R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri

  • Green tribute to evergreen Tau

  • Faith & the Forces


Sidhu lashes out at Centre: The BJP MP, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, addressing media persons on Saturday said UPA government at the centre was pursuing anti-people policies and working as a stooge of the MNCs by implementing the policies which were against the farmers and the general public.

Pak national held: Mursleen, a resident of Kotagazi Khan in Pakistan, who went missing during the Indo-Pak cricket match in Mohali last year was arrested by customs officials on Saturday. The court sent him to four day police remand.

Immoral trafficking: The police on Saturday arrested Kamlesh from her residence in Mann Nagar area along with Kiran, a resident of East Mohan Nagar, Amritsar and Partap Singh, a resident of Dwaan village, under Sections 3,4 and 5 of the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act.

Two booked: Tarsem Singh, alias Sema, a resident of Guru Ki Wadali and Pardeep Singh, a resident of Hardoi, were arrested under Sections 379 , 34 of the IPC and the Arms Act on Saturday. A country made .315 bore pistol and three live cartridges were recovered from them.

Cane charge: Police resorted to mild cane charge and rounded up 15 protesting unemployed health workers when they turned violent during a traffic blockade by them near the bus stand on Saturday.

Police inaction flayed: The members of the Christian community on Friday condmned the police authorities for not taking action and registering a case against those responsible for defacing a notice about non-selling of the Mona Memorial Church complex and the AP Mission School in the Civil Lines.

Play on drug abuse: Punjabi University students staged a play “Mitti Rudan Kare”, written by Mr Baldev Singh Moga and directed by Dr Gurcharan Singh on a life ruined by drug abuse at Government College on Friday.

Lok Adalat: As many as 1,259 cases were disposed off by 6 benches constituted at a Lok Adalat on Saturday under the chairmanship of the District and Sessions Judge, Mr G. K. Rai.

Awareness centre: An eye donation awareness center by the Eye Donation Association was inaugurated by the president Municipal Council, Mr Ajay Mohan Babbi, on Saturday.

Invited: Dr Parshant Aggarwal, consultant rheumatologist and immunologist, SPS Apollo Hospital here, was invited as faculty for the National Rheumatology Update 2006 held in New Delhi on August 19 and 20. H e took part in panel discussion on the use and misuse of laboratory investigations in Rheumatology.

Seminar: Dr Surendra Gupta, secretary, NIMA Ludhiana district branch, said on Saturday the 11th free diabetes detection camp under informed that a seminar will be held on September 9 on cardiology. A team of doctors from Hero-DMC Heart Institute will be present.

Brahmin sabha: Members of the Akhil Bhartiya Young Brahmin Mahasabha on Sunday resolved to fight for issues facing the community. Addressing a meeting, the president of the mahasabha, Mr Ganpati Lal, said the Brahmin community was faced with new challenges. He emphasised the need for community reform and asserted that education must remain the top priority.

Office-bearers: Following have been elected office-bearers of the district unit of Democratic Teachers Front: president—Mr Tasveer Singh; general secretary—Mr Mangal Singh and treasurer— Mr Balbir Singh Sandhu.



Zonal convener: Dr Puran Mal Gaur, Principal of the local DAV (PG) College, has been elected zonal convener of the NSS.

35 promoted: The National Institute of Technology (NIT) here promoted 35 of its non-teaching employees. The NIT Director, Dr M.N. Bandyopadhyay, said that after these promotions, NIT would have now 3 more deputy superintendents, 2 more assistants, 4 more technician grade ‘A’ and 3 more technician grade ‘B’ while eight peons/beldars had also been promoted as laboratory attendants.

Protest march
: Members associated with different local gurdwara prabandhak committees and activists of Shiromani Akali Dal held a protest march on Saturday against the alleged chopping of hair of a Sikh youth in Jaipur recently.

Art museum: Guru Gobind Singh Marshal Art Museum, adjacent to the historic Kapal Mochan gurdwara in Bilaspur block, here will be thrown open to the public ahead of the annual state-level Kapal Mochan to be held in the first week of November. This was stated by Deputy Commissioner J.P. Kaushik here on Saturday.

Five injured: Five labourers Sambhu, Ram Nath, Lal Babu, Munna Lal and Hukam Passwan, all hailing from Bihar, were injured when they came in contact with an overhead power cable in Chopra Garden here on Saturday.


Boars destroy crops
: Boars in Subathu, Dharampur, Parwanoo and Nalagarh areas are destroying standing maize crop. The farmers here are facing difficulty in getting permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden to kill these animals to save their crops.

Girl slips from hill, killed: Gurmita Devi , daughter of Nesu Ram of Manham village, died after slipping from a hill while cutting grass on Thursday evening. The teenager was studying in eighth standard.

Property sealed: The police on Saturday sealed the property of Vijay Singh, a resident of Sarkaghat, who was arrested under the NDPS Act on June 17 after the police recovered 4. 5 kg of opium from his possession. The property worth Rs 12 lakh includes his vehicle and bank accounts.

CPM rally on August 31
: MP and CPM polit bureau member Ms Brinda Karat, will address a public meeting here on August 31, to highlight issues like price rise and reservation for women as part of the August Campaign launched by the CPM.



Regional potpourri

Green tribute to evergreen Tau

An unofficial memorial to former Haryana Chief Minister Devi Lal at Meham in Rohtak district
An unofficial memorial to former Haryana Chief Minister Devi Lal at Meham in Rohtak district.

Years after his death, former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal still has ardent admirers who can go to any length to perpetuate his memory.

Bijendra Singh of Meham in Rohtak district is one such admirer. Stung by the Hooda Government’s decision to remove the words ‘Tau Devi Lal’ from the name of the Panipat Thermal Power Plant last year, he has named the front garden of his modest house as Tau Devi Lal Thermal Power Garden.

The ‘power garden’ is a 100-square feet plot on the roadside where he has grown a grapevine that provides shade to visitors. Other perennial plants lend greenery on all four sides. He has placed two wooden cots and a number of chairs in the garden for visitors to rest and relax. A large framed photograph of Devi Lal hangs from a bamboo pole that supports the grapevine.

Every morning, Bijendra Singh, alias Nanha Goyat, religiously garlands the portrait. He says he never had the good fortune of personally meeting Devi Lal even though the latter represented the Meham assembly segment when he was the Chief Minister from 1987 onwards.

However, Devi Lal’s grandson and Rajya Sabha member Ajay Singh Chautala recently noticed the garden while passing through Meham and briefly halted there. The occasion was duly photographed for posterity and a picture of Chautala with Bijendra Singh now also hangs from a bamboo pole. Hukkah is available round the clock for anyone who cares to come to the ‘garden’. Fresh drinking water and tea are served on demand. Indian National Lok Dal flags flutter all around. A hoarding at the entrance reads: Bijli-paani le gayi Italy ki Rani – an obvious reference to Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Faith & the Forces

Krishan Kant (seated second from right) with the chaplaincy team at Robert Hall, UK.
Krishan Kant (seated second from right) with the chaplaincy team at Robert Hall, UK.

A Kasauli-born Hindu priest based in the UK, Krishan Kant Attri, popularly known as ‘panditji’, has been selected as the first Hindu Chaplain for the British Armed Forces. The British Ministry of Defence had appointed four non-Christian Chaplains — a Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and Buddhist each. Attri is the only one of these four to be based at Catterick Garrison on a whole-time basis.

These priests were taken into the British military as Chaplains (rank equivalent to lieutenant colonel) to create a desire among the people of their respective faiths to join the Armed Forces.

Attri was accorded a warm welcome when he visited his in-laws’ place in Sultanpur (Kulu) recently. Commenting on his new role, he said the aim was to acquaint the British soldiers and their families with spiritual, moral and pastoral issues.

“Religion is meant to unite and not divide. Whatever faith you believe in, the aim should be to work together. Hinduism is a way of life and unity in diversity is its basic tenet,” he feels.

He said he first heard about this job from a friend and was selected after a series of interviews. “I will be representing the Royal Army, Navy and Air Force. There are around 230 Hindus (Indians), besides many Gurkha Hindus from Nepal in the British Armed Forces.”

Born in 1963 in the remote Garhkhal village of Kasauli in Solan district, he graduated from Panjab University with a Master’s (Acharya) degree and went to the UK in 1986 to join as a priest in a temple at Newcastle.

He participated in the London Marathon held in aid of disabled children. He is also planning to run in the New York Marathon next year being organised to raise funds for Indian widows.

The other Chaplains’ selected with him are Mandeep Kaur (Sikh); Sunil Kariyakarawana (Buddhist) and Asim Hafij (Muslim).

Spirited act

Men of Rasulpur village in Yamunanagar reading a resolution of the panchayat regarding fines being imposed on the unauthorised sale and consumption of liquor
Men of Rasulpur village in Yamunanagar reading a resolution of the panchayat regarding fines being imposed on the unauthorised sale and consumption of liquor. — Photo by Rajesh Syal

The panchayat of Rasulpur village in Sadhora block of Yamunanagar district, headed by a woman sarpanch, has come up with an interesting way to curtail the consumption of illicit liquor.

Recently, it passed a resolution under which offenders will be fined up to Rs 2,000 for every bottle of illicit liquor sold. Copies of the resolution can be seen pasted all over the village.

And the idea seems to have worked. “Ever since we passed the resolution, no unauthorised sale or consumption has come to our notice,” claims sarpanch Kanchan Sharma. “We are not going to let anyone spoil the atmosphere of the village,” she adds. The other panches who were a party to this decision included Baby, Sonia, Kamlesh Rani, Amarjeet Singh, Ishar, Jagat Singh, Hukam Chand, Dharmvir and Jitinder.

The panchayat was forced to take this step after all other efforts to check the consumption and sale of unauthorised liquor in the village had failed. Now, any shopkeeper found selling liquor in an unauthorised manner would have to pay Rs 2,000 for every bottle recovered from his shop. Similarly, any shopkeeper or rehriwala serving a glass of illicit liquor would be fined Rs 1,000 per glass .

The sarpanch says that there are several government-approved liquor shops around the village, but these shopkeepers supply liquor bottles to illegal kiosks and rehris in order to push their sales further.

Due to this, in the evenings, these rehris turn into hangouts for drunkards, disrupting the peace of the village, say the village women.

It was to put an end to this nuisance that the enterprising panches came up with this plan.

A few months ago, the women of this village had successfully joined hands to stop satta gambling in the village when it was found that even women and children too were indulging in it.

Today, no one indulges in this vice, at least in the village area, the sarpanch claims.

That the women of this village play a major role in its affairs can also be judged from the fact that they have formed three self-help groups to run the shops in the area.

Contributed by Raman Mohan, Subhash Sharma and Nishikant Dwivedi


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