P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



SGPC chief drops suffix ‘Makkar’ from name
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 27
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh has stopped caste ‘Makkar’ as suffix.

All advertisements, inserted in different newspapers by the SGPC thanking well-wishers for congratulating him on his appointment wrote his name ‘Avtar Singh’. The Tribune on the first day of his appointment wrote that the SGPC chief might be compelled to drop caste from his name.

Affixing of caste as suffix is considered a violation of ‘Rehat Maryda’ (Sikh code of conduct). Even edict pronounced from Akal Takht too banned suffixing of caste in Sikhism. Though Mr Sunder Singh Ramgarhia, who held the post of SGPC chief in 1922 affixed his caste with his name but it was before the enactment of the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925. By that time such edict was not issued. However, rest of the SGPC chiefs normally affixed names of their villages as suffix while many of them would not use any suffix at all. They included Sunder Singh Majithia, Baba Kharak Singh, Shree Bahadur Mehtab Singh, Master Tara Singh, Jathedar Mohan Singh Nagoke, Gopal Singh Qaumi, Jathedar Channan Singh Urara, Pritam Singh Khuranj, Isher Singh Majhail, Gyan Singh Rarewala, Bawa Harkrishan Singh, Prem Singh Lalpura, Kirpal Singh Chak Sherewala, Sant Channan Singh , Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Kabul Singh, Baldev Singh Sibia, Bibi Jagir Kaur Begowal, Jagdev Singh Talwandi, Kirpal Singh Badungar and Alwinderpal Singh Pakhoke.

However, ‘Who’s Who’, biographical sketches published by the SGPC reveal that many Shiromani Committee members preferred to use their castes in violation of the Sikh code of conduct. As per ‘Rehat Maryada’ such persons were disqualified for even contesting the SGPC elections.

However, a confidant of Mr Makkar said that senior Akali leaders, including Mr Zora Singh Mann, Mr Sukhev Singh Dhindsa, Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, have been affixing castes as suffix, why there was ‘hue and cry’ over the name of the new SGPC chief? However, talking to The Tribune, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann said that he had dropped caste from the names of his son, Iman Singh and both daughters. Interestingly, some SGPC employees too use caste as suffix with their names.


Plea to wipe out terror
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 27
Dubbing the monster of terrorism as a global phenomenon and a threat to the democratic system and freedom of expression, Mr H.K. Dua, Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune has exhorted the countrymen to fight the menace unitedly at the both physical as well as intellectual levels.

Echoing similar sentiments, Pakistan-based eminent novelist Begum Bushra Rehman asserted that no religion allowed terrorism and the basic philosophy of Islam was totally against killing of humans and other living beings.

They were speaking at the 94th function of the Shahid Parivar Fund, instituted by the Punjab Kesri group of newspapers, for disbursal of financial aid of Rs 22. 50 lakh among 150 terrorist victims here today.

Mr Dua said, “The question before us today is that are we ready to accept the rule of gun?”

“We should be thankful to the Hind Samachar Group of Newspapers for two reasons. Firstly, it has initiated a fund for helping victims of terrorists and that of natural calamities and , secondly, for standing up against terrorism at a time when no other paper dared to do so. The family had not only lost two of its members — Lala Jagat Narain and Ramesh Chander Ji — but the newspaper lost 62 of its agents, hawkers, sub-editors and senior-sub editors. It is a remarkable contribution toward the country and in the interest of freedom of expression,” said Mr Dua, who also recalled his frequent interactions with Lala Jagat Narain and late Ramesh Chander Ji in Delhi.

Begum Bushra Rehman, who had come all the way from Pakistan, said, We, the people of India and Pakistan should understand that we have similar needs and we have to fight another world, for which, we should help each other.”

She narrated how Mr Vijay Kumar Chopra, Editor-in Chief of Punjab Kesri, encouraged her relationship with the paper by serializing her novel “Lagan” about 23 years back.

Mr Justice N.K. Sud of the Punjab and Haryana High Court said the newspaper family lit a lamp of hope in 1980s when terrorism had spread darkness all around Punjab and neighbouring states.

Describing Mr Vijay Kumar Chopra as a role model for youngsters, Mr Randeep Surjewala, Haryana minister and senior Congress leader, recalled how the Chopra family and their newspaper made allout efforts to condemn terrorism at a time when uttering a single word against of terrorists was an impossible task in Jalandhar and other parts of Punjab.

Mr Avtaar Singh Makkar, newly elected chief of the SGPC said Mr Vijay Chopra had inherited the sense of serving the humanity.

Baba Kashmira Singh, Chairman of the Jalandhar-based SGL Charitable Trust, urged people to work for maintaining unity and integrity of the country.

Paying his tributes to Lala Jagat Narain, Mr Vallabh Bhai Kathiria, a former union minister, advised the media and judiciary to come forward to expose growing nefarious activities of unscrupulous elements among opticians and bureaucracy.

Mr Partap G. Pawar, Managing Director of Pune-based “Shakal Papers Limited,” who is known for reviving the dying cooperative movement in Maharashtra, said he had come to the function as a common India and was inspired from the way Chopra family contributed toward safeguarding interests of the country.

Welcoming the increasing warmth between India and Pakistan, Sardar Anjum, a renowned poet, rendered a couplet, “Baat nikli hai agar, to baat bahut achhi hai. Dil se dil ki yeh mulaqaat bahut achhi hai..,” He said there was no difference between people of the two countries.


Amarinder praises PGPC for upkeep of gurdwaras
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Shambhu (Patiala), November 27
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh while accusing SGPC of destroying heritage aspects of almost all important and historical Sikh shrines, dotting Punjab and its neighbouring states, showered praises on the Pakistan Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PGPC) for keeping most of the gurdwaras in that nation in a good condition with their heritage aspects intact.

Capt Amarinder Singh, who reached here around 9 p.m. to receive the nagar kirtan, being taken out by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) in the gold palanquin and carrying the copy of Guru Granth Sahib from Bangla Sahib Gurdwara (Delhi) to Nankana Sahib Gurdwara (Pakistan), said he had taken up the matter with a number of presidents of the SGPC but without any positive response.

“I don’t know about the plight of all Gurdwaras in Pakistan. But I can claim that certain historical gurdwaras, including Gurdwara Panja Sahib, have been maintained by the PGPC effectively by keeping their originality and heritage aspect intact,” he pointed out, adding that he was a votary of the fact that historical gurdwaras should be preserved in their original shapes and structures.

Capt Amarinder Singh, who was accompanied by his MP wife Ms Preneet Kaur and cabinet colleagues while addressing a press conference, expressed his deep anguish over the non-participation of the SGPC in the nagar kirtan which, he claimed, was the first of its kind in the country after Independence.

When asked that what would be the impact of the situation in Punjab where the SGPC was not participating in the nagar kirtan and the Congress government was being accused by it (SGPC) that the Congress government was interfering in the religious affairs of the Sikhs by extending cooperation to the nagar kirtan, he said the SGPC should know that he (Capt Amarinder Singh) was a Sikh and he was going to Nankana Sahib as an humble devotee of the Sikh religion.

“Moreover, it is not the domain of the SGPC to celebrate such occasions or organise such events. I am joining the procession as a Sikh, and I along with Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, president, DSGMC, would use this occasion to bring India and Pakistan more close. People of both countries are very enthusiastic about this nagar kirtan, which has been getting huge response on its way to Nankana Sahib,” claimed the Chief Minister.

He added that Pakistan Punjab’s Chief Minister Chaudhary Prevez Elahi and he himself had been striving hard for the opening up of the Hussainiwala border in Ferozepore district for trade to boost the economic development of both countries. A joint trade fair of both Punjabs would be organised in Amritsar shortly. He said the Lahore-Amritsar bus service would be a reality soon.


SAD stays away from ‘palki’ procession
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 27
Even as the procession led by “Panj Pyaras” carrying the “Palki” (palanquin) from New Delhi to Nankana Sahib, would reach here tomorrow, the Shiromani Akali Dal has decided to stay away from the event.

Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna, President, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee alleged that while devotees thronged Gurdwara Bangla Sahib to flag off the “Palkis” in the morning, SAD leaders, including Mr Avtar Singh Hit, were conspicuous by their absence from the mega event. However, the SGPC has agreed to provide accommodation to the devotees.


‘Censorship needed to check aberrations’
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 27
Central Board of Film Certification Chairperson Sharmila Tagore believes that ideally there should be no censorship on expression. “But we don’t live in an ideal world. Do there is a need for some restraint and regulation. A fine balance is needed between freedom of expression and censorship”, she said.

Talking to The Tribune here last night after receiving the Sahir Award for her contribution to the Indian cinema, Ms Tagore did not want to go into the details of film censorship. In a civilised society like India such regulatory bodies were a must to ensure that there were no deviations and aberrations.

She agreed that there should be some regulatory authority for the television also. The Film Certification Board had no jurisdiction over the television channels, she said. “A lot of vulgarity was being beamed by television channels for which there should be some regulatory body, but the decision lies with the government”.

On the beaming of adult movies she said while earlier it was suggested that such movies could be telecast between 11 pm at night till 4 am primarily so that children did not get to watch these. But, it was felt that even then nobody was going to prevent them from watching such movies or programmes during that time if they wanted to. She said, there was no consensus that there could be some paid adult channels, viewing of which could be regulated.

She did not agree that in the highly-driven technological era regulation and censorship were not possible. The same technology could be used for useful purposes. It depended upon the will of people to do something, she said.

Ms Tagore, who ruled Bollywood for a decade with great hits, said a healthy trend was emerging. Bollywood had imbibed the “fusion culture” that had enhanced its appeal transcending borders. “Nobody says Hindi film industry. Everybody says ‘Bollywood’ as it has emerged as an independent genre in the film world,” she opined.

She did not find anything wrong in the modern-day themes in films. It may be the effect of globalisation, besides market pressures. If you cannot market your product well, there is no fun in producing it,” she said.


Relocation of dairy farmers a failure: PU study
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
A study conducted by Panjab University has stated that the Punjab Government should “re-examine” its policy of relocating dairy farmers outside city limits. The study noted that the “relocation experiment” done by the government at Jalandhar had been a total disaster and had not able to achieve the desired results.

The study conducted by the Department of Public Administration is part of an international project on ‘Dairy farming and environment sustainability in Punjab’.

Talking during a dissemination workshop today, Dr B.S. Ghuman, Chairman of the department, pointed out the state was planning to relocate dairy farms at one place on the outskirts of the city. Dairy farmers too were open to the proposal provided they were allotted land at concessional rates and also provided quality infrastructure and other facilities.

“Relocation of urban dairy farmers is likely to gain momentum in the long run due to increasing urban sprawl but the Jalandhar experience where more than 100 dairy farmers had been relocated to one agglomeration outside city limits is a total environmental disaster,” he said.

“Visits to this location showed that there is no sewerage system, the roads are bad, poor supply of water and electricity, lack of space/no demarcation of space for cow dung collection and garbage dumping,” he added. Other than this the farmers opined that cost of production had gone up due to purchase of dairy plots, more cost of transportation and also added burden on cost for travelling from their place of residence to dairy farms.

“Our concern is that environmental degradation is more pronounced in relocation farms. Lack of complete sanitation, contamination of water bodies, contaminated agricultural produce, ill effects on animal and human health, the dairy farmers dump cow dung and other animal waste along side a rivulet which is spreading illness in the neighborhood The rivulet’s contaminated water is being used to irrigate the adjoining fields. Vegetables grown here contain chemical residues that are extremely harmful for health,” he said.

Sources added the Punjab Government was now considering the re-location of dairy farmers in Mohali villages. The Department of Animal Husbandry had asked the Mohali Municipal Council for a survey of the total number of dairy farmers in the area which would need to be re-located.

“More than 400 dairy farmers have been shortlisted for the shift. The Municipal Council has now been directed to ask the Punjab Urban planning and Development Authority (PUDA) to identify land for these farmers re-location,” said a source.

“We strongly recommend to the government that a systematically designed relocation plans be prepared before any similar experiment is undertaken. A proper sewerage system has to be ensured, adequate water and power supply, milk chilling centres, biogas plants, management and discharge of slurry, vermin-composting facilities; in other words a model set up. Without these basic ingredients any such relocation plan would just lead to the deterioration in the conditions of these dairy farmers,” noted the project members.


NRI fears police wrath
Maneesh Chhibber
High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 27
For Britain-based Balwant Singh Bassi and his family, a relationship that went-sour with a senior Punjab Police cop’s family is proving to be life-threatening experience.

The marriage of a son of Mr Bassi to a daughter of a former SSP, Mr Swaran Singh, ended in a divorce after almost 15 years. Having settled in Britain with her husband after the marriage, the former SSP’s daughter obtained divorce from her husband in November 2004.

Since then, Mr Bassi and his family have been running from pillar-to-post to “save themselves from the clutches” of senior Punjab Police officials, who have been allegedly threatening them of dire consequences. The main reasons for the bitter acrimony are the two children of the separated couple, who have been staying with their mother’s parents at Jalandhar and the property belonging to Mr Bassi at Nakodar.

While Mr Bassi and his family want the children to be sent back to Britain as “they are UK citizens”, their mother’s family apparently does not want it. Incidentally, a son of the former SSP is a DSP in the Punjab Police.

Having allegedly faced a lot of harassed and humiliation, including threats of liquidation if he enters Jalandhar or Nakodar, from where he originally hails, Mr Bassi has now moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking protection from the powerful father and brother of his estranged daughter-in-law.

In his petition, he has stated that though he has made repeated requests to senior Punjab Government and police functionaries to provide security to him, even on payment basis, no security has been provided to him. In his regard, he has annexed letters and representations made to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, the DGP, Punjab, and the SSP, Jalandhar.

He has also alleged that he has information that some criminals have been engaged by the father-son duo to eliminate him and his family. Also, there have been ample hints that if any one from his family enters Punjab, he or she would be implicated in a false case.

Such is the terror that Mr Bassi has neither been able to visit his relatives at Nakodar nor could look after his property there.

“Earlier, we faced threats from terrorists, one of the main reason why we migrated to Britain, and now we are facing threats from the Punjab Police. Where should we go?” asks Mr Bassi. His petition is likely to come up for hearing tomorrow.


All set for Indo-Pak trade fair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The first-ever Indo-Pak International (IPEX-2005) being held at Amritsar, will showcase the industrial products of both India and Pakistan. Pavillions are being given finishing touches, the area around the Gandhi Ground and Guru Nanak Stadium is being illuminated and banners welcoming the visitors are being put on all important chowks and landmarks in the city.

The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Pakistan Minister for Communication and Works, Mr Zahirud-din, will inaugurate the Expo on December 1. The highlight of the first day will be a seminar on “Indo-Pak trade — the road ahead”.

Mr R.S. Sachdeva, Co-Chairman, Punjab Committee, PHDCCI, and convener of IPEX, said the district administration and the local authorities are making all out efforts to help the organisers give the exhibitors and visitors to the exhibition a rousing welcome and a comfortable stay. To cash on the improving Indo-Pak trade relations, top industrialists and traders from Pakistan visiting the Expo would be taken to some leading mechanical, autoparts, textiles and hosiery units in Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana.

Of the 185 Indian exhibitors, who have booked space at the Expo, the response has been more in case of textiles, food processing, agriculture and automobiles. The participants are from Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Kerala, West Bengal, Gujarat, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, said Mr Sachdeva. Over 40 exhibitors and 400 business visitors from different trades would be participating from Pakistan in the four-day mega event. These would include prominent personalities like Mr Muhammad Saeed, president of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Mian Shafqat Ali, president, Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Mr Abdul Raiz, president, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Mr Zaleel Ahmed Malik, president Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Arrangements have been made to serve the visitors them exclusive Punjabi, Hyderabadi, Kashmiri and Rajasthani cuisines even in the hotels. A special Food Court is also being set up at the venue, where special delicacies and sweets from Amritsar will be served, said Mr P.K. Verma, Resident Director, PHDCCI. Performances by Hans Raj Hans, Dolly Guleria, Pammi Bai will enthral the visitors during the evenings.

For the vendors from Pakistan, a special shuttle service has been arranged from Wagah to the venue for the first two days. Few buses would also ply from the airport to the city.


SAD for ‘tie-up with like-minded parties’
Tribune News Service

Ghagga (Patiala), November 27
The SAD general secretary and former Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, has said that SAD is ready to tie up with like-minded parties in an attempt to defeat the Congress in the ensuing Assembly elections.

Talking to reporters at Ghagga after attending a function organised by former minister Hamir Singh Gagga, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said SAD was part of the NDA at the Centre and the BJP was its partner at the state level, but still it is open to tie up with like minded parties to defeat the ‘anti-people’ Congress party at the hustings. He added that people from different strata of society, irrespective of their economic entities, were joining SAD because the Congress and its allies had failed in delivering goods.

On the Punjab front, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said the Capt Amarinder Singh government had miserably failed on all fronts “what to talk of fulfilling of promises made in the election manifesto.” He added that SAD would make the performance of the five years of Captain Amarinder Singh Government its main plank in the coming Assembly polls.

He said the party which had come to power on the issue of removing corruption was today itself mired in corruption cases

Prominent among those present on the occasion included Mr Hamir Singh Gagga, President of the Patiala unit of SAD, Mr Jagtar Singh Rajla, Mr Kashmir Singh Mavi, former president of the SAD, Patiala (rural) and Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghangroli, secretary of the SAD (Patiala unit).


BKU to prepare White Paper on Cong ‘misrule’
Our Correspondent

Abohar, November 27
The Bhartiya Kisan Union yesterday resolved to present a unique birthday gift to the UPA Convener, Ms Sonia Gandhi. The BKU said that a White Paper on the “misrule and anti-people policies” of the Congress-led government in Punjab would be faxed to Ms Gandhi. The BKU has also given a call for a three-day bandh here beginning December 9.

The BKU has formed small groups of office- bearers to visit all the villages in Abohar, Balluana and Fazilka assembly segments to motivate farmers to boycott the local grain market during the bandh. Even the entry of milk, vegetables, fruits besides green fodder would not be allowed, a spokesman said.

The union decided to continue the dharna, which entered the 20th day on Saturday, until secretary of the local market committee and the mandi supervisor were not transferred. The union blamed both for victimisation of cotton growers at the hands of traders.

The union claimed that private traders were caught red- handed on November 13 and 22 while purchasing cotton without going through the process of open auction. Such practice amounted to evasion of market fee and income tax but the administration had failed miserably in checking the malpractice.

The district presidents of the BKU in Ferozepore and Faridkot districts joined the dharna. They expressed surprise over the reports that quoted the Deputy Commissioner feigning ignorance about the agitation of the cotton growers under the banner of the BKU. This proved that the authorities were least concerned about the grievances of the people, the union said.


Call to save heritage buildings
Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar November 27
The decaying heritage buildings virtually served as a wake-up call for all to save the rich architecture of the historic city as the “Heritage Walk” proceeded to unfold the past as part of the Heritage Festival here this morning.

The virtual history has brought one in close contact with the beautiful but crumbling facades, paintings, grills and beautifully carved jharokas that dot the walled city of Mughal, Gothic and English art that has influenced the city for centuries.

Amid the mangled wires that obstruct the view, one gets a glimpse of riches in the Darshini Deori from where Guru Ramdas supervised the construction of the golden temple or the magnificence of Baba Atal minar —a structure of legendary Maharaja Ranjit Singh's time.

Several precious wall paintings in heritage buildings were scrubbed, white-washed and some even covered with bathroom tiles. A few surviving akharas, out of a dozen that had served as nursery for students two centuries ago, are store of centuries-old paintings in the Sikh art influenced by the Bhakti movement.

The depth of Sanglawala Akhara is reminiscent of the actual level of the city in a bowl shape where water flowed naturally into the holy sarovar of the Golden Temple.

The fate of Chitta Akhara is no better with many of its precious paintings and carvings are degenerating due to lack of care. The magnificent temple, Thakurdwara, whose beautifully carved front with lifesize figures of ''Garur'' – half man half bird and ''Mahabali''— guarding its entrance, is virtually decaying.

The site of massacre of Jallianwala Bagh too suffers from lack of maintenance . The numerous wells, many of which stand dry, bear testimony to the neglect.

However, if anything has been maintained it is the flowing open drains and modes of disposal of garbage by residents, bemoan Intach state convener Sukhdev Singh as he guides the group through stinking lanes, damaged buildings, defaced walls vandalized with scintillating film posters, half-torn banners, loose electric and telephone wires —a scene of haphazard and forcible intrusion.


Kavi Darbar provides some solace for heritage lovers
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 27
Contrary to the earlier programmes, there was some solace for the heritage lovers of the holy city when noted Punjabi poets recited their Punjabi poems and ghazels here late last evening in the “kavi darbar” held in the Central Hall of Khalsa College.

The hall was full to its capacity as the audience, which remained indifferent to earlier programmes of the Amritsar Heritage Festival, descended on the Central Hall to listen to their favorite poets. Two Pakistani poets, Afzal Sahil and Bushra Ezaz, could not make it to the programme reportedly for want of visa.

Punjabi lyricist Inderjeet Hasanpuri, who held the audience spellbound with his poem, “Na banna patwari munshi na chukni afsar di choli, mein ta bebe sadh banaga padan likhan nu mar tu goli”, was a satire on social exploitation by sadhus of the deras. He criticised the political leadership and the educated people who gave patronage and follow them blindly.

Among others who recited their poems include Surjit Pattar, Gurbhajan Gill, Printpal Kaur, Manmohan, Dharminderjit, Sukhwinder Amrit, Kanwal Imtiaz, Surinderbir, Vipanpreet Kaur, Satish Verma, Mohainder Singh Musaffar and Rawel Singh.

A fashion show was also organised on the occasion in which models sashayed on the ramp showcasing the old and the modern dresses of Punjab.

Inaugurating the fashion show, Mr Sardool Singh, Excise and Taxation Minister, said these festivals should be held regularly so that the new generation could learn about their heritage.


Felicitation function
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 27
Punjabi singers enthralled the audience at the third annual cultural and felicitation function organised by the Ramgarhia Cultural Council in collaboration with City Cable Opera at the central state library here today.

Prominent singers who took part in the event were Sunita Bhatti, Daljit Bittu and Jassi Jaspal. The Samana MLA, Mr Surjit Singh Rakhra, was the chief guest. He announced a grant of Rs 15,000 for the Ramgarhia council.


Sarpanch’s house attacked, 10 injured
Our Correspondent

Abohar, November 27
Ten persons were injured, two of them seriously, when more than 20 miscreants, armed with rifles and sharp-edged weapons, attacked the house of sarpanch of Ratnewala village in Sriganganagar yesterday.

Sources said Jasveer Singh and his accomplices started indiscriminate firing and attacked members of the family of Ms Harjinder Kaur, sarpanch, with sharp-edged weapons and lathies immediately after getting down from a tractor-trolley and a jeep. This caused panic as people closed doors and windows to save themselves.

Those injured included Jasveer Singh Saini, Ajit Singh, Gurbachan Singh, Gurvinder Singh, Prem Singh, Jagdish Singh and Jaswant Singh. Some relatives of the sarpanch fired in defence. The police were rushed to Ratnewala on receiving phone calls from the panic-stricken residents.

The other faction also lodged a complaint with the police against Teja Singh, Darshan Singh, Sukhdev Singh, Baljit Singh, Navdeep Singh and Harpal Singh, etc u/s 323, 147, 148, IPC, later. The injured were admitted to three hospitals.

Senior police officers visited the village and deployed a company of the armed constabulary today to diffuse tension. Preliminary investigation indicated that the groups involved in the incident had developed enmity during the panchayat elections. However, the assailants now lamented that farm workers of the sarpanch provoked them.


Two Dalit women ‘beaten up’ by farmer
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 27
Two Dalit women, belonging to the Valmiki community, were allegedly beaten up by a farmer of Kammo Majra village, near here, today when they had reportedly gone to answer the call of nature in a vacant piece of land near the farmer’s fields. Both sustained injuries and were admitted to the local Civil Hospital.

Mr Subhash Kumar, a resident of local Baba Jiwan Singh Nagar, said in the evening that his wife, Sarla, along with Rekha, a neighbour, had gone to answer the call of nature in a vacant plot near the fields of the farmer, Billu. But Billu started beating up both the women with a wooden stick on the pretext that they had been coming to his fields to get “sarson da saag”.

When the women made a noise, Billu fled.

When contacted, Mr Darshan Singh, SHO (City), said the police had recorded the statements of the women.

Mr Sunder Pal Jeenwal, president of local Valmiki Sabha, condemned the incident and demanded strict action against the accused.


One killed, two injured in road accident
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, November 27
Two persons were injured and one was killed in a road accident on the Malerkotla-Raikot road here this morning.

According to information available, Sohan Singh was going to his house when his cycle collided with a scooter near Sandour village. He was taken to the Civil Hospital where he was declared brought dead.

The scooterists, Nirmal Singh and Kesar Singh, were also injured in this accident.


V-C showers praise on NRI donors
Tribune News Service

Talwandi Sabo, November 27
Lauding the contribution of NRI philanthropists, the Vice-Chanceller of Punjabi University, Mr Swaran Singh Boparai, yesterday stated that if they continued to extend aid to Yadvindra Engineering College raised at Guru Kashi University Campus for facilitating quality education to poor and students from rural areas the college would soon carve out a niche for itself.

The V-C along with NRIs from America and Canada visited the college campus. Addressing a press conference, Mr Boparai said the aim with which the college was opened was well on its way to be fulfilled.

He said donors from the country and outside had made donations for education of 425 poor students, while efforts were on for the rest. He hoped that the students acquiring degrees from this college would get placements in reputed firms in future.

He told that the number of students taking admission in the college had gone up to 180 this year as against the last year’s figure of 145. He said 45 students had taken admission in B.Tech. and 50 students were admitted in M.Tech.

Clarifying on prospects of a medical college, the Vice-Chanceller said they were yet to approach the concerned authorities for the same.


57th anniversary of NCC celebrated
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 27
The local NCC Group Headquarters in collaboration with the NCC unit of Guru Nanak Dev University organised a state-level function to celebrate the 57th anniversary of the NCC on the university campus here today.

Dr Gurnam Singh, Dean, Academic Affairs, was the guest of honour on this occasion. He took the salute at a march past by boy and girl cadets from the Army, Air Force and Navy wings.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Singh lauded the role of the NCC in imparting quality training to millions of youth and inculcating in them qualities of dedication, courage, discipline, determination and leadership. He gave award to the participants of the cultural programme in which the NCC cadets of local schools presented bhangra, giddha, yoga, gymnastics and patriotic songs.


Varsity revokes student leader’s suspension
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 27
The Punjabi University authorities have decided to revoke the suspension of Sandeep Berwal, a student leader who allegedly spearheaded an agitation against the management.

According to a university press note, the student leader’s suspension has been revoked by the Vice-Chancellor following the recommendations of the disciplinary committee.

The note added that “in his written request to the VC Sandeep explained the circumstances of his participation in the agitation and his disillusionment with the leadership spearheading the agitation.”

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |