P U N J A B    S T O R I E S




Bid to foil Punjabi farmers’ rally, says MLA
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
What has added to the anguish of the displaced Punjabi farmers in Kashipur in Udham Singh Nagar district is the Uttaranchal Government’s alleged attempt today to sabotage the protest rally to be held by various political parties, including the BJP and the Shiromani Akali Dal, there tomorrow.

Mr Harbhajan Singh Cheema, Akali MLA from Kashipur, told The Tribune that the Health Minister of Uttaranchal, Mr Tilak Raj Beher, came to Kashipur today and offered to give Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 as compensation to each displaced farmer with instructions that they should not take part in tomorrow’s rally. However, agitated farmers made the minister and the officials accompanying him leave the place in a huff. Farmers, who were forcibly removed from the land owned by them, refused take the compensation.

Mr Cheema said the minister’s action had rubbed salt into the wounds of the Punjabi farmers who were already passing through a traumatic situation because they had lost what they had earned in the past 40 years. All of a sudden their future had become dark. The farmers wanted that they should be rehabilitated fully by restoring their land to them. Besides, the government should apologise for its “barbaric” action against the farmers.

It appears that as pressure has started mounting on the Uttaranchal Government from all sides, the authorities have started taking measures to sort out the issue. The minister’s visit to the area was apparently aimed at probing the minds of the affected farmers for resolving the issue. The commissioner has started contacting Punjabi leaders, including Mr Cheema. It is clear that the government authorities have started realising that if the issue is not tackled at this stage, it could assume dangerous proportions. There was no further demolition of houses today.

Meanwhile, in an interview, Mr Cheema, who was accompanied by Mr Gurdev Singh, organising secretary of the SAD’s Uttaranachal unit, said here that the action of the government had shaken the confidence of Punjabis settled in Uttaranchal’s Terai belt. They had got the impression that the state government wanted to take away their land to allot it to locals.

Mr Cheema, who had come here to attend a wedding and has since returned to Kashipur, said the way the houses of farmers were demolished with buldozers without giving them an opportunity to remove their belongings, had a “terrorising effect” on all farmers settled in that belt.

The police took away tents under which the displaced farmers had taken shelter after the demolition of their houses, on the night of January 3. Their crops of wheat, potato and green peas were destroyed. Displaced farmers and their families spent the night outside in the cold, he added. “It was a most barbaric action on the part of the police and the civil authorities,” said Mr Cheema. As many as 300 farmers and Punjabi leaders, who protested against the demolitions, were rounded up. They had been released now. However, nearly 25 persons, who were injured in the police lathi charge, were still in various hospitals, he said.

Mr Gurdev Singh said at the time of the reorganisation of Uttar Pradesh, from which Uttaranchal was carved out, Punjabi farmers settled there had been given an assurance that there would be no change in the land laws of Uttaranchal. The land laws applicable in Uttar Pradesh would be applicable in the new state. This assurance was given by the then Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, when a deputation of Punjabi farmers settled in Udham Singh Nagar and the Hardwar area met under the leadership of Mr Parkash Singh Badal. However, the Uttaranchal Government had tried a number of times to change the land laws since the year 2000.

Mr Gurdev Singh and Mr Cheema said they had met the Uttaranchal Chief Minister, Mr N.D. Tiwari, who had given an assurance that no Punjabi farmer would be removed from the land owned by him, but he had gone back on his word.


SGPC to help aggrieved families in Uttaranchal
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 6
The SGPC would extend all help to the aggrieved farmer families in Kashipur, Uttaranchal, who had refused any help or compensation from the government.

In a press release here today, the SGPC stated that its fact-finding team, reporting from Kashipur, said they had met the aggrieved families and found that 400 families, including 350 Sikh families, were uprooted from the near the Escorts farm area.

The team reported that as many as 35 houses were completely razed. The SGPC would build a temporary hall to provide accommodation to those displaced.


Another Tohra loyalist sidelined by SAD
Varinder Walia

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 6
After Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, a former Akali Minister who was the main architect of the much-talked “Tohra-Badal rapprochement”, another “Tohra loyalist”, Mr Harinderpal Singh Delhi, an SGPC member, has been ignored while re-constituting the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), New Delhi unit.

This has sent clear message to the leaders of erstwhile Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD), which was merged with SAD (Badal) after the “Tohra-Badal” unity that only those “Tohra loyalists” would be accommodated who would blindly accept the hegemony of Mr Badal.

Mr Harwinder Singh Sarna and Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna, president, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, and his predecessor had already said goodbye to the Badal faction when Mr Tohra was alive. Mr Harminder Singh Gill, the then president of the All-India Sikh Students Federation, who was also Tohra’s close confidant, had to desert the Badal Akali Dal and joined the Punjab Pradesh Congress when he was not accommodated properly by the party high command.

The “Tohra confidants” say that the conditions at the time of the merger of the SHSAD with SAD (Badal) were not being fulfilled by the party supremo Parkash Singh Badal, who wanted to project his son, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, as the next Chief Minister at the cost of senior leaders who had made sacrifices for the party.

Mr Calcutta was unceremoniously removed as the SGPC secretary and was again ignored during the recently held annual election of the Shiromani Committee. This was the reason that he started describing the new SGPC chief as “political pygmy”.

Similarly, the good proportion of Political Affairs Committee members were committed to the Tohra faction at the time of the merger of SHSAD/SAD. However, their (Tohra factions) number had been reduced even as Mr Prem Singh Lalpura had left the party. With the ouster of Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, the post of general secretary of SAD was not given to this faction, which feels alienated from the mainstream Badal Akali Dal. Mr Surjit Singh Kohli was ignored while nominating district president of Patiala Jatha.

There was a time when Mr Birdevinder Singh and Mr Jagmit Singh Brar, the fire-brand Congress leaders, were once presidents of the All-India Sikh Students Federation. However, they joined the Congress party when they found that their services would not be used by the Akali Dal properly.


SAD (A) activists ‘rounded up’ prior to Badal’s visit
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, January 6
SAD (A) activists, including Ranjit Singh Cheema, office secretary of Simranjit Singh Mann, today alleged that they were rounded up by the police and released following the visit of former Chief Minister and SAD president Parkash Singh Badal to a function at Bassi Pathana here.

In a press note, the SAD (A) condemned the action and termed it a conspiracy of the SAD, the BJP and the Congress.

Addressing mediapersons earlier, Mr Badal, who was accompanied by former Finance Minister Kanwaljit Singh, Balwinder Singh Bhundar, Tota Singh and Bibi Paramjit Kaur, said his party had served a show-cause notice to party leader Manjit Singh Calcutta for his anti-party activities. He said appropriate action would be initiated against him after receiving his reply.

He asked the party workers to restrain from giving statements to the media about the party leadership.

On certain SAD-backed MLAs joining the Congress, he said they were opportunists and had nothing to do with his party. He said they had been denied the party ticket and had contested the election as Independent candidates.

Answering a query about setting up of fast-track courts by the Congress government, he said the Chief Minister was doing this to use these courts as a tool to malign and implicate SAD leaders in false cases.

He said his party was ready to form alliance with any party or organisation that stood against the Congress.

He criticised the Uttaranchal Government for harming the interests of the Sikhs.

He said a three-party delegation led by Gurdev Singh Badal and consisting of Balwinder Singh Bhundar and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa would visit the state to attend a protest rally being organised by the SAD and the BJP against the government.


SAD will form next govt: SGPC chief

Tarn Taran, January 6
Mr Avtar Singh, has claimed that the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) would form the next government in the state and Mr Parkash Singh Badal would be the next Chief Minister.

Mr Avtar Singh expressed these views today here while talking to newsmen. He was here to lay the foundation stone of the gates being erected on the three entry points to this town. These gates would be dedicated to the 400th death anniversary of the fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev. The anniversary falls in June.

The SGPC President has been repeating that he would keep himself away from politics, but today he sharply condemned the Punjab Government by saying that it was a government of non-performers and that developmental works in the state had come to a standstill.

Commenting on the alleged demolition drive against houses of Sikh families in Kanshipur by the Uttaranchal Government, Mr Avtar Singh said all this was part of a ‘policy’of the Congress party to uproot Sikhs. — OC


Youths ‘forced’ to do menial jobs for US army
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
Former Union Minister and President of the Lok Bhalai Party Balwant Singh Ramoowalia today presented before the media a group of Punjabi youths who claimed they were forced to do menial jobs for the US army deployed in Iraq. Mr Ramoowalia claimed all this “export” of manpower was going on due to unscrupulous travel agents in Punjab.

Demanding strict action against these travel agents, Mr Ramoowalia likened the agents to tyrants like General Dyer. More than 2.50 lakh Punjabi youths had been duped in the past decade. Crores of rupees had been swindled in this manner while no action had been forthcoming to curb the menace.

One of the youths, Sukhwinder Singh, said: “We signed contracts to work as truck drivers in Kuwait and even boarded a flight to Kuwait. After reaching there, we were taken out of the airport and made to board a private plane that took us to Iraq.” The job was to clean toilets and wash clothes of the American forces, he told reporters. Refusal to do such tasks meant a beating at the hands of the agents who had taken them, he claimed.

Sukhwinder Singh said at least 250 youths from Punjab alone were working in Iraq. He also showed his passport which debarred him from travelling to Iraq. One of them was even issued a fake international driving licence from Chandigarh. Eight of them were present here.

Mr Ramoowalia presented nearly 30 youths who had returned from Malaysia, Iraq and Kuwait after having been duped by travel agents. Apart from taking youths to Iraq, they had been tricked into going to Malaysia to work in a hazardous chemical waste factory.

He said he was in favour of setting up a regulatory commission for travel agents to control their working. He said the youths were paying heavy amounts after borrowing from moneylenders to go abroad. Punjab had no jobs to offer, thus these persons had no other option, he said while replying to a question.

He demanded that duping people for jobs and placements abroad should be treated as acts of human smuggling, and taking money as dacoity and extortion along with a crime under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code. He also urged the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to hold an all-party meeting and , if felt so, the legislature should be asked to provide more powers to deal with the menace.

The immediate need was to control the activities of 700-odd sub-agents spread across Punjab. It was these people who lured youths with false promises, he said.

Mr Ramoowalia said Punjabi youths had been detained in 16 countries and wanted their immediate release. He criticised the Akali leader, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, for only seeking the release of detained Sikh youths. He asked: “Why not seek the release of Hindu youths also?” He alleged that Mr Badal by this act had shown disrespect to the Sikh religion.”


No English test for Sikh, Hindu preachers entering UK
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 6
The UK Government has decided to give special exemption from clearing English oral test to Sikh and Hindu preachers, granthis and ragis for entering England.

The UK Government proposed to insert the clause of clearing English test in the current Immigration Act after the series of bomb blasts in London on July 7 last year.

This was disclosed by Dr Jasdev Singh Rai, International Secretary to Jathedar Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, while talking to The Tribune, here today. He said circular to this effect, issued by the Home Ministry of the United Kingdom had been received by various Sikh organisations in the country. The preachers would fall in the category of ‘religious workers’ who are suppose to visit the country for a short term .Dr Rai who was among those, instrumental in getting this exemption to Sikhs, however, said the UK Government had laid down the condition of clearing the English test for the ‘minister of religion’. However, the Sikh community is confused over the term ‘Minister of religion’. The condition of English would also apply on all those who would apply for citizenship of the United Kingdom.

The provision for clearing English language was basically introduced to stop the entry of Al-Qaida activists.


Result register of nursing course goes missing
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
The register in which the result of the IInd year of the Punjab General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM) course was prepared, went missing from the office of the Punjab Nursing Council, Mohali, today. The result of this class was not yet announced.

Sources said a high-level team of senior doctors set up by Dr Kiranjeet Kaur, president of the council and Director, Research and Medical Education, Punjab, made a surprise check at the office this morning.

The team members sought all registers in which result of various classes was prepared. After carrying out the inspection, the team reported to Dr Kiranjeet Kaur that the old register carrying the result of the IInd year of the GNM course was not traceable. A new register was being prepared where entries of few names, roll numbers and awards were made. It was also incomplete.

Dr Kiranjeet Kaur told The Tribune that she had got information from reliable sources that all was not well in the council’s office as far as preparing of the result of certain class was concerned. “ On the basis of information, I sent a high-level team of doctors to make the checking of the office records”, she said. The new register has been taken into the custody by the team.

She said all officials who were involved in misplacing the register would be charge-sheeted. A further inquiry would be conduct to find out the reasons for preparing the new register. Dr Kiranjeet said as answer sheets of the IInd year were intact and were under lock, the fresh result would be prepared on the basis of those answer sheets. Students should not worry in any manner on this count.

Dr Kiranjeet has recently taken over as the president of the council. “I am trying to set the house in order”, she added. The council has remained in one controversy or the other for the past some years. A few months ago the council kicked off a big controversy by giving recognition to those nursing colleges which have negligible infrastructure.


Social, religious bodies come out in support of Ramdev
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 6
Activists of various organisations and students today came out in the support of Baba Ramdev, who is in the midst of a controversy following charges of use of traces of human bones in the medicines prepared by his pharmacy.

Baba Ramdev has a many followers in the city, especially after he held a camp here sometime back. The protesters raised slogans in favour of the Baba and handed over a charter of demands to the DC. They sought action against Communist leader Brinda Karat. They said she had no authority to collect samples of any pharmaceutical firm and she should apologise for her conduct. They alleged that Communists were unnecessarily raking up the issue at the behest of multinational companies. They said some people were trying to weaken the country and there was a need to remain watchful. Schoolchildren were holding placards with slogans written on them in support of Baba Ramdev.

The organisations that participated in the protest included the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Vivekanand Study Circle, the Swami Vivekanand Girls College, Bathinda the Vikas Manch, the Arya Samaj, the Bajrang Dal, the Mahavir Sanatan Dal, the Jain Sabha, DAV School and the MHR School management.

On the other hand, communist leaders Gurbachan Singh and Mr Inderjit Singh said a thorough probe should be conducted into medicines of Divya Yog Pharmacy. They clarified that they were not against yoga or ayurved, but formula of a medicine should be rightly presented before people as per norms.


FCI panel okays steps against officials, millers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
The Regional Consultative Committee of the Food Corporation of India( FCI) for Punjab region headed by Mrs Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder, Member of the Rajya Sabha, today endorsed the action initiated by the Management of the Regional Office( Punjab) against delinquent officials as well as rice millers found responsible for quality degradation last year.

At a meeting held here today, the Committee reviewed the issues related to procurement, storage and movement of foodgrains from Punjab to other states. It appreciated the role being played by the Punjab region in maintaining the foodline of the country by supplying adequate quantities of wheat and rice to the deficit states.

The FCI dispatches on an average 22 rakes carrying approximately 5,40,000 quintals and rice worth Rs 6 crore daily to other states. The storage position is quite satisfactory and the godown capacity is sufficient to take care of stocks at the moment.

The General Manager, Mr T.C. Gupta, told the members of the committee that the Regional Office( Punjab) would bring about a complete transparency in its operations and visits of public representatives such as MPs, MLAs, members of municipal committees, councils, and village panchayats would be organised to various deports and rail heads of the FCI in the state this month.


Pensioners’ front to highlight demands
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 6
The Punjab State Pensioners Confederation, Ludhiana, the Punjab State Pensioners Association, Ferozepore, and the Punjab State Pensioners Mahasang, Chandigarh, have formed a joint front to highlight their long-pending demands promised to be fulfilled by Capt Amarinder Singh in the party manifesto for the 2002 Assembly elections.

He said that the joint front would struggle for achieving the demands, which the government had failed to fulfil in the last four years. The demands include 15 per cent additional pension at the age of 80 and above, revision in the rates of medical treatment and reimbursement up to Rs 25,000 at the district level, DA to family pensioners and merger of 50 per cent DA with pension with effect from April 1, 2004, restoration of old commutation formula, etc.

Mr Avtar Singh Afat, chairman of the front, said the front would hold meetings at the district level from January 16 to 21 for the finalisation of its action programme.


Fog claims three lives
Our Correspondent

Batala, January 6
A Zen car coming from Amritsar towards Batala hit a parked truck near the octroi post here last night because of poor visibility due to a dense fog.

There were five members of a family in the car. Three persons, including a boy and a girl, died on the spot, while another child and a woman were injured.

The bodies were sent for a post-mortem examination. The injured were admitted to the civil hospital at Batala.


Awareness drive launched
Tribune News Service

Ropar, January 6
The District Transport Department launched a special drive to spread awareness among truck drivers and the general public about the traffic rules here today. The drive forms part of the 17th Road Safety Week.

Schoolchildren took out a rally on the occasion. They were carrying banners about traffic rules. The rally was flagged off by the District Transport Officer, Mr Rajiv Gupta, from Shivalik Public School.


210 Army men get plots

Amritsar, January 6
As many as 210 Army men, who had been awaiting the allotment of plots for the past two decades, were handed over the possession of plots by the local Improvement Trust today.

Mr Jugal Kishore Sharma, chairman of the trust, said due to litigation the personnel were deprived of their plots. Now the plots were allotted after a compromise between the trust and the Army men. — OC


Farmers protest against NFL move to acquire land
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 6
Farmers of Siwia village today protested against the proposed construction of a pond spread over an area of 200 acres in their village for dumping fly ash emitted from the local NFL plant.

Protesting against the move, the farmers raised slogans against the NFL in front of the Mini-Secretariat. Sukhpal Singh, a farmer, said they were already suffering the ill effects of fly ash being emitted from the plant and villagers, including children, were suffering from various health problems due to this. He alleged that the leakage of ammonia from the plant had become an annual feature.

Amrik Singh, another villager, alleged that their cotton crop had been badly hit due to ammonia leakage from the plant last year due to which the cotton crop had fetched low prices.

Panchayat member Lasham Singh rued that land of about 100 small and marginal farmers apart from 200 houses would fall under the area that the NFL had proposed to acquire for raising their wet-bed system for dumping fly ash.

He said the proposed area was in the heart of the village and its acquisition would expose the villagers to the dangers of fly ash. He said the compensation amount that was being offered was also much below the prevailing prices of agricultural land in the area.

A delegation of farmers later met the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rahul Bhandari, and apprised him of the grievances of the farmers.

The Deputy Commissioner admitted that he had received a request from the NFL for the acquisition of land in the village, but said the proposal was at very nascent stage and there was no need for the farmers to press the panic button as of now. He said a long procedure would precede the acquisition of land for the project and farmers’ objections would be taken into account before reaching any final decision. Allaying their apprehensions, he said the ash wouldn’t fly in the wet-bed system, as it would be dumped in water. He also clarified that it would not lead to contamination of ground water. 


One caught taking bribe
Our Correspondent

Patiala, January 6
The Patiala Vigilance Bureau nabbed an employee of the Additional Deputy Commissioner’s office while accepting illegal gratification here today.

According to Mr G.S. Bhullar, Superintendent of Police, a Vigilance team led by DSP Banarsi Dass arrested Gurcharan Singh, a peon at the ADC (General) office as soon as he tried to pocket Rs 1,500 from one Davinder Singh of Patran for getting an arms licence issued in his name.

The complainant approached the Vigilance authorities who set a trap today. The sleuths arrested Gurcharan Singh and recovered Rs 1,500 from his possession.

Gurcharan Singh’s residence was also searched. A case has been registered.


Abducted girl recovered
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, January 6
The Sujanpur police today recovered a minor girl and booked four persons for abducting her.

The SHO, Mr Dev Dutt Sharma, said the 13-year-old girl was allegedly abducted by Manu, Maghar Ali, Ali Deen and Gato, residents of the Sundar Chak area.

The father of the victim, Roshan Deen, a Gujjar of Jhand Pur, had lodged a complaint of abduction of his daughter. A case under Sections 363, 366 and 120-B of the IPC was registered against the culprits.

The complainant alleged that on December 15 when he was out of station, all the accused abducted his daughter. All the accused are reportedly related to the complainant.

The police said the victim would be medically examined.


2 children killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Batala, January 6
Four-year-old Prabhjot Kaur and seven-month-old Ranjot Singh were killed when the motorcycle being driven by their father, Gurmej Singh, a resident of Chone, was hit by a tractor-trailer near old Qadian Octroi post. Gurmej Singh and his wife sustained injuries in the accident. They were admitted to a hospital while the bodies of the two children were sent for post-mortem examination by the police.

A case under Section 304(A), IPC, has been registered at Civil Lines police station here.

The bodies of the two children were, later, handed over to the relatives of the deceased.

In another accident a ‘‘maruta’’ was involved in a head on collision with a private bus on Jalandhar road, near Umarpura, today. The driver of ‘‘maruta’’ was seriously injured and was admitted to the Civil Hospital here.

The police has registered a case.


Three killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, January 6
Three persons, including two women, were killed and nine injured in a road accident on the Fazilka-Ferozepore road near here last night.

The victims, who were travelling in Jeep, are residents of Tiwana Kalan village. The jeep rammed into a parked truck, resulting in the death of Pritam Singh on the spot.

Paro Bai and Jagir Kaur succumbed to their injuries this morning. Paro was sister of Pritam Singh. The injured were admitted to the Civil Hospital, Jalalabad.


2 held for killing wild animal
Tribune News Service

Ropar, January 6
The police today arrested two persons on the charge of killing a wild animal in the forest area near Baddi Chhakiyan village.

Harpreet and Gurbaxh Singh were arrested for killing a wild pig. They were reportedly trying to sell it at the time of arrest.

An FIR has been registered against them under Sections 9, 39, 49 and 51 of the Protection of Wild Life Act, 1972.


Teachers condemn Education Minister
To boycott public functions
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 6
Launching a scathing attack on the Punjab Education Minister, members of the teaching community from the state said that they would be boycotting public functions in protest against alleged government excesses.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Jagdish Rai Sharma, president of the Recognised and Affiliated Schools Association, Punjab, and Mr Rajinder Sharma, president of the Association of the PSEB Affiliated Schools, Punjab, said that the Education Minister had chalked out a policy which was against the interests of recognised schools but in favour of unrecognised schools even when the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered that unrecognised schools should be closed down. Both the presidents said the minister also allegedly used objectionable language against the teaching community.

They alleged that the centres earmarked for the conduct of examinations by the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) were changed at the last minute on the directions of the minister. Students would not have to appear in the examination at centres made in other schools rather than the schools where they studied. But schools located in rural areas and small towns were exempted under the policy and as such the minister was allegedly indulging in discrimination against the schools located in urban areas.

They said the authorities claimed that the step was taken to check copying in examinations even when most of the cases of copying were reported from examination centres located in rural areas. The authorities concerned should have intimated them in this regard at least a year in advance. The last-minute changes were going to adversely affect the morale of the students.

The heads of both the organisations said that management of each school had to deposit Rs 11,000 with the education board for getting an examination centre made in the school. They demanded that the money, running into crores of rupees, which was deposited with the education board in connection with examination centres should be refunded immediately. They said that they would not allow the government to use their schools as examination centres from now onwards.

Mr Jagdish Rai Sharma said that about four years ago the Punjab and Haryana High Court had issued orders that all unrecognised schools should be closed down but the Punjab Government had failed to implement the orders. He said that when representatives of various organisations went to meet the Education Minister to get the court orders implemented, he not only refused to meet them but also allegedly used derogatory language.


Follow traffic rules, students told
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 6
Addressing a seminar on “Road safety measures”, Mr Husan Lal, Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, today asked the students and others to obey traffic rules strictly to reduce the number of accidents. He also asked the students to disseminate this message to reduce the number of accidental deaths.

The seminar was organised by the local Lions Club in association with the District Transport Office at Khalsa Girls School here.

Mr Husan Lal said many accidents occurred due to driving under the influence of liquor.

Mr Amandeep Bansal, DTO, urged the students, teachers and the NGOs to motivate the masses to follow the traffic rules. Mr Surjit Singh Grewal, SP (D), said the life of accident victims could be saved by providing them timely medical help.

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