P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Sikh bodies against appointment of three high priests
To boycott installation ceremony 
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 3
Various Sikh organisations, including both factions of the Damdami Taksal and a section of the Sant Samaj are up in arms against the appointment of three granthis (high priests) of Darbar Sahib even as the SGPC has decided to go ahead with their proposed installation at Akal Takht on September 12 .

Describing the installation as 'un-democratic' and in 'violation' of the Sikh traditions, Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa, head Damdami Taksal, said he would not only boycott the installation ceremony but oppose the move by all means. He said neither the Nihang factions nor other Sikh organisations were taken into confidence before the appointment of the three Sikh priests .

The decision to oppose the installation ceremony was taken at a meeting , held at the head quarters of Baba Daya Singh Sur Singh Wale in which chiefs of the Damdami Taksal and other Sikh /Nihang organisations participated. He said an another meeting would be held within a couple of days where the next course of action to stop the proposed installation ceremony at Akal Takht would be decided .

Earlier too, the SGPC had to postpone the installation ceremony which was fixed for August 8 in the wake of the opposition by the Sikh organisations.

The names of the new three Sikh high priests who are proposed to be installed are: Giani Maan Singh , Head Granthi Takht Damdamda Sahib , Giani Jaspal Singh of Ludhiana and Giani Gurbax Singh Gulshan. The Damdami Taksal chief alleged that except Giani Maan Singh , the other two priests had never served in any SGPC- run gurdwara .

Baba Ram Singh, head of the breakaway group of the Damdami Taksal alleged that the Shiromani Committee had indulged in gross violation of appointing the granthis for Darbar Sahib without following any procedure .He said that the Sikh organisations won't tolerate such appointments/installations.

Sikh scholar G.S.Lamba Advocate urged Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti , Jathedar Akal Takht to exert his authority and stall the move of installing granthis in violation of the Sikh traditions. He said Giani Gulshan had challenged the authenticity of 'Rehras Sahib' in a book authoured by him.

He called upon the Sikh masses to oppose the move of the SGPC unitedly.

The three newly appointed Sikh high priests are considered to be close to the SGPC chief , Mr Avtar Singh. It is learnt that Jathedar Vedanti is also not in favour of the appointment of these granthis without following a proper procedure.


Amritsar airport to be beautified
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 3
Teg Resorts, a local hospitality firm will beautify the area inside and outside of terminal building of Rajasansi International Airport free of cost. The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has allowed the company to go ahead with the project.

The AAI acknowledging the services of the company has allowed it to maintain the project for the next 10 years on an annual token license fee of Re 1.

Teg Resorts, managing a mega hospitality project sanctioned by the empowered committee of the Chief Minister on outskirts of the city on GT Road, has taken upon itself the task of completing the project without charging even a penny.

Mr Ram Singh, Managing Director of the resorts, said the project worth Rs 10 lakh was a gift to the holy city. He said the project would be finished by the end of the year. The concern is running a resort on 10 acres which includes replicas of a British Pub, a French country club, a five hole golf course, and a spa centre with a 70-room hotel. Teg Resorts is a listed member of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

He elaborated that the interiors of the terminal building has columns, which were suitable for landscape photographs. Dwarf palms and date trees in sand stone to create an ambience of ancient culture would be placed there. He felt it would help NRIs arriving by different flights to have a feel of Indian flavour.

He said as many as 16 varieties of flowers had been selected, including golden bottle brushes, ficus regular, kapoor, chameli white and others.

The idea to entrust the job to Teg Resorts came to Mr J.S. Sandhu, Director, AAI, Rajasansi International Airport, who spoke to Mr Ram Singh.


EC appoints four special observers
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, September 3
In order to ensure micro scrutiny of votes for the coming Vidhan Sabha elections in Punjab, the Election Commission of India has appointed four special observers for each division in the state who will make sure that no bogus votes are made and no genuine voter is left out of the electoral rolls.

Mrs Sangeeta Gairola, Chief Electoral Officer, Rajasthan, has been appointed special observer for Ferozepore Division, whereas Mrs Anuradha Gupta, Principal Secretary, Haryana, has been appointed for Jalandhar Division, Mr P.C. Kapoor, Principal Secretary, Himachal Pradesh, for Faridkot Division and Mrs Manisha Nanda, Chief Electoral Officer, HP, would be special observer for Patiala Division.

Mrs Gairola, who presided over a meeting of the Deputy Commissioners of Ferozepore Division here today, said that in the coming Assembly elections voters’ identity cards would be mandatory in order to exercise the votes. She said that those voters who had not been issued identity cards till now, would be issued the same on the spot on September 20.

The meeting was attended by Mr Dilip Kumar, DC, Muktsar, Mr V.K. Meena, DC, Moga, and Dr Arvinder Singh, DC, Ferozepore, and Mr Amar Nath, Deputy Chief Election Officer, Punjab.


Allegations of land grab against Delhi-based company
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 3
Residents of Naushehra House Street on the posh Albert Road have alleged that a Delhi based company, in connivance with civic and police officials, was trying to turn the street from a thoroughfare into a private place.

Mr Ashok Sharma, a resident of house no 204/12 of the street, alleged that a brick wall had come up in front of his gate in a short span of time.

The Naushehra House Street is a common lane towards which gates of houses open, and is used by all residents of the locality. Mr Manohar Lal, father of Mr Ashok, said the sale deed of his house, executed in 1975, and sale deeds of other houses of the locality had shown it as common street. He claimed that it has been in existence for the past 70 years.

The street is 20 feet wide and 200 feet long. The Municipal Corporation has also provided street-lights, bearing numbers LR 2095 to 2100. It also has sewerage and premix road and LT lines marked by the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB). He said this was evidence enough to prove that the street was not a private property and all attempts to acquire it were illegal.

He claimed that the street found mention in the Improvement Trust’s development scheme of 1965, which was later handed over to the Municipal Corporation. He furnished a Deputy Commissioner’s letter addressed to Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, on March 3, which asked for opening the common street which had been encroached by land mafia.

They stated that the problem arose when an influential person sold off his property located in their street. However, in order to find front portion on the main road, they were trying to get the possession of the street.


Rs 60 lakh grant handed over to panchayat
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 3
Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab, has sent a cheque of Rs 60 lakh for various development works at Bhattmajra village. He had promised to give the grant during his visit to the village along with Prince Charles few months ago.

Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, on behalf of the Chief Minister today handed over the cheque of 60 lakh to the village panchyat during a function. Similarly, the Chief Minister along with Prince Charles had visited Samsher Nagar village and had promised a park and construction of road as demanded by villagers. Dr Harbans Lal also handed over a cheque of Rs11 lakh to the village panchyat. Both cheques were sent by the Chief Minister from his discretionary funds.

Addressing the function, he appreciated the Chief Minister and said the Chief Minister had always kept his promise. He recounted various achievements of the Congress government.

Mr Sadhu Ram Bhattmajra, president BCC, Mr Soni, sarpanch of the village, Jai Gopal also addressed the villagers.


Funds needed for maintenance of water headworks
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Ropar, September 3
Even though the Sutlej passing through the district continues to witness heavy flow, one of the oldest water headworks here in a state of utter neglect. Many gates, including flood gates that help to release extra water, are non-functional. It also lacks proper lights to enable employees to open gates during nights, if required.

The rise in the river level is due to rain in the upper areas of Himachal.

For drinking and irrigation purposes the waters are diverted from the headworks to the Sirhind canal, and the Bist Doab canal while the extra waters go downstream to Harikepattan.

There are 48 channels to release the waters, including 32 weir gates which operate electrically, 12 flood gates and four sluices. But the problem is that the power supply is not round the clock. If in a crisis, power is not available, it would prove disastrous. Also, the flood gates are operated manually and it would take about half hour to open a single gate.

The absence of proper lighting is also a problem. There are only lights at six points when at least 18 points are required, reveal officials.

Senior officials claim helpless in the absence of allocation of proper budget for the maintenance of the headworks.

The district administration had sent a proposal for funds but so far no fund has been released, a senior administrative official said.


Neuro surgeons discuss new techniques
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 3
Expert doctors of neuro surgery from the NINS Brain and Spine Hospital, Chandigarh, in collaboration with district unit of the National Integrated Medical Association and Mahesh Hospital, Sirhind, today organised a continued medical education programme at Aam Khas Bagh, Sirhind.

Dr Annupan Jindal, former professor AIIMS, Dr Sanjay Bansal and Dr Deepak Tayagi, M.Ch, neuro surgeons, PGI, gave detailed account of various manifestations of brain tumors. Dr Deepak Tayagi narrated in detail about the latest techniques to treat brain tumors. He also spoke about the initial management of such tumors.

He showed ideography and spoke of neuro surgical procedures that could be done safely today. he further said brain tumor could be treated if it was detected on time.

Dr Anupam Jindal gave detailed account of endoscopy procedure being performed in neuro surgery. He showed video of endoscopy disectomy. He said endoscopy disectomy was a procedure for lurubar disc prolapse. He said through this procedure the patient would stay in the hospital just for a day.

Patients could resume daily activities as early as possible. Dr Jindal said pituitary adenoma colloidal cyst and other interaverticular tumors could be operated through a small key hole. This reduced further risk of complications.

Dr Mahesh of Mahesh Hospital and Dr Puri thanked the visiting neuro surgeons for giving vital knowledge. 


Two killed, four injured in roof collapse
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 3
Two women were killed and four persons injured when the roof of a house collapsed at Khai village, near Lehragaga, about 40 km from here this morning.
The deceased women were Mukhtiar Kaur (60) and Raj Kaur (26), while the three injured are Surjit Singh, Karamjit Kaur and Amritpal Kaur. A child also sustained injuries in the roof collapse. The injured were admitted to a hospital in Sunam.

Meanwhile, on behalf of the district administration, Mr S.R. Ladhar, Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, announced a financial assistance of Rs 50,000 each for the family members of both deceased.

Mr Ladhar further announced that the administration would bear the treatment expenses of the injured persons.


Ajay Gupta president of Rotary Club
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 3
Dr Ajay Gupta was installed as the president of Rotary Club (Patiala greater) for 2006-07 at a ceremony held here today. Mr S.S Boparai, Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, was the chief guest while Mr. K.K.Sharma, Chairman, Improvement Trust, was the guest of honour.

The District Governor R.I. (Distt 3090), Dr B.M.Dhir, administered the oath of office to the new team while. Former district governors Dr S.B.L.Mittal and Dr Harbans Pathak, along with many senior Rotarians and prominent citizens of the city attended the function.

Mr Boparai appealed to the public to donate for social project of the club. H.N.Mehsampuri of this club, responding to the appeal, gave a cheque for Rs 11000/.


Valecha is president of Janshakti party

Chandigarh, September 3
The Bharatiya Janshakti Party, launched by rebel BJP leader, Ms Uma Bharti, today named its officers-bearers for Punjab. Mr Vishwanath, national general secretary of the party, said the following were the officer-bearers: president — Mr Pawan Valecha; vice presidents — Mr Satpal Gupta, Mr Ajay Chatrath, Mr Vijay Sharma and Mr Pawan Sharma; general secretaries — Mr Satinder Singh and Mr Jagdeep Kantor; secretary — Sukhraj Dhanewala and cashier — Mr Anial Jyani.
Mr Ashutosh Vinayak would be the state in charge of the membership drive, he added. TNS


Guru Ram Dev to hold yoga camp

Amritsar, September 3
Swami Ram Dev has agreed to hold a week-long camp here in November. Mr Jugal Kishore Sharma, MLA and Chairman, Improvement Trust, said today that the first-ever yoga camp in the holy city would be held from November 16 to 21. OC


Charges framed against 3 in education trust dispute
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 3
The 13-year-old case pertaining to the dispute over the ownership of the Ludhiana-based Guru Nanak Education Trust moved further with the framing of charges against three of the accused in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jalandhar.

Serving charges against Gurbir Singh, son of former Punjab Chief Minister Gurnam Singh, Jagdev Singh, a resident of Model Town Extension, and Baldev Singh, a Patiala-based resident and member of the Trust, CJM Ravinder Singh said all accused agreed to forge letter of proxy on February 4, 1993, and resignation letter dated April 11, 1993, of Jaswinder Singh Grewal, since deceased, which was an illegal act and in pursuance of criminal conspiracy. He said it was a punishable offence under Section 120-B of the IPC.

The CJM added that since it was done with the intention to cause harm to the Guru Nanak Education Trust, Model Town, Ludhiana, all were also accused of committing an offence punishable under section 465 of the IPC.

He further said that all accused fraudulently used the letter of proxy and resignation letter as genuine letters knowingly. Thus, the magistrate also charged them under Sections 465 and 471 of the IPC and directed them to be tried by the court. An FIR against the accused was lodged on November 4, 1993, under Sections 420, 465, 471 and 120-B of the IPC at police station division no 5, Ludhiana.


Reporter booked on kidnap charge
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 3
A criminal case was registered against a local press photographer-cum-reporter on charges of kidnapping boy.
Mr Subash Patialvi, who works for a TV Channel as a photographer, was booked under Section 365 of the IPC for allegedly kidnapping Neeraj Verma.

Residents of Darshan gate area, the locality where Neeraj Verma lives, today staged a dharna in front of the Kotwali police station after which the police registered an FIR.

According to contents of the FIR lodged at the Kotwali police station here today. Mr Subash Patialvi, in connivance with two local policemen, one of them being Punjab Police Constable Gopala, had threatened Neeraj Verma. According to police sources the boy’s clothes and some other belongings were found from near the Bhakra canal on the Patiala-Samana road.


Foetus found near crematorium
Tribune News Service

Moga, September 3
The police recovered a foetus near crematorium at Darapur village falling under Sadar police station yesterday. It could not be ascertained whether the foetus was that of a female or a male.

According to the information, the chowkidar of the village noticed the foetus near a wall of the crematorium. He informed the police which sent it to the Civil Hospital for a post-mortem examination.

The police said the matter was being investigated and it was suspected that the foetus belonged to some woman or girl of the same or an adjoining village. A DNA test of the foetus would also be conducted.

Meanwhile, an FIR under Section 315 of the IPC was registered.


Sahara scholarship for NCC cadets
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 3
Four NCC cadets of Baba Zorawar Singh Baba Fateh Singh Senior Secondary School here have won the Sahara scholarship of Rs 6,000 each for their outstanding performance in NCC activities as well as in studies.

A function was organised by the school yesterday to honour these four NCC cadets, who are also students of the school.

Lt-Colonel N.S. Sidhu, CO,5th Pb. BN NCC, was the chief guest, where as Mr Kirpal Singh Libra, school trust president, presided over the function.

In his address, Lt-Colonel Sidhu congratulated students for their outstanding performance and he also appreciated the efforts of the school management and Principal in developing national spirit among the students.

He said it was not possible in the era of tough competition to achieve this prestigious scholarship and a lot of hard work and dedication was required.

He said students of the school had turned the impossible into possible which would be an example for the upcoming youngsters.

Lt-Colonel Sidhu said it was more praiseworthy that without neglecting their studies, the NCC cadets got this scholarship.

Mr R.S.Bajwa, Principal of the school, introduced cadet Amrit Kahlon, cadet Jaspreet Kaur Sidhu, Cadet Inderpreet Kaur and Cadet Jagjit Singh all of Class XI to the audience and they were awarded scholarships and certificates.

The Principal said the NCC was introduced in the school only two years back and the achievements of the cadets within such a short span was highly commendable.

Mr Kirpal Singh Libra blessed the students and assured all sort of support from the Managment to the up coming and brilliant students.

He urged the students to respect their teachers and elders for success in life.

On the occasion, tree-plantation function was also organised in which all guests and staff planted trees in the school premises.


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