P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Third Ludhiana-Mumbai track soon: Lalu
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 28
To give economic boost to the region and to decongest the rail tracks, the work on the third railway track from Ludhiana to Mumbai would start from next month and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was likely to inaugurate it.

This was announced by Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav here today. He said the new track would strengthen the railway network from North to the port town of Mumbai.

The work on another railway track would be started soon thereafter to decongest the Delhi-Kolkata route, he added.

After paying obeisance at the Golden Temple, he said the Attari railway station would be provided with modern infrastructure comparable with the best in the world. Attari is the last terminus station where the Samjauta Express from Pakistan plies twice a week.

The Amritsar railway station would also be converted into a model railway station, he added.

Commenting on the shortage of goods wagons between India and Pakistan, he said the ministry would provide more wagons to boost trade between the two countries.

A strong votary of the policy of reservation, he said nobody could stop reservation for the OBCs till such classes were economically uplifted.

Assuring the SGPC authorities on direct trains from the holy city to Chhattisgarh and Jagannathpuri, he said he would look into the feasibility and would provide the train connections as soon as possible. He also assured the SGPC that the booking of “jathas” to Pakistan would commence from Amritsar instead of Delhi.

He further announced that his ministry was soon going to stop the facility of break journey as some unscrupulous elements were misusing the facility. He said the services of private caterers providing food and other articles would soon be dispensed with.

Accompanied by his wife, Ms Rabri Devi, and children, the Union Railway Minister also laid a wreath at the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial and later visited the Wagah check post.

Meanwhile, BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu has, through a letter, reminded the Union Railway Minister that a number of projects announced by him for the area during his Budget presentation were still hanging fire.

He has said that no headway has been made on the Qadian-Bias rail link announced during the Budget session. He has also reminded the minister about extending the freight corridor from Sonanagar in West Bengal to Ludhiana.


‘Garib Raths’ to be ready by October
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Hussainpur (Kapurthala), May 28
Finally, the Union Minister for Railways, Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav, today buried all speculations regarding the proposed privatisation of the Rail Coach Factory (RCF) here as was being feared by the employees since his now-infamous railway budget speech.

Addressing a mammoth gathering of the factory workers and management staff, all jostling for space, he alleged that the Railway Ministry's PSU proposal was “manipulated” by vested interests, including certain politicians.

The alleged “manipulations” had given birth to a nearly two-month- long agitation by the employees in the RCF turning the PSU proposal into a hot political issue with every other politician pledging his or her support to the workers.

Mr Yadav assured the employees that there would never be any privatisation of the RCF nor the Indian Railways and not a single worker would be removed.

Mr Yadav claimed that he had assured in his budget speech that the factory would be converted into a PSU only after consulting the employees.

The Minister, accompanied by the Chairman of the Rail Board, Mr J.P. Batra, and other members, also inspected the mock-up of the sleek “Garib Rath” coaches — said to be the poor man’s AC train.

Claiming that the Indian Railways was headed for a “miracle”, Mr Yadav said the railways had set a profit target of Rs 20,000 crore for the next year against the current year’s Rs 13,000 crore.

He added that the work on the Rs 22,000-crore ‘Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC)’, an ambitious railway line project between Ludhiana-Kolkata and Ludhiana-Mumbai, would begin soon.

Reiterating his resolve to make the Indian Railways number one in the world, the Minister said he would not tolerate corruption.

He said the Ministry had reduced fares for certain sections and routes and still the profits were growing. This had never happened before.

Mr Yadav said the ‘Garib Rath’ would start running at a speed of 130 km/h by October this year at fares 25 per cent lesser than that of the present AC 3-tier fares.

The coaches for the train were being manufactured at RCF at a cost of Rs 80 lakh. It would have 74 sleepers. The chair car coaches with 102 seats were being made in the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, he informed.

Initially, these ‘Garib Raths’ would ply between Delhi-Patna, Delhi-Bandra, Delhi-Chennai and Sahrsa-Amritsar and there was a proposal to link these with all state capitals, Mr Yadav said.

The Minister, after praising the hard work and dedication of the factory workers, announced to donate Rs 10 lakh to be distributed among the workers. When the workers said the former Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, had given them Rs 25 lakh, Mr Yadav raised the dole to Rs 30 lakh.

The RCF Staff Council and other unions of the factory presented the Minister a memorandum.

Mr Yadav was accompanied by local MP Rana Gurjit Singh, local MLA Bibi Upinderjit Kaur and acting RCF General Manager Partap Srivastava. 


SAD-BJP to take legal route on Reliance issue
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 28
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, and the BJP MP, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, along with five MLAs of the state, will file a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Punjab and Haryana High Court to prevent the state government from giving village panchayats’ and the Punjab Mandi Board’s land to the Reliance Industries.

Disclosing this here today, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, also the secretary general of the SAD, said the draft of the PIL had already been prepared by Mr Arun Jaitley, a senior BJP leader, and Mr Hardev Singh Mattewal, a former Advocate-General, Punjab.

He said it had been emphasised in the proposed PIL that the state government could not give the lands of the village panchayats or the Punjab Mandi Board to any industrial house.

Mr Dhindsa also expressed apprehension that there might be an “underhand deal” between the Reliance Industries and the top political government functionaries as hundreds of acres of private and village panchayats’ land was being provided to the Reliance Industries by the state government by way of acquiring the land or by putting pressure on the village panchayats to pass resolutions in connection with handing over the land.

Mr Dhindsa said the SAD-BJP would not allow the Amarinder government to “commit excesses” on the farmers and would also not hesitate to give a fight to the Amarinder government on legal as well as political fronts in this regard.

He said he had already talked with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to prevent the Amarinder government from giving land to the Reliance Industries.

With regard to the preparations of the SAD’s poll manifesto, Mr Dhindsa said the SAD had formed nine committees to hold talks with representatives of various departments and various sections of the society before preparing the manifesto.

He said the manifesto committee would meet after June 16. All committees would submit their reports at that meeting.

Following the meeting, a final shape would be given to the draft manifesto, which would be later approved by the political affairs committee (PAC) of the SAD, he added.

Regarding the possibility of the formation of a third front in the state, Mr Dhindsa said the SAD-BJP alliance would have no threat from the third front, if it came to existence, in the Assembly elections.

However, he appealed to the political parties not to form third front, as it would be an indirect support to the Congress party in the elections.

Mr Dhindsa said he had distributed about Rs 3 crore from his MPLAD fund in all nine Assembly constituencies of his Parliamentary constituency so far.

He added that the government had already sanctioned Rs 1 crore more, which would be distributed as and when the money reached him. 


PM unconcerned about Hindus’ plight: BJP
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 28
Strongly criticising Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for his failure to meet those Hindu families whose members were brutally killed by terrorists in the valley, Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, state BJP vice-president, asked why the PM did not fix responsibility of providing security of Kashmiri Hindu families to the government in Jammu and Kashmir.

Ms Chawla in, a press release issued yesterday, said that it was unfortunate that Dr Singh could not spare a few minutes to visit the aggrieved Hindu families. She said since the announcement of roundtable conference in J&K, a large number of Hindus had been killed by the terrorists in the valley. However, the Prime Minister seemed unconcerned over the issue, she remarked.

She said the Kashmiri Hindus were forced to live in miserable conditions in refugee camps. But the J&K government did nothing to rehabilitate them. 


Nightingale of Punjab battles for life
Slips into coma following multiple organ failure
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Time flies and with it fly cherished moments of pride and joy. Only a month ago, Punjab was celebrating the top civilian honour of Padma Shree which Surinder Kaur had brought home.

But today it must take a break from revelry and focus on some prayer instead. For, their Nightingale is no more on a song. She is on a life support system, battling it out with a series of breakdowns that are threatening to get the better of her. It all began with the loss of breath and swollen feet, then a heart attack and accumulation of water in the lungs, leading to multiple organ failure and finally coma.

Down with what medical experts have diagnosed as "Lupus", the legendary singer is presently in coma in the ICU of a top medical institute in New Jersey, US. She has been unconscious for more than 10 days, unable to nurse herself back to health.

Back home in Panchkula, the singer's daughter Dolly Guleria is anguished over the news of her mother's deteriorating health. She told The Tribune today, "She had not been keeping well for some time. But she was never so sick. In early May my sisters came to look her up, and decided to take her with them to New Jersey for better treatment. But she has only gone from bad 
to worse."

On May 4, Surinder Kaur almost collapsed in her daughter's New Jersey home when she fell short of breath. Her feet had suddenly swollen and she had to be rushed to the nearest hospital in New Jersey, from where she has not returned 
since then.

Initially, the doctors found a high level of water retention in the singer's body. Soon after, she was diagnosed with "Lupus" - a medical term for accumulation of water in the lungs. After about 10 days in the ICU, she was shifted to a private room in the hospital dormitory. But she was not to remain there for long as she suffered a massive heart attack, and soon slipped into coma.

The challenge for doctors attending to Surinder Kaur is to keep her organs in good health. Dolly Guleria, who is constantly in touch with her sisters in the US, however, said, "Doctors want to put her on dialysis as her kidneys are not responding, but they are facing problems due to medical complications of multiple organ failure. Her heart is also not functioning, though the doctors are trying their best to revive her."

Faced with so many problems, Surinder Kaur has been shifted to the isolation ward of the hospital. While she lies unconscious in a faraway land, her near and dear ones are busy petitioning to God for her resuscitation. In their hearts they know it will take all the prayer in the world to save the voice of Punjab from waning away. 


Kirti gets 98.2 pc in Class X
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 28
Amritsar schools, including Senior Study School-II, DAV Public School, Shri Ram Ashram Public School, Spring Dale Senior School, Manav Public School and Sri Harkrishan Senior Secondary Public School got 100 per cent results in the CBSE Class X examinations, the results of which were declared yesterday.

Kirti Ahuja of DAV Public School topped in the region securing 98.2 per cent marks while Rachit Gupta of Shri Ram Ashram Public School secured 97 per cent marks in aggregate.

About 48 students of DAV public School, 34 students of Spring Dale School, six students from Senior Study School and four students of Manav Public School secured more than 90 per cent marks.


Fire at railway booking office

Amritsar, May 28
A fire broke out at the booking office of the Amritsar railway station due to a short circuit around 4.30 am today.

As the computers and other gadgets got automatically switched off, the records were saved. The railway officials informed the fire brigade office that rushed fire tenders to the spot and controlled the fire within minutes. No loss of life and property was reported. — TNS


Cong ministers hold parallel programmes
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Sujanpur (Gurdaspur), May 28
Fissures in district Congress came to the fore once again with two major Congress leaders from the area organising parallel programmes here today.

One faction of the party, which is headed by Union State Minister for Industries Ashwani Kumar, organised a political rally in Sujanpur town. The rally was also attended by MLA from Pathankot Ashok Sharma and Chairman of the Pathankot Improvement Trust Rajbir Chaudhary.

The Congress representative from Sujanpur, Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, however, did not attend the rally. He instead organised a parallel open sangat darshan at the town to counter the rally in his constituency.

Though Mr Ashwani Kumar did not speak anything against Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri, Mr Chaudhary vented his ire against the Mr Puri. Addressing the rally, Mr Rajbir accused Mr Puri of attempt to derail their rally.

Many workers of their group were picked up by the supporters of Mr Puri and prevented from attending the rally, Mr Rajbir said.

Mr Ashwani Kumar said he would try to get the Pathankot zone declared a food-processing zone. Special incentives would be given to food processing companies setting up units in the area.

Congress leaders of the town, led by former president of the council Vinay Mahajan, demanded from Mr Ashwani Kumar that abattoir, which were set up recently in the industrial growth centre of the area, be shut and special concessions be granted to industrialists setting up factories at the centre. They also demanded a level crossing on the Sujanpur-Pathankot road.

They alleged that they had lost most of their land to the industrial growth centre, but no industrial unit had come up in the area.


Cong unit to highlight development works
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 28
The District Congress Committee (Urban) has decided to launch an awareness campaign to highlight the ongoing development activities in the city.

With an eye on the forthcoming Assembly elections, DCC president Ved Parkash Gupta has advised the Mayor, Chairman Improvement Trust and municipal councillors to arrange ward-wise public get-togethers to get input from the residents pertaining to the development work undertaken in their respective areas.

Mr Gupta added that in these public meetings the achievements of the state government regarding “flawless purchase of wheat and paddy crops by government agencies throughout the past four years, steps taken to restore Punjab’s economy, efforts to strengthen mutual understanding with Pakistan and inter-state water dispute” will be highlighted.


Harmandar Sahib parkarma turns green
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 28
In an attempt to beautify the interior and surroundings of the holiest Sikh shrine, the SGPC with the help of Baba Jagtar Singh of kar sewa wale, today launched a drive to turn the parkarma of Golden Temple green that would be instrumental in saving the shrine from vehicle corrosion .

Most of the plants, which were planted today, have been mentioned in gurbani. The joint initiative of Mr Roop Singh, manager Darbar Sahib, Baba Amrik Singh and Mr Jaswinder Singh, advocate, a member of SGPC, more than 3000 plants of 51 varieties were planted. The drive to green the parikarma was inaugurated by Bhai Gurbachan Singh, Head Granthi, Golden Temple, and Baba Jagtar Singh. Earlier, a prayer was performed to launch the drive.

Mr Roop Singh said that he and Baba Jagtar Singh had visited a number of nurseries of the country to select the plants. Herbal plants were also being planted, he said.

Earlier, a UNESCO nominee, Dr Enamul Haque of Bangladesh, who was instrumental in recommending reports on various heritage sites, including Hampi in Karnataka, had also provided useful inputs for the beautification of the Golden Temple.

During his visit to the holy city last year to personally review the 500-page dossier for the grant of heritage site status to the Golden Temple, he had felt the need to replicate the guidelines presently in operation around the Taj Mahal in Agra. Professor Haque had also pointed out that the government must ban the use of vehicles around the Golden Temple complex. He had also suggested that only battery-operated, eco-friendly vehicles be allowed in the area. This would save the Golden Temple from pollutants emitted by vehicles. These pollutants could cause damage to the marble and the gold plating of the shrine. He had pointed out that the Galliara Project should have lot of green spaces to help beautify and save the shrine from the corrosion due to large-scale movement of vehicles. 


Foundation of Pilot’s statue demolished
Chander Parkash
Tribune News service

Patiala, May 28
The foundation located at the entry of the city, where a statue of late Congress leader Rajesh Pilot was to be installed by a section of Congress leaders, was demolished by the district administration today. Congress leaders have alleged that the demolition was carried out at the behest of Punjab Power Minister Lal Singh.

Though Mr Lal Singh denied any role in the development, senior Congress leaders, including Mr Nirmal Singh Bhattian, Chairman, Punjab Backward Class Land Development and Finance Corporation, and Mr Prem Gupta, Chairman, Pepsu Township Development Board, Rajpura, alleged that Mr Lal Singh had engineered the demolition through the administration.

Mr Bhattian and Mr Gupta claimed that Mr Lal Singh, who had faced corruption charges once, would have to pay a heavy price for engineering the demolition of the foundation for the proposed statue in the coming Assembly elections.

They said a life-size statue of the late Congress leader, who was very close to AICC chief Sonia Gandhi, was to be unveiled by none else than Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on June 10 in the presence of Mr Sachin Pilot, MP and son of late Rajesh Pilot, to mark his 6th death anniversary.

The statue was to be installed near Rai Majra and the foundation was erected after nod from both Capt Amarinder Singh and MP Preneet Kaur for it.

Both Mr Bhattian and Mr Gupta said they would meet the Chief Minister tomorrow and lodge a complaint against Mr Lal Singh for his involvement in the demolition. They would also meet Mrs Gandhi.

Mr Lal Singh said Mr Bhattian and others were trying to draw cheap publicity by dragging his name into this episode. He had nothing to do with the administration’s action and he would love to have a statue of the late Congress leader in his Assembly segment.

He pointed out that those, who were carrying out the plan to install the statue of the leader in this area, never consulted him and he came to know about this today evening only after his name was dragged into the episode. He said the site, where the statue of was to be installed, was located in front of a huge garbage dump.

Mr Rakesh Kumar Verma, Deputy Commissioner, said as per his information, the foundation had been demolished by officials of the PWD Department as no sanction for it. He said Mr Lal Singh had nothing to do with this.

Meanwhile, a section of Congress leaders pointed out that the episode had brought the groupism prevailing in the party in the Chief Minister’s home district to the fore.


Duggal crosses over to Pak for talks
Our Correspondent

Wagah, May 28
Escalation in the violent activities in Jammu and Kashmir during the last one month would be the main agenda of talks between the two Home Secretaries when they meet in Islamabad for two-day talks.

Talking to the media here today before crossing over to Pakistan, Mr V.K. Duggal, Union Home Secretary, expressed his concern over the increased incidents of violence in the valley and said that he would convey the Government of India’s views on this issue to his counterpart during the bilateral talks being held on May 30 and 31. He said he would impress upon the Pakistani Home Secretary for taking steps to hand over the most wanted terrorists to India for paving way to improve relations between the two nations.

He said the other major issues, which required focus, would be a spurt in smuggling of narcotics and drugs and to take steps to check its inflow into the country. He said that during the talks both sides would also take up the issue of detainees languishing in various jails of both the countries.

Mr Duggal said that talks would also dwell at length to start border trade between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad.


Bhattal distributes funds for development
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 28
Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister and MLA from Lehragaga, today distributed cheques worth Rs 1.56 crore, among panchayats of 26 villages under the Punjab Nirman scheme at Andana village (Near Khanauri), about 65 km from here. She gave Rs 1.65 crore for the scholarships of school students on the occasion. She also distributed Rs 11.66 lakh as pension among the pensioners of three villages in Andana block of Moonak subdivision. She distributed 18 sewing machines among the needy women. She announced Rs 35 lakh for the stadium of Andana village.

Addressing the gathering, Ms Bhattal claimed that she had made the Lehragaga a “number one” Assembly constituency in the state by way of executing various development works. She also claimed that now this was not a backward constituency.

Ms Bhattal said Rs 76 crore had been sanctioned for the permanent solution to the Ghaggar problem. She said the Punjab Chief Minister and other ministers would visit the Ghaggar area next week in this regard.


People fear Ghaggar’s wrath sans siphons
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 28
The safety of thousands of residents of Ghanaur, Rajpura and Shambhu areas of the district and their belongings have been jeopardised due to the non-implementation of flood protection measures, approved by the Central Water Commission (CWC) and the Standing Committee, on the Ghaggar by the authorities concerned.

The Ghaggar, which crisscrosses the area, poses threat of floods to the area each year.

Information gathered by the TNS revealed that residents had been seeking divine intervention to save them from the fury of floods, which the Ghaggar and other rivulets of the area were expected to unleash, if the catchment area was lashed by heavy rains during the coming monsoon.

What has generated a wave of fear among residents of the area was the fact that two siphons, which were to be built under the Bhakra Main Line (BML) canal, near Majri Fakira and Lachhru Khurd villages, for avoiding floods had not been built so far.

Official sources said 90 per cent of the Rs 10 crore, which was to be spent on the two siphons, was to be given by the Haryana Government after technical approval for constructing these two siphons was given by the CWC and standing committee on Ghaggar about a year ago.

The work was to be executed by the Canal and Drainage Wing of the Punjab Irrigation Department in consultation with the BML management.

The Haryana Government had not released the money in spite of the fact that Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had written to his counterpart Bhupinder Singh Hooda for the same.

Officials in the Irrigation Department, on the condition of anonymity, said even if the Haryana Government released its share now, it would be too late as it would take at least six months to build the two siphons and by then the monsoon would have done its damage.

They said due to the absence of the siphons, a number of villages falling in Rajpura, Shambhu and Ghanaur areas, had suffered heavy losses in severe flooding caused by the Ghaggar in 2004. However, there were no floods last year.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma, who along with officials of the Drainage Department visited various flood-prone pockets of the district today, said he had directed officials concerned to strengthen spurs and bundhs, clear rivulets and the Ghaggar of weeds and carry out the digging of riverbed.


PSEB enforcement squads to check thefts
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 28
The PSEB’s enforcement wing has decided to lay special emphasis on surprise checks and mass raids to minimise distribution losses and to check the menace of power theft across the state.

According to a press release, the board chairman, Mr Y.S. Ratra, said the board had deployed 42 enforcement squads, including mobile metering testing squads (MMTS) which have been equipped with latest gadgets to detect hi-tech theft of power being made by certain consumers.

Mr Ratra added that efforts were also being made to check power theft by deploying the enforcements squads in the morning and late at night, during holidays. He said in April and May this year, 1100 connections of consumers were checked out of which 549 were detected to be stealing power and an amount of Rs 17.8 lakh was levied as penalty.


Punjab Arts Council team to be installed on June 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
For the first time in history, a team of the Punjab Arts Council will be installed at a special ceremony to be held in Chandigarh on June 1.

The installation ceremony will take place following the suggestion to this effect made by Minister for Cultural Affairs, Mr Partap Singh Bajwa. On the occasion, the office-bearers of the Arts Council, Presidents of all three Akademies and other members of the council will be ceremonially handed over their respective responsibilities.

A special honour on this occasion has been decided to be bestowed upon Surinder Kaur, who is unfortunately in coma at a hospital in the US. Her daughter Dolly Guleria is slated to take over as President of the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi this year.


Rajindra Club joins hands with NGO

Patiala, May 28
The century-old Rajindra Gymkhama Club has decided to join hands with the Helping Hands Society, a non government organisation, to provide education to poor and needy students.

The management of the club has decided to extend financial help to the society to provide education to the poor and also plant trees to counter air pollution.

In a press release, club secretary Vinod Dhundia, said the club had always been in the forefront to serve people affected by natural calamities. Mr Dhundia added that the club had donated Rs 1 lakh for the J&K quake victims and financial help had also been extended to tsunami victims. TNS


Boy drowns in Sutlej
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 28
A boy of Uccha Khera Mohalla, Surinder, was drowned in the Sutlej this evening, while he was swimming alongwith his friends.

Due to the fast current of water, he lost control and was swept away. The boys accompanying, Surinder informed his parents about the incident.

Local divers and the police continued search for the boy but could not trace his body. The police has sounded an alert in the villages situated along the river, said DSP, Ropar, Sarabjit Singh Pandher.


More support for striking docs
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 28
The All India Equality Forum has announced its support to the ongoing agitation of medical students against the proposed reservation policy of the government.

In a press release issued here today, Mr Baldev Chand, president of the forum, said Forum opposed the government’s move to increase the quotab of OBCs to 27 per cent.

He added that the forum would be holding a protest rally on May 29 from Railway station to the Deputy Commissioner’s office at the Mini Secretariat in support of the striking doctors. The forum members have also appealed to the citizens to oppose tooth and nail the government’s move on reservation.


Sangrur girl is ‘Miss Punjab Sundri’

Sangrur, May 28
Mandip Kaur, a local girl, was declared winner of the “Miss Punjab Sundri” contest held here today. Kiranpal Kaur of Badbar village (Sangrur) secured the second position, while Jayoti Rani (Sangrur) finished third in this competition. Mandip Kaur, also a local girl, got the consolation prize.

Navjot Samra, Miss Punjaban (North America), gave away the prizes to the winners.

In this contest, organised by the local Desh Bhagat Youth Club, as many as 12 girls took part. — TNS


Brahmin Sabha elections
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 28
The following have been elected office bearers of Shri Brahmin Sabha (regd) Sirhind.

Mr Varinder Rattan-president, Mr B.K.Bali-senior vice-president, Mr Rajinder Kaplish-vice-president, Mr Rao Varinder Joshi-General Secretary, Mr Sanjay Angrish-cashier and Mr Suresh Sharma-press secretary.


Summer camp for kids

Patiala, May 28
Commandos of the Punjab Police and the Punjab Armed Police (PAP) will jointly organise a summer camp for children between the age group of 10 and 18 years at Bahadurgarh Fort from June 5 to 17.

Both indoor and outdoor activities will be organised at the 12-day camp.

DSP Sunita Rani will impart training to young athletes, while NIS judo coaches will give tips to budding judokas. OC


Training programme

Patiala, May 28
A two-day technical programme on 'Proper monitoring of tap setting of power transformers' concluded at the Technical Training Institute (TTI) here today.

The programme was attended by 17 senior executive engineers (XENs) of grid maintenance of the distribution wing of the PSEB. TNS


Court tells institute to pay Rs 7 lakh to student
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, May 28
A local court has issued directions to the management of the local Dashmesh Institute of Research and Dental Sciences to pay Rs 7 lakh as damages to a student who was denied admission to BDS course, reportedly on account of trimmed beard.

The student, Yadwinder Singh, had alleged that the Principal of the institute refused to receive his fee as directed by the selection panel constituted by the varsity despite repeated pleas. He reportedly sought the intervention of the varsity authorities, which “didn’t respond to his request”.

On the other hand, the college had denied Yadwinder’s allegations and justified its refusal of admission to him terming him as “patit Sikh”.

Yadwinder pleaded that he had secured 535 marks and was duly selected through PMET-98 for BDS course in Punjab. Accusing the institute of discriminating on the basis of religion, he stated that he suffered a huge financial loss, as he was forced to take admission in another college against a paid seat by paying a hefty fee.

He claimed that he was a pandit Sikh who didn’t support beard and turban. It is learnt that directors of the dental college had passed a resolution in 1996 in which it was unanimously decided against allowing admissions to Sikh students who violate Sikh tenets by cutting or trimming hair.

The Additional Civil Judge admitted Yadwinder’s plea and observed that the college management was guilty of violation of constitutional mandate that prohibits discrimination against students on the basis of religion and caste. The court has held the management and Principal of the institute as violators and asked them to pay Rs 7 lakh as damages, along with 6 per cent interest to the suitor. 


Cash, jewellery stolen

Rajpura, May 28
A burglar broke into the house of a businessman, Mr Sushil Kumar, in Dalmia Nagar here last night and decamped with Rs 1.7 lakh in cash, $ 1,000 and 15 “tolas” of gold.

According to the police, the burglar scaled the rear boundary wall to enter the house when the family was asleep. He reportedly bolted the room in which the family was sleeping from outside. After entering the adjoining room, the burglar opened the almirah and decamped with cash and jewellery. Before the family could wake up, the burglar jumped over the boundary wall and escaped. A case has been registered. TNS


Private schools have a dig at government

Nawanshahr, May 28
The Private Schools Joint Action Committee, Punjab, organised a “Save education conference” at KC Palace here on Thursday. Teachers and representatives of school managements of private schools in the Doaba region participated in the conference.

Addressing the conference, Mr Ashwani Kumar Joshi, state convener, criticised the state government for its “callous attitude” against private schools, which had been striving hard to provide quality education, besides offering employment opportunities to unemployed youth. The proposed move of the government to close down private schools would create a chaos, he said. — OC

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