led to the fresh trouble. According to the police, both Muslims and Sikhs pay obeisance at the place. However, the Sikh Community claims that only a gurdwara exists there.

They claimed that the gurdwara was quite old and was on the verge of collapsing. They razed a portion of the building to prevent damage to other part as well.

However, members of the Muslim community claimed that the portion of the building was deliberately demolished to expand the gurdwara. They said the building was actually a mosque converted into a gurdwara after the Partition.


Full power supply to induction furnaces
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Following heavy rain in various parts of Punjab, the state government today decided to fully restore the power supply to induction furnaces.

A state government spokesman said the power situation had improved because of the decrease in demand in the agricultural sector following heavy rain this morning. Hence, the decision to restore the power supply to induction furnaces. However, arc furnaces would get power supply thrice a week till further orders.

In the real sense the power situation in the state will improve only after the harvesting of paddy starts in the last week of this month.


Sainik Sammelan organised
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 9
Lieut-Gen S. Pattabhiraman, General Officer Commanding -in-Chief, Western Command and Vice-Chief of Army Staff designate, visited the Vajra Corps here today.

General Pattabhiraman was accompanied by his wife and president, Army Wives Welfare Association, Ms Lakshmi Raman. It was his first visit to the Vajra Corps after his name figured as the next Vice Chief of Army staff recently.

Incidentally, he is the second GoC of the Vajra Corps to be elevated to the position of Vice Chief of Army Staff, the previous being Lieut-Gen S. Chaudhary.

General Pattabhiraman addressed a Sainik Sammelan comprising over 6000 officers, JCOs and Jawans of Vajra Corps as well as of nearby military garrisons. He exhorted all ranks to prepare themselves for the challenges lying ahead them and apprised them about the welfare measures being taken for the jawans.

The Arm Welfare Housing Organisation was making all out efforts to provide dwelling unit to all ranks at affordable price. He also complimented the jawans for the work put in by them and said he had no doubt that they would continue to guard frontiers with traditional enthusiasm and valour.

Lieut -Gen Mandhata Singh, GoC, Vajra Corps, pledged that the standards set by the Army commander would be further enriched, while Ms Lakshmi Raman, interacted with the families of Vajra Corps during her visits to the Vajra Vocational Training Centre and Asha School.


Anganwari workers protest against govt
Our Correspondent

Abohar, September 9
Members of the Anganwari Workers Union this evening called for a “chakka jam” to express resentment over anti-employee policies of the state government here.

Even pedestrians were not allowed to cross the road that connected police stations and housing complex with the municipal bus stand for more than an hour. The workers prevented the movement of the buses and completely jammed traffic on one of the most busy city roads.

Hundreds of Anganwari workers from villages of Khuyiansarwer and Abohar blocks gathered on the municipal general bus stand with banners and lathies. Some senior workers of the Punjab State Subordinate Services Federation and the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Naujwan Sabha provided them a strong security cover.

The police watched as mute spectators as they could not handle the protestors physically in the absence of women constables. The sub division has only one lady constable.

The union leaders, including the block presidents, Ms Kamla Rani, Ms Bhagwanti and the district secretary, Ms Reshma Rani, alleged that the police at Fazilka was shielding the killers of an active Anganwari worker, Soma Rani, who was allegedly killed by her in-laws at Mohkamwali village recently.

The union demanded that the alleged killers must be arrested without further delay.

Those who addressed the rally said the Chief Minister, Captain Amrinder Singh, had not implemented even a part of the Congress manifesto. The state government had been putting adhoc employees to mental agony and harassment by carrying anti- employee stint.

The union had given a call for a state-wide strike on September 29.


Tension brews in Jalandhar village
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 9
Tension gripped Shankar village, near Nakodar, today as some persons allegedly barged into a religious place and tore apart pages of a holy book.

The police has arrested two persons and has booked seven others in what is being viewed as an outcome of an intricate “multi-dimensional” group clash, even as some people are trying to give communal colour to the incident.

According to information. Gokha and his wife Jagroop reportedly went to a Dalit-dominated locality and abused some people on Thursday.

Later, in the night, Gokha returned to the locality along with his wife and five of his supporters and forced their entry into a religious place, where they allegedly tore some pages of a holy book.

They also thrashed Mohinder Ram who objected to their activities and left him seriously injured.

All others, except one, who was nabbed by villagers, managed to escape.

The incident has led to tension in the village where hundreds of people, belonging to a community, took out a protest march.

On the other hand, police officials said the incident was an outcome of a long-standing rivalry between two groups and efforts were being made to give communal colour to the whole episode.

Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, said Gokha and his wife had been arrested under various Sections, including the SC and ST Act while, five other had been booked under Sections 295, 295-A and 452 of the IPC.


Shed collapse kills 8 cows
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 9
Eight cows were killed and 15 injured when shed of a ‘gaushala’ at Dhandauli Kalan village, 6 km from Dirba, collapsed today after heavy rain in the area.

According to information this evening, there were 45 cows in the shed when it caved in. Dead and injured cows were pulled out after removing debris with a bulldozer.

Officials of the Animal Husbandry Department also reached the site of mishap and treated injured cows.


Staff resents income tax circular
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 9
There is resentment among government employees over a circular issued by the local Income Tax office regarding mandatory e-filing of TDS/TCS returns by government deductors as per the provisions of Section 206 of the IT Act 1961, with effect from April 1 this year in electronic format.

The ITO, Mr Karnail Singh of Ward No. 2, Mandi Gobindgarh, has further mentioned that these returns have to be received by the “TIN Facilitation Center, Mandi Gobindgarh” managed by National Security Depository Ltd. As per the circular for the tax collected are to be furnished on floppies while most of the government offices are not having required expertise in preparation of floppies. Government offices have been directed to approach TIN Facilitation Center Mandi Gobindgarh, to prepare these floppies by paying Rs 522 quarterly.

Capt Vij, District Food and Civil Supply Controller, while talking to The Tribune said the Income Tax Department should prepare the floppies and CDs at its own cost.


Utilise funds properly: MP
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 9
A meeting of District Vigilance and Monitoring Committee constituted to monitor funds allotted by the Central Government to states was held at Bachat Bhavan, here today.

Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, MP-cum-Chairman of the committee, presided over the meeting, whereas Ms Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner, conducted the proceedings. District heads of various departments participated.

Mr Libra said funds to the tune of Rs 221.39 lakh were allotted to him for development projects, out of which he had spent Rs 187.06 lakh on various development schemes. He gave Rs 61.71 lakh to Fatehgarh Sahib, Rs 31.70 lakh to Ludhiana, Rs 25.80 lakh to Patiala, Rs 45.60 lakh to Ropar and Rs 22.25 lakh to Sangrur.

He urged the district officials to utilise the funds for development projects and to ensure transparency and quality work.


Saplings planted
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 9
Ms Usha R. Sharma, Special Secretary, Department of Science Technology and Environment, Punjab, on Wednesday inaugurated a function organised by the local ITI in connection with the Vanmahotsava.

Speaking on the occasion, she said efforts should be made for increasing the green cover. She also planted a sapling. Mr Malwinder Singh, Member Secretary, Punjab Pollution Control Board, and Mr Jagjit Singh, Principal, ITI, were present, among others, at the function.


More rain could ruin cotton crop: experts
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 9
A delayed spell of shower today has upset the cotton belt’s farmers, as its continuation might ruin their crop.

Talking to The Tribune, Chief Agricultural Officer, Mr PS Aulakh, said if it had rained 10-15 days ago, it would have boosted the cotton yield. He said today’s shower was alright, but its continuation in the coming days could prove disastrous for the cotton crop. He said the cotton crop was in full bloom these days and it could scatter in case of more rainfall. The rainfall had brought bolls closer to the ground. Muktsar and Mansa districts also recorded rainfall, but here, too, no damage to cotton and paddy crop had come to fore as of now. Sources said a strong breeze accompanying rainfall could have led to losses to cotton as well as paddy growers.

Mr M.S. Brar, OSD (cotton), Markfed, said it had rained heavily today and if it resulted in waterlogging in cotton fields, it could translate into losses to cotton growers. He said prolonged wet weather would be harmful for the cotton crop and it would enhance the threat of a pest attack. He said even if the cloud cover vanished now, it would cut down the chances of pest attack to a large extent.

The area market manager of Mahyco Seeds, Mr Sunil Patel, said waterlogging had been witnessed in a number of cotton fields. He said the rainfall would damage the crop that was on the verge of maturing.

Ex-sarpanch of Jassi Pau Wali village, Mr Jasbir Singh, said bad weather could force cotton farmers to spray pesticides.

Meteorological experts said the city recorded 49 mm of rainfall today. They said another spell of shower was expected tomorrow.

Meanwhile, heavy rain today gave residents a much-needed break from the month-long heat wave. It also exposed the poor sewerage system here, as long stretches of main roads and low-lying areas witnessed inundation.

Large stretches of main roads, including GT Road, Mall Road, and Amrik Singh Road, were inundated, leading to traffic jams. Commuters had a tough time wading through submerged roads. Sewers in Civil Lines, Ganesha Basti, Paras Ram Nagar, Sirki Bazar, Patti Road, Navi Basti, Gurunanak Pura, Power House Road, Bhagu Road, Jogi Nagar and Janata Nagar areas were choking and rainwater had made way into houses and shops.

The scenario was worst in front of Teachers Home, where about 2.5 feet water had gathered, forcing commuters to get down from their vehicles and wade through water.


Students’ leader stabbed

Patiala, September 9
Harbir Singh, a student of the local Multani Mal Modi College, has been battling for life in Rajindra Government Hospital after he was attacked by four persons on the college campus today.

Harbir Singh, who was elected as president of students’ unions about a month ago, was attacked with a knife. He was stabbed four times. TNS


6 killed in car-truck collision
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, September 9
As many as six persons, including five of a family, died on the spot in a head- on collision of a Maruti car and a truck near Paniali village on the Nawanshahr-Chandigarh road today. Sri Ram Seth (36) a Jalandhar based Chartered Accountant, his wife, Deepika (34), sister Anju (22), daughter Muskan (5), son Jatin (3) and a friend Krishan Lal Arora (30), who were travelling in the ill-fated car from Jalandhar to Chandigarh were killed in the accident.

The bodies of the deceased were brought to the Civil Hospital, Balachaur. The driver of the truck has reportedly been absconded. The police has registered a case.


Two killed due to lightning
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 9
Two persons were killed when lightning struck them while they were working in fields at two villages near Patran today.

Balwinder Singh (25) and Balwinder Singh (40) were killed when the lightning struck them at Jekhil and Kartarpur villages, respectively.


3-yr-old girl physically assaulted
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, September 9
In a heinous act, a three-year-old girl was physically assaulted by a 14-year-old youth here. When the child raised a hue and cry, the vigilant mother of the victim saved her from the accused.

The accused, after committing the crime, fled from the place of crime. He was, however, arrested within a few hours.

The accused Sunny, alias Kukoo, was residing near the house of the victim’s family. Yesterday afternoon, he took the girl to his house.

A case under Sections 376-511 of the IPC has been registered.


Students join protest over denial of admission
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 9
Students of Khalsa College today came in support of protesting students who were denied admission by the academic council of the college this year.

A large number of students reportedly raised slogans against Principal of the college for not allowing admission to the students who had protested last year against the then principal for allegedly misappropriating students’ funds.

According to sources in the college, the students completely boycotted the classes. The college authorities called the police and ban the entry of ‘outsiders’ in the college premises.

Dr Daljit Singh, Principal of the college claimed that the classes were held normally. However, he said none outsiders entered the college and tried to disturb the peaceful atmosphere.

Prof Pashaura Singh, staff secretary in a press note alleged that certain outsiders forced their entry by jumping over the boundary walls of the college.

The student welfare union in a press note condemned the dictatorial attitude of the principal who allegedly trying to curb the students’ agitation. The union alleged that the Principal had brought certain ‘outsiders’ in the college.


Bank honours school students
Our Correspondent

Jalalabad, September 9
The local branch of State Bank of India yesterday gave away prizes and mementos to teachers and students of Mata Gujri Public School, Chak Suhele Wala, 15 km from here.

Mr B.D. Singla, Senior Branch Manager of the bank, applauded the management of the school for providing latest facilities to the students in this border belt. He said the SBI, the biggest bank of the country, was propping up social causes through its network of more than 5000 branches in India. Ms Parvinder Kaur, principal of the school, in her address, said the school was entirely a philanthropic mission, running under the aegis of the Mata Gujri Educational Society.


Students attend seminar
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 9
The SAE India College chapter of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College, Fatehgarh Sahib, has organised a seminar on “Diesel Technology” in the college. More than 200 students participated in the seminar.

The Principal, Dr D.S. Hira, while presiding over the seminar said new technologies were being developed to improve the diesel engine.

Mr Mohit Arora, Assistant Manager, Maruti Udyog Limited, Gurgaon, said efforts were being made to remove the shortcomings of diesel engines used in light transport vehicle. He said new diesel engine with improved efficiency would hit Indain market in 2006.

Mr Kulwant Singh Parmar, Work Manager, Patiala, spoke on turbo supercharger which works on exhaust gases. He compared the efficiency of Diesel engine with steam engines and said the steam engine got only 5 per cent efficiency as compared to the diesel engine which got 40 per cent.

Prof Narinderpal Singh, coordinator of the SAE College chapter, Prof A.P.S. Sethi, head mechanical department, Prof Jasbir Singh, Prof J.S. Oberoi, Prof H.S. Bhatti, Prof Neeraj Bala and Prof Manpreet Kaur also addressed the seminar.


School holds exhibition
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 9
An exhibition on various subjects was organised at Blossoms Senior Secondary School here today. Models and projects made by students were displayed in various departments. Students from other schools also visited the exhibition. The efforts of the students were highly appreciated.

Ravinder Mittal made a model of the Bhakra Dam, Kamalpreet and Nawashpreet showed the phases of the moon, while a model for an eco-friendly town was made by Vikram Singla and Manveer Singh.

Other students who actively helped were Himanshi Dhamija, Kanana Bhandhu, Himani, Shivani, Amandeep and Navneet Nagra.

A huge collage depicting the diversity within the country was made on the wall, under the heading ‘Unity in Diversity’ by the social science department.

The history department came up with models of Taj Mahal, Sanchi Stupa and Sun Temple at Konark.

The Punjabi department depicted a village scene, while the english department enacted a play by Shakespeare.


SBI branch inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 9
Ms Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner, today inaugurated the branch of the State Bank of India at Sirhind. The bank opened the first account of the Deputy Commissioner.

Mr A. Krishna Kumar, General Manager, Area 1, presided over the function.

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