Stock crash: Rookies mourn as they take major hit
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 22
Reverberations of the massive fall at the stock markets yesterday could be felt in the city’s trading circles today. The developments in the stock market panicked the city’s increasingly young brigade of investors with some of them suffering up to 75 per cent of losses.

The mood of mourning today is in sharp contrast to the buoyant mood last week, which was marked by every investor and trader wanting to jump on the bandwagon and grab some shares of Reliance Petrochemicals Limited (RPL).

With share mania catching fancy of the youth, eager to make quick money, some had even borrowed money to buy shares of blue-chip companies. They are now repenting having gone by the stock tips they acted upon.

Rajesh Arora, a gold dealer, says he had suffered about 60 per cent losses. “But since I had bought the shares with long-term investment in mind, I am not having nightmares, like some of my friends. I had invested in shares of Ansal properties and RPL. The Reliance share I had bought for Rs 248, plummeted to Rs 110 today,” he says. “Ours is a well-knit group of friends who regularly invest in shares and I hope they are able to muster enough courage to stand the crisis,” he adds.

Requesting anonymity, a bank employee, says most of his clients had lost about 75 per cent of their investment. “It is definitely a hard time for investors. Imagine the state of mind of someone who had invested Rs 1 lakh and is now left with only Rs 40,000,” he says.

The Sensex on Monday lost 2,062 points intra-day to hit a low of 16,951, before recovering about one-third of the losses to close at 17,605.35. The National Stock Exchange, Nifty, lost 496.50 points or 8.70 per cent to close at 5208.80.

Dr Abhijit Kumar, a private practitioner on Majitha Road, says, “I was glued to the TV set the entire Monday and Tuesday getting minute-by-minute details of the market crash. Such a major nosedive is unprecedented. My brother-in-law had even borrowed money to invest in shares and his house is now a picture of gloom. But I’m sure, both share investors and traders would learn a thing or two from this bad patch.”

Amrinder Singh Aujla, who runs a garment showroom in Ranjit Avenue, says he has lost whatever little money he had made over last year, ever since he began investing regularly. “The sad part is that I need money urgently and was planning to sell some shares but now that wouldn’t be possible,” he says.



‘My child, I need an Olympic medal’
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 22
“Work hard and try to get an Olympic medal for the country and for me.” These were the last words spoken by veteran sportsperson Dalip Singh (72) to his daughter Gurmeet Kaur.

Dalip Singh, an athlete and navy swimmer, who died recently at his Sabrah village in Tarn Taran, immensely contributed to sports after serving in the Navy. After training athletes and swimmers for the Navy as a physical training instructor, Singh, after retirement, turned to his own family to unearth future athletes.

He was the guiding force behind the success of his grandchildren who are names to reckon with at the national and international levels in various games.

His grand-daughter Harvant Kaur won a gold medal in discus throw while grandson Sukhwant Singh won the gold in 400 metres in the Asian Games. His other grand-daughters Rupinder Kaur and Patwant Kaur had bagged medals in various national and international level games.

Born in 1920, Dalip was always a sports lover. He studied at Guru Gobind Singh High School, Sarhali, which earlier fell in Kasur district of Pakistan before Partition. He participated in every sport till a back injury cut short a promising start. So he turned to the next best thing, coaching.

Popularly known as Bapuji, Dalip Singh groomed three Olympians and five national-level players from the border village of Sabrah, 65 km away from Amritsar. Dalip Singh honed the talents of his youngest daughter Gurmit as she went on to represent India in javelin throw at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She was conferred with the Arjuna award the same year.

Arjuna awardee Gurmeet, while talking to The Tribune, here on Monday said she would try to fulfil the dreams of his father no matter how much hard work she had to put in for getting a Olympic gold for the country.

She said she would also construct the swimming pool in the ancestral house so that the youth of the area could be trained in swimming. She said this would help in weaning them away from the drug menace, which was ruining their lives.



Angry over Naatshala raid, artistes stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 22
The city theatre artistes along with their Pakistani counterparts, who had come here to participate in the fifth National Theatre Festival, held a dharna near the excise and taxation office here today. They were protesting against the raid conducted by the department on Monday evening.

Talking to The Tribune, artistes said the ETO officials should not harass the theatre owner who had invested a huge amount to set up the state-of-the-art theatre for promoting art.

The artistes raised slogans against the department for demanding entertainment tax at 125 per cent from the owner of Punjab Naatshala. However, the dharna was lifted after the excise and taxation officer assured them that they no tax would be charged from the organisers, provided the owner did not mention the word “donation” on the passes.

The ETO officials had raided the Punjab Naatshala complex just before the beginning of the play to be staged at 6.30 pm on Monday and ETO Manjit Singh had asked the theatre owner to deposit 125 per cent tax. The artistes rued that not much was being done to promote theatre and it was not possible to run the shows without donations.



Kalia, Dutt & Sharma are front-runners
Race for BJP district chief’s post hots up
Vibhor Mohan/TNS

Amritsar, January 22
The race for the post of the BJP district president is on, with names of a host of probables doing the rounds of party circles. Since the BJP would also nominate a senior leader as the chairman of the Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) shortly, it has become a matter of personal choice with some probables pointing out themselves as preferential candidates for the post of trust chairman. The appointments are likely to be made some time next month.

Among the front-runners for the president’s post are former mayor Subhash Sharma, O.P. Kalia and the party’s media in charge Som Dutt. Those aggressively campaigning for the trust’s chairmanship are Rajinder Singh Chhina and present district president Bakshi Ram Arora, who has already served at the position from 2000 to early 2002.

Despite checkered past, Subhash Sharma enjoys the patronage of MP Navjot Sidhu, and is aggressively pushing his case. Sharma’s name had figured in a “sex scandal” in 2003. Sources close to Sidhu give the argument that Sharma cannot be pronounced guilty until he is convicted for the charges levelled against him. Besides, he cannot be deprived of an opportunity to serve the party on the pretext of allegations and his name has been proposed by state general secretary Kamal Sharma.

Talking about the case, Subhash says, “The entire case was framed by the then Congress government. It was a politically motivated case and general public knows the reality.

“During my tenure as mayor from 1997 to 2000, a host of development works were launched in the city. Before that, I served as deputy mayor. I have been working with the party for the past 35 years and have been a member of the Punjab Working Committee,” he adds.

Senior BJP leader Rajinder Singh Chhina says he is keen on being appointed as the trust’s chairman rather then being nominated as the district president.

Similarly, present district president Bakshi Ram Arora says he has already served at the post for four years. “I am campaigning for the post of chairman because my previous tenure was cut short in 2002. However, the final decision has to be taken by the party leaders,” he adds.

On the other hand, BJP state unit’s ex-secretary O.P. Kalia, presently in charge of the BJP’s Hoshiarpur and Mukerian wings, chose to be non-committal on the issue. He says, “Whatever role the party leadership decides for me to play, I would readily accept the assignment. Now it depends it is the post of district president or trust chairman. I have served at different positions and was also associated with Vinod Khanna. So, I do have the experience.”

Meanwhile, party’s media in charge Som Dutt says he has served as the district general secretary of Yuva Morcha and has been associated with the party for long. He says he wouldn’t mind taking up the reins of the party’s district wing, if the leadership decides so.



Snatcher meets his nemesis: Stone women

Amritsar, January 22
Two women thwarted an attempt of a scooter-borne snatcher to take away bags of two girls at Ranjit Avenue here on Sunday night. One of the women, who is a lecturer in Guru Nanak Dev University, said the incident occurred when she was having a stroll in a street near her house along with her neighbour.

She said they saw a youth trying to escape on his scooter after snatching a bag containing earrings from the two girls.They threw a stone at the snatcher which hit him and he fell down from his scooter. On hearing noise, residents of the locality came out of their houses and caught the snatcher and thrashed him. She said the accused returned the bag and the residents handed him over to the police. Civil Lines police station has registered a case against the snatcher, who has been identified as Jaspal Singh, resident of Preet Avenue, Majitha road bypass,. The police also seized a dagger from his scooter. In another incident, the police arrested Sukhwinder Singh and Dilbagh Singh of the Putlighar area for snatching a laptop from Nitin Singla, a student of computer science engineering, at Guru Nanak Dev University here on January 19.

In a third incident, the police nabbed two snatchers, Suman Dogra of Tehsilpura and Rahul Sharma of Judge Nagar. The snatchers confessed to having snatched a purse having cash and credit card from a woman near the Police Line area. — OC



Drug Deals
Cops tighten noose around peddlers
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, January 22
Claims by the police to have controlled the drug menace in the city by as much as 90 per cent notwithstanding, the number of cases registered under the NDPS Act have risen from 296 in 2006 to 495 registered last year.

This has also led to the arrest of as many as 593 persons last year as against 324 during 2006, according to SSP Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh. The SSP attributed this success to active policing and continuous public help. The department also conducted a number of joint raids along with a drug inspector against chemists involved in this racket, thus bringing down the sale of spurious drugs and intoxicants, the SSP said. The police also seized more than 5 kg of smack and 4 kg of charas, the SSP added. Many women also formed an important part of the supply chain.

The police booked 37 drug smugglers under section 68F of the NDPS Act, including notorious Sukhi and her associates and seized their properties, the SSP said. “To ensure community participation, especially schools and colleges, we organised seminars and anti-drug rallies,” the SSP added. The police seized 4.181 kg of opium, 467 kg of poppy husk, 1.5 kg of heroin, 5.205 kg of smack, 4.535 kg of charas, 2.9 kg of ganja, 158 kg of bhang and 14.680 kg of narcotic powder last year.



Involve writers in seminars on literature: Sandhu
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 22
Noted story writer and former Punjabi Tribune Editor Gulzar Singh Sandhu has lamented that seminars organised by the universities have been reduced to an academic and intellectual exercise without any involvement of creative writers. Sandhu was the chief guest at the inaugural session of a two-day national seminar on “Changing perspectives of study of Punjabi fiction” organised by the Bharatiya Sahitya Akademi, Delhi, in collaboration with the School of Punjabi Studies of Guru Nanak Dev University here recently.

He suggested that the research and critical works being done in the universities could only be useful if creative writers were also invited to seminars and workshops on creative writings.

In her keynote address, Dr Dhanwant Kaur, professor and head, department of Punjabi development at Punjabi University, Patiala, emphasised that the study of Punjabi fiction had been borrowed from the West and now was the time to create our own poetics of Punjabi fiction. “After 60 years of independence why we are not having our own poetics of fiction. Our studies should be based on our poetics and its philosophy as social stratification, caste and generic in equality has gained a key place in the fiction writing,” she said. “Moreover the 75 per cent of literacy creation in Punjabi has been communicating on this point,” she added.

Former national lecturer and eminent critic Dr J.S. Rahi, while delivering his presidential remarks, made an ideological paradigm of the historical, philosophical and fictional basis of Punjabi novels. He said Punjabi has its thousands details but relationship between the different texts were to be seen while decoding the cultural codes of the fictional text and its socio-cultural relevance.

Dr Karanjit Singh, convener, Punjabi Advisory Board, Bharatiya Sahitya Akademi, informed the gathering that the akademi would be giving away prizes in 24 languages but to the books and not the writers.



Ballet brings to fore problems faced by HIV+
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 22
A 10-day workshop on “The right to live” was organised at Ryan International School in the city under the supervision of Utkarsh Marwah, creative director of St. Xavier School and Ryan Group of Institutions.

The workshop culminated at Guru Nanak Bhavan where the students and the staff organised a show to create awareness among the general public about AIDS. As art is the best form of expression, the message and awareness with regard to AIDS was presented through various visual and performing arts.

The first-ever rock band performance by school students cast a spell on the audience. The sublime ballet presented the problems faced by the AIDS patients and the message of love. The students also presented the fashion show under the title “positive” in which models sashayed on the ramp wearing clothes designed by school students, carrying slogans of AIDS awareness.

The theatre performance proved to be a big hit with the audience as Punjabi play “Jagriti” staged by the students, addressed the problem with a touch of humour. Besides forwarding the message through ballet dance, class I and II students performed on songs “haath se haath” and “heal the world” which was a real treat to the eyes.



JDS students get health tips

Amritsar, January 22
Director of sports in Jammu and Kashmir John visited JDS Public School to give training to school students in various sports, including cricket. He also gave health tips to them.

His wife Babita John, headmistress, Bishop School, Srinagar, conducted a seminar on the school campus to apprise the schoolteachers of the common problems being faced by the schoolchildren, so that there is better communication between them.

The school organised annual prize distribution function on January 17, in which Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, SSP, Amritsar, was the chief guest.

The chairman of the school, Kunwar S.S. Pannu, announced that the school would provide free education to girl students and in order to create awareness among people in villages various camps would be organised in which brilliant girl students of the school would educate them in this regard. — TNS



Salma & beau richest

Mexican beauty Salma Hayek and businessman beau Francois-Henri Pinault have landed at the first spot in a poll to find Hollywood’s ‘Richest Couple’. It was the pair’s combined fortune, which made them win the poll, conducted by In Touch Weekly. Pinault’s luxury goods company PPR, which owns Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, is said to be worth over $14 billion. Others making to the new ‘Power Pair’ top 10 list were Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, music mogul Simon Cowell and Teri Seymour. New couple Jessica Simpson and American football star Tony Romo have made it to the list. — ANI




A lame excuse

On January 14, I went to the PSEB office to deposit my electricity bill. Till 10.29 am no staff member was available at the counter and the reason given by the staff when they came was that since there was no electricity the computers could not be operated. The office got power supply around 10.40 am when the work of bill collection was started. All computers run on an uninterrupted power source which is directly connected to the main power supply. The department should ensure that the computers are connected to the UPS so that the consumers do not have to suffer and wait for the power to be restored to the office.

— Sanjay Budhraj, Amritsar

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