Anti-Sikh Riots
DSGMC, ex-chief in dock for honouring Tytler
Varinder Walia and P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, November 6
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) and its former president Prahalad Singh Chandok are in the dock for honouring Congress leader Jagdish Tytler who was alleged to be involved in anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

And the continuation of Giani Surinder Singh, who backtracked from his statements against the same Congress leader in the court as head granthi of Gurdwara Singh Sabha has added fuel to the fire.

H.S. Phoolka, a senior advocate of the Supreme Court and author of the book “When A Tree Shook Delhi - 1984 Carnage And Its Aftermath”, made these sensational revelations here recently.

When contacted, DSGMC president Paramjit Singh Sarna said the committee was issuing dismissal notice to Surinder Singh on the basis of reports given in the book. He said a show-cause notice was also being served on Chandok as to why he had honoured Tytler, thereby hurting the Sikh 
sentiments. These remarks are likely to snowball into a major controversy for the Sarna family which has a complete sway over the DSGMC, while the SAD, is likely to dilute his hold over the committee. Moderate and radical Panthic factions were likely to take up the issue with the Akal Takht Jathedar over these reported disclosures.

Launching a scathing attack on the then Sikh leadership which not only betrayed the community but also allowed the witnesses to become hostile to subvert the due process of criminal justice and negate the justice to the hapless victims.

Reading out some of the excerpts from the book, Phoolka pointed out that the whole system, including judiciary, was subverted and paralysed to save those political bigwigs who were accused by the victims for inciting the mobs against them.

Quoting from the book, he said a chief justice of a high court was specially transferred to Delhi, especially for this purpose when they “failed to persuade” the then chief justice hearing the case in their favour.

Interacting with the media, he said the book was based on the extracts of the written statements and affidavits filed by the eyewitnesses and relatives of the victims who lost their family members in the massacre.

He said there was enough evidence for the trial of the former cabinet minister in the court again.

Answering the queries about the delay after a gap of 23 years, Phoolka remarked that now the documentaries were being made, books were being written for documentation of the darkest chapter of Indian history and for securing the future of the Indian democracy where everybody would enjoy the equal rights.

Supporting the voice raised by a crucial eyewitness to the reported remarks to encourage killing of Sikhs by Congress leader Jagdish Tytler, Jasbir Singh have once again brought out the stark reality about the involvement of the leaders and have once again rekindled the hope that his statement would be taken up by the courts to prosecute the tainted leadership.

Meanwhile, All-India Sikh Students Federation (Peer Mohammad) today released a CD titled “1984 Ik Sarkari Sikh Katleyam”, a documentary on the carnage giving audio-visual account of victims and their families.



Goodwill Gesture
Students send sweets, gifts to Pak counterparts on Divali
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 6
In a rare goodwill gesture, students and staff of Shri Ram Ashram Public School passed the joy of Divali to the students and teaching fraternity of neighbouring country of Pakistan.

About 25 students along with principal Preeti Sharad and other staff members gifted beautifully decorated fruit baskets and two idols of Lord Ganesha, a symbol of peace, luck and prosperity, to Pakistan rangers for the students of Pakistan.

They also gifted “smiley” cards for unknown friends living across the border. Students of the school had made a 20 m-long card for Divali that was handed over to Pakistani Rangers for the youth of the neighbouring country.

While handing over the fruits and Ganesh idols to Pakistan rangers, the principal said in this hour of imposition of “emergency” and “turmoil” in Pakistan, the people of India, especially Amritsar, prayed for their well-being and prosperity and hoped for friendship, joy and progress in the relationships between the people of both countries.

The company commander of the Pakistani rangers, Shafqat, after receiving the gifts from the students said the people of the two countries should celebrate their festivals jointly to bring in the era of peace and prosperity in the sub-continent.

The school also presented fruits and other gifts to BSF jawans. B.S. Tolia, BSF Commandant, received Divali gifts on behalf of the force.

Earlier, students held placards with messages of “Let’s unite together for a peaceful world” in a gesture to forge peaceful relations. Attired in Punjabi dresses, the students performed a foot-tapping bhangra and gidda on their way to the Zero line.

The Punjabi “tapey,” combined with the dance conveying the messages of goodwill and friendship, attracted the Pakistani rangers who not only gracefully accepted the gifts, but also watched the culture festivities. The students also performed Divali “aarti” for the BSF jawans.



President urged to derecognise SAD
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 6
National executive member of the Janata Dal (S) Balwant Singh Khera here urged the President of India to direct the election commission to expedite the decision on the petition filed by him for the de-recognition of the Shiromani Akali Dal.

Khera in a missive to Pratibha Patil said Parkash Singh Badal, the then president of the SAD, had misused and exploited the funds of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee for his selfish interests.

He said the party had also used communal idiom and stressed for Panthic agenda in spite of its commitment to the election commission of India.

JD (S) urges President to derecognise SAD He said the SAD also had two constitutions, one of which was submitted to the Gurdwara

Election Commission, Chandigarh, for contesting elections of the SGPC, duly attested by Badal himself wherein it was mentioned that only baptised Sikhs could cast their votes in the party elections. The second constitution had been submitted to the EC for seeking recognition of the SAD as a political party.

Apparently, one of the constitutions is fake and the leaders of the SAD had tried to deceive and mislead the commission, added Khera.

It is pertinent to mention here that the JD (S), in its petition to the EC in 2005, had demanded de-recognition of the SAD as it had fought elections of the SGPC and DGPC. This was against the provisions of the constitution and the law of the land, as these were religious bodies and were responsible for the management of various gurudwaras in the country.

The national executive member also demanded a CBI inquiry into the alleged payment of Rs 21 lakh to Parkash Singh Badal by the Delhi unit of the SAD at a function held on October 6 in New Delhi.

He said the party was now exposed as Badal and his son Sukhbir had been depicted as fearless leaders of the panth in posters at the function which made it clear that the party had two faces - secular as well as communal.



Ram Bagh
ASI discovers antique fountains
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 6
The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has stumbled upon antique fountains and water channels, dating back to the period of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, from the Civil Defence Services Building as part of the conservation and restoration project taken up in the historic Ram Bagh.

In an interview with The Tribune, project architect Gurmeet Rai, who was in the city to attend a meeting with ASI officials, said it had been decided to commission the restoration work to a private contractor having experience in the field of conservation of historic buildings.

“Within a period of six months, most buildings inside Ram Bagh, including the summer palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, would be restored. One-quarter of the garden would also be laid out,” she said.

On the hue and cry raised by certain environmentalists on the demolition of the baradaris inside Ram Bagh, she said the ASI did the right thing considering the pathetic condition of the structures. “The reinforcements had rotten over the years and the condition of the stone structures was also far from satisfactory,” she said.

It was in July 1999 that the director, cultural affairs, and the museum department, in a communication with the deputy commissioner, Amritsar, had urged the handing over the charge of buildings situated in Ram Bagh to them, after it was declared a protected monument.

The letter reads: “You are well aware that the whole of Ram Bagh has been declared protected as per the Government of Punjab notification dated October 8, 1997. This garden is to be developed as per the rules of the department.”

Any kind of activity was also prohibited inside Ram Bagh, including marriage parties and political rallies. It was also decided that the three clubs functioning inside the garden would be shifted out, in view the heritage value of the site. A copy of the letter was sent to the municipal corporation for ensuring eviction of the clubs from the historic building.

The government of Punjab, department of tourism and cultural affairs, vide notification dated April 10, 1997, had ordered protection and maintenance of ancient and historic places under sub-section 4 (1) of the Punjab Ancient and Historic Buildings and Sites Act, 1964.



JK border extremely prone to smuggling: BSF chief
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, November 6
Not giving a clean chit to the Punjab border with Pakistan, Border Security Force (BSF) director-general A.K. Mitra stated that the Jammu and Kashmir border had become extremely prone to smuggling.

He was here to participate in the valedictory function of a two-day seminar on “BSF response to emerging threats and challenges -internal and external” held at Guru Nanak Dev University here.

Interacting with mediapersons, he said as per intelligence inputs in recent times, the Jammu border with Pakistan was more vulnerable to smuggling of narcotics.

Although, he said the recoveries of a huge quantity of smuggled narcotics had been made at the Indo-Pak border with Punjab, the smuggling was still high in the region.

Answering queries about illegal migration at the Indian border with Bangladesh, the director-general said the illegal migration was there but it had been restricted now. He said it was not possible to fence the border with Bangladesh due to its geographical structure and different terrain. He said out of 4,500 km stretch, only 2,000 km was fenced.

About the seminar, Mitra said it was planned keeping in view the vision for the Border Security Force in 2020 in view of changing roles at various times in the country. He said it was conceptual and theoretical practice for awareness about the future challenges before the security force in view of its increasing use in different situations, including combating militancy and during law and order problems in states.

He said the BSF jawans were neither trained nor equipped for these kinds of problems.

Meanwhile, various recommendations have come up at the seminar. BSF officials that delved upon the threats and challenges before the BSF unanimously stressed on integrating border population in the process of border management as a stake-holders.

The officials recommended strict monitoring of the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) in which funds were released by the central government for the development of border villages.

The monitoring of the use of these funds would bring the force closer to the people, which would further strengthen their relation and cooperation in managing the border.

A spokesman for the BSF said the force sought more state-of-the-art gadgets to be installed at the border for close vigil. He said recently the high-held thermal imager was helpful in the detection of a number of cases of border infiltration and smuggling, which led to the seizure of about 91 kg of heroin and narcotics at the border.



Shehnai duo enthral audience
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 6
Sanjeev and Ashwani Shankar, famous “shehnai” players, enthralled the audience during their second performance for Virasat 2007 organised by SpicMacay, Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth.

Born in a family of musicians of Banaras gharana, in which “shehnai” and flute have been played for over 450 years, Sanjeev and Ashwani manifested their strong affinity towards music at the age of seven and five, respectively. Their father Pt Daya Shankar, himself an internationally acclaimed “shehnai” player, boosted the blooming talent of his sons with his inspiration and guidance.

After formal training, in pursuit of proficiency of the highest order in “raga”, “taal” and “laya”, both were awarded scholarship by the Government of India, Department of Culture. At present both have been consolidating their knowledge under the guidance of legendry “sitar” maestro Pt Ravi Shankar.

Accompanying these artists were Anand Shankar on “tabla”, Yogesh Sharma supporting “shehnai” and Hemant Kumar playing the “sur shehnai”. They started the performance with “raag Shudh Saarang” followed by “thumri” and “raag Bhairvi Ki Thumri”.

Vice-principal Rajiv Sharma of Spring Dale Senior School felicitated the artistes.



Prof Sethi nominated economic body member

Amritsar, November 6
Dr Amarjit Singh Sethi, a senior professor in the Punjab School of Economics of Guru Nanak Dev University, has been nominated as an executive committee member to the Indian Economic Association for three years.

His induction was made during the recently concluded 90th annual conference of the association at the University of Kashmir, Srinagar.

In this conference, Prof Sethi presented his research paper on “Cooperative credit and rural development in Punjab: Implications for employment.” — OC



Rangoli Effect
Adding new colours to Divali
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 6
In the run up to Divali, city residents are busy discovering their creative side, trying their hands at making colourful rangoli patterns. The fact that most Punjabis are not deft at giving shape to the complex designs is no disadvantage and women can be seen making a beeline at the rangoli stalls put up on Lawrence Road.

The colours are very affordable and one can buy a packetful for Rs 5. A small booklet with different rangoli designs helps one make a choice between easy to multi-coloured figures, which are made of intricate designs with up to a dozen colours, says Rajkumar, a vendor.

The stalls also offer paper and plastic “jhalars”, some of them studded with small pieces of mirrors.

“These can be put up on the entrance to the house or the small temple, which people make inside their homes,” says Sumit Bansal, another vendor on Lawrence Road.

Dr Renu, a resident of Majitha Road, says, “The rangolis are really fascinating and most of my friends have taken it as a challenge to make something impressive with the colours. It would be good fun to try something different to do up my house this Divali.”

The stalls are also selling earthen “diyas” and Chinese candles in different shapes which have become very popular. “The floating candles are my pick. Some of them are laced with a wonderful fragrance, which casts an instant spell,” she adds.

Even the gift houses in the city are thriving on the sale of Chinese-made candles and other electric 
decoration pieces.



Campus Buzz
An eye-opening documentary fest at GNDU
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 6
An eye-opening documentary, “Fest Call for a Change”, was organised by the Friends of Freedom in collaboration with the School of Economics at Guru Nanak Dev University here.

The programme involved screening of three documentaries on the RTI, “Backstage Boys” and “To Be Me” followed by an open discussion.

Expressing his views on the RTI, P.S. Randhawa, general secretary, pollution control board, threw light on various practical aspects of this tool and cleared all the queries of the audience. He emphasised upon the need to bring a change in ourselves first than to expect change in others.

Moreover, the RTI is an instrument for public welfare and not for political games.

Dr Sharanjit Dhillon of the Punjab School of Economics after the documentary on “Backstage Boys”, while interacting with the participants, stated the reasons for such a bleak scenario in our society.

He mentioned that the unscrupulous agents exploited the gullible Indian minds and the rural youth were more vulnerable in this regard and added that the inefficient government policies were equally responsible.

Speaking on documentary “To Be Me”, he said it gave an insight into the actual state of mind of the trans-gender.

They were the people who were born with one gender but they felt that they had been given the wrong body. They were part of a minority community which was usually unaccepted by the general public. “However, we need to realise that they have an equal right to a dignified life and recognition in society.”

The session concluded with an informative lecture delivered by Prof Paramjeet Singh. He related the trans-sexuality with Indian traditions and highlighted the concept of “Ardhanarishwariya” as the identity recognition of trans-sexuals.

He also made people aware of the fact that they were treated at par with other citizens in the western countries.

Re-examining development

The development policies pursued in the era of globalisation has no doubt created a transnational unity, but it has accentuated the wretchedness of the subalterns the world over.

This was stated by Prof K.N. Kabra, former professor, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi in his address in the two-day national conference on re-examining development debates. The conference was organised by GNDU in collaboration with Indian Political Economy Association, New Delhi.

Dr Kabra traced the genesis of the present regime of inequalities in the world economy to what he called the ‘Process of Othering’ which incidentally is the basis of the development model of the Industrial Revolution. It is these policies which were aimed at plundering the poor countries of the world for the rise and management of the Imperialist Empires.

Criticising the economic orientation of the globalization, Dr Kabra said it has given rise to a kind of capitalist development, which could be termed as dependent.

He said the parameters of measuring the growth of economy in terms of the gross domestic product is in fact a camouflage for the inequalities existing underneath.

Speaking on the occasion, UPSC member Dr Raju Chella said the political economy would play its role in bringing together the metaphysical vision and the empirical reality. The role of state must be enhanced in order to usher in a world of holistic economic development.

Handball tourney

Dr Raghbir Singh, dean academic affairs of the Guru Nanak Dev University, inaugurated the north-east zone and all-India inter-university handball (men and women) championships here. Dr Kanwaljit Singh, director of sports of the university, said this was the first time that the university had constituted a committee which had been assigned the duty to observe the proceedings of all the matches. More than 71 teams consisting of 700 players from various universities are participating in this tournament. 



Govts should promote hockey in India, Pak: Afzal
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune news Service

Amritsar, November 6
The 21-member hockey team of the Multan Racket (MR) Club arrived in India via the Attari Wagah joint checkpost to participate in the 37th SN Vohra Gurmeet Memorial Hockey Championship being held in Chandigarh.

Team manager Mian Afzal, talking to the media, said that hockey was one of the major traditional games of the two neighbouring countries but the two governments had failed to promote it in a big way as was being done in the case of cricket. He said though the British had left India 60 years ago, yet we were not able to come out of the slave mentality.

Afzal said the national teams of the two countries could perform better in the international arena if proper funds and infrastructure of the international level were provided to the budding players. He said hockey was being played in their country even at the village level but in the absence of any government support the country had failed to produce international-level players.

He said the future of hockey in this subcontinent was bright if proper funds and infrastructure were provided to the players at the grassroots level. He rued that funds were being provided only at the national level while district and local-level teams were being ignored.



Cong responsible for violence in Amritsar on Oct 26: BSP
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 6
The district president of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Surinder Arjun, alleged that local Congress leaders were responsible for the October 26 riots in the walled city 
of Amritsar.

Talking to mediapersons here, Arjun alleged that Congress leaders, including, Prof Darbari Lal, former deputy speaker, Jugal Kishore Sharma, Raj Kumar and Harjinder Singh Thekedar, all MLAs, and other local leaders were responsible for instigating the Balmiki Samaj for violence over the death of Shankar Dass, who was killed by a relative of a SAD MLA on October 26. When contacted, Jugal Kishore Sharma, while refuting the allegations as baseless, said Arjun was a novice in politics as he (Arjun) did not know who was behind the violence. He said the Congress had always worked for the uplift of the downtrodden and weaker sections of the society. He said the party had never indulged in any kind of violence and the people know better that who were indulging in violence as was witnessed in Godhara in Gujarat and other parts of the country.

Arjun said it was the BSP which had submitted a memorandum to deputy commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu and the senior superintendent of police for providing compensation, job to one member of the deceased’s family, besides taking action against the accused responsible for the killing of Shankar. He claimed that all demands made by them had been fulfilled.

He said this was proved when no leader from the Congress turned at the bhog ceremony of Shankar. He said only Shwet Malik, mayor, municipal corporation, and Lakshmi Kanta Chawla, state health minister, were present Urging the Balmiki Samaj to boycott the Congress, Arjun said the Congress had no concern for the Dalit community as it only wanted to grab the votes of the community.



Strenuous exercises bad for immunity
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 6
For athletes and fitness freaks, strenuous exercises can prove fatal, making them susceptible to muscle injury. The solution lies in moderate exercising and what better than walking which is the easiest way to stimulate the immune system and bring the body back in form.

In an interview with The Tribune, Michael Kalinski, professor of sports physiology, Kent State University, Ohio (USA), said athletes tend to go overboard with their training schedules and end up doing excessive, repetitive exercises.

“It has been seen that the modern, elite, sports exercises may become damaging, taking a toll on the figments of the skeletal muscles. This is when the role of the immune system begins. It removes the muscle debris and repairs the damaged areas,” he said.

Moderate exercises like walking stimulate the hormonal system, which in turn activates the immune system of the body, said Prof Michael Kalinski, who was in the city on October 29 to deliver a lecture on “effects of exercise on immune functions” at the national workshop on “sports excellence”.

In case of aged persons, the number of muscles can decrease and at the age of 80 they are left with only 50 per cent of it. Moreover, the muscles turn weaker and less flexible, increasing the risk of injury during strenuous exercising. It, therefore, becomes all the more important to take breaks at regular intervals for walking, he said.

“However, sport immunology being a relatively new area of research, most health conscious people still overdo their fitness exercises, which eventually worsens their health,” he added.

In case of young girls, development of a strong immune system is particularly significant, considering the fact that the strength of bones goes down drastically after menopause. “Therefore, it is recommended that they plan out their training schedules in a way that their muscles are not stretched to the limits,” he said.

The key, he said, lies in striking a balance by mixing the right amount of repetitive training with moderate exercises and the trainers can play a crucial role in guiding sportsmen and the health conscious in this regard.

Prof. Kalinski said athletes participating in endurance training and competitions (runners, skiers, swimmers etc.) often experience escalation of the incidents of upper respiratory tract infection, compared to the general population. Susceptibility to infections of elite athlete could be increased as a result of the overtraining and competition due to increased exposure to damaging micro-organisms.

He also discussed the variety of other factors that may potentially influence inflammatory responses to muscle damage after eccentric exercise. These include age, gender, anti-inflammatory drugs.

Earlier, Dr. Kanwaljit Singh, director, sports, GNDU, said the workshop was first of its kind in this northern region.



Success Mantra
Punjabi tadka wins favour with audiences everywhere: Padmini 
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 6
It’s the Punjabi flavour which has become sure shot ticket for success in Bollywood, says Bollywood siren of yesteryear Padmini Kolhapuri. She was here for the launch of the second new batch of the Padmini Kolhapuri School of Acting.

Launching the new batch, she said Punjabi songs had become a sure shot ticket for success of films in Bollywood. The Punjabi culture and songs in Bollywood films attracted people all over, especially in the northern part of the country, she added. She said Punjabi songs were hits among the NRI audience.

Padmini began her career as a child artiste and was made a star with films like Prem Rog. She was also the chief guest for the talk show organised by the Creator Academy Kala Society and the Padmini Kolhapuri School of Acting.

She also adjudged the acting skills of schoolchildren who took training at a workshop organised in collaboration with her acting institute. “The children do not seem as if they had taken training in just a 21-day workshop. They are perfect actors already,” she added.

She said she had a number of acting institutes all over the country where anyone from a child to youngsters was trained to hone their acting skills. She said she was always in search for artistes whose talent could be honed to take them to Bollywood. She would give a chance to artistes who got training from her institute, she added.



Games conclude at Tarn Taran
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, November 6
The concluding ceremony of the handball (14 Boys and Girls) and wrestling (19 girls) competitions in the 53rd Punjab School Games presented a colourful scenario.

As many as 500 players from all the districts of the state participated in the 5-day games. The games were held in the play ground of the local Sri Guru Har Krishan Public School.

The games were concluded here on Wednesday in which Piara Singh Talwar, district education officer (secondary) was the chief guest, whereas Balwinder Singh, principal Bir Baba Budha Secondary School, Bir sahib, the chairman of the tournament committee presided over the function organised on the occasion.

According to Waryam Singh, assistant education officer (AEO), the results of the games are as under - Handball (B) - 1st Sangur, 2nd - Tarn Taran and 3rd - Amritsar; Handball (G) - 1st - Tarn Taran, 2nd - Bathinda and 3rd - Sangrur, Wrestling (Girls) - 1st - Tarn Taran, 2nd - Faridkot and 3rd - Moga.

The other personalities present on the concluding ceremony include Gursharanjit Singh Mann, district education officer (elementary), Kulwant Singh, Kuldeep Singh Kahlon, Gurinder Singh member-in charge Sri Guru Har Krishan Public School, Jaswinder Kaur principal Government Secondary School, Kasel and others. A colourful cultural programme was also presented on the occasion by the host school. 



Sonologists observe strike

Amritsar, November 6
Local sonologists submitted a memorandum regarding their demands to civil surgeon Dr Lehmbar Singh here on Friday. The sonologists were on a two-day strike on the call given by their state-level association to stop scanning of pregnant patients in protest against the government’s apathy to their long-pending demands.

In the memorandum, the sonologists protested against the alleged unnecessarily “exhaustive and irrelevant” record-keeping of pregnant patients, even when sex determination could not be done or was irrelevant such as in early and late pregnancies.

Dr G.S. Randhawa, spokesman for the sonologists, said there were no clear instructions from the government regarding documents to be preserved as records to confirm the identity of the patients. He said in cases of dire emergency of life and death, sonologists remained in dilemma in the absence of clear instructions. He said there were no clear instructions in case of rape victims or “unmarried mothers.” He said sonologists were held responsible if patients were untraceable after giving false information.

Meanwhile, Dr Lehmbar Singh gave them assurance of doing the needful in this regard. — OC



Encroachment menace

Encroachment on public property in any form is an offence and is like encroaching upon the rights of the citizens. If we talk of encroachment on the roads, it is a free-for-all affair.

The encroachers may be shopkeepers, rehriwalas, footpath squatters or vehicle owners. Encroachment on government property is done with impunity. Our roads in towns have been narrowed to one-third of their width. But the administration looks the other way.

Remedy: Premises of all shopkeepers should be marked and videographed. They should be warned not to extend their shops beyond the limit.

The encroachers should be fined or challaned as per rule. Building material should be allowed to be kept on the roads for a limited period. This will help the municipal corporation check encroachments.

Dr Ranbir Singh Pannu, 236, Medical Enclave, Amritsar

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