P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Pakistanis languishing in Amritsar jail
Their term over, but Pak indifferent
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 18
Many Pakistani prisoners, including women who have already completed their sentence, could not be released from the high-security Amritsar Central Jail because their own country is not coming forward to end their misery.

With the result, 32 Pakistani nationals have been languishing in the jail. Though a high-level team of officials of the Pakistan’s embassy and the ministry of external affairs and the ministry of home affairs, government of India, provided consular access to at least 16 prisoners, they could not cross over to their country due to the callous attitude of the Pakistan authorities.

While some Pakistanis were caught by the BSF on charges of espionage or under the NDPSA, most of them were sentenced due to overstay.

On the other hand, 16 other prisoners could not be granted consular access due to indifference shown by Pakistan .

This has enhanced their chances of further languishing in the high security Central Jail. It seems that Pakistan has virtually disowned its own nationals as there is nobody to confirm their identity.

According to highly placed sources, countries normally did not identify persons arrested on espionage charges. But the Pakistani interior ministry opposed the idea, arguing that some Indian nationals in Pakistani prisons were Indian spies, and that they were arrested for working against the country’s interests.

According to information given by the jail authorities to The Tribune, Sukla Gosht who had infiltrated into India through the Bhikhiwind sector was arrested on June 30, 1999. She has lost her mental equilibrium because she could not be released despite the fact that her sentence was completed on October 25, 2002.

Similarly, Abdul Sharif, a resident of Dekhsabar, Balochistan, entered through the Attari border on April 13, 1997 but he could not go back to his country even after 10 years though he was given a sentence of three years’ imprisonment. He told The Tribune that he had given the address and identification to Pakistani officials, yet his country was not ready to accept him. “I could not celebrate Id and other festivals with my family due to my overstay in the Amritsar jail,” he rued. He was only 17 when he had inadvertently crossed over to India. Giving details of his family, he said they are eight brothers and three sisters who must be missing him.

Similarly, Mukhtar Ahmad from Kasur was arrested on December 22, 1990 under the NDPSA by the custom department from Ferozepur and his sentence was completed in 1999.

The list of such hapless prisoners languishing in the jail included Musa Qazim Hamid Khan, Harn Rashid, Mohammad Aslam Khan and Akbar Ali Khan.

Deputy Commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu said despite the repeated reminders the Pakistan authorities were not coming forward to secure the release of their nationals lodged in the local jail. He said the district administration had also provided complete information of the Pakistani nationals lodged in Amritsar Jail so that the matter could be taken up with the government of Pakistan.


State’s share from Rs 25,000-cr central funds in jeopardy
SAD-BJP in a fix over dist-level panels
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The ruling SAD-BJP finds itself in a fix. Crores of central funds meant for the rural sector will be stopped next year as the state has not formed district-level committees to plan and execute projects. The problem-the Congress has majority in the Zila Parishads and municipalities from where members of the committees are to be drawn.

The result: It is mandatory to form committees and without which Punjab will not get a rupee of its share from Rs 25,000 crore agriculture development plan. Besides this the backward region grant fund of Rs 30 crore and the rural development schemes worth Rs 250 crore will also be curtailed.

For the agriculture plan the Planning Commission allowed an exception this year and Rs 38 crore was released to Punjab. However, this may not be permitted next year, said officials.

Part of the problem is a legacy left by the Amarinder Singh government. The committees were to be constituted by June 2006 when the term of the previous regime ended. These were never formed during the congress regime. Now if the SAD-BJP does it, the Congress men would dominate and the ruling combine would not want the opposition party take decisions. They would rather wait till fresh elections are held and new person are elected to Zila Parishads and the municipalities.

Officials said even though the role of the district-level planning committees is to just approve and recommend a project, political parties do not easily trust the opposition on such matters. The Amarinder Singh government had done the same when voted to power in February 2002 and even stalled the formation of such committees.

Sources said the ruling combine has been informed about the requirement of forming the committees on urgent basis but nothing has happened so far. The Zila Parishads and municipalities in small towns were all elected during the tenure of Amarinder Singh. Fresh elections will take place in January next. It will be only after these elections that the district planning committees will be formed.

Officials said the ruling SAD-BJP combine was jittery over the presence of Congress men.

Already in April this year the Union Ministry of Rural Development has made it clear that the state may not be eligible for grants in the rural sector as several guidelines to avail the funds and ensure proper utilisation were non-existent. A sum of Rs 270 crore has to be given by the government of India during the Current year.

Formation of the committees is also one of the requirements for the urban renewal schemes for Ludhiana and Amritsar.


More winged guests at Nangal wetland than Ropar
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Nangal, November 18
The wetland here that has been developed into a lake is receiving thousands of winged guests from Central Asia. Already over 15,000 migratory birds have arrived at the wetland.

The birds that are sighted here in large numbers include bar headed goose, ruddy shelduck, spot billed duck, pochard, coot, raptor, crane and great cormorant.

According to many ornithologists, the wetlands in Punjab are just halting places for migratory birds. However, an amateur bird watcher, Prabhat Bhatti, who has been collecting photos of the winged guests at the lake for the past many years, says migratory birds stay here for the entire winter. Ample availability of fish, water weeds, lesser pollution and less disturbance from people have made the Nangal lake a permanent halting place for many bird varieties, he said.

The wetland has been formed by deposition of silt coming into the Sutlej. The river water is diverted into the Bhakra and Anandpur Sahib hydel canals at the Nangal barrage. This has led to the formation of a wetland ideally suited for migratory birds.

Wildlife experts, including Vibhu Prakash, along with higher officials of the Wildlife Department, who is running a vulture centre near Chandigarh, has also visited the Nangal wetland. They are of the opinion that the lake can be promoted as a site for ecological tourism. Some of the officials proposed that the lake be declared a wildlife sanctuary. However, the case has till date remained on paper.

On the other hand the internationally recognised Ropar wetland in the district has received very less migratory birds this year.

According to Jaspreet, another amateur ornithologist, who has watching birds in the areas for the past more than a decade, said the pollution from the Ropar thermal plant and other chemical plants was affecting the bird population there. The high temperature of the thermal plant water entering the Ropar wetland had affected the fish pollution and water weeds.

With the government now identifying sites to develop as tourist spots, the Nangal wetland can prove to be an ideal location for promoting eco tourism. This can also boost the economy of the area.


Rice mills come to a halt
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 18
Over 3,500 rice millers in the state have come to a grinding halt as the owners are finding it hard to meet the specifications for rice due to the presence of high moisture in the paddy made available to them by various government procurement agencies.

The rice millers are not sure as to how they would return the rice that meets the specifications as the paddy was of low grade. Even as they had raised a hue and cry at the time paddy was being lifted by the agencies, following detection of high moisture content in it, no heed was paid to their concerns.

The millers are now demanding that the union government should relax the specifications so that they do not have to suffer losses. The FCI accepts 3 per cent damaged and the same percentage of discoloured rice. The millers want 4 per cent damaged and 5 five per cent discoloured rice be made acceptable for the FCI.

Lakhvir Singh, a rice miller, said the relaxations would not affect the food value of rice in any way. If the relaxation was not granted by the union government the millers were likely to suffer huge losses.

Krishan Kumar, a miller from Patiala, said the millers were incapable of meeting the specifications because of high moisture in the paddy. In case the millers did not return the levy rice, the government agencies would get cases registered against them. In such a situation they were left with no other option but to chip in money from their own pockets.

Nakesh Jindal, an office-bearer of the Punjab Rice Millers Association, said the matter had been taken up with senior authorities of the FCI and a letter was being written to the union government seeking relaxations.

Meanwhile, the stalling of paddy shelling in the mills has rendered more than 3 lakh labourers workless in the state.


‘Punjabis command respect in Iran’
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 18
Punjabis command a lot of respect in Iran due to the 700-year-old historical Punjabi-Persian link. Their mother-tongue is taught in certain schools there.

Talking to The Tribune here,a prominent businessman from Tehran, Parvinder Singh Chandok, said in view of their age-old relations with Persia, Punjabis could play a significant role in cementing relations between India and Iran. There were around 200 NRI families in Iran. All of them commanded respect among the local populace. The minorities were safe in Iran, claimed Chandok.

Persian was the official language in Punjab for 700 years and the Department of Persian Studies, Patiala University, had to its credit great contributions to encouraging Persian in Punjab. It had published a dictionary of Persian Punjabi and various other translations from Persian to Punjabi and vice versa. Late Gulphant, Sikh Persian scholar, had done a great job in popularising Persian in Punjab.

Chandok said the link between the two languages should be exploited to strengthen relationship between India and Iran.

“Let us not forget Guru Gobind Singh was the greatest scholar of Persian language and ‘Zafarnama’ is an example of it,” he said.

There existed a tremendous scope for business opportunities for Punjab in Iran. The first business-generation target between Punjab and Iran was $ 500 million, he added.

Chandok said the Sikh community had been a vibrant small community in Iran since more than a century with their third or fourth generations living there now. The community, comprising around 100 families, had its own gurdwara, school and cremation grounds. There were around 200 Indian families in Iran. Most of the Indians preferred to remain in Iran despite turbulence there, he said.

He urged the government of India and Punjab to send high-level delegations to Iran and study feasibilities for cooperation and investment. Agricultural projects could be the focus between Iran and Punjab for joint ventures.

Chandok was honoured with a “siropa” (robe of honour) by SGPC executive member Rajinder Singh Mehta for his achievements in Iran.


Sekhri nominated to AICC
Our Correspondent

Batala, November 18
Balwinder Singh Ladi, chairman, Zila Parishad, Gurdaspur, and Anoop Khullar, a general secretary, City Congress, Batala, today said ex-MLA and Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab, Ashwani Sekhri, has been nominated member of the All- India Congress Committee(AICC) by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.


Anandpur Sahib-Nanded Highway
Meeting on Nov 23 in Delhi
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 18
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said today that a special meeting had been convened in Delhi on November 23 to discuss the construction of the proposed highway from Anandpur Sahib to Nanded in Maharashtra. The meeting would also discuss the Gurgaddi Purb celebrations of Guru Granth Sahib.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil will preside over the meeting in which the Chief Ministers of Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra will also take part.

Badal, accompanied by his wife, was in the city to attend a marriage ceremony.

In a short interaction with mediapersons, he said, “The state government has been trying its best to provide basic amenities to the people.” Giving details about the plans for celebrating the purb, Badal said, “Anandpur Sahib and Talwandi Sabo will be given special consideration from the development point of view.” On the increased price for wheat, the Chief Minister said it had been done to motivate the farmers.

Director-general of police N.P.S. Aulakh was also present at the function.


Govt finalises details
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The Punjab Government today finalised the details of the programme to link Takht Kesgarh Sahib at Anandpur Sahib with Sachkhand Hazoor Sahib, Nanded, through an inter-state highway to be known as Guru Gobind Singh Marg.

The details were finalised at a high-level meeting presided over by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

While giving the details of the meeting, media adviser to the Chief Minister Harcharan Bains said Badal had already taken up this matter with the Government of India.

The new highway would commemorate the journey of Guru Gobind Singh from Damdama Sahib at Talwandi Sabo to Sachkhand Hazoor Sahib.

He further stated that this road would have many land marks where the Guru stayed during the course of his journey.


Spinal injury centre to open in Feb
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 18
Almost seven years after its inception, the stage is set for the inauguration of the Regional Spinal Injury Centre here.

The centre - one of Punjab’s most ambitious project - which has been under construction for over three years now, would finally be inaugurated in February.

This was decided during a review meeting chaired by Punjab chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh on November 16.

“The centre is ready in almost all its aspects. Only a small part of the construction is to be completed. The first phase of the centre would be functional in February,” he said.

The super-speciality centre for spinal injuries would cater to patients from across the region. “In the first phase, the centre would include other than an OPD, an operation theatre and IPD facilities to accommodate 18 patients. The ICU, recovery rooms are ready,” said Dr Raj Bahadur, project director.

The centre spread over 5 acres of land in Sector 70, would be the second institute of its kind in north India. One such Institute is already functioning at Vasant Kunj in New Delhi.

Singh said initially the centre would draw on staff from the PGI and the Government Medical College and Hospital Sector 32, Chandigarh. Dr Raj Bahadur, head of Department of Orthopaedics, PGI, added that the Punjab government would sign an MoU with PGI so that medical staff of the hospital could be shared with the centre on a rotation basis.

He said staff at the centre would soon be employed. “We have also been given the go ahead to procure furniture and other equipment for the building,” said Dr Bahadur. The centre is already providing physiotherapy services and vocational counselling.

There is also a proposal to include teaching courses on disabilities, including spinal injuries, at the RSIC so that the institute provides good services to its patients in the region.

The centre is run by a society headed by minister of social security, Punjab. The governing body of the centre has been meeting regularly to sort out the problem of funds that the project faces.

The centre was to being functioning in December 2004 but the government found it difficult to provide funds for the project. The building of the centre had remained semi-constructed for over two years before construction could begin again.


Lord Rana to conserve Sanghol heritage
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The rich archaeological Harappan heritage of Ucha Pind (Sanghol) village needs to be saved from slipping into oblivion.

Lord Diljit Rana, honorary consul for India in Northern Ireland, a native of this village, proposes to form a committee that would take care of its heritage.

“Ucha Pind’s heritage has seen bad times. Out of 21 Buddhist stupas, the archaeological Survey of India (ASI), has been able to conserve just one. More than five such stupas lie in village farms and no one gives any attention to this,” said Lord Rana.

He added that one such stupa had been converted into a brick-kiln, while another farmer demolished the stupa found in his farm for fear of the government overtaking his land.

Sanghol has been the most important centre of activity from Peshawar to Benaras during the Kushan period.

Lord Rana will also take up this issue at the International National Trust Conference being held in Delhi from December 3 to 5.

His initiative to form a local committee to take care of heritage comes from similar committees in the cities of Derry and Down Patrick in Europe. “Derry remains the only walled city intact in Europe, while St Patrick’s (who brought Christianity to Ireland) grave remains conserved due to these local committees,” he added.

Acting on similar lines, he plans to empower panchayat and local committees to take over conservation of heritage by creating a sense of ownership and will propose the same to the government tomorrow at Sanghol.

Peeved at lesser opportunities available for the rural youth, he has set up a Sanghol Educational Complex, which former President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, inaugurated last year. Lord Rana plans to augment this educational complex and add hotel management to its list of courses.

He pointed that the only answer to growing unrest in youth was to keep them busy. He aspired to develop Sanghol as a tourism centre and hoped to have his hotel management students placed in this canopy of opportunities.

Besides working on education, he also has plans to take over the 30-year-old building of hospital at Sanghol that has never become operational.

“The hospital has been inaugurated thrice since its construction and is yet to see even an injection,” he added.

He plans to take over the hospital from the government and develop it as a charity institute for the locals.


Undertrial paanwala wins Rs 1-cr lottery
Jupinderjit Singh and Mahesh Sharma
Tribune News Service

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 18
From facing criminal cases to becoming a crorepati overnight. This is the sudden change in the life of a Malerkotla resident.

The Rs 1-crore Diwali Bumper Lottery of Punjab State turned the fortunes of Mohd Shakeel, a paanwala and block Youth Congress president of Malerkotla, who is facing trial in at least seven cases, including a murderous attack on a journalist and a former president of the municipal council, Malerkotla. One of the cases is being tried in a CBI court.

However, the winner, alleging that he had been falsely implicated, has claimed that a part of the amount would be appropriated towards the welfare of members of the lower strata of society.

A man of limited means, Shakeel enjoyed a special status during the previous Congress government, owing to his proximity to an IPS officer and senior leaders.

Mohamad Shakeel had bought the lottery ticket, bearing number 732800, on the insistence of his son Sahil, which fetched him the prize of Rs 1 crore three days ago.

A large number of friends and relatives have been calling on him to greet him since the result of the lottery on Friday.

Investigations by The Tribune reveal that Shakeel was brought up in a lower middle class family of Malerkotla town. A small betel-leaf (paan) shop was the only means of subsistence of the family. He is also associated with many social organisations of the area.


Gurpurb: 136 denied visas
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 18
As many as 136 persons have been denied visas for visiting Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan to celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev by the state and Central governments and the Pakistan Embassy.

Stating this to the media here today, Harbeant Singh, secretary, SGPC, said those who had been denied visas could collect their passports from the SGPC office on any working day. He said the jatha would leave for the gurdwara on November 21 by special trains and return on November 30 after visiting Gurdwaras Sacha Sauda, Panja Sahib and Dera Sahib, Lahore.


Female Foeticide
Onus on docs: Minister
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 18
Punjab minister for health Luxmi Kanta Chawla here today said the onus of checking female foeticide in the state rests on the doctors and nurses.

Speaking at a seminar organised by the Punjab branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on female foeticide entitled ‘Doctors for Daughter’, the health minister said it was a matter of great concern for all that the sex ration was dwindling.

She said it was quite unfortunate that men were buying brides from other states for less then Rs 5,000, while a buffalo was being sold for more than Rs 25,000 in the state.

Making a strong appeal to all sections of the society for joining hands against the social evil, the health minister said time had come to start a mass movement against female foeticide. She said conceivably, more baby girls had been murdered in Punjab than those killed during the country’s partition.

She said it was the mindset of the Punjabis who were inclined towards having a baby boy in greed of dowry that needed to be changed. Chawla said rigorous efforts should be made to generate awareness amongst the masses against female foeticide, infanticide and abandoning of the girl child.

Local legislator Didar Singh Bhatti said besides launching a drive against female foeticide, a similar campaign should be started against drug abuse in the state. He made an appeal to voluntary organisations and masses to come together and fight the evils of foeticide and drug abuse.


200 examined at camp
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 18
The local Lions Club Greater organised a medical and dental camp here today.

About 200 children were examined by a team of doctors from Dental College, Sunam. Medicines were given free of cost.


Case against Bhattal adjourned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
UT district and sessions judge Raj Rahul Garg adjourned the embezzlement case of former Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal as the order of withdrawal of special leave petition (SLE) is yet to be received by the trial court.

The next hearing of the case is on December 20. The politician had moved a SLE in the Supreme Court because she claimed that the sanction of the government was not sought before filing this case against her. Bhattal was alleged of misappropriation of Rs 20 lakh from the Prime Minister’s Relief fund in 1996 during her brief tenure as the Chief Minister.

The investigating agency in the case has found the receipts that showed the use of Rs 20 lakh taken by Bhattal from the PM’s Relief Fund. The investigating agency stated the receipts are genuine.

In another case against a renowned politician the SLE plea was dismissed by the Supreme Court.

Charges were framed against Bhattal under Section 409 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 13 (1) D of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

The complainant in the case, Balwant Singh Dhillon had alleged that Bhattal was involved in the embezzlement of Rs 20 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund in 1996. An FIR in the matter was registered against Bhattal by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau on the complaint of Dhillon.


Panchkula trader, his employee killed in accident near Kharar
Tribune News Service

Kharar, November 18
Two persons were killed and three injured in an accident near Gharuan in Kharar this morning at 7.15 am.

The accident involved an Accent car coming from Ludhiana, a Maruti car going towards Morinda and a bus coming from Ludhiana.

Surinder Kumar, who was driving the Accent car, said the driver of the Maruti car tried to overtake a truck. It first hit the Accent car driven by him (Surinder) and then a bus (PB-10BN-0533) coming from Ludhiana.

Amarnath (38), a rice trader and his employee Sunil Kumar (28) were in the Maruti car. They were on way to Morinda from Panchkula to collect payments. Amarnath was a resident of Sector 8 in Panchkula and Sunil of Mani Majra in Chandigarh.

Such was the impact of the collision that the Maruti car was reduced to a rubble.

The car went underneath the bus and was dragged up to 50 feet.

The police had a hard time extricating the bodies.

Amarnath died on the spot. Sunil succumbed to his injuries on way to hospital in Kharar. Three bus passengers, Paramjit Singh from Sirhind, Sheetal Singh from Fatehgarh Sahib and Shashi Bala from Kharar, were injured.

Amarnath leaves behind his wife, a daughter and a son.

Bus driver Baldev Singh has been booked by the police. He has absconded.


Additional paddy bonus inadequate: CM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal yesterday described bonus announced by the Centre on the paddy procurement as woefully inadequate and said the Centre instead should have announced an increase of Rs 150 per quintal in minimum support price (MSP) of paddy.

In a statement here Badal said a meagre bonus of Rs 50 per quintal was no answer to the agony of the farming community.

Meanwhile, Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira said the UPA government giving an additional bonus of Rs 50 per quintal for the current paddy crop of 2007-2008 was another graceful act of magnanimity towards the farmers. Now the total bonus for paddy amounted to Rs 100 per quintal which would benefit the farmers.


College where a lecturer works as peon, clerk
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 18
“I have been working as peon, clerk and lecturer as well” , revealed Kulwant Singh, a lecturer of government college, Narot Jaimal Singh in Gurdaspur district, at a state council meeting of the Government Colleges Teachers Association, Punjab, held at government college for women, here today.

This sums up the plight of the government colleges , especially in remote areas in the state . More than 700 vacancies of lecturer are vacant which directly and indirectly benefit private educational institutes mushrooming in various parts of Punjab .

Addressing the meeting, Jai Paul Singh , state president of the association said it was shocking the lecturer in Narot Jaimal Singh college was shifted from Gurdaspur where he (Kulwant Singh) was teaching physical education to 600 students . The strength of Narot Jaimal Singh college is dismal . It was opened due to political compulsions during the previous Congress regime. There are other government colleges which are even worse than Narot Jaimal Singh college that include government college Sujanpur , Guru Harsahai , Zira and Kala Afghana . He said there was dire need to overhaul infrastructure and filling all vacant posts to make the government colleges economically viable.

General secretary of the Teachers Association, Hardip Singh said the association had decided to hold dharna in front of the office of higher education minister Dr Upinderjit Kaur on December 11 in protest against the callous attitude of the state government towards the long-pending demands of the state. He said it was pity the government colleges had been suffering from financial crunch. The vacant posts of teacher were being filled on ad hoc basis as “Guest Faculty” on the salary being paid by the Parent- Teachers Association (PTA) because the government was not coming forward to give financial help to its own institutions .

The Government Colleges Teachers Association alleged the higher education minister had refused to hold meeting with their representatives which showed the state government was resorting to dilly-dallying towards their genuine demands.

The major demands of the association included finalising seniority list which could not be revised since 1996 . They also sought delegation of powers to principals so that college teachers could withdraw their Provident Funds up to Rs 50,000 at college level.


Papers on uses of organic chemistry presented
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 18
Twenty research papers on aspects and uses of organic chemistry were presented on the third day of four-day third international junior national organic symposium, held at Guru Nanak Dev university here today.

Goverdhan Mehta, a scientist from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, on the importance of chemistry said it was a basic science and quoted Linus Pauling who said "I feel sorry for those who do not know chemistry; they are missing an important part of happiness. Since nature is a vast source of biologically important molecules like taxol, an anti-cancer agent, to avoid imbalance in the flora and fauna". He asked the young scientists to synthesise such complex molecules in laboratories.

Young research scholars also had interaction with ‘pillars’ of organic chemistry in India like Prof Sukh Dev, former Director, Malti Chemicals, Gujarat.


Rayat bags trophy in fest
Tribune News Service

Ropar, November 18
The two-day techno-cultural extravaganza at Rayat and Bahra Institute of Engineering and Bio-Technology, Railmajra, concluded here today.

The hosts won the overall trophy. As a gesture, the winning host team forfeited their trophy to the first runners up Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Longowal. PCTE, Ludhiana finished.


Patiala win fencing championship
Tribune News Service

Khamano (Fatehgarh Sahib), November 18
Fencers from Patiala snatched the crown at the 21st Punjab Senior Fencing Championship that was held at the local Government Senior Secondary School's indoor stadium in the district.

The Patiala fencers swept the gold medals in all epee, sabre and foil team events in both the men's and women's category during the championship to dominate the proceedings. While the second place was occupied by Fatehgarh Sahib, the third spot was won by fencers from Gurdaspur.

The championship was inaugurated by Ravinder Kumar, subdivisional magistrate, Khamano, while Samrala MLA J S Khirnya, presided over the concluding ceremony of the championship.


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