P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Evil burnt, govt-Cong bitterness remains
Clash averted over Dussehra celebrations

Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 21
The Congress was marginalised here today even as the BJP scored a point by organising Dussehra celebrations at the main venue at the Chheharta grain market, courtesy the district administration. Tempers ran high and a possible clash between workers of the two parties was averted.

To register their protest, Congress workers burnt the effigy of Ravana on the main Amritsar-Attari road after they were not allowed by the BJP workers to carry the effigies of the three demons inside the venue. Portions of one of the effigies were also damaged when the Congress workers tried to smuggle it into the venue from the second entrance but were pushed back.

A Congress leader alleged that the district administration had assured them that both parties would jointly organise the show. However, the said change of stance of the district administration at the eleventh hour infuriated the Congress, which boycotted the function, alleging that it had been hijacked by the ruling SAD-BJP alliance. Timely intervention by Congress MLA O.P. Soni pacified the crowd of Congress supporters, some of whom appeared ready to barge into the Dussehra ground with sticks and rods.

Soni said even though the district administration had promised us that it would be a joint celebration with five leaders of both parties on the stage, the Congress was not allowed to participate. The BJP leadership tried to spoil the peace of the area but the Congress still showed maturity by burning the effigies on the road itself. Families from the area boycotted the show, he added.

Soni challenged the SAD-BJP leadership, particularly MP Navjot Sidhu, to fight an election against him from the area to gauge the public sentiment. “I’m willing to resign from the Assembly to go through the elections all over again as I’m sure that people are with me,” he said.

Former deputy speaker of the state Assembly Darbari Lal said the SAD-BJP alliance was unnecessarily creating tension in the area.

Earlier in the day, Soni had called a press conference to welcome the decision taken by the district administration to allow both sides to collectively organise the celebrations. Even though banners had been put up declaring that it was the district administration that was organising the show, large-size hoardings with pictures of BJP leaders claiming credit for the show were not removed.

Interestingly, Sidhu, who had in a way sparked off the controversy by holding “bhoomi pujan” at the venue earlier this month stayed away from the controversy today by not showing up at the celebrations. He said it was the right of every resident of Amritsar to celebrate the festival irrespective of party affiliations.

The Narayangarh Panch Rattan Krishna Temple committee claims to be burning the effigies at the venue for the past 16 years. Every year, local MLA Soni is invited to the celebrations as chief guest.

There was heavy police presence in the area and deputy commissioner K.S. Pannu and SSP Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh were also present on the occasion. BJP’s Punjab general secretary Kamal Sharma, district BJP chief Bakshi Ram Arora, Amritsar mayor Shawet Malik, BJP Punjab secretaries Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina and Rakesh Gill were also present on the dais.


Rs 3,150-cr festival bonanza for Amritsar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 21
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here today congratulated the people of Amritsar on the occasion of Dussehra and asked them to follow the life principles of Lord Ram. He was speaking at a function organised at Mandir Mata Bhadra Kali at the Khazana Gate, where the effigy of Ravana was burnt.

He said Rs 3,150 crore would be spent for the overall development of the holy city. Focus would be on providing safe drinking water, effective sewerage and better civic amenities in slum and rural areas. For this, international experts had been involved and a meeting to chalk out the details had been scheduled for October 27.

He said firm believers in the path shown by Lord Ram should fight social evils. He said teachings of Ramayana were all the more relevant in today’s times.

He said Dussehra symbolised the victory of good over evil and the fight against anti-social elements of society. He said violence and militancy had no place in the present times, as people wanted to live in peace.

Those present on the occasion included Harminder Singh Bularia, MLA, Rajmohinder Singh Majithia, MP.

Meanwhile, minister for information and public relations Bikramjit Singh Majithia presided over the Dussehra celebrations at Chamunda Devi. He called for maintaining communal harmony in the state.


Tribune Impact
PSHRC tells police to book Valtoha nursing home
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 21
In a setback to Akali MLA Virsa Singh Valtoha, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has initiated action against Khehra Nursing Home at Valtoha village where a case of illegal abortion of female foetus was “detected” during a surprise raid about three months ago. The owner of the nursing home is a confidant of the MLA.

The non-registration of a case against the nursing home had led to an unsavoury conflict between health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla and Valtoha much to the embarrassment of the ruling alliance. Both Chawla and Valtoha had also traded charges against each other because the latter had “pressured” the Tarn Taran police not to register a case against his confidant .

In an order, Justice R.L. Anand and B.C. Rajpur, acting chairperson and member of the PSHRC, respectively, took suo moto action on the basis of a complaint filed by one Parwinder Singh Kitna, a convener of an NGO. In his complaint, Kitna had alleged that a team of doctors headed by Dr Amrit Kaur, civil surgeon, Tarn Taran, had raided Khehra Nursing Home, Valtoha, and detected an alleged case of female foeticide. However, a case could not be registered against the nursing home due to pressure from the Akali MLA.

The order of the PSHRC reads, “On examining the allegations made in the complaint, it is found that a prima facie case is made out for proceedings under Section 12 of the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993.” The commission further directed that the complaint filed by Kitna be registered as a case. The commission further directed that a report under Section 17 (1) of the Act be called from the SSP, Tarn Taran, well before December 18.

The commission has also sent copies of the order to the principal secretary (home), ADGP, internal vigilance-cum-human rights, Punjab Chandigarh, and the SSP, Tarn Taran, for compliance.

Kitna had attached the report of The Tribune, which had highlighted the conflict between BJP’s health minister and the Akali MLA, with his complaint.

While a case was registered against a nursing home in Patti Maur, no action was taken against Khehra Nursing Home despite a number of reminders to the district police chief, Tarn Taran.

The health minister had to take up the case with the Chief Minister and the DGP, who had promised the registration of a case against the nursing home. But no action had been taken against the nursing home so far.

Valtoha, at a public conference at Bhura Kona village on October 19, held the health minister responsible for the dismal health services in the border area. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was also present there.

The next day, Laxmi Kanta Chawla had briefed Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Vijendra Jain during his visit to Amritsar regarding the case.


Dussehra celebrated with fervour
Tribune Reporters

Pathankot, October 21
More than 15,000 troops and their families attended an Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) fair organised by the Rising Star Crops to mark Dussehra at the Mamun Army cantonment area, near here, today. The fair also was a part of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Western Command.

President of AWWA Mohini Daljeet Singh inaugurated the fair and interacted with children who participated in a culture programme organised on the occasion.

Challenging game stalls and exhibition of handmade items remained the main attraction of the fair.

The fair ended with fireworks before burning the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkarana and Megnatha.

Dussehra was also celebrated by residents of Pathankot at the Ramlila ground with great enthusiasm. A well-decorated procession of Lord Rama attracted the gathering. All roads leading to the city were impressively decorated.

GURDASPUR: Dussehra was also celebrated at various places in the district, including Dinan Nagar, Batala, Quadian and Dera Baba Nanak.

Processions amid slogans “Sri Ram Chandraji ki jai” filled the air. Fairs at different places marked the festival. People also exchanged greetings and sweets among themselves on the occasion.

BATHINDA: To mark the triumph of good over evil, Bathinda celebrated Vijya Dashmi with pomp and style on Sunday.

The Sangarsh Committee, which has been celebrating Dussehra for the past 10 years at Pratap Nagar Main Road, Dussehra Ground, burnt the effigies of Ravana and others on the occasion. People from neighbouring areas visited the venue to witness Ravana Dahan and other related events.

The Sanatan Dharma Mahavir Dal also celebrated Dussehra at the M.S.D. Senior Secondary School here.

Celebrating Dussehra, the Shri Durga Puja and Dussehra Committee, NFL Colony organised several events, including Ravana Dahan and fireworks.

Dussehra was also celebrated in traditional fervour and gaiety at the Railway ground.


One gets bullet injuries as Cong, SAD leaders clash
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 21
One person sustained bullet injuries in a clash between Congress and SAD leaders over a house in the Jallianwala Bagh locality here last night.

Congress councillors Navdeep Singh Goldie and Ajit Singh Bhatia and SAD leaders Satnam Singh Kanda and Bikramjit Singh Kanda reached there with supporters.

In the clash that followed, bullets were allegedly fired from both sides and Joginder Singh, a relative of Bikranjit Singh Kanda, was hit in the chest.

A case has been registered against Goldie, leader of the district unit of the Youth Congress, Bhatia and 25 others under Section 307 and 452 of the IPC.


CM: BJP violating coalition dharma
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 21
Punjab Chief Minister today criticised the BJP for using the media to air its grievances, which was in violation of the coalition dharma.

“I am saddened by the statements issued by our coalition partner. I have on many occasions said we are ready for talks on any issue and that such matters should be handled internally. The BJP should realize that we are their oldest allies and have never questioned any decision or stand taken by them. Now, it was their turn to do so, he pointed out.

Badal, who was here today to lay a wreath at the PAP Martyrs Memorial, said it took a lot of hard work and patience to run a coalition.

A day after he met BJP national secretary Balbir Punj on the issue of power tariff hike, Badal said the meeting was cordial, though nothing concrete materialised. “Many issues were taken up and I am confident that all of them would be solved in the coming days. We will be meeting again,” he said.

He denied that there was a move to scrap all development authorities in the state.

Earlier, he addressed the jawans on the occasion. Appreciating their good work, the Chief Minister announced a compulsory weekly off to personnel up to the inspector level. A notification to this effect would be issued soon, he added. 


No casteism in music: Shubha
Anuradha Shukla/TNS

Kapurthala, October 21
She is the new-age guru who stands for the centuries of the guru-shishya parampara. Shubha Mudgal devoted the 6th Baba Jassa Singh Kapurthala Heritage Festival performance to her gurus as she sang compositions by her gurus.

Shubha refutes that classical artistes singing pop is like introducing caste system or cultural fundamentalism in music. Music in itself is pure and cannot be divided into castes like pop or classical. She says music is about sensibilities. If a child sings “Bidi jalayile” she must be discouraged as the bhav of the song is not age appropriate. Otherwise there is nothing like good music, bad music if I sing pop songs.

Shubha refutes “I cannot be disliked because I sing pop music” attitude. “You can reject the kind of my music you do not like,” she says.

There cannot only be good gurus or bad gurus and there can only be a difference of opinion with your guru like in any intimate relationship, but the tradition cannot vanish forever. Commercialisation in music has always been looked down upon, but it has always been there be it in the form of patronage of kings or rajwadas.

If guru exploits music only for commercialisation then it is bad. We learn music from gurus only in “bheekh” or alms as she quotes her guru Kumar Gandharv’s composition “Mangat sur bheekh das tuharo.”

If reality-show gurus condemn that they were insulted by getting votes from outside then they can always leave the shows, but the new set-up suits them also. That’s why they come back to the shows, says Shubha.

About her experiments with various kinds of music, she says: “I am what I am and acceptance of what I am doing comes only from my own conviction because I can not promote anything I don’t believe in.”

But you cannot become a singer in three months like the reality show successes. Only experience makes a person a seasoned singer or musician. Forthcoming is her songs for a Pakistani film, “Ram Chandra Pakistani,” with Dev Jyoti Mishra.


Raza calls for veena revival
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, October 21
Mustafa Raza, the only exponent of vichitra veena, plays on a 75-year-old veena. His father played on it for 50 years and he has been playing on it for the past 25 years. This lone crusader’s only wish is that the government should promote the oldest classical music instrument which even finds mention in the Samveda and was played on by Lord Shiva.

Raza was here on Saturday to perform on the concluding day of the 6th Kapurthala Heritage Festival has no qualms admitting that there are not many takers of the instrument in India and almost all his students are based in foreign countries. “If you give equal scholarships for the tabla and the vichitra veena, it is not fair but it is due to the fact that the economic viability of learning veena is less as compared to other more-in-demand classical instruments,” he reasons.

“Vichitra veena is a darbari saaz and the sanctity and dignity of the saaz is very different and difficult,” says Raza. He credits royal families of Patiala and Kapurthala for patronising the instrument.

“My passion and profession are one in playing the vichitra veena which is my life now,” says Raza who is an MD in alternative medicine. “God lies in music and though I play an instrument which belongs to the Hindu religious tradition, I believe in the maxim that I have to do my karma and whether they pay off or not is in God’s hands,” he says about his efforts at reviving the instrument.

“I never feel frustrated and have never thought of giving it up because in my journey I have only found the nector of satisfaction. This is the purest human pursuit. God has always helped me all along the way.”

Veena is a way of ibadat for him and he believes that one who devotes his life to the divine instrument never goes hungry, says Raza.

Raza has played with percussionists all over the world to prove that the veena having roots in the Indian culture thousands of years old, is above all else.


Sons take to stage with Hans
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, October 21
Curtains were drawn on the 6th Baba Jassa Singh Kapurthala Heritage festival yesterday with a pleasant surprise for Hans Raj Hans fans. The Punjabi Sufi singer introduced his sons Navraj and Yugraj and the trio sang together for the first time. The singer took the opportunity to introduce his sons in the middle of his performance. The singer could not stop his sons from singing despite keeping them away from the music scene all their lives.

His sons, who were kept away from tarbiyat in music, expressed their wish to sing and Hans said he could not stop them. “I sent my elder son abroad to study, but he came back producing the degree and said now he wanted to sing,” said Hans.

The evening began with the rendition of vichitra veena by Mustafa Raza who played the ancient instrument with both the tabla and the pakhavaj to recreate the magic of yore. He presented laykari in all moods of serious, melody and cheerful with both instruments. He began the evening with the rendition in raga Charokesi in the style of the Patiala gharana. Fateh Singh Gangani accompanied the artiste on the pakhavaj, Akhtar Hasan on the tabla, and Dr Sashi Mitra accompanied him on the tanpura. He concluded his performance with Amir Khusroo’s kalam ‘Chhap tilak sab chheeni mose naina milayeke”.

The audience welcomed Hans Raj Hans amidst loud applause and the singer managed to catch the fancy of the young crowd wanting him to sing his more popular numbers. Young and old, all swayed to his Sufi renditions which he began with Moinnudin Chishti’s composition “Rakho mori laaj garib nawaz”, and went on to sing Shah Hussain’s Kafi “Oh tera ki lagda”.

The highlight of the evening was the singer’s presentation with his sons Navraj and Yugraj who sang “Nitt khair mangan sohneya main teri dua na koi hor mangadi”, Bulle Shah’s “Avo ni sakhi rall devo ni vadhayi”, before concluding the evening on a devotional high with “Dama dam mast kalandar”.

Minister for culture Hira Singh Gabria was the chief guest on the occasion. 


Reorganise dists, says Dhindsa
Tribune News Service

Rupnagar, October 21
All districts of the state need to be reorganised as per their demographic pattern, area and other parameters, said PWD (B&R) minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa while talking to media persons here today.

Dhindsa, who was here to inaugurate a private hospital, said he had already proposed this to the government. He said, “The districts in Punjab have not been carved as per their needs and parameters. While some areas are overcrowded, others have too little administrative work to do.”

He claimed to have sent a proposal to the Chief Minister and suggested that a reorganisation commission be set up.

While talking about fissures in the SAD-BJP government, he said the Chief Minister was already in dialogue with the BJP central leadership in Delhi and would soon find an amicable way out of the situation.

Lamenting the Congress government left the state in a financial mess, he said, “When the Congress took over the reins in the state its total debt was Rs 32,000 crore and after five years this figure stands at Rs 56,000 crore.”

He added that the Cabinet had been thinking over free power to the agriculture sector. It’s mainly the farmers with small landholdings for which the government planned to extend free power supply. “However, the matter has not been decided yet,” he said. 


Martyrs Day: Kin seek help from Police Dept
Tribune Reporters

Bathinda, October 21
The Martyrs Day function, organised on the Police Lines premises here this morning to pay tributes to martyrs of police and para-military forces, witnessed several relatives of the martyrs seeking help and support from the Police Department.

To mark the day, the district police paid rich tributes to as many as 715 martyrs of police and para-military forces. A small group of jawans reversed their arms as a mark of respect for the departed officials and jawans, who sacrificed their lives during various incidents. Additional District Judge G.K. Dhir, DIG, Faridkot range, Jatinder Jain, SSP, Nau Nihal Singh, SP, Sukhdev Singh Chahal, and several DSPs of the district were the prominent dignitaries at the function.

As soon as the function got over, several family members of the martyrs narrated their pains to the officials present there. Most of the aggrieved persons were having requests for a job, pensions and motor pump connections.

Talking to the TNS, Harmanjit Kaur of Kotha Guru, a village in the district, said, “My son was a Home Guards jawan. He lost his life while fighting with militants in 1993 at the Police Chowki Bhagta in the district. The department had just paid some rupees and that also only once. After that no one has paid any attention to our family. Since my son had no child, I want a job for another grandson, a graduate now, but the department is reluctant to do so. I was told that he is the nephew of the deceased, not his son. The letters given to senior officials are also not helping me to get pension.”

Meanwhile, Parkash Chand, brother of a deceased policeman Prem Parkash of Neolakhi village in Rajasthan, said, “Three generations of our family had served the Punjab police. My brother was issueless when he died fighting with militants in 1991. But he had been bringing up Birbal, his nephew as his own son. Now Birbal is educated and willing to serve the police, but the department is not ready to give him an opportunity.”

“Presenting blankets and meagre gifts are appreciable, but not enough to help and honour the families of the martyrs. If the department actually wants to help us, it must look into our poor conditions. We all present here have lost our family members in the service of the state. So the authorities must be a bit helpful in our daily life,” rued Joginder Singh, father of a deceased youth.

On his part, DIG Jatinder Jain said, “We have invited the members of the martyrs to listen to their grievances. The department will try its level best to address their grievances.”

BARNALA: Police Martyrs Day was observed at the Police Lines here on Sunday. SSP Parmjeet Singh Garewal honoured the martyrs’ families on the occasion. Surinder Pal Singh Parmar, SP (H), recalled the martyrdom of police personnel who had laid down their lives during terrorism. He paid floral tributes by observing two minutes’ silence. Prominent among others who were present on the occasion were deputy commissioner R.L.Mehta, Addl Session Judge, Barnala, Vivek Puri, and many others.


Malerkotla celebrates Bobby Jindal’s win
Tribune Reporters

Malerkotla, October 21
A wave of happiness and joy spread among local residents and close relatives of Piyush Bobby Jindal (whose father Amar Chand belongs to Khanpur village near Malerkotla) when the news about his victory in the Louisiana (USA) poll for the post of Governor reached here. Relatives also burst crackers and offered sweets to visitors.

Bobby, a Republican Congressman (36), has won the election by securing 53.69 per cent votes. Louisiana is one of the 50 US states.

Though the families of two brothers of Amar Chand (Bobby’s father) today expressed happiness over the victory of Bobby but the family of Bachan Lal, also a brother of Amar Chand, was unhappy with the treatment given to them by Amar Chand and his wife. However, the family of Bachan Lal is annoyed with Amar Chand and Bobby Jindal. Bachan Lal’s son Tarsem Jindal said his uncle Amar Chand and aunt had neither talked to them on phone nor had given reply to their letters.

Vijay Luxmi and Harwinder Jindal, wife and son of Dharam Pal (also a brother of Amar Chand), said Bobby had visited them when he was just four while his father visited them about 14 years ago.


Barefoot wish comes true
Kamlesh Sharma

Ghunus (Barnala), October 21
At last Jarnail Singh Sekhon, an ardent follower of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, today put on his shoes after a span of more than five and a half years in a largely attended function at Ghunus village in the presence of the Chief Minister himself. Jarnail Singh, a resident of adjoining Shaina village, left wearing shoes in 2002 when the SAD lost power. 

He took a pledge at the Golden Temple, Amritsar, not to wear shoes until the SAD returned to power and Badal visited his village as Chief Minister. But even after seven months of the Badal government being in office the Chief Minister did not find time to visit Shaina village. However, relenting a little Jarnail Singh accepted the Chief Minister’s offer that he instead put on his shoes at Ghunus village. However, many Akali workers could be heard complaining that Badal had no spare time to visit the native village of his ardent follower.

Earlier, the Chief Minister assured the residents of the Bhadur Assembly segment that their demands for a sewage water disposal system, widening of roads and the setting up of an Adarsh school would be fulfilled. But he did not utter a word on MLA Balbeer Singh Gunus’s demand of a job to Ruban Masih’s family. Ruban was killed in the Bhadur gurdwara clash about an year ago.


Most PRTC buses sans seat belts for drivers
Bhanu P. Lohumi 
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 21
Developing a better transport system with better road connectivity in Bathinda and surrounding areas remains an important issue on the agenda of the Badal government, but little is being done for the improvement of the functioning of the Punjab Roadways Transport Corporation (PRTC).

Traffic rules are being violated with impunity in Bathinda and its surrounding areas. The approach of the authorities concerned in implementing the rules is casual and people have scant regard for the rules and regulations. 

Under the Motor Vehicle Act, wearing a seat belt is necessary for the occupants of motor vehicles other than motor cycle/three wheelers of engine capacity not exceeding 500 cc and vehicles having provision for a seat belt. 

However, most of the buses being run by the PRTC do not have seat belts for the drivers and even if some of the new buses have the seat belts the drivers are not aware of such compulsory usage. A large number of drivers consider its usage a hindrance in smooth driving. “It is inconvenient to put on the belt time and again”, said a driver mocking at the very idea of wearing the belt.

Another driver Mandeep Singh said the belt may be good for the drivers of small private vehicles from the safety point of view, but the drivers of heavy vehicles did not feel unsafe without the belt.

Interestingly, the traffic regulatory authorities know about the violations but they prefer to ignore these. 

The Section 123 of the Motor Vehicle Act prohibits people from travelling on the roof of the buses but this kind of violation can be seen during the rush hours everyday. Conductors of the buses say it is difficult to stop people from boarding crowded buses or travel on the roof and this violation of the Act can be checked only if there are adequate number of buses during the peak hours and the frequency of buses is increased.

Further, pasting of posters and stickers on the buses is not permitted. However, posters and stickers can be seen on buses here with the transport authorities do not caring two hoots for the violation.

Seats reserved for women, freedom fighters and physically challenged persons in the buses are usually not made available to them. 

PRTC general manager Iqbal Singh says the authorities are keeping an eye on the violations, but it is difficult to convince the transport staff as most of them are not well educated.


‘Revive Punjab vigilance panel’
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Why does Punjab not have a vigilance committee to probe each case of corruption by government officials despite standing orders in this regard?

Seeing the stance of the Vigilance Bureau, when it arrested DGP S.S. Virk in a dramatic fashion, several officials have approached the Chief Secretary Ramesh Inder Singh seeking the “revival” of the committee. 

If the committee is in place all cases will have to be approved by it before the VB can register a case against any official.

This means that the VB will not take action unless the committee “whets” the evidence.

Till now the VB enjoys a free hand. As per instructions of the Punjab Government the committee is to be headed by the chief secretary, who is also the vigilance secretary.

The committee has two other members - the administrative secretary of the department of which the official belongs to and the chief director of the VB.In case of Virk no such committee took a decision as none existed, confirmed officials.

Well-placed sources in the government said “yes a committee should exist as per the orders but it is not in place at present”.

The committee will, however, be formed soon, said the source. Actually, the committee should have been formed by now.

Already the SAD-BJP combine, on being voted to power, introduced an act in the Vidhan Sabha to scrap the Punjab State Vigilance Commission.

The repeal of the commission said that a full-fledged department of vigilance under the chief secretary exists to deal with the existing work of the commission which was formed to look into cases of corruption and to “exercise superintendence and control the functioning of the VB and the police establishment in so as it relates to corruption cases”. 

Demands for “reviving” the committee have got louder in the past few weeks.The history of the committee is itself interesting. It was formed by an order issued in March, 2000 by the then SAD-BJP government led by Parkash Singh Badal.A sub-committee of the Cabinet had recommended the formation of a committee. 


SAD (A) name being ‘misused’
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 21
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) today stated that some unscrupulous persons were trying to use the party name to sustain their political existence.

In a statement here today, senior vice-president of SAD (A) Bhai Dhian Singh Mand, along with general secretaries Bhai Ram Singh and Prof Mohinder Pal Singh, stated that some people were trying to use the name of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and its logo to mislead the masses. The leaders said these people had no separate identity, nor they had any issues to further their political standing. They alleged these men were adopting unprincipled means to protect their existence.

The SAD leaders stated that people, who were stooping so low to meet their personal interests, should become aware of their social standing. They said statements were being issued in the media under the banner of SAD (A) in an attempt to prevail upon the Sikh masses with false propaganda.

It is to be mentioned here that last month, party president Sirmranjit Singh Mann had expelled senior vice-president Daljit Singh Bittu from the party on disciplinary grounds. Following this, Bittu had been reported to be using the name of SAD (A) by some sections of the media.



Bhagat Singh’s ideology  discussed
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 21
A function to spread Bhagat Singh’s ideology was organised by the members of the NTAS under the guidance of Dinesh Marwah, son of legendary Urdu poet Jigar Jalandhari, here today.

Surjit Singh Rakhra, former MLA, Samana, and well-known patron of theatre and arts, was the chief guest on the occasion.

He assured the participants to talk to commissioner of Patiala S.K. Ahluwalia for reviving the Punjab State Cultural Affair Advisory Board. He also urged the district authorities to build an open-air garden theatre at Baradari Gardens as per the approved plan to promote the garden theatre movement.

Rakhra also assured NTAS director Pran Sabharwal and his team to revive the government policy of sponsoring drama shows to strengthen the Punjabi theatre movement.


Unauthorised taxi stand irks shopkeepers 
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 21
An unauthorised taxi stand near the main market in Sirhind Mandi has become a source of discomfort for the shopkeepers, who allege that taxi owners were creating problems for them.

Several taxi owners park their vehicles at a vacant piece of land near the old bus stand, which, at one point of time, was used to park rickshaws. The shopkeepers alleged that taxi owners had no permission to use the government land for parking of their vehicles.

Mohammad Shamshad, a shop owner, said the taxi owners were picking up issues with the shopkeepers every alternate day, making it difficult for them to do business there. He said besides depriving the local civic body of the revenue, the unapproved taxi stand was being used for washing of cars also, which at times, led to accumulation of water in the market.

Kamaljit Singh Sandhu, another shop owner, said taxi owners played cards and used abusive language and some even passed comments on the girl students of a nearby school, who passed from the market every day. He said though the matter was taken up with the taxi owners by the shopkeepers, they not only misbehaved with them but bluntly refused to mend their ways.

The taxi owners, on the other hand, rued that even they had to do business and the shopkeepers had no right to raise any objection to the parking of their vehicle there. They however, denied playing cards and teasing girls.

Executive officer of the Sirhind-Fatehgarh Sahib municipal council Charanjit Singh, when contacted, stated that no taxi stand had ever been approved near the market of the Sirhind Mandi. He said now that the matter had been brought to his notice, he would initiate action as per the municipal bye-laws.


Festivities end on chaotic note

Kharar, October 21
Traffic chaos hit Dussehra celebrations at Dussehra grounds, Phase VIII, Mohali, today evening.

A large number of vehicles got stuck in the heavy traffic on the main road. People were seen jostling their way out from the Dussehra grounds after the effigy of Ravana, Kumbhkarana and Meghnada were burnt.

Despite police force deployed to control traffic, the area remained clogged with vehicles for over half-an-hour. Even pedestrians had a tough time crossing the road.

Long queues of cars were seen outside the venue. It took about an hour for thousands of people to come out from the grounds.

However, the occasion was marred by unreported incidents of eve teasing in and around the ground. — TNS



College celebrates  Modi Jayanti
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 21
Multani Mal Modi College organised an inter-institutional science fair on the eve of Modi Jayanti.

The science fair, which was sponsored by the Punjab Academy of Science (Punjab chapter), was inaugurated by Prof Inderjit Singh Bansal.

Speaking on the occasion, Inderjit Singh said the academy is very keen to organise such functions in the future also in order to contribute to the scientific development of the country and help in spreading scientific thinking among the students.

Principal of the college Dr Satish Bhardwaj said the aim of the fair is to instill and spread scientific ideas because it was the need of the hour to use science and technology for the need of common man.

On the occasion, a model and poster-making competition was also organised on the theme of “Science and Man in Present Perspective” on five different topics.

Prof Shashi Kant, Prof S.K. Gupta and Dr Bhajan Singh were the judges for the competition.


Paddy season gives push to sale of used jeeps
Neeraj Bagga
Tribune News Service

Moga, October 21
The ongoing paddy season has pushed up the sale of used cars, especially jeeps. Amarjit Singh, chairman, local chapter of the All-India Car Dealers Association, said the season would last till January.

The local market for used jeeps is one of the famous in the state.

Jeeps are preferred by customers, especially those from rural areas, for its durability and strength to carry heavy material with ease on bumpy village roads. Moreover, customers prefer diesel jeeps.

Amarjit said vehicles with direct injection without heater vehicles were preferred. He said customers come from Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Ferozepur and Amritsar districts also.

He opined that apart from the local market, other preferred destinations for buying used jeeps in the state were Pathankot and Dabwali.

According to him, disposed Army vehicles and small body jeeps were quite sought after in the market.

The market for used vehicles is held every Sunday. Numerous shops have sprung up along the Moga-Ludhiana road.

He said that apart from professional automobile dealers, people from various other backgrounds have started investing in the trade.

The local car dealers association demands that licence be issued to dealers to check unauthorised dealers, who cheat customers and vanish.

Another demand is that a piece of land must be provided to for the market.


Two Cong councillors booked on land-grab charge 
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 21 
“Some of the Congress councillors in the Amritsar Municipal Corporation, along with their supporters, here late last night allegedly tried to grab my 70-yard plot adjacent to the Kanda rest house here,” said Satnam Singh Kanda, proprietor of the rest house and general secretary, All-India Shiromani Akali Dal (AISAD), here today.

He alleged that Ajit Singh Bhatia and Navdeep Goldy, both councillors, and Harpal Singh Bhatia, along with their armed supporters, came to his house and tried to commit the crime. He said the accused first sent the police for checking the papers of the plot and then came and attacked him and his workers in the presence of the police.

Harjinder Singh, SHO, B-division, confirmed that a case had been registered against Ajit Singh Bhatia, his son Harpal Singh Bhatia, Navdeep Singh Goldy, Surinder Singh and 15 others under the IPC and Arms Act.

Kanda said earlier in the day when his contractor was arranging the shuttering at the plot, the accused and their supporters came and threatened him to stop the work. He added that they also threw empty bottles and bricks on the labourers, injuring two. He said after this accused again came late in the evening and fired on them, injuring one.

The AISAD leader alleged that initially the police remained a mute spectator but when he threatened to inform the authorities concerned, the case was registered.


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