R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri

  • Canting an ode to Chamba
  • An MBBS dentist
  • Mapping mythology


Three robbers held:
The police arrested three members of a gang of robbers and recovered stolen items. The accused are identified as Gurmit Singh and Ranjit Singh, both brothers and Kuldip Singh, alias Kippa, all residents of Sandhu Colony. Mr S.S. Shrivastava, SSP, stated in a press release issued here on Sunday the accused were apprehended following a tip off. He said they confessed to having committed about six crimes of snatching and all of them were released on bail some time back. A case has been registered.

Scooterist killed:
A scooterist was killed on Saturday evening by a mini-bus. As per information given by Mr Baldev Singh, SHO of the city police station, a scooterist, Jasbir Singh of Lambi Gali, Simble, Batala, was run over by a mini-bus (PB-01-4669) of Jhang Transport, Batala, near Hansli Bridge on the Jalandhar road. Jasbir Singh was returning home on his scooter (PB-18 B-8609) when the accident occurred. The injured was brought to the Civil Hospital by a police patrol party where he was declared brought dead. The police has registered a case.

Minor girl abducted:
A case of abducting a minor girl of local Fauji Colony was reported at Tanda police station on Saturday evening. According to police sources, Darshna, wife of Surjit of Fauji Colony, alleged in her complaint that Amarjit Singh, his father Iqbal Singh, brother Ikku and Budh Ram, member panchayat, all of the same area had allegedly abducted his minor daughter, Surinder Kaur (16), on April 13, 2006. The police has registered a case.

Dowry cases: Two cases of torturing brides for more dowry were reported at Mahilpur and Mukerian police stations of this district on Saturday evening. According to police sources, Babita, a daughter of Bhagmal of Barian Kalan, stated in her complaint to the Mahilpur police that she was allegedly tortured and maltreated for more dowry by her in-laws. The police has registered a case against her husband Rakesh Kumar, brother-in-law Manoj Kumar, sister-in-law Harjinder Kaur, Santosh Kaur and Mohinder Singh. In another case, Poonam Awasthi, a daughter of Onkar Mehta of Kala Manjh, alleged in his complaint that she was also tortured by her husband Rohit Awasthi of Talwara for more dowry for which the Mukerian police has registered a case.

Revolver snatched: A case of snatching a revolver and Rs 17,000 was reported at Hariana police station on Saturday. According to police sources, Sukhjinder Singh, a son of Iqbal Singh of Takhni village, alleged in his complaint to the police that Lakhvir Singh, a son of Saudagar Singh of the same village, along with Kala and his four other accomplices came to the grocery shop at Hariana town and assaulted him while he was purchasing karyana goods there. They also snatched his licensed .32-bore revolver along with 12 cartridges and Rs 17,000 from him. The police has registered a case.

Camp for obese:
People suffering from obesity were imparted medical guidance about the malady during an anti-obesity camp organised at local Rattan Hospital on Sunday. During the camp, according to a press note issued by Dr. Balraj Gupta of Rattan Hospital, scientific and medical solutions to keep obesity at bay were shared by experts with patients. “Most of the people are still ignorant about off-shoots of obesity and they are unable to co-relate obesity with ailments like heart disorders, arthritis and diabetes,” said Dr. Gupta.

Sewerage: Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Punjab Minister for local bodies, laid the foundation stone of a Rs. 1.25 crore sewerage project at Salempur Musalmaanan village, near here, on Sunday. The minister announced a grant of Rs. 1 lakh for the village government school and a same amount for the Anganwadi Centre. Apart from this, a grant of Rs. 50 lakh was also announced by him for the common inn of the village.

Medical camp held:
A free medical check-up-cum- blood-donation camp was organised jointly by the Naujawan Sabha, the gram panchayat of Lang village and the Punjab Today Foundation at Lang village, near here, on Sunday. The camp, which was inaugurated by former Minister Brahm Mohindra, saw as many as 55 persons donating blood while another 400 persons were examined by a team of eminent doctors.

Hurt in mishap:
Seven members of a family, including three women, were seriously injured when a truck hit their Bolero near the Sugar Mills Chowk here on Sunday. As per reports received here, Dalbir Singh (45), a resident of Jalandhar, was going to Patiala in his Bolero car along with Ravinder Singh (52), Nirmal Kaur (45), Sarabjit Singh (28), Sandeep Kaur (22), Surinderjit Kaur (25) and Gursimran (8).

Two nabbed: The Phagwara police on Sunday nabbed two most wanted contract killers while they were travelling in a Santro car at the nearby Bhakhrian village. According to police sources, the two, identified as Raj Kumar, alias Raju, alias Dhanwant Singh, alias Dhunna, a resident of Una in Himachal Pradesh, and Vipin Kumar of Amritsar were involved in many murders in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir. They had committed murders in Ashok Vihar, Paschim Vihar and some posh localities of Delhi.



Office-bearers elected: The following have been elected as office-bearers of the Welfare Association, Sector 47-D, Chandigarh: president — Mr Jai Pal Chaudhary; vice-president — Mr Hardev Singh Saini; general-secretary — Mr Ramesh Tayal; adviser— Mr D.R. Anand; and cashier — Mr Ashok Gupta.

Swami Ram Tirath school poll:
Elections for the formation of a student council were held at the Swami Ram Tirtha Public High School here. Students of Class VI to X exercised their votes for electing the head boy and the head girl. The new head boy Gursha and head girl Jaskirat Kaur of Class X were apprised of their responsibilities.

Under the Centrally sponsored IED Scheme, books, stationery, bags, spectacles, uniform etc were distributed among 186 children of 30 different schools of Panchkula district, by Ms Joginder Kaur, Principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 6, Panchkula, and Ms Rita Dhingra, resource teacher. A wheelchair, one set of hearing aid and 20 pairs of spectacles were also provided to some disabled children. Later, Ms Joginder Kaur told students about various provisions under the scheme.


BODY FOUND: The body of a Nepalese migrant labourer was found hanging from a tree at Jharmazri near here on Saturday night. The deceased, Faqir Chand (45), was a hernia patient. He had reportedly committed suicide.

Killed in accident:
Sapna Devi, was accidentally run over by the bus she was travelling in at Naddi, near here, on Saturday. According to the police, while getting down from the bus, she stepped on a steel pipe and slipped. As the bus moved on, she stumbled in front of the tyre and was run over. The victim was rushed to the zonal hospital but was declared brought dead.

Rajnath’s yatra: BJP president Rajnath Singh will arrive at Dharamsala on April 28 as part of his Bharat Suraksha Yatra. Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, BJP leaders Dr Rajan Shushant and Mr Kishan Kapoor said Mr Rajnath Singh would reach Shimla on April 27 and hold a public rally there. On April 28, he would proceed to Bilaspur, Mandi and reach Baijnath by evening. After holding a public rally there, he would head for Dharamsala.

Yoga camp:
A week-long free yoga camp organised by the local unit of the Vivekananda Kendra was inaugurated on the premises of GAV Senior Secondary School here on Sunday. Mr Raju Yadav, life worker of the Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, declared the camp open by lighting a lamp.

Liquor deaths:
The Paonta police on Saturday recovered the bodies of Kashmiri Lal and Mukand Lal from the Gondpur industrial area. Police sources said the two died due to excess drinking. A case has been registered.

Pensioners’ Kalyan Sangh:
The Kangra district, Himachal Pensioners’ Kalyan Sangh at its meeting at Shahpur on Friday resolved to affiliate its unit with the Himachal Pradesh Pensioners’ Welfare Association having its headquarters at Shimla.

CBI probe sought: Agitating members of mahila mandals and residents under the Nagrota Surian Development block in Jawali subdivisions on Friday staged a dharna and blocked traffic for two hours at Nagrota Surian in protest against the death of Shakti Singh Rana, an Inspector of the Excise and Taxation Department in a liquor factory at Channi on April 17. The protesters demanded a CBI probe into the death of the Inspector.

: A two-day drug inventory management workshop was organised by the State Tuberculosis Cell for district tuberculosis officers, pharmacists and other staff. According to the State Tuberculosis Officer, Dr N.Shandil, consultants from the Central Tuberculosis Division (CTD) provided training to participants.

Doctors’ demands: The Himachal Medical Officer’s Association on Saturday demanded the regularisation of ad hoc and contract medical officers and the early filling of posts of Registrar in both medical colleges. The central executive committee of the association demanded PG increment for all postgraduates, working in field as well as in the two medical colleges of Shimla and Kangra. The association said the government should also fill the posts of Directors, Deputy Directors, Chief Medical Officers and Block Medical Officers.

  Regional potpourri
Canting an ode to Chamba

Tanya As the curtain went up on Chamba’s millennium celebrations recently, with several eminent personalities taking centrestage, a father-daughter duo preferred to stay offstage, spreading their message among the locals through their music.

Shabir, a local amateur artiste, had composed a poem about the town turning 1000 years’ old, which his daughter, Tanya (10), sang out proudly. Though they preferred not to go on stage, singing in the historical Chowgan instead, their message was loud and clear.

Shabir, who was a part of the millennium Performing Arts Committee, said that his poem highlighted the problems of Chamba and was an appeal to save the town from environmental degradation. By choosing to sing in the Chaugan, he wanted his message to reach a larger audience, particularly the youth. The millennium theme song travelled through the crowd as the father and daughter mingled around.

Says Shabir, “I have been composing songs since my student days. They are mostly about national integration and social problems.” An employee of the Himachal Forest Department, he has been passing on his compositions to various NGOs and schools without charging any money. He feels that NGOs can change society if they work sincerely.

Shabir does not believe in doing stage shows, but is actively involved with social groups like the Saksharta Kala Jatha. He travels to the remotest corners of Chamba district to spread the message of literacy through his songs. He has also composed songs on female foeticide, which have been quite a hit with various NGOs. He has also been singing on the radio for some time now, but doesn’t quite fancy the idea of going to Shimla for recordings.

He intends to train his daughter in classical singing too. A student of Class V, Tanya has been learning how to sing and compose songs from her father. She has already written some poetry and a short story.

An MBBS dentist

Inder Jeet He wanted to be an engineer, but his dentist father wanted him to study medicine. He got selected in the pre-medical test and aspired for higher studies in surgery, but ended up practising dentistry even after getting a degree in MBBS. Thus, Dr Inder Jeet is a dentist and general practitioner rolled into one, operating from his clinic in Hisar, where his family shifted when he was a kid. Interestingly, the building allotted to his parents was that of a dental clinic, whose owner had shifted to Pakistan at the time of Partition. It was here that his father, Dr Des Raj, established his dental practice. The founder vice-president of the Sewak Sabha Hospital, Hisar, Dr Des Raj used to arrange food for the poor patients admitted to the local Civil Hospital. Dr Inder Jeet’s mother, Mrs Vidyawanti, was a Punjabi poetess.

“I wanted to go in for higher studies after my MBBS. But the untimely demise of my father forced me to take over his dental clinic,” says Dr Inder Jeet, who had three younger sisters to take care of when his father died.

He is now ably guided by his brother-in-law, who retired as a dental surgeon from Haryana Agricultural University.

Apart from serving as the president and secretary of the local chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) for several terms, Dr Inder Jeet has also been associated with a number of social campaigns and causes.

In 1969, he came in contact with Gandhian leader Dada Ganeshi Lal and worked to support the cause of prohibition.

He also founded a branch of the Indo-Soviet Cultural Society at Hisar and took an active part in a campaign to save Guru Jambheshwar University.

Having been honoured by the Haryana Governor and the state Health Minister, he has lately been trying to mould human teeth into jewellery items, on the pattern of ivory goods.

Mapping mythology

Giani Gurcharan Singh shows a map of the travel route taken by Lord Rama
Giani Gurcharan Singh shows a map of the travel route taken by Lord Rama. — Photo by Inderjit Verma

Identifying the travel routes of Hindu gods and Sikh gurus is a passion with this Ludhiana-based octogenarian, who has not only travelled thousands of miles to explore historical routes but has traced these on various Indian maps.

After carefully studying books on religious history, Giani Gurcharan Singh of BRS Nagar identified some landmarks and got the maps published himself. He has been distributing these free of cost just to keep alive Indian history and mythology.

Driven by this passion since 1969, when he was a mechanical inspector with Indian Railways, Giani Gurcharan Singh has worked on identifying 18 travel routes of the gurus. Unfortunately, due to limited resources, he has been able to give shape to only four route maps.

He covered a distance of 11,694 km, starting from Ayodhya to Sri Lanka, to prepare a map of the mythical route taken by Lord Rama during his 14-year exile.

“Athough all the places, mentioned in various books, that Lord Rama is said to have visited are no longer there, some ashrams do exist. For instance, there was no sign of Ashok vatika, as mentioned in the mythical Lanka. Many other researchers, before me, have gone looking for it,” says the Giani.

“Throughout this 11,000- km-long journey, there were connecting links that kept me going. This effort is an affirmation of the fact that the ‘Ramayana’ is not pure mythology. It talks about rivers and mountains which still exist,” he asserts.

Keeping up with his passion, especially after retirement, was a difficult task. But his family supported him.

“They faced problems when I spent so much money on these travels and remained away from home for months together, but the end result satisfied them. They feel very happy when researchers come to me to follow my study,” he adds with a glint of pride.

— Contributed by Ranju Aery, Sunit Dhawan and Kanchan Vasdev

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