P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Excise official hurt in firing by liquor smuggler
260 boxes of liquor seized
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 27
Mr Inderjit Singh, an Inspector with the Excise Department, suffered bullet and pellet injuries when he along with other members of a raiding team was attacked by Balwinder Singh Safidipur, a liquor smuggler and his associates at his farmhouse located near the Punjabi University campus, this morning.

Safidipur, once a close associate of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, along with his associates also damaged the official vehicles of members of the raiding team led by the Excise and Taxation Officer (ETO), Mr G.S. Gill, when they entered his farmhouse to seize the illegal liquor.

The raiding team also seized about 260 boxes of liquor from his farmhouse with the help of the police, which reached the spot after getting the information.

The police team led by the DSP, Mr Gurmeet Singh Chohan, had to face tough time to arrest Balwinder Singh Safidipur, president, Bhau Bhaichara Sangathan, after he held out a threat that either he would shot down Mr Chohan or himself if the police party made any advance to overpower him. He also charged a gun towards him to show that he could execute his threat if he would be arrested.

However, Mr Chohan managed to persuade Balwinder Singh Safidipur to come down from the roof and was then taken to the police station along with his three associates. The firearms used by the accused were also taken in to possession.

Of the 260 boxes of liquor seized, 100 boxes were of Bombay Special Whisky brand which was distilled in Madhya Pradesh and other boxes were containing liquor of different brands of Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL).

Information revealed that Mr D.P. Reddy, Commissioner, Excise and Taxation, Punjab, talked to the DIG and the SSP, Patiala, after he came to know about the attack on the excise party. He had also urged these officials to come down heavily on such anti-social elements so that it could be a deterrent to others.

Two separate cases, one under Sections 307, 353,186,428,148 and 149, IPC, and Section 25 of the Arms Act and other under the Excise Act had been registered against Safidipur and others.


Gurkha children embrace Sikhism
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 27
Singing hymns from Guru Granth Sahib, playing tabla and reciting Gurbani and conversation in chaste Punjabi by ‘ Kanchas’ (Gurkha children) from hilly Kingdom of Nepal may seem unusual.

Nobody can imagine that earlier name of Parkash Singh could be Om Parkash and Amritpal Singh was once Munish, both hailing from Nepal. The Central Khalsa Orphanage (CKO) run by the Chief Khalsa Diwan is home to 175 children, including Nepalese, who were rendered orphans. It goes to the credit of the Chief Khalsa Diwan that the orphans are admitted to the orphanage without any consideration of caste or creed. The orphanage has the credit of producing Shaheed Udham Singh, who remained there from 1907 to 1919. The orphanage, which started with one child brought from Sindh (Pakistan) by Mr Harbans Singh Attari, celebrates its anniversary tomorrow — October 28, here.

Mr Charnjit Singh Chadha, President Chief Khalsa Diwan said many ‘Kanchas’, brought up in its orphanage had been propagating Sikhism in various parts of the world. Many of them were also absorbed in the SGPC. They are so devoted to Sikhism that most of the Sikh organisations including the Shiromani Committee exempted them from required tests. He said that as per the constitution of the orphanage, only children above six years were admitted.

Mr Chadha said it was mandatory for every inmate to attain education up to matriculation. For this, the orphanage runs a school till class while they join Khalsa school for higher education. Mr Chadha said that besides education, training in musical instruments and shabad kirtans, musical instruments like tabla, harmonium, dilruba, sitar is imparted to the students in this seminary. This institution gave the Sikh community eminent ragis like Bhai Santa Singh, Bhai Gopal Singh, Bhai Gurmej Singh, Singh Sahib Bhai Fateh. Other alumni of repute, include musician Dalip Chander Bedi and Principal S. S. Amol. Most of the students of the centre, however, end up becoming raagis, kirtaniyas and preachers.

The latest comer is Pardeep Singh (previous name Pardeep Kumar) whose name was recommended by the Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Nepal. Mann Bahadur has been rechristened Bahadur Singh. Another student of orphanage is Vinod Singh (previous name Vinod Kumar).

While most of the old converted Sikh students have forgotten their mother tongue - Nepali with the passage of time. They say they hardly visit Nepal due to the ‘communication gap’ that virtually has separated them from their roots. 


10,000 teachers, others without salary
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
As many as 10,000 teachers and other employees of government-aided recognised schools have not got their salary for the past four months in Punjab as the grant has not been released to the institutions since July.

Mr M.L.Chopra, adviser to the Punjab Government Aided School Teachers and Other Employees Union, told The Tribune here today that the Finance Department had ordered the release of the grant but it was stuck at the Education Department level for unknown reasons."Teachers and other employees in such schools have decided to observe ‘ black Divali ’ this year as they have no money to celebrate the festival", Mr Chopra added.

He alleged that rampant corruption in the school education department was mainly responsible for the delay in the release of the grant.

He said the managements of aided schools had to waste a lot of time on getting the grant released which otherwise should be sent to the schools in routine.

He said there were about 50 aided schools where the staff had not received their salary since April because of the non-release of the grant. The "pick-and-chose policy" in the release of the grant had become a norm rather an exception, he said. The Education Department was in a mess. " We have repeatedly requested the Chief Minister to give an appointment for discussing various issues regarding school education but there has been no response", Mr Chopra said.

The government had also not merged 50 per cent DA in the salary of serving employees and also in the pension of retired employees, Mr Chopra added. A promise was made in this connection but had not yet been fulfilled.


Confusion grips online lottery lovers
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, Oct ober 27
Confusion, chaos and apprehensions that there has been ‘mishandling’ of crores of rupees, prevailed among thousands of lottery lovers in Punjab as a “human error” occurred in one of the draws of the state government patronized online lottery this morning.

It was for the first time in the state that such an error has taken place in an online lottery. The lottery is being run for the past about three years by the Directorate of State Lotteries through their Ludhiana based sole agents.

As many as 44 draws of the online lottery are reportedly organised every day from morning till late evening at 15 minutes. Each involved transaction of crores of rupees as thousands of staunch lottery fans of Punjab participate in them.

The results of a draw, flashed on the state-wide network of computers of the online lottery system around 9.30 this morning allegedly showed that tickets bearing 86 series were the single digit winners.

But after a gap of a few minutes( some say after about 15 minutes), it was declared that the computer network had made 86 series winners “erroneously” and that “actually, the winning series was the one bearing 36 digits.”

This caused a widespread confusion among thousands of lottery lovers across the state, as a large number of people, who were possessing tickets, bearing 36 series, had reporedly thrown away these tickets considering them “useless” after declaration of results on the systems. At the same time, a large number of lottery lovers, having tickets with 86 series, had claimed the amounts due to the “human error of the computer system.”

Each online lottery ticket costs Rs. 11 and the minimum prize, in case a single digit tallies, is Rs. 100. Currently, there are three online lotteries in circulation in the state and these were being operated by sole agents of the Department of Lotteries, Punjab. In this case, the sole agent was based in Ludhiana. Each draw, which was held in presence of four judges, was also telecast live on a private TV channel.

When contacted, Mr. Ajit Singh Pannu, the Director, Lotteries, Punjab, admitted that confusion prevailed among lottery lovers because of the “human error.”

“Our enquiries show that though there was a mistake in the online draw, live telecast, was alright. So, it could be nothing but human error and our agents have agreed to bear any loss. It has happened for the first time,” said Mr. Pannu.

Similarly, when the office of the sole agent was contacted over phone at Ludhiana, a person, who identified himself as accountant Raj Kumar, said the “mistake” occurred as instead of 36 digits 86 were fed into the computer system.


SAD (Longowal) set for ‘insaaf march’ in Delhi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Supporting the stand taken by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on the issue of the death penalty, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal) said here today that the issue should be debated in Parliament by calling its special session.

Addressing a press conference, the President of the party, Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, said the death penalty should be abolished.

Mr Chandumajra said his party had made all preparations to hold the " insaf march"( march for justice) in Delhi on October 31. The march would start from Rakabganj Gurdwara and terminate near Parliament House. A memorandum would also be submitted to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, urging him to settle the pending issues concerning Punjab.

" My party had earlier suggested a solution to the river waters issue to the Prime Minister, who had asked the Union Minister for Water Resources to conduct a survey of the seasonal rivulets that flowed into Punjab and Haryana from the Shivalik hills",Mr Chandumajra said. " We will ask the Prime Minister whether any progress has been made in this connection", he added.

Asked to elaborate on the solution, Mr Chandumajra said that there were about 70 seasonal rivulets that flowed into Punjab from the hills. Check dams should be built on all these rivulets to collect their water during the rainy season and use it later for irrigation purposes.Similar steps should be taken in Haryana, he added.

He said the previous Badal government did nothing to resolve the water and other issues concerning Punjab. The present Punjab Government was also doing nothing in this regard. He said that his party was opposed to the setting up of a new tribunal to resolve the river waters issue.

He said his party would also highlight the problems of unemployment and the shortage of power in Punjab during the march in Delhi.

He said that Punjab should invest money in hydroelectric projects by tying up with Himachal Pradesh to solve Punjab's problem of power shortage. As coal- based thermal plants were not viable, emphasis should laid on setting up gas-based thermal plants in the state. The Centre should sanction new projects for Punjab to create employment avenues.


Scholars for spread of Gurbani
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 27
Scholars of various disciplines are of the view that the message of universal brotherhood and oneness of God, enshrined in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, be disseminated at the global level by translating the holy scripture in various languages of the world.

They discussed at length the various aspects of Sri Guru Granth Sahib on the second day of a national seminar, “Guru Granth Sahib: Different Perspectives” being organised by Guru Nanak Dev University here today.

A round table conference on exegesis and translation of the Gurbani was also held. It was chaired by Prof Neol Q. King of California.

Prof Harjit Singh Gill, Prof Balkar Singh, Prof M. Muthu Mohan, Giani Gurdit Singh, Prof Jaswinder Kaur Dhillon, Dr B. S. Dhillon and Dr A. S. Dua highlighted the need of correct and authentic interpretation of the Sikh scripture in the present context. A large section of faculty and students of the university also participated in the discussion.

More than 36 research papers were presented by scholars at four sessions chaired by Dr Surinder Singh, Dr Chiranjeev Singh, Bhai Ashok Singh Bagrian and Giani Gurdit Singh.

A kirtan darbar was held at Sangat Hall where jathas of Bhai Amrik Singh Zakhmi, Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa and Bhai Sarbjit Singh recited Gurbani. 


Tributes paid to martyrs on Infantry Day
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, October 27
Panther Division celebrated the 58th Infantry Day here by paying tributes to the soldiers who had laid down their lives for the honour and integrity of the nation.

Major-Gen S.C. Sharma, GOC, Panther Division, laid a wreath at Dograi War Memorial today. He said October 27 was a historical day for the Indian Army as this was the day in 1947 when the first Infantry man landed in the Kashmir valley to repulse the Pakistani raiders near Srinagar. He said the Army celebrated this day as Infantry Day every year to commemorate the glorious action and since then the Infantry had never looked back.

He said the Infantry had always fulfilled its commitment with tenacity, perseverance and courage, thus befitting the highest traditions of the Indian Army. Lauding the role of the Infantry, Major-Gen Sharma said it was always prepared to fulfil its commitments whether it was a call to protect the territorial integrity of the nation or the challenges of internal threat in snow-clad treacherous peak of Siachen, burning heat of Rajasthan or terror-stricken Kashmir.


Dengue alert sounded in Amritsar
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 27
The district health authorities have sounded dengue alert in the holy city. The department has identified certain areas near roadways workshop near Gobindgarh fort where they have spotted the breading ground for dengue mosquito.

Talking to The Tribune, the District Health Officer, Dr S.P.S. Dhillon, said that they had already directed the municipal authorities to launch a fogging drive in the area. They urged the people to cover themselves fully, especially during late afternoon and early evening as a preventive measure against dengue.

Meanwhile, Mr Ravinder Kumar Sultanwind, president, All-India Youth Association, urged the Municipal Corporation to take urgent steps for the prevention of malaria, especially in the Sultanwind village.


With job in hand, Sukhi raring to scale Everest
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 27
Disillusioned by successive state governments, Sukhi, a spirited girl from Muktsar, who almost conquered Mount Everest in April, has finally got monetary support for her future expeditions in the form of a job as an executive with Bank of Punjab here.

Talking to The Tribune here today, an ecstatic Sukhi said she got the job at a crucial juncture, as she was preparing for another expedition to Mount Everest. Exuding confidence, she said — “Now that I have a steady source of income I can have balanced diet and prepare myself in a better way for another voyage to Mount Everest in the coming year.” Family also figures prominently in the list of priorities of this gritty mountaineer.

“Despite financial constraints my parents have reared me like a boy and always encouraged me to take up challenging assignments. Now its my turn to share their responsibilities,” she averred. She didn’t also forget to mention about her best friend, Pammi, and said she might also accompany her to Mount Everest next year. Sukhi said the bank had assured full support to her mission, which boosted her morale. Sounding disappointed with the state governments, she said the present as well as the previous regime had promised her a job, but nothing materialised. “I don’t trust politicians now and I expect anything from a government that didn’t even have a few words of praise for me after bad weather forced me to return from the edge of Mount Everest.” 


‘Suvidha’ troubles residents
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, October 27
After charging people for providing “convenience” at Suvidha counters, the district administration has come out with various forms having rates between Rs 20 and Rs 1,000 and made it binding on the common man to buy them only from these counters.

These forms are also doubling up as pamphlets for some private firms, that have put up their advertisements on the other side of the forms. Also no receipt is issued against the purchase of the forms.

The forms are available at much cheaper rates in the market, but the administration has made it clear that only the forms issued by it would be accepted.

Now a villager has to travel 25-30 km to procure a form and again return to his village to get the formalities completed from the village panchayat or revenue officials.

The counter is opened from 9 am to 1 pm.

Earlier, people had raised questions on fee being charged at Suvidha counters. The charges included Rs 100 for renewal of arms licence and registration of vehicle, Rs 200 for getting permanent driving licence, Rs 500 for arms licence, and Rs 50 for passport.

The GA to Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anil Kumar, claimed that they had come out with a standardised format of these forms. He said shopkeepers selling these forms in the market were charging at their will. About the advertisements of private firms, he said the firms had got those forms printed and in lieu of that they have been allowed to utilise the vacant space for their advertisement.

He said the counter would soon be operational up to 5 pm. He said it was difficult to issue receipts on the sale of every form due to large number of forms being sold daily, but they were maintaining a daily account of it.


PRTC to hike fare, add 100 buses
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 27
The PRTC will add 100 buses to its fleet by March next year. This was stated by its Chairman Ved Prakash Gupta after inaugurating a blood donation camp here today. It was organised by the PRTC. Seventyfive units of blood were collected.

Mr Gupta said the corporation had proposed 15 paise per km hike in its fare to the state government in the wake of hike in diesel prices.

The corporation has increased its revenue by Rs 20 crore in the past couple of years. He said the bus stands of Phagwara and Patiala would be modernised on the lines of Amritsar. A sum of Rs 10 lakh had been sanctioned for the bus stand.

Ruling out the possibility of shifting the local bus stand, he said there was no such proposal and it seemed to be a ploy of land mafia active in the area.

PRTC Director Mr Karam Singh Chauhan was also present at the camp.


RSS to launch cooperative movement
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 27
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will soon launch a cooperative movement to uplift the economically weaker sections of society, who are burdened under debts, and to establish its foothold in the rural sector of Punjab.

Talking to The Tribune, the akhand sangathan mantri of the Sahakar Bharti, a unit of the RSS, Mr Surya Kant Kelkar, said the RSS had been concerned at the deteriorating economic condition, especially of the farming community, who had been reeling under severe economic crisis.

Mr Kelekar said the unit had more than 50,000 cooperative units in the country out of which more than 50 per cent were in Maharashtra and other parts of the country.

He felt that the mass cooperative movement was the only course left to save the farming community from unscrupulous moneylenders and financial institutions. He said their experiment, especially in the Swai Madhopur area of the Rajasthan, had been successful.

The cooperative units not only will provide small credit facilities to its members but use the collective wealth to launch welfare projects in the village. The movement would encourage people to start self-help groups, he added.


BKU wants cotton MSP raised
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 27
Activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, Punjab, today demonstrated in front of the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) office on Mall Road here in favour of their demands.

President Ajmer Singh Lakhowal said all hopes of cotton farmers were dashed due to the “negligence” of the state government and the lower rates of cotton in Punjab as compared to Maharashtra and Gujarat.

He said the Union government had announced MSP of Rs 1,800 for cotton in 1990 when 34 and 414 varieties of cotton were sown. “Why the government is continuing with almost similar rates when those varieties are no sown in the state,” he questioned.

He said the state farmers were suffering a loss of over Rs 300 crore as the government was paying them only Rs 1,835 as against Rs 1,980 to the farmers of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and MP.

He said they had also sent a charter of demands through the Agricultural Department Director to the Prime Minister last month. He alleged the government was “discriminating” with the state’s farmers despite the fact that the varieties being sown in Punjab had staple length of 28-32 cm as compared to 26-28 cm in other states. They would not tolerate different set of rules for different people and would hold a protest rally in New Delhi on November 18.


Pension to be hiked to Rs 300
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 27
The Punjab Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, today announced that the amount disbursed under various pension schemes would be increased from Rs 200 to Rs 300 from April next year.

The minister stated this while distributing pensions to 1,030 new beneficiaries at Amarpura, Dhobiana and Paras Ram Nagar localities. He said the state government had come up with social security fund that would facilitate timely payment of pensions to the beneficiaries.


Bigamy case: protesters want SHO booked
Tribune News Service

Kalanaur (Gurdaspur), October 27
A case of bigamy that led to a clash between protesters and the police a few days ago took a new turn. The protesters today accused Mr Sucha Singh Chhottepur Independent MLA of shielding SHO Rajinder Singh, who ordered lathi charge on peaceful protesters.

They held a rally at Kalanaur today and demanded the registration of a case against the accused SHO and the initiation of an inquiry against DSP Kulwant Singh, who was present at the time of lathi charge. The rally, besides the locals, was also attended by leaders of the CPM (Pasla group).

They said that demand of action against the SHO was taken up at a meeting of the grievances committee held here today. At the meeting members of the committee demanded unanimously the registration of a case against the former SHO at Kalanaur.

The protesters told reporters earlier also a resolution had been passed at the grievances committee against posting the SHO in any of the police stations in the district. The resolution was passed after the SHO was found to be resorting to corrupt practices when he was posted in the Sri Hargobindpur area. However, Mr Sucha Singh Chottepur got him posted in his area.

The protesters praised the Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture Mr Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa for siding with the victims in the bigamy case. The protesters vowed to continue their struggle till a case was registered against the SHO.

The protesters a few days ago were holding a rally in Kalanaur demanding arrest of a mother in law of a government school teacher in Agwan village.


3 NRIs among 7 booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, October 27
Three NRIs were among seven persons booked for cheating and criminal conspiracy under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC yesterday.

Those who have been booked are Gulwinder Singh, his father Bhagat Singh, mother Mohinder Kaur, paternal uncle Ravinder Singh, all residents of the local Professor Colony, sister Sarabjit Kaur and brother-in-law Krishan Mander, who is settled in Canada, and another sister Paramjit Kaur, who lives in Australia.

The case was registered on a complaint of Mr Samittar Singh Kalsi of Gobindpur Khun Khun village, at present residing in Hoshiarpur.

The complainant has alleged that a matrimonial advertisement was inserted in a newspaper seeking alliance for an “NRI” youth, Gulwinder Singh, of Professor Colony, some time ago. It was claimed in it that the youth was settled permanently in Australia and was a holder of Information Technology degree from an Australian institution.

The complainant contacted the family on the phone and personally as well. It was claimed by the youth, his parents Bhagat Singh and Mohinder Kaur and others that he was settled abroad.

After making all inquiries about the boy from his family and relatives, Mr Kalsi married her daughter Kulwinder Kaur, an M.Sc, to Gulwinder Singh on January 17 last year. He spent Rs 8 lakh on the marriage.

However, later on her daughter came to know that her husband was not an NRI.


PSEB team accused of demanding bribe
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, October 27
An altercation took place between a team of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) and the owners of a newly opened pub, Bottoms UP, which is situated on the Hoshiarpur-Chandigarh road, today when the officials allegedly demanded bribe from the pub owners.

In a complaint to the SSP, the Managing Director of the pub, Mr Gunraj Singh, has alleged that Mr Jagmohan Singh, Executive Engineer, along with some other officials reached his pub and demanded a bribe from his father Jaswant Singh without checking sanctioned power load.

Meanwhile, Mr Jagmohan Singh of the enforcement team also complained to the SP (Headquarters) that Mr Gunraj Singh and his father restrained him from performing government duty.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Gunraj Singh, who is the main complainant in Pathankot SDM poaching case, said certain bureaucrats had been harassing him and putting pressure on him for withdrawing his complaint against the SDM.

Mr Shamsher Singh Bajaj, Director, Enforcement, Jalandhar, denied demanding bribe by Mr Jagmohan Singh. He said his officer had been carrying out a raid and the pub owner was trying to defend him by levelling charges against the officer.


2 commission agents booked
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 27
As per directions of Mr Avtar Henry, Minister Food and Supplies, Punjab Capt Parveen Vij, District Food and Supplies Controller conducted surprise raids at the grain markets of the district, and during checking at Amloh, rice millers and farmers complained against certain commission agents and he raided their shops and found that the commission agents as per records had 6984 bags of paddy (35 kg per bag) lying in their shops in account of Markfed agency but physically it was found that the commission agents has only 5233 bags lying in their premises.

Taking a serious notice the malpractice, the DFSC recommended to the SSP to register a case under Sections 406, 409, 420, 467, 468 and 120 (B) of the IPC.


3 killed in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Ropar, October 27
Three persons of Samrala village were killed when the tractor-trailer in which they were travelling overturned near here late last night. The victims identified as Kulwant Singh, Jagtar Singh and Amrik Singh, died on the spot.

The mishap took place when the three were on their way from Samrala to neighbouring village on the Ropar-Bela road. The vehicle hit a tree following darkness and turned turtle. The incident came to light only in the morning when family members of the deceased spotted the bodies lying in deep gorge along Siswna seasonal rivulet. The bodies have been handed over to the families of the deceased after the postmortem examination at the local Civil Hospital.


Zonal youth festival gets under way
Tribune Reporters

Hoshiarpur, October 27
The four-day Panjab University Zonal Heritage and Zonal Youth Festival, Hoshiarpur B-Zone started at JC DAV College, Dasuya, 40 km, from here, today. Mahant Ram Parkash Dass, former minister, inaugurated the morning session and Mr Sukhwinder Pal Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner (General), Hoshiarpur, presided over the evening session.

Principal Dr K. N. Kaul apprised the audience of the objective of the programme.

The following were the winners of the opening session.

Creative Writing — essay writing, poetry and story writing: JC DAV College, Dasuya. Sithania, Government. College, Tanda, ghori and suhag (Lami Haque): JC DAV College, Dasuya, Kavishari: JC DAV College, Dasuya; vaar singing: GTB Khalsa College for Women, Dasuya; kali singing: JC DAV College, Dasuya; naqqals: JC DAV College, Dasuya; pakhi making: GTB Khalsa College, Dasuya: crochet: GGDSD College, Hariana; phulkari: GN Khalsa College, Shamchaursi; knitting: GTB Khalsa College, Dasuya; mehandi: JC DAV College, Dasuya; dasuti knitting, Government. College, Hoshiarpur.

Barnala: Government Ripudaman College, Nabha, and Government College, Malerkotla, have excelled on the first day of the three-day Punjabi University, Sangrur Zone, Youth Festival.

The festival hosted by S.D.College of Education, Barnala, began here yesterday.

Dr R.S. Ghuman, Dean, College Development Council, Punjabi University, Patiala, who was the chief guest of the afternoon sessions of the inaugural day, gave away prizes and trophies to the winning teams.

Government Ripudaman College, Nabha, secured first positions in group song, geet/ghazal and clay-modelling contests.

Government College, Malerkotla, got top positions in Punjabi folk-dance giddha, rangoli and clay-modelling competitions.


Farmers join students in flaying VC
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 27
Hundreds of students owing allegiance to the Punjabi University Students Confederation (PUSC) held a protest in front of the university’s main gate. The protesters termed the Vice-Chancellor as “pro-Khalistan”.

The students and other demonstrators belonging to various farmer unions, including the Kirti Kisan Union, the All-India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha, the Pendu Mazdoor Sabha and the Punjab Kisan Sabha, gathered at the Urban Estate.

The protesters were addressed by leaders of various student and farmer unions. The demonstrators marched towards the main gate of the university where they criticised the ‘negative attitude of the Vice-Chancellor’. The president and the secretary of the Students Federation of India (SFI), Mr Harmandeep Singh Gill and Mr Swaranjit Singh, respectively, and the president of the Punjab Students Union, Mr Raminder Patiala, addressed the gathering.

The leaders termed the Vice-Chancellor as “pro Khalistan” and added that it was under his tenure that the university was getting a bad name. The university campus had become a den for anti-social elements.

The student leaders urged the university authorities to reinstate 13 students, who have been either suspended or expelled from the university, and abolish internal assessment. The leaders said that they would intensify their agitation if their demands were not met.

Meanwhile, in a press note signed by the Director Public Relations of the university, Mr B.S. Sandhu, the management said that, “the university functioned normally and not a single class was disrupted. Only a few hardcore workers belonging to a variety of Leftist trade union participated in the rally carrying red flags”.


Tiny tots regale audience
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 27
The annual function of St Peter’s Academy — Euphoria-2005 — was held here today. Rt Rev Gerald John Mathias, Bishop of Shimla Diocese, presided over the function.

A colourful function was presented by schoolchildren. The programme began with the invocation of the Almighty and presentation of a group dance, “swagatam”. Tiny tots enthralled the audience with colourful items on patriotism and nature.

Two plays , “Dedicated Service” and “Balak ki Abhilasha”, spreading the message of sympathy towards lepers and the importance of parental love, were also staged.

Razzmatazz, a western dance, kept the audience glued to their seats.

Later, school Principal Sister Janet Joseph highlighted the various achievements of the school during the past one year. Toppers and achievers in sports were also honoured. The programme ended with the presentation of bhangra.


Students meet Pammi Bai
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 27
As part of “meet the student journalist” programme in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Punjabi University, Patiala, Nirpal Singh Shergill, London-based veteran freelance journalist, and Pammi Bai, Punjabi folk singer, interacted with students today.

“Journalism has a glorious tradition, with its roots in the nationalist movement during the freedom struggle”, remarked Mr Shergill.

“Unchecked commercialisation of the press has proved to be unfortunate as it promotes yellow journalism. It needs to be dealt with,” he said in response to a query.

“Punjabi journalism germinated in the West. Now, with the web presence of Punjabi newspapers published in India, Punjabi journalism has come a full circle,” he added.

“Singing is not a mere profession, it is my passion”, said Pammi Bai. “Media can play a vital role in safeguarding the folk culture. The vulgarity depicted on screen in the name of entertainment and westernisation need to be curbed,” he stressed.

Dr Harjinder Walia, Head of the Department, and Parminder Tiwana, radio anchor, also shared their views.

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