P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Farmers await paddy dues, may fail to celebrate Divali
Tribune News Service

Ropar, October 31
Many farmers in the district may not be able to celebrate Divali due to non-payment of dues of paddy procured and the decision of non-procurement of paddy on Divali. It’s not a government decision, but of procurement agencies taken with the agreement of commission agents.

Besides it, farmers alleged that the government relief of 8 per cent damages in paddy did not help much as government officials’ rejection of their paddy was forcing them to sell paddy to private agencies at a throw-away price.

The Tribune’s investigation revealed various agencies had made payment to the farmers, whose paddy had been purchased till October 21. There are many farmers, who have been waiting for the purchase of their paddy. So far government agencies like Markfed, PUNSUP, Punjab Agro and private agencies purchased 1.31 lakh quintals of paddy from the Ropar Circle include Anaj Mandi Ropar city, Bharatgarh, Purkhali, Ghanauli, Bhagomajra. Condition of farmers was similar in Morinda and Kurali and Chamkaur Sahib.

A visit to grain markets under Ropar circle revealed that farmers were being kept in the dark about payments. After two days of procurement of the paddy, the agencies have to make the payment. But farmers have been struggling to get the price they deserve in time. While the government fixed the price of paddy at Rs 600 per quintal, the farmers whose paddy suffered damage get between Rs 580 and 500 per quintal.

A farmer, Karam Singh of Pangala village said that he had been waiting for the procurement of paddy for the past two days but in vain. He produced 30 quintals of paddy but it suffered damage due to heavy rain. Now if the government fails to purchase his paddy, he would be forced to sell his produce to private agencies at a price between Rs 580 and 500 a quintal.

“How can we celebrate Divali if we do not get payment of paddy. We have been waiting for procurement agencies. We will celebrate Divali the day we get our dues, said Gurbax Singh another farmer who has brought 70 quintals of paddy.

When contacted Secretary, Market Committee, Ropar, Baldev Singh, said various agencies were making effort to make payment in time. Last year we procured 2.31 lakh quintals of paddy in the Ropar circle. He added, “We have been purchasing paddy taking care of the damage the paddy suffered and farmers were being getting payment accordingly from government and other agencies.”


Bambiha villagers not to celebrate Divali
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 31
To protest against the closure of water outlets and arrest of farmers, residents of Bambiha village will not celebrate Divali tomorrow and hold protest rallies in villages of Sangat block from November 4-7.

In a statement issued here today convener of Lok the Bachao Sangharsh Committee, Swaran Singh, and district CPI secretary, Jagjeet Singh Joga, said if their demands were not met the villagers would also block traffic indefinitely on the Badal road. Both the leaders made this announcement while addressing protesters, who gheraoed the office of Executive Engineer, Canals Department, today.

Mr Joga alleged that the department in connivance with Badal family wanted to raise the height of eight water outlets falling under the Jangirana, Bajak, Chak Atar Singh Wala and Bambiha and install machines to benefit hundreds of acres of Badals.

He alleged that Badal family had been doing injustice to people even during the Congress rule, as their leaders had “infiltrated” in both the parties. He alleged that like the Congress the SAD along with the BJP was also in favour of policies of the WTO, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He further alleged that the Akali Dal was implicating the farmers in “false cases” to suppress their stir.

He said the Irrigation Department had closed the water outlets of these villages for the past few days and the farmers could sow neither fodder nor prepare fields for the next crop.

He said — the government had become a mute spectator and was putting farmers behind bars.” He said though the district administration had called a meeting of the parties concerned to resolve the matter, the agitation would continue till all demands were met.


Congressmen vent ire against Finance Minister
To seek DCC chief’s removal on November 5
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 31
Fissures have started surfacing in the Congress four days ahead of PPCC President Shamsher Singh Dullo’s visit to the city, as scores of party leaders today vent their ire at Finance Minister Surinder Singla and DCC chief Inder Singh Sahni.

During a meeting held at Circuit House under PPCC general secretary Tehal Singh Sandhu, representatives of the party, the Youth Congress, the NSUI, the Sewa Dal, party’s women wing and its other friendly organisations openly came out against Mr Singla and Mr Sahni.

Lashing out at Mr Singla, they said though the minister had listed a number of development projects, he had hardly done anything for the town in the last three and a half years.

A two-page list of projects promised by Mr Singla was disbursed among the party workers and the disgruntled leaders challenged the minister to name a single project that he had completed.

Mr Sandhu said none of the representatives of the party’s different wings were happy with the working of the minister and the morale of party workers was down.

Coming down heavily on the DCC president, Mr Sandhu said under his leadership the party workers were feeling neglected, Mr Sahni and his few aides were running the affairs at their will. He said none of the party leaders and workers were informed about Mr Dullo’s forthcoming visit to the city. He accused Mr Sahni of supporting people with “tainted background”.

Mr Sewa Singh, a brother of ex-party MLA Baldev Singh, who was killed along with ex-CM Beant Singh, rued that his brother’s sacrifice had been forgotten and they were humiliated at the party’s programmes. Workers from rural areas complained that the party was in bad shape in villages and all the party activities were restricted to the city. The meeting decided to seek removal of Mr Sahni as PPCC president on November 5.

On the other hand, Mr Sahni denied the allegations and termed them as a mere “pressure tactics” to remove him from his post.

Mr Paramjit Singh Kotfatta, president, District Youth Congress, Mr Preetam Singh Brar, AITUC district chief, and Mr Sanjay Chauhan, city Youth Congress president, were present at the meeting.


Hawara threatens to sue Capt Amarinder Singh, Badal
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Jagtar Singh Hawara, alleged Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) chief and prime accused in the Beant Singh assassination case, today dropped another bombshell by threatening to sue the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, for allegedly "misusing" his name during public meetings.

Fresh from his bail in the Burail jailbreak case by a local court on October 29, Hawara seemed to in a combative mood and expressed his "displeasure" at the "misuse" of his name by both the leaders to gain political mileage to his counsel, Mr Arvind Thakur, during the course of the trial at the high-security Burail Jail here.

"I have nothing to do with politics and the politicians and my main motive is to serve Sikhism and take it to the dizzy heights," Hawara told the defence counsel. Hawara, who is one of the accused in the twin blasts case in New Delhi, came down heavily on the recent bomb blasts in Delhi terming them as "acts of cowardice", Mr Thakur added.

In fact, after a gap of several weeks, there were some fire works in the courtroom with the Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) of the CBI, Mr Surinder Pal Singh, being grilled by the defence counsel, including senior counsel, Mr Amar Singh Chahal, during the cross-examination.

The defence counsel claimed that the CBI official came up with contradictory statements during the examination-in-chief earlier and the cross-examination today. Today's contradictory statements of Mr Surinder Pal Singh, the key official involved in arrest and investigation of the key accused, has brought the functioning of the CBI under a cloud, the defence counsel added.

Earlier, during his examination-in-chief, the CBI officials had told the Special CBI Judge, Mr MM Sharma, that the "master plan" of the assassination of the former Punjab Chief Minister, who died in a massive bomb blast on the premises of the Punjab Civil Secretariat on August 31,1995, was recovered from Ghaziabad by the CBI.

The "master plan" was recovered in the presence of Hawara, the official had claimed.

It may be recalled that despite directions from the Punjab and Haryana High Court to complete the trial preferably by October 31,2005, the trial is still moving at a snail's pace forcing the undertrials to languish in jail for over nine years now.


Arms recovered from Hawara’s aide

Patiala, October 31
The Patiala police claimed to have recovered a huge cache of arms from Gurdeep Singh Rana, an alleged accomplice of Babar Khalsa activist Jagtar Singh Hawara.

In a press note, the police claimed to have seized a GPM gun, a drum magazine, including 100 cartridges, 50 AK-57 rifle cartridges, 28 detonators and three timing switches. The police said Rana was also involved in robbing a New Mehar Singh colony property dealer of Rs 27 lakh in May. Rana had committed the robbery on instructions of Hawara, who was paid Rs 5 lakh as his share. TNS


Scholars find Guru Granth Sahib profound, yet simple
Roopinder Singh

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
Scholars from all over the world deliberated on the profundity of the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib, and the simplicity of the language used to express these thoughts, on the concluding day of the two-day international seminar on “Guru Granth Sahib and its context”, at Vigyan Bhavan, here today.

Prof D. P. Chattopadhayay, Chairman, Centre for Studies and Civilisation, delivered the valedictory address, and the concluding function was presided over by Justice A. M. Ahmadi, former Chief Justice of India.

Prominent among the attendees today were Prof Amrik Singh, former Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala, Mr Tarlochan Singh, Chairman, Minorities Commission, Dr Nirmala Deshpande, Dr J.S. Neki, Gen Joginder Singh, Dr Mohinder Singh, Dr W. Owen Cole, Prof Darrol Bryant, Prof Verne A. Dusenbery, Prof Ravinder Gargesh, Prof Shashi Bala, Dr Harminder Singh Bedi, Mr Baldev Vanshi, Dr Surjit Chahal, Dr Kulwant Kaur, Dr I.D. Gaur, Prof H.S. Shan, Dr Himadri Banerji, Dr Jaspal Singh and Mr Saeed Ahmad (from Pakistan), Prof Nurul Islam (from Bangladesh) and Mr Amanpreet Gill.

“You have to understand the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib in the original form before you attempt any translation of the scripture,” said Giani Gurdit Singh, who chaired the discussion on philosophical and theological concepts in Guru Granth Sahib, in which Prof Shrivatsa Goswami presented a paper on Guru Granth Sahib and Bhagavata Purana, Prof I.H. Azad Faruqi on Sikh monotheism, Dr Jodh Singh on Guru Nanak and Upanishidic thought, Prof Prem Singh on linguistics and stylistics of Guru Granth Sahib and Prof Gurbhagat Singh on poetics of Guru Granth Sahib.

The seminar was the outcome of a year-long effort, and Dr N. Muthumohan, Head, Guru Nanak Devji Chair, Madurai, presented a report on the five regional seminars held earlier at Pune, Kolkata, Madurai, Amritsar and Varanasi.

The session on interfaith dialogue and contribution of the bhagats and Sufis was chaired by Dr Shaista Nuzhat, and the papers read included: “Guru Granth Sahib and Bhagat Kabir” (by Prof Namwar Singh), “Guru Granth Sahib and Bhagat Namdev” (by Dr I.N. Choudhuri) and “Guru Granth Sahib and Baba Farid” (by Dr Ahmad Salim, also from Pakistan).

Some major concerns in Guru Granth Sahib were discussed under the chairmanship of Dr Mushir-ul-Hassan.


The true daughter of Waris Shah
Nirupama Dutt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
The news of the passing away of the grand dame of Punjabi letters, Amrita Pritam, spread like forest fire through the literary circles in Chandigarh and Punjab as telephone calls started coming from Delhi minutes after her demise.

She rose like a meteor with her verses in Punjabi in Lahore in the Lahore of the 1930s and ‘Thandian Kirnan’ published by her in 1935, when she was just 14, brought her serious critical notice and there was no looking back after that. In a literary career spanning seven decades, she did Punjabi proud by bringing it the highest of national and international awards and honours. Not only was her contribution great in poetry and prose, she also provided a platform to young Punjabi writers in her magazine ‘Nagmani’, which she edited for 33 long years.

As writers recalled her and her times, the lines from her famous poem ‘Ajj akhan Waris Shah nu…’ was on many a lip. This poem made her the indisputable Punjab’s Partition poet on both sides of the border for she had summed so well the sorrow and loss that Partition had wrought on human lives.

Born in 1919 at Gujranwala in West Punjab in the rather orthodox Sikh society of the times, she showed rare courage in coming forth with what she believed in both her verses and life. This pretty and petite woman reigned over the world of letters and was a path-breaking writer in her language. It was she who brought to Punjabi the prestigious Jnanpith Award for the first time for her anthology of poems called ‘Kagaz te Canvas’ and the only other Punjabi writer who got the award after her, shared with Nirmal Verma, was novelist Gurdial Singh. When asked to comment on the award, she had replied in a line of her own verse — ‘Maan suche Ishq da hai, hunar da daava nahin…’ (I am proud of my pure dedication and I make no claims to artistry).

Among the other awards she received were the Sahitya Akademi Award, Cyril and Methodious Award from Bulgaria and the Ordre des Arts des Lettres from France. The Delhi Government declared her Poet of the Millennium at the turn of the Century. Interestingly, the same title was bestowed upon her by Punjabi Academy, Lahore. However, what made her most happy was when Illias Ghumman and other Punjabi writers of Pakistan sent her in recent years three ‘chaddars’ from the tombs of Waris Shah, Bulle Shah and Sultqan Bahu saying — "You are the true daughter of Waris Shah and thus the Waris of our Waris. Frail and weak as she was in her latter years, she got herself photographed with the green silk ‘chaddars’ edged with gold. Of her own poetry, her comment in all humility was: "I have just returned what I had absorbed from reading the poetry of the great Sufi and Bhakti poets of my land."

The story of Amrita’s life is one of amazing courage, resilience and achievement. What set her a class apart from others was her very romantic search for freedom and the desire to live life on her own terms. Walking out of a loveless marriage, she made her home with artist Imroz and the relationship lasted over four decades. It was Imroz who answered the telephone at their home as he was getting her ready for her last journey. He said in a choked voice, "She has not gone, only her body has perished. She will be there in her poems and my paintings."

In her lifetime, Amrita authored over 100 books of poetry, fiction, biography and essays. In one of her last poems written from the sick bed, she consoled her love Imroz by saying, ‘Main tainu phir milagi…’ (I will meet you yet again). This is the promise she made to her soul mate but she will yet meet us all again through her writings. For today on Divali eve she has passed out of history into legend to stand in the row of poets like Meera Bai, Rabia and Lal Ded.


CM mourns death of Amrita Pritam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today expressed grief over the death of noted Punjabi writer Amrita Pritam.

Capt Amarinder Singh said the contribution made by Amrita Pritam to Punjabi literature would be remembered for centuries to come. In her death, an unbridgeable void had been created in Punjabi literature.


Bee colony damage: PAU in touch with foreign experts
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has contacted experts in Holland and other countries to tackle the problems caused by the varroa mite, which has finished off thousands of honeybee colonies in this region.

Sources say that the experts have been asked to suggest measures to be taken to check the mite menace that has assumed dangerous proportions causing a huge financial loss to beekeepers, especially in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and other parts of the country.

Earlier, a team of PAU experts had visited affected bee colonies in Punjab's countryside and suggested certain measures to check the disease. Those measures, by and large, proved ineffective. Beekeepers, upset over the damage suffered by them, have started looking towards private agencies for help.

Meanwhile, experts of various government Institutions associated with beekeeping say that trafficking in exotic honey bees from abroad via Nepal and other routes by certain private companies has led to the problem of bee diseases such as that caused by the varroa mite and European foulbrood. Indian beekeepers have suffered a great loss because of this illegal trade, say experts of PAU and other institutions

In spite of the ban on the import of any species of honey bee into the country, the experts say that some private concerns, during the late nineties, resorted to trafficking in queens and honey bee colonies of exotic bees from Nepal and sold these to beekeepers in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and other states. Such companies continued these illegal practices even till recently. This seems to have led to the sudden breaking out of various bee diseases, the experts say.

They have advised the beekeepers not to purchase bees from private companies and also not to procure the so-called hybrid queen bees from Nepal, an area known to be affected by foulbrood and varroa mite.

Beekeepers are also facing another problem. It is related to the price of honey. In the domestic market, honey is being procured from beekeepers at a price ranging between Rs 22 and Rs 35 per kg. Last year, it was between Rs 75 and Rs 90 per kg. Beekeepers say that China, the largest exporter of honey, was earlier ‘‘blacklisted’’ by European countries. And that enhanced the demand for Indian honey in the international market.

"Now China has again entered the international honey market as it has improved the quality of its honey in which earlier residues of certain chemicals were found beyond the permissible limit", say the sources. With the re- entry of China , the demand for Indian honey has gone down. China is selling honey at comparatively low prices in the European market, it is learnt.


SAD claims credit for riot compensation
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31
In a move to prevent the Congress garner political mileage by announcing a multi-crore compensation for the 1984 riot victims, the SAD has moved in swiftly and claimed credit for the compensation recommended by the committees constituted by the Home Ministry.

“Had we not exerted pressure and launched agitations in Punjab and Delhi, the government would have given the issue a quiet burial. Although the compensation is coming quite late, it is welcome,” SAD general secretary Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said here today.

The Akali leader said: “We along with the NDA, SP and the Left parties cornered the government in Parliament and the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had to state that ‘my head hangs in shame’ when he gave an emotive speech in the House.”

Asked what the Akalis did when they were in the NDA coalition government on the anti-Sikh riot issue, he said: “We consistently raised the matter with the NDA and it was because of our pressure that the then government constituted the Nanavati Commission.

“Although the commission did not do justice to riot victims, it brought the issue into the limelight again,” he said.

He said the Punjab unit of the Congress did not do anything for the riot victims and it did not even raise their concerns with the UPA government.

Mr Dhindsa said: “The government should also consider thorough investigation against not just those politicians, but also ordinary persons, who perpetrated the crime, and ensure justice to the riot victims at least now.”

The Home Ministry would study the recommendations of the committee before the Union Cabinet takes it up for consideration. Indications are that the UPA government could accept most of the recommendations before the Winter Session of Parliament likely to begin in the last week of November, in a bid to avoid confrontation with the Opposition and supporting parties.


Malaysian firms moot to develop roads, railway system
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, October 31
Punjab would soon witness foreign direct investment (FDI) in the road and transport sectors. The projects being included in the proposed scheme, six-laning of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana road, a six-lane ring road around Ludhiana and four lane road from Ludhiana to Moga.

Mr Pratap Singh Bajwa, PWD Minister, Punjab, was on a trip to Malaysia recently to discuss the said projects with his counterpart there, Mr Datto Semibella. He said that Malaysian entrepreneurs had shown a keen interest in development the infrastructure projects in Punjab.

As per the initial estimates the cost of six-laning the 90-km Chandigarh-Ludhiana road would be about Rs 1,000 crore. The cost of 70-km six-lane ring road around Ludhiana would be Rs 600 crore and four-laning of 60 km Ludhiana-Moga road would cost Rs 250 crore.

The government intended to invite private participation for the projects. It would given the project on a build-operate and transfer (BOT) basis to the private investor. The terms and conditions for the private investment in the projects have been worked out. They would soon be presented before the Cabinet for clearance.

After the Cabinet clearance the government might sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Malaysian Government or float global tenders for the projects.

The Malaysian companies also gave a demonstration for the development of rapid transportation system in Ludhiana and Amritsar. The Malaysian companies were already developing such a system in the Hyderabad. The also proposed to develop suspended railway system in Ludhiana and Amritsar for decongesting the traffic.

In the said system the Railway would operate about 10 metres above the ground on a track fixed at the top. The cost of development of such track was about Rs 50 crore per km. The Malaysian companies had proposed to develop the tracks on BOT basis in Punjab. They had also proposed to develop parking places from where people could board such trains. In Amritsar the proposal was to develop such a transportation system for pilgrims visiting Harmandar Sahib.

The Konkan Railways in India had first developed this technology. However, now the rights of the technology were with the Opus company. The proposal submitted by the Malaysian companies would be presented before Chief Minister and the PIDB, Mr Bajwa said.


72 operations carried out at health camp
Our Correspondent

Abohar, October 31
Seventy two operations, including 65 major laparoscopic surgeries, were carried out during an eight-day free medical camp, which concluded here last night.

The camp was organised by the Satya Sai Seva Samiti. The surgeries were performed at the Satya Sai Hospital here.

A senior urologist from Sriganganagar and two surgeons from the local hospital successfully carried out the surgeries.

At a valedictory function held at the Satya Sai temple here late last night, district coordinator of the samiti Kamlesh Dawar said the 80th birth anniversary celebrations of Satya Sai Baba started with the rendition of 80 hours of “akhand bhajan” and culminated with the donation of 80 units of blood.

Senior physicians and medical specialists, including Dr Naveen Sethi, Dr Yoginder Gupta, Dr Satish Jain, Dr Dinesh Ahluwalia, Dr Ritu Garg and Dr C.L. Bhargawa, offered free services to patients during the camp.

Dr Swaran Singh Gagneja conducted laboratory lab tests free of cost.

The samiti also honoured paramedics for volunteering at the camp. They included Kusum Lata, Santosh Bajaj, Baljinder Kaur, Gurdeep Kaur, Jasbir Kaur, Roma, Beant Kaur, Simran, Gudia, Neeru, Sonia, Ajay Kumar, Om Parkash, Nand Lal Sidana, Surinder Kumar, Tejinder Kaur, Kiran and Neelam.

Dr Gita Ram Garg, Senior Medical Officer, Nehru Memorial Civil Hospital, Dr Tejinder Singh Grewal, senior cardiologist, Dr Kanta Grewal, Saroj Saneja, Vijay Manak and other prominent citizens appreciated the efforts of the samiti.


Congressmen donate blood for quake-hit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee today observed the 22nd death anniversary of Mrs Indira Gandhi by organising a blood donation camp 
at Punjab Congress Bhavan, here.

The PPCC chief, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, inaugurated the camp. A total of 301 units of blood was donated by Congressmen from all over Punjab. The Congress plans to send these units of blood to parts of Jammu & Kashmir that have been devastated by the earthquake on October 8.

Senior Ministers of the Punjab Government, including the Deputy Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhatal, the Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, the Minister for Local Bodies, Mr Jagjit Singh, and the Minister for Animal Husbandry, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang were present at the function.

Earlier Mr Dullo led the Congressmen in paying floral tributes to Mrs Indira Gandhi saying she laid down her life for the unity and integrity of the country. Mr Dullo and Mr Parminder Singh, General Secretary of PPCC, had organised the camp as noble gesture to mark the death Mrs Gandhi.

Prominent among the blood donors were Mr Jagmohan Kang, Mr Gurbinder Singh Atwal and Mr Tarlochan Singh (both MLAs), Mr Gurkirat Singh Kotli, grandson of former Chief Minister Beant Singh. All district presidents of the Congress were also present at the function.


SGPC member cremated
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, October 31
The body of Kuldeep Singh, a member of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), who was gunned down by two motorcycle-borne unidentified youths near his house last evening, was cremated in Chakk Ala Baksh village near Mukerian, 50 km from here this afternoon. Mr Harmanjit Singh, an elder son of the deceased lit the pyre. He was 42 and leaves a wife and two sons.

People of the area, including Bibi Jagir Kaur, president of SGPC, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, MP and BJP chief Punjab, Mr Varinder Singh Bajwa, member of the Rajya Sabha, Mr Balbir Singh Miani and Mr Des Raj Dhugga, both MLAs, Bibi Mohinder Kaur Josh, a former Minister, Mr Surinder Singh Bhulewal Rathan, SAD (B) president, Hoshiarpur district unit, several members of the SGPC and local leaders attended the funeral of Kuldip Singh. They paid tributes to him. All business establishments and educational institutions in Mukerian town remained closed till 1 pm in protest against the killing of Mr Kuldip Singh.

The police has rounded up Mr Harbans Singh, a former member of the SGPC, of Manjhpur village, whose name figured in the FIR, Mr Sarabjit Singh alias Sabi of Mukerian and Mr Amarjeet Singh of Dhade Patwal in this connection.


Sant takes over dera
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 31
Sant Major Singh Vaan today took possession of a dera opposite Gurdwara Shaheed Baba Deep Singh reportedly on the court orders here with the help of the district administration.

According to the details available here, the sant had been fighting a legal battle against the SGPC for the ownership of this land which he had inherited from his forefathers.

In the meanwhile, the secretary, SGPC, Mr Dilmegh Singh, said they had not seen the court orders, but he added Sant Vaan had constructed a boundary wall which also had taken possession of hansli (water channel carrying water to the Golden Temple sarovar).


Autorickshaw strike inconveniences commuters
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 31
The Amritsar Autorickshaw Drivers Association today went on strike and protested against alleged high-handedness of the District Transport Office and the Police.

A massive jam resulted as autorickshaw drivers blocked traffic at the Hukum Singh flyover for hours on the eve of Divali. The traffic was disrupted from all four connecting sites, including Hussainpura Chowk, Hukum Singh Road, GT Road etc.

The police had to resort to nakas at various entry points to prevent larger traffic jams. Many people, including students, were caught in the jam.


Bibi writes to Patil on inquiry board
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
The President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Bibi Jagir Kaur, has shot off a letter to the Union Home Minister, Mr Shivraj Patil, asking that the inquiry board for adjudicating election petitions in the coming SGPC elections should be of three members and the services of persons of some standing be utilised.

The Home Ministry has appointed Mr V.K. Gupta, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, the lone member of the board.

The board assumes significance as its findings, as accepted by the Government, are final.

A large number of poll petitions were listed before the board, said Bibi Jagir Kaur.


Anticipatory bail for MC ex-chief
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 31
Mr Inderjit Singh Walia, Additional Sessions Judge, Sangrur, today granted anticipatory bail to a Malerkotla Municipal Councillor and former president of the council, Ms Bholi Ismail, and bail to her husband Mohammad Ismail, also a Malerkotla Municipal Councillor, who is in judicial custody, in a case registered under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 323, 506, 498-A and 406 of the IPC on September 7, 2005, at Malerkotla police station.

In her anticipatory bail application, Ms Bholi Ismail mentioned that the Malerkotla police wanted to falsely implicate her at the instigation of Nazira, wife of Umar Din (her brother-in-law), who was living separately from her.

In his bail application, Mohammad Ismail, who is at present in judicial custody, mentioned that he had been falsely implicated in the case.

In this case, Nazira had alleged that after her marriage with Umar Din in April 2002, her in-laws, including her husband Umar Din, Mohammad Ismail and Ms Bholi Ismail had started harassing her for bringing more dowry while in April 2004 she had been thrown out of the house after being beaten up with rods. These persons also tried to kill her, she alleged.


Convict on parole commits crime, arrested
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 31
The district police today claimed to have busted a gang of robbers, including a life convict on parole, for looting Harjinder Singh, a goldsmith of the Chheharta area. Sanjeev Kumar, alias Sikka, had been released on parole on January 4 and returned to jail on February 2.

Mr Harmanbir Singh Gill, SP (City) said the accused committed the crime on January 29 when Harjinder was returning to his home after closing his shop. The complainant immediately informed the police that six unidentified persons, who were in a Maruti car, robbed him of gold jewellery weighing about 220 gm.

The SP said on a tip-off about the involvement of Sanjeev Kumar in the crime, the police took him on production warrant. During interrogation he admitted his crime and said the five more persons were involved. The car in which they were travelling had also been stolen from the Lawrence Road area and later after committing the crime abandoned it on the outskirts of the city.

The other accused were identified as Sukhwinder Singh, who was later nabbed by the police. A .12-bore rifle with 10 live cartridges was seized from him. The other accused are Sonu of Mule Chak village, Jaswant Singh and Gurmit Singh of Mai Jeeva graves, Jatinder Kumar of Islamabad and Jaswant Singh of Gillwali Gate area.


Abducted girl found, three arrested
Our Correspondent

Batala, October 31
A six-year-old girl, daughter of Mr Joginder Singh of Dhirowal village, was recovered today and three persons were arrested for abducting her.

Dr Jitendra Kumar Jain, Senior Superintendent of Police, said here the girl, Gurpreet Kaur, was studying in Class I in a primary school at Dhirowal and on October 28, 2005, she 
was abducted by three persons.

An FIR under Sections 365, 120-B and 34, IPC, was registered at Srihargobindpur.

Mr Joginder Singh had named his sister-in-law’s husband, Dalbir Singh, and his son, German Singh, in the FIR.

The police arrested Dalbir Singh, German Singh and Ranjit Kaur of Thatian village and recovered the abducted child.

The accused had confessed to have abducted the girl. The child was restored to her father, Dr Jain said.


Chemist shot dead
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 31
Unidentified men shot dead a chemist when he was on his way home near the PWD Rest House last night.

Sources said the deceased, 28-year-old Ranjeet, was returning to his residence on a scooter after closing down his shop located near the bus stand. When he reached near the Rest House, some unidentified men fired at him killing him on the spot.

The police and Sahara volunteers rushed to the scene from where his body was shifted to the Civil Hospital.

The victim’s brother said Ranjeet had a brawl with Gurjant Singh some time back. However, the police has registered a case against unidentified assailants under Section 302 of the IPC.


One killed, 3 hurt in Sirhind mishap
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 31
One person died on the spot and three were seriously injured, when a Zen car collided with Qualis at Samsher Nagar Chowk, Sirhind, this evening. The injured were immediately taken to Civil Hospital, Fatehgarh Sahib by a highway patrol party in their vehicle and thus their lives were saved.

According to information available, two brothers and their wives belonging to Patiala were coming from Chandigarh in their Zen car (No. CH-11U-5010) after attending a retirement party of their relative.

On the way they met with an accident in the chowk at Samsher Nagar. Mr Mani Singh Sahi, a retired police officer, who was driving, died on the spot, where as his wife Inder Kaur, brother Col. Gurbachan Singh, and his wife Baljit Kaur, received serious injuries and they were taken to Civil Hospital, where their condition was stated to be out of danger. The driver of Qualis fled away from the site of accident after deserting the vehicle. The police has registered a case.


Woman killed in car accident
Tribune News Service

Ropar, October 31
A resident of Sector 38, Harvinder Kaur, was today killed in a car accident while six others sustained injuries in a head-on collision between car and Jeep on the Ropar-Chandigarh near Rangeelpur village here today.

The mishap took place when a car on it’s way to Chandigarh collided head on with a Jeep coming from opposite directions. Harvinder Kaur died on the spot while three other car occupants — Simran, Jaspreet and Jatinder — who also hail from Sector 38 have sustained injuries. Three others injured Darshan Singh, Gurnam Kaur and Kuldeep Singh belong to Ropar and were travelling in the Jeep. All injured were admitted to Civil Hospital and their condition were said to be critical.


60 kg poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, October 31
The police has seized 60 kg of poppy husk and arrested Mohinder Singh of Bhatnura Khurd falling under Bholath police station, according to Kapurthala SSP Rajiv Ahir today.

A raid was conducted last night by a police party headed by SHO Bholath Gurvinder Singh at the residence of Mohinder Singh. Two bags containing the poppy husk were seized. Mohinder Singh was arrested under various sections of the NDPS Act. He was taken on police remand.


Mata Gujri College win overall trophy
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 31
The three-day Punjabi University Zonal Youth Festival (Ropar Zone) held at the Lincoln College of Law here concluded this evening.

Mata Gujri College, Fatehgarh Sahib, won the overall trophy, whereas P.M.N. College, Rajpura, won the bhangra competition in which more than 15 teams participated.

In the evening session, Dr Parambakshish Singh, Registrar, Punjabi University, Patiala, was the chief guest and he also gave away prizes. Ms Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner, and Ms Hargunjit Kaur, Assistant Commissioner, presided over the function.

The morning session was presided by Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra MP.

In the bhangra competition, PMN College got first position and Government College, Mohali, second; in “sewian” BZSF Girls Khalsa College, Morinda, first and PMN College, Rajpura, second; in “nala making”, PMN College, Rajpura, first and BZSFS Girls Khalsa College, Morinda, second; in “krotia” BZSFS Girls Khalsa College, Morinda, first and the Mehar Chand College of Education, Bhanopali, second; in “pranda making”, BZSFS Girls Khalsa College, Morinda, first and RIMT College of Education, Mandi Gobindgarh, second; in “innuo making”, PMN College, Rajpura, first and Maharaj Bhramsagar Bhramanand Bhuriwale, Tibba Nangal, second; in ball making, PMN College, Rajpura, first and the Sachdeva College of Education, Gharuan, second; in “kandh chitarkari”, Divya Shiksha Gurukul College of Education, Sitarpur, first and Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Padiala, second; in “mitti de khilone”, Rayat and Bahara College of Education, Kharar, first and Shivalik Hills College of Education, Anandpur Sahib, second; and in mehandi Divya Shiksha Gurukul College of Education, Sitarpur, first and Government College, Ropar, second.

In poetic recitation Mata Gujri College, Fatehgarh Sahib, and Lincoln College of Education (first) and Government College, Ropar, and Divya Shiksha Gurukul College of Education, Sitarpur, (second); in western solo song, Government College, Mohali, and Mata Gujri College, Fatehgarh Sahib, (first) and PMN College, Rajpura (second); in western group song, Government College, Mohali, (first) and Mata Gujri College, Fatehgarh Sahib, (second); in skit, BZSFS Girls Khalsa College, Morinda, (first) and Mata Gujri College, Fatehgarh Sahib, (second); in mime, Mata Gujri College, Fatehgarh Sahib, (first) and Maharaj Bhramsagar Bhramanand Bhuriwale, Tibba Nangal, (second); in mimicry, BZSFS Girls Khalsa College, Morinda, (first) and PMN College, Rajpura, and Mata Gujri College, Fatehgarh Sahib, (second); in one-act play, Maharaj Bhramsagar Bhramanand Bhuriwale, Tibba Nangal, (first) and BZSFS Girls Khalsa College, Morinda, and Mata Gujri College, Fatehgarh Sahib, (second).


Divali bonanza for wards of drug addicts
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 31
This is a Divali with a difference for the wards of drug addicts studying in the Citizen Forum’s Vidya Mandir.

The local DAV Public School, led by Mrs V Puri, Principal, donated sweaters and firecrackers, besides Rs 11,000 to the school for celebrating the festival of lights. The school donated more than 270 sweaters for children.

The American-turned-Sikhs of the Miri-Piri academy donated Rs 26,000 for the children. The school, which came into existence after a report published in The Tribune, is now having a strength of about 425 children of drug-affected families belonging to Maqboolpura and its adjoining areas. 

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