P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Rai Sikhs lay it out
Leaders’ demand: Give us three tickets
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The ruling Congress is up against odds as distribution of the party ticket for the coming Assembly elections may move some traditionally loyal groups away from it. Rai Sikhs, for example, are one.

“We have always been Congress. But now it is forcing us to shift loyalties,” says Mr Resham Singh, a prominent leader of Rai Sikhs.

The State Election Committee at its last meeting faced dissent over allowing sitting MLAs to contest again. The final decision on the issue, as expected, would be left to the party president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

“Only three of our representatives have applied for the Congress ticket. But indications are that none will get it. In case this happens, our community en masse will support the Akalis and work for the defeat of Congress candidates in 27 Assembly constituencies,”Mr Resham Singh said.

Talking to The Tribune over the phone, the Rai Sikh community leaders claimed that they had nine lakh voters in Punjab. "While in 25 Assembly segments, we are in majority, in the remaining two we have a decisive vote bank.

“We are keen on the Gur Harsahai seat where we have about 70,000 to 75,000 Rai Sikh voters. In the neighbouring Jalalabad, we have about 80,000 Rai Sikh voters. But indications are that the party high command is averse to giving any of our candidates the ticket,” said Mr Harbans Singh, another leader of the community.

Guru Harsahai is represented by Chief Parliamentary Secretary Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi and Jalalabad by Mr Hans Raj Josan. The third seat, Balluana, is with Mr Parkash Singh Bhatti.

Rai Sikh leaders have been camping in the Union Capital for the past several days. They claim to have met Mr Janardhan Dwivedi, general secretary of the All-India Congress Committee, besides all members of the Punjab Election Committee.

“We have met Mr Dwivedi, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo and Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar. We will be meeting Mr Dwivedi again,” said Mr Harbans Singh.

The community leaders are not happy with the response they have got from the party top brass. The community, they say, is supporting the candidature of Mr Resham Singh (chairman), Mr Harbans Singh (vice-chairman) and Mr Sajjwar Singh (former minister) for the party ticket from Ferozepore.

The Punjab Election Committee, according to sources, feels that all sitting MLAs be given the ticket. This has caused resentment among many aspirants and senior leaders of the party.

“Some of us are in touch with the Akalis. In case the Congress has no place for us, we will join the Akalis,” warned the leaders.


Plea for closure of industries rejected
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 9
In a major relief to industrialists who have set their units in the extended town of Mandi Gobindgarh prior to the new master plan 2000 announced by the Punjab Government, the Supreme Court has rejected a petition for their closure.

Giving finality to the 12-year-old dispute, a Bench of Mr Justice Arijit Pasayat and Mr Justice S.H. Kapadia said when the writ petition was first filed in 1994 before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the old master plan was in force and it still continues to be in operation.

The apex court dismissed an appeal by petitioner Bhag Singh and some other residents against the high court order, rejecting their public interest petition for closure of the industries which allegedly had come up outside the new master plan for development of the city.

“Since the plan which forms the foundation of the appellants’ challenge has not yet been notified, the effect thereof cannot be considered at this juncture,” the court said. It said the Punjab Government after announcing the new plan had not notified it and it was pending with suggestions being sought from the public.

The petitioners had alleged that the industries had been set up in residential areas and they deserved to be closed forthwith as they were creating pollution, making lives of residents miserable. The industrialists on the other hand had taken the stand that the factories in question were set up in Sector 16, which in terms of the old plan had been declared industrial area.


It will be free and fair

We will watch closely everybody’s performance. All Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police have been told to act totally in an apolitical, neutral and fair manner.” says the Chief Election Commissioner, Mr N. Gopalaswami.

“We will ensure free and fair poll and all necessary steps are being taken. All vacancies of Returning Officers (ROs) and Assistant Returning Officers (AROs) are being filled.”

“All District Election Officers and Deputy Commissioners have been told to remove billboards and hoardings. They have been also told to publicise telephone and fax numbers of ROs and AROs so that voters can register their complaints, if any. They have been told to implement the Model Code of Conduct efficiently and neutrally. Action against relevant provisions of the Indian penal Code and the Code of Civil procedure will be taken for any violation of the code.

“Some parties have expressed their apprehensions about the conduct of the DGP. We do not act on apprehensions. We will watch and then decide. For the time-being, he is not being changed. He stays till we decide otherwise.”

“Sensitivity analysis of polling stations will be done before we list sensitive and hypersensitive polling stations.”

“There will be sufficient police force available. Fifty per cent of the additional force will arrive in Punjab by January 30 and the remaining half by February 7. We cannot disclose the exact strength of additional force being sent to Punjab.”

“There will be no bulk supply of postal ballots. Employees on election duty will be supplied postal ballots individually and they have to send back these ballot papers individually.”

“Policemen on election duty will be paid travelling allowance on a par with other employees on election duty. The Chief Secretary has agreed to provide Rs 17 crore for giving policemen TA/DA.”

“Each constituency will have one observer. Voters are free to write to us about their complaints or grievances. We will support any public forum which highlights grievances or complaints of voters. As of now, there is no provision or forum where we can reach people or voters to know their grievances. We are putting all electoral rolls on our website.

— Prabhjot Singh


Migrants, workers throng SAD-BJP traders’ conference
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
In case the SAD-BJP alliance is counting on the support of traders in Assembly elections, the turnout at the state-level the Vyapar and Udyog conference organised here today was not heartening.

Comprising mostly of Akali workers brought from all over the state, traders were absent at the new grain market venue at Salem Tabri. A majority of the audience comprised migrants and workers from the industrial hub of the state.

As senior leaders were heard attributing the low turnout to today being a working day to reporters, an announcement that thousands of workers from various parts of the city were part of the audience, exposed the claims.

Addressing the gathering, SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal said if voted to power they would implement a ‘own policy, own implementation’ scheme for the benefit of the traders and greater prosperity of Punjab. Under the scheme, the traders could suggest changes in various laws which would be incorporated by the government. The views of their representatives would be taken when for any planning concerning traders, he pointed out.

He also announced that the VAT procedure would be simplified and submission of the C Form be made a yearly exercise. Other laws which were shackling free trade would be removed by them. Inspector raj would be a thing of the past, he promised.

Lambasting the Congress for the poor economic health of the state, he said faulty policies pursued by the government had seen flight of industry from the state and rendered many businesses unviable. We would implement such policies which would see the state surging to the top of the economic development chart, he asserted.

Coming down heavily on the civil servants of the state, Mr Badal said they had become a law unto themselves. The voice of the people had been muffled for the past five years and the time had come to usher an era of change and prosperity. He said the babus and policemen who had ridden roughshod on the aspirations of the people would be brought to book.

Unfolding part of the road map for the future, he said three trade development boards - the small scale, the middle scale and big industries - would be set up. Each board would comprise 11 members who will be leading lights of their trades and their recommendations would be binding on the government. The chairpersons of these boards would enjoy the rank of a Cabinet minister and the bureaucrats would be accountable to them, he added.

Mr Badal also said infrastructure would be developed on the pattern of Singapore and Dubai.

Earlier, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said the decision of the government to allow MNCs in the country had sounded death knell of the small traders. While the Congress is extolling the virtues of vast foreign investment, we should not forget that such companies were facing the wrath of the people in several countries across the globe.

He also appealed to the people to show the door to the Congress so that there could be a new “prakash” in the state.

Others present on the dais included state BJP chief Avinash Rai Khanna, SAD secretary general S.S. Dhindsa, SAD general secretaries Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Mr B.S. Bhunder, Sukhbir Badal, former MP Navjot Singh Sidhu and others.


Udoke appears before Akal Takht
Moral turpitude charge by NRI Sikh girl
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 9
Dr Sukhpreet Singh Udoke, a Sikh scholar and a former member of five-member committee, constituted by Akal Takht on RSS, yesterday appeared before the five-Sikh high priests at Akal Takht, here to clarify his position with regard to the allegations of ‘moral turpitude’, levelled against him by a Canada-based Sikh girl.

Earlier, Dr Udoke had refused to respond to any summons, issued by Akal Takht, on the pretext that he would not appear before the ‘tainted Jathedars’. However, Dr Udoke, while denying all allegations, agreed to accept any ‘tankhah’ to be pronounced by the Sikh clergy.

It is learnt that hot discussions took place between Dr Udoke and the Sikh high priests before the former bowed to the pressure.

However, he refused to withdraw the statement issued to a daily Punjabi paper, published from Mohali.

Dr Udoke had levelled serious charges against Jathedar Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, in the Punjabi daily.

Meanwhile, the Sikh high priests refuted the allegations levelled by former Jathedar Akal Takht, Prof Darshan Singh, that Dasam Granth was placed along with Guru Granth Sahib at Dyalpura Bhaika village on November 13 last year to mark the tercentenary of ‘Zaffarnama’.

The Sikh high priests asked the Sikh sangat to “beware of the baseless statements issued by Prof Darshan Singh in this regard”.

Meanwhile, the five Sikh high priests pronounced ‘tankhah’ on Mr Rajinder Singh Kaithal (Haryana) for alleged sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib. He was asked to organise akhand path at Gurdwara Neem Sahib, Kaithal, besides doing seva at the gurdwara for three days.


BiPaSa tops wish list of industry
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

S.P. Oswal
S.P. Oswal

Rajinder Gupta
Rajinder Gupta

Raj Awasthi
Raj Awasthi

Gautam Kapoor
Gautam Kapoor

Chandigarh, January 9
BiPaSa (bijli, pani, sadak) and a roadmap for reviving the staggering economic growth of Punjab tops the wish-list of the Punjab industry. Irrespective of which party comes to power, PunjabInc. has its charter of demands ready.

Punjab industrialists hope that whosoever comes to power will make concerted effort to improve infrastructure, especially power generation, and ,thus, partner the industry in economic success.

They also want the new Punjab Government to have a clear vision on aiding industry so that they expand facilities within the state and not shift to tax-free states.

Mr S P Oswal, Chairman of the Vardhman Group of Companies, said the industrial growth in Punjab was lagging far behind (at four per cent) as compared to the national growth (10 per cent).

“The new government should undertake brainstorming on reasons for the poor show of industry in the state and chart a roadmap for stepping up economic growth. With better infrastructure and more sops for the industry, other states are gaining and attracting investment. In this competitive environment, post-liberalisation, Punjab will have to chalk- out a clear policy for increasing its industrial growth," he said.

His views were supported by Mr Rajinder Gupta, Chairman of the Trident Group of Companies. “The new government should work towards creating a better infrastructure, especially, power, as Punjab is a power-deficit state. Since inadequate power supply is a big consideration for future investment, the government will have to enhance its power generation capacity. Human resources, too, will have to be developed further as well as an environment conducive for accelerating growth. Above all, a fair and firm government should come to power in the state,” he said.

Mr Raj Awasthi, Chairman and Managing Director of Sportking India, too, said roads, bridges, power and other infrastructure, like an international airport in Ludhiana district, would help revive the staggering industrial growth. “Many industries in the state are not setting up ancillary units here, but in other states which offer better infrastructure,” he added.

Mr Gautam Kapoor, Managing Director of Hotel Raddison, Jalandhar, was of the opinion that industrial growth should not take a political shape. “Even the tax structure needs to be brought down. Small industry in Punjab has been slowly disappearing, the new government will have to offer a wholesome package for this industry,” he said.

The industry also wants the new government to create a land bank for future industrial growth. Mr Rishi Aggarwal, Joint Managing Director of JCBL, Lalru, said that land was scarce and the land cost had been escalating, making it difficult for the industry to invest here.


Punjab VOTES ’07

Cong poll observer has ticket aspirants in a tizzy
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur January 9
The sudden arrival of the Congress Election Observer here today had the party ticket aspirants in a tizzy. The Election Observer, Mr Santosh Pargadia, who is a Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan, arrived here even as many ticket aspirants complained that they were not informed about his visit.

The Observer went directly to the venue where candidates supported by Mr Ashwani Kumar had gathered.

The Chairperson of Punjab Technical Education Board, Ms Sushil Mahajan, and her supporters were at Verma resort just next to the venue where her rival was stationed with his supporters. However, when she came to know that the Observer might not visit Verma resort then she went to the venue where the candidates supported by Mr Ashwani Kumar had gathered. When Ms Sushil Mahajan tried to meet the Observer, she was pushed by supporters of other candidates. A family member, who was accompanying her, was allegedly slapped and pushed away when he tried move towards the Observer. It was with great difficulty that she managed to meet the Observer.

Supporters of late MP Sukhbans Kaur had to actually take the Observer to another venue to prove their strength. They contacted the state president of the party, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, to persuade the Observer to visit the venue where they had collected their supporters. They maintained that if they went to other group's venue then it might lead to a clash between workers of both the groups.

Candidates aspiring for Congress tickets from the district had gathered their supporters at different places in Gurdaspur city today to “impress” the party Observer.

The group supported by Mr Ashwani Kumar, including Mr Khushal Behl, MLA, Gurdaspur, Mr Ashok Sharma, MLA Pathankot, Mr Ashwani Sekri, MLA, Batala, and Mr Rajbir Chaudhary, Chairman Improvement Trust, Pathankot, who is looking for party ticket from Sujanpur, gathered at Chandan Palace. Here the supporters demanded ticket for Mr Raman Behl, son of Mr Khushal Behl, who is also the president of Gurdaspur Municipal Council.

The group of the late Gurdaspur MP Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder, including supporters of the Minister for Transport, Mr Raghunath Sahay Puri, Narot, MLA, Mr Rumal Chand, Dinanagar MLA Ms Aruna Chaudhary, and former minister Mr Lakhbir Singh Randhawa, gathered at Milan Palace. The group members demanded the party ticket for Mr P.S Bhinder, former DGP and husband of the deceased MP.

Some of the candidates alleged that only the group supported by the Union Minister for State, Mr Ashwani Kumar, had information about the arrival of the Election Observer and his supporters had been preparing for a show of strength for more than a week.

The other Congress leaders, including Parliamentary Secretary and Congress MLA from Fatehgarh Churian Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Chairman Punjab Pollution Control Board and MLA from Qadian Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, were caught unawares. They were in a tizzy and kept on ringing up their supporters to know the developments due to the arrival of observer.

The left out leaders expressed surprise over the fact that the party’s poll Observer had visited only Gurdaspur and not other areas of the state and here also only a few persons had prior information about the visit.


JD(U) to contest 11 seats
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, January 9
The Janta Dal (United) (JD-U) will field candidates from 11 Assembly segments in alliance with the non-Congress and non-SAD (B)-led front in Punjab.

Disclosing this in a press statement here today, Mr Inderjeet Saini, president of the state unit of the JD(U), said the party would field candidates in those segments which were represented in the previous legislature Assemblies by socialists and had a significant population of migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, party's national president Sharad Yadav and NDA convener George Fernandes would make an election campaign for these candidates.


If I win ...
‘Economy top priority’

Putting Punjab economy back on the rails will be my first priority. The five-year misrule of the Amarinder Singh government has put the economy on the downslide with growth rate in state only about 2.4% as against the 8.5% national growth rate.

In fact, the development of state's infrastructure will top my agenda for which an amount of over Rs 10,000 crore per annum is needed if the state wants to catch up with other progressive states. The power sector continues to be Punjab's Achilles' heel with the state reeling under a 5,000 mw shortfall, forcing major corporate houses to opt for the states.

I will tackle the unemployment problem headon as the burgeoning army of the unemployed threatens to pose law and order problems. We will undertake a major employment drive, besides resolving issues regarding farmers, employees and Dalits.

The restoration of "direct contact" between elected representatives and the common man will be high on my agenda. While state issues need urgent attention, local problems, particularly in my constituency, Banur, which has been at the receiving end, are my first priority.

While my attempt will be that vendetta politics does not stage a comeback in Punjab, erring politicians and bureaucrats will have to be brought book. For that I will advocate the formation of the excesses commission."

— Pradeep Sharma


Disqualify Tota Singh, ex-Cong MLA says
Tribune News Service

Moga, January 9
Buoyant by his recent success in getting a fine imposed on sitting Akali legislator Tota Singh by the Supreme Court, Mr Vijay Saathi, former Congress MLA, now has sought Mr Tota Singh’s disqualification for six years for the violation of election laws of the country.

Mr Saathi moved the high court in 2002, after the last Assembly elections, alleging that Mr Tota Singh, in connivance with some bureaucrats, had got the names of 586 voters deleted from the voters’ list. He had claimed the Akali candidate had won by a margin of just 305 votes and deletion of 586 voters’ names had affected the final poll results. However, the high court turned down the allegations stating the charges were vague and ordered the erasure of the paragraph in which these charges were listed. Following this Mr Saathi moved the Supreme Court, which on December 8, last year, passed a judgment asking Mr Tota Singh to pay Rs 1 lakh as cost to Mr Saathi.

On the basis of the verdict by the Supreme Court Mr Saathi sought the disqualification of the Akali legislator for six years for the violation of the election laws.

Mr Saathi said though he had mentioned in his petition that Mr Tota Singh be banned from contesting elections for violating the law, the Supreme Court referred the matter to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which is yet to take a decision in this regard.

In view of Assembly elections in the state, Mr Saathi moved another application seeking earlier hearing of the case so that the Akali legislator be barred from contesting.

Following the latest ruling of the Supreme Court that went in his favour, Mr Saathi asked the Election Commission to initiate action against then SDM of Moga Jaspal Singh Jassi and his team for conniving with the Akalis and deleting the names of 586 voters form the list.

Mr Saathi said the Election Commission has already assured him that action would be taken against the guilty officials after fixing responsibility.


Probe sought into code violation

Sangrur, January 9
The district unit of the Democratic Teachers Front (DTF), Punjab, on Monday submitted a complaint to the district administration demanding an inquiry into the alleged “violation of election code of conduct” some days ago in the local Government Senior Secondary School for boys at the time of a farewell party of a teacher who had taken voluntary retirement recently. — TNS


Who is watching voters’ interests?
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Will a registered voter with a photo identity card be allowed to cast his or her vote on February 13?

The logical answer would be yes.

However, if one looks back at the track record of the Election Commission and the last Punjab Assembly elections in 2002, there are one in 20 chances of a voter being refused to exercise his franchise.

In the 2002 Assembly elections, thousands of voters had to return home disappointed as they were refused their right to vote. The reason: Deletion of their names at the eleventh hour on suspicion that they had either moved out or were wrongly registered.

“We are not aware of it,” is how the Chief Election Commissioner, Mr N. Gopalaswami, reacted when asked what was the guarantee that a voter with a valid photo ID-card would be allowed to vote this time.

Since there were protests at many polling stations by people on being denied the right to vote, the Congress government set up one-member inquiry committee, headed by the Principal Secretary, Mr R.P.S. Pawar, to look into their complaints.

The committee issued public notices and asked the complainants to file their objections.

The report of the committee, however, was never made public.

Mr Gopalaswami said it was not in the knowledge of the commission that such a serious aberration had occurred during the last Assembly elections.

“There are some problems because of a change of polling booth, or due to cut and paste of electoral rolls because of computerisation. There could be stray cases where voters may be denied the right to vote but I am not aware if it happened at such a scale in 2002,” said Mr Gopalaswami.

He said the commission would post electoral rolls on its website. “But I do not think everyone has a computer or access to a computer. Here the media has to play a role. Even a voter has to keep the commission informed in case he changes the place of his residence.”

Mr Gopalaswami admitted that though the commission redressed grievances and complaints of political parties, besides watching the interests of the poll staff, yet it had no mechanism or forum to redress the grievances of the common man.

“A voter can send his complaints to the commission. I am aware that a large number of voters in Chandigarh were denied the right to vote in the last Lok Sabha elections. We have tried to rectify that after it was brought to our notice,” he added.

At that time also, The Tribune had published a series of lists of registered voters who were denied their right to franchise before the commission swung into action and re-inducted all those names in its revised electoral rolls.


Bahuguna celebrates b’day with orphans
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 9
Chipko movement leader Sunder Lal Bahuguna celebrated his 80th birthday along with the destitute and orphaned inmates of the Pingalwara Charitable Trust here today.

The Pingalwara children had arranged a small party to celebrate the birthday of Mr Bahuguna at the residence of Dr Inderjeet Kaur, president, Pingalwara, at Mannawala, near here. The trust also distributed sweets to the children.

He said the farmers of Punjab should go for tree farming, which would not only maintain the ecological balance in the region but would enhance their income.

He urged the children to take care of the environment by starting a mission to plant more and more trees. He said that building dams was a temporary solution of the problem. If the government plants more trees with broad leaves on the hills the ecological problem would be solved as these retain more water during rail falls.


Khadi — The clear winner so far
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , January 9
Just over a month before the Assembly elections in Punjab, so many supporters of different political parties across the state are exercising franchise in favour of khadi.

Seems incredible, but the pre-Independence symbol of patriotism is actually becoming a “sovereign statement of political fashion” in the pre-poll period.

And donning the hues of nationalism are not just the “leaders” in fray, but also party workers - right, for projecting a “Rang De Basanti” image!

A testimony to “khadigiri” is the escalating sales figures. Even though Chandigarh is not going to the polls, the inflow of party workers from Mohali, Kharar, Nayagoan and other places in neighbouring Punjab has resulted in a noticeable increase in the sales.

The Secretary, Khadi Ashram, Chandigarh, Mr Brig Kumar Sharma, says with state elections just round the corner, the sales of khadi apparels from their Sector 17 outlet alone have registered a marked increase of as much as 10 per cent.

Associated with the khadi industry for over five decades, he says there was a time when khadi was a must for Congress workers. Even the national flag was made of khadi. Over the years, khadi became more of a ramp material with few commoners and more models wearing the textile. Things are, however, fast changing now with politicians sashaying down the poll ramp in khadi attires as a run-up to the elections.

Also linked with the khadi business for over half a century, worker Leela Ram says even those seldom wearing khadi are opting for the stuff. They are wearing not just kurtas and pyjamas, but also coats.

Besides bestowing a patriotic image, the stuff does not add to the poll expenditure. “You can take home a kurta for as less as Rs 150,” says another khadi worker Yash Pal. “A good coat, too, does not cost more than Rs 700”.

Interestingly, the canvassers are completing the ensemble by combining khadi with slick sneakers. The branded ones with air-cushioned soles are a hot favourite. After all, comfort is as vital as the image for the workers out in the fields from the dawn of elections to the dusk of poll results. 


‘Mulajams’ gear up to grill politicians
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
A beginning is being made by the Punjab Mulajam Sangharsh Committee to ask questions from politicians who will be in the Assembly election fray with regard to their vision and approach to various issues being faced by the state.

Mr Ranbir Singh Dhillon, convener of the committee, said here today said that all politicians contesting the elections would be invited to panchayats to be organised by the committee to answer questions regarding the state's economy, agriculture, unemployment, education, health and issues related to employees, etc.

He said the first such panchayat would be held at Zira on January 18 and the last on February 10. In all, 12 panchayats would be held, he added.


Award for Ropar youth
Tribune News Service

Ropar, January 9
Yogesh Mohan of the Ropar has been selected from Punjab for the National Youth Award by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The ministry has selected 25 youths from the country for this award to be given by the Prime Minister on January 16 at Pune.


DC appoints returning officers
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 9
Mr R.K. Verma, Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Officer has appointed Returning Officers and Assistant Returning Officers for Patiala constituency for the forthcoming assembly elections. In a press note issued here today, Mr Verma has appointed Mr A.P.S Virk, SDM (Rajpura) as the Rajpura Returning Officer (RO), Mr R.P.S Walia, Assistant Commissioner (General) as Ghanour RO, Mr Mohinder Pal, Deputy Director (Local bodies) as Dakala RO, Mr Munish Kumar, Shutrana SDM as Patran RO, Mr Gurmeet Singh, SDM (Samana) as Samana RO, Mr Bhupinder Singh Rai, SDM (Patiala) as Patiala RO and Mr Ashok Kumar Sikka, SDM (Nabha) as Nabha RO.

Mr Verma has also appointed Mr Rajesh Dhiman, Tehsildar as Rajpura Assistant Returning Officer (ARO), Mr M.S Grewal (DDPO) as Ghanuar ARO, Mr Gagandeep Singh Virk (BDPO) as Dakala ARO, Mr Vinod Kumar (BDPO) as Shutrana ARO, Mr Sukhjinder Singh, Tehsildar as Samana ARO, Mr Subhash Bhardwaj, Tehsildar as Patiala ARO and Mr Moti Lal Sharma as Nabha ARO.


Man stabs wife outside gurdwara
Tribune News Service

Ropar, January 9
A 32-year old lady was seriously injured after she was stabbed with a kirpan by her husband over a family dispute outside the Gurdwara Batha Sahib here, late this evening. The injured Sukhjinder Kaur was rushed to the PGI while her husband Sukhwinder Singh fled the scene.

The incident took place at around 8.30 pm when heated arguments were exchanged between Sukhjinder and her husband while having a meal at the gurdwara. Sukhwinder Singh initially beat up his wife, who was rescued by the devotees present there.

Later, he went out of the gurdwara and purchased a kirpan from a makeshift shop outside. As soon as his wife came out of the gurdwara, he stabbed her on the head and arms.

The police say that the two of them are from Kishangarh in Karnal and have been staying in a room at the gurdwara since yesterday. They came to attend a case hearing that is pending in the district court here. The SHO(city), Kesar Singh said, the statement of the injured will be recorded.


Workshop for researchers
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 9
In a week-long workshop for researchers of Punjabi Department, Dr Shakuntla Rao, Assistant Professor, University of New York, addressing the students of Journalism and Mass Communication of Punjabi University, said today that effects of globalisation were evident in Bollywood films these days.

Dr Rao said a sea change had occurred in the subject matter, landscaping, technology and the way films were being made in India.

Pointing out the differences between Indian cinema and Hollywood cinema, she said Indian movies were fantasy based, carrying its audiences to the world of illusions while movies in the west were technologically sound. 


Bagrian heads Sikh institute
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Bhai Ashok Singh Bagrian has been unanimously elected president of the Institute of Sikh Studies for 2007.

He has nominated the following as members of the executive of the institute : patron-Mr Gurdev Singh; vice-president-Dr Gurcharan Singh; secretary-Col Amrik Singh(retd); joint secretary- Mr Sadhu Singh; and treasurer-Mr Gurpreet Singh.

Bibi Baljit Kaur, Brig Hardit Singh(retd) and Lieut-Gen Kartar Singh(retd) have been taken in as members.


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