Friendly Police
This ASI is ‘best’ in registering FIRs
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 1
There was a time when the registration of more first information reports (FIRs) used to be an index for rise in crime rate. For this reason, policemen would often avoid registering FIRs, resulting in harassment to victims.

Now the times seem to have changed for better. Now, the policemen earn kudos from their seniors for registering more FIRs.

A young woman assistant sub-inspector (ASI), Parmdeep Kaur, who belongs to a family of police officials, has been rated as “the best public relations officer” by the district police chief, Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh, for facilitating aggrieved persons in registering FIRs. Posted as a PRO in Sadar police station, she was instrumental in registering 544 FIRs in 2007 as compared to 380 FIRs in 2006.

She joined the police on compassionate ground following the death of her husband Mukhtyar Singh, a sub-inspector in the Punjab Police. Her brother is also an assistant sub-inspector in Kapurthala district. Now she has been made an overall in charge of the new scheme of the Amritsar police, which allows a person to register an FIR himself.

Talking to Amritsar Plus, Parmdeep said the new idea had come as a great relief to a common man who used to run from pillar to post to lodge an FIR. Taking a lead in the region, the Amritsar police has launched “Lodge your own FIR” facility for the benefit of general public.

A simple and brief format has been finalised for lodging complaints under the new system, which is available at the centralised booths set up at Sadar police station and police assistance centre near the Golden Temple. The third booth would be set up at the police post in Circuit House shortly, said the SSP.

All one now needs to do for getting an FIR lodged is to take the FIR format from the officer in charge, fill in all given columns, hand it over to the same officer and take a receipt for it.

The FIR will be automatically registered in the police station concerned and a copy of the same would be sent to the complainant at his home. This new system is in accordance with the section 154 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

“The easy method, however, comes with a caution that false reporting is an offence under the Indian Penal Code.

People can also send their complaints through email on and a scanned copy of the FIR will be sent as reply,” he says.



BSNL opens avenues for unemployed rural youth
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 1
With an aim to creating employment opportunities for the educated unemployed youth in the rural areas of the border district, Bharatiya Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) intends to allot STD PCOs to them. The connections would be given on first-come-first-serve basis.

This was stated by BSNL general manager (telephones) R.K. Dawra at a meeting held at Telephone Bhavan here recently. The meeting was organised to make the subscribers aware of the schemes launched for the unemployed youth and to address the customer grievances.

The GMT said, “The owners of the STD PCOs would also be authorised to sell recharge coupons, SIM cards and ITC cards on commission basis. Those interested can either dial 1500 or contact the marketing section of the GMT, Amritsar.”

He said in order to encourage rural telecommunication the department had installed telephones in 13,054 villages and the list along with telephone numbers was available on the website of the BSNL. The connections can be used for making all types of calls, including STD and ISD. Besides, the internet facility would also be provided for setting cyber cafes, he added.



Good Samaritan
2-month-old girl finds a home
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 1
A two-month-old girl, who was abandoned by her parents on December 3 last year, has been adopted by the Mata Gujri Sahara Trust of Patiala.

Talking to mediapersons, the trust chief administrator Bibi Sohanjit said the trust would take care of the baby and would provide her education.

Giving details about the child, Dr Gursharan Singh said the girl was brought to his hospital by two women who were passing through the area where the child was abandoned. He said the child was very weak as she was not fed properly by her parents.

“After informing the police, we started treating the girl as her condition was deteriorating. The baby was kept under medical observation and treatment for about seven weeks and finally it was decided to hand her over to the trust,” said Dr Gursharan.



Lackadaisical approach of IT dept hits pensioners
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 1
The very purpose of computerising the income tax department seems to have been defeated as it has failed to return refunds to the pensioners for 2006-07.

Lashing out at the officials concerned of the IT department for their lackadaisical attitude, B.R. Preenja, general secretary of the Punjab Employees Rights Protection and Welfare Union, Amritsar, said the inordinate delay in refunds was causing mental harassment to the retired employees who had meagre resources.

Preenja said even the bank officials took a sadistic pleasure in harassing the pensioners not only from Punjab but also from Haryana.

Citing an example, he said one of the pensioners, Harmesh Chand, after seeking voluntary retirement from the BSF in 1991, has been drawing his pension from the State Bank of India, Yamunanagar. He said though the commuted value of pension was stopped after 15 years, the bank had been deducting Rs 169 per month till now despite repeated reminders by the pensioner.

Even a letter from the Government of India, addressed to the banks in May 2007, asking the bank to stop deduction and refund extra amount deducted, commuted value of pension to the pensioner has remained unheeded, he added.

He further alleged that banks were not paying travel concession to pensioners treating interim relief as pension and the sad part was that district treasury officers had also failed to guide the banks as per the notification of the Punjab government (dated October 31, 2006), which had stated that interim relief would be treated as pension for all intents and purposes.

Further the government had reiterated its position vide its letters dated November 6, 2006 and February 3, 2007, he added.



Exploring the legacy of musical masters
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 1
The captivating blend of Gurbani and sangeet has mesmerised many a soul. The Gurbani kirtan from its very outset preserved the purely devotional ambience of “dhruvapad”, “pakhawaj” and “jori” rhythms, which later altered in forms.

Harpreet Singh, a resident of the holy city and a jori-pakhawaj player, had a very strong penchant towards the rich heritage of gurmat sangeet and started exploring the priceless and abundant culture and legacy of the Sikh Gurus.

Breaking away from the lineage, as he hails from a family of businessmen, Harpreet is a pioneer who made his way into the world of music at a very early age. After completing his HSC examination he never wanted to pursue the mundane bachelor’s degree in commerce or science.

In 2002 he started learning “tabla” from late Ustaad Bhajan Lal, a renowned musician (coached by Pt. Samta Prasad of Banaras Gharana for seven years and then learnt the “silsila” of Punjab “baaj” by Ustaad Bhai Rattan Singh of Tarn Taran).

Harpreet is now under the guidance of Bhajan Lal’s eldest son Ustaad Hari Om and at the same time he completed graduation from the Prachin Kala Kendra.

He searched for the masters who embodied the ancient art of Sikh gurmat sangeet, preserved in its original vein. He came across many great musicians who helped and transformed his desire into a reality and sculpted a percussionist out of a devout music lover.

He started learning “jori-pakhawaj” in 2005 and participated in zonal, inter-zonal, inter-university and national youth festivals. He also participated in India’s famous music concert “Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan”.

Belonging to a very simple family, his talent as a “jori pakhawaj” player has been noticed and cherished by many renowned artistes. Harpreet aspires to traverse this musical journey of the gurmat sangeet maryada - the “anhad nad” as mentioned in our holy scriptures, and also spread awareness of the celestial legacy bestowed upon us.



My City
I wish I could do something

I have been living in the holy city for the past 50 years and have seen many changing faces of its expansion. Many schemes have gone through as if to develop and improve its welfare. Presently, many big buildings and “malls” are coming up as if only these were essential to enhance the grace of the city. “Amritsar, ‘Sifti da Ghar’ is so exalted as the words are culled from Guru Granth Sahib.

Harmander Sahib is itself the abode of Almighty. As a matter of devotion and deep reverence for the Golden Temple, we feel blessed in maintaining the holy precincts in its pristine presentation.

But just go around the periphery roads surrounding this holy centre of the city. The roads will present the real picture of the lifeline of the city. Similar is the case of all other roads approaching the Golden Temple. Should you dare, per chance, to go around the total walled city surrounded by the gates, you will find pits and broken parts on the roads to give sufficient jerks to your nerves.

The so-called custodians of public life rarely offer attention to these lifelines since they move about in their highly cushioned vehicles and get little feel of the hardships that common commuters have to undergo.

Another hazard of the commuters is the chaotic traffic process. It is nice to be in Amritsar and drive, as you like. Plying of every kind of vehicles, mechanical or manual, keep everyone murmuring God’s name so as to reach home safe and sound. Traffic lights, here and there, are often erratic and every individual has to care for his own safety.

The ugliest aspect of the city is the unbearable insanitation. Filth and garbage are the common visible matter everywhere. We find quite occasionally the sweepers brooming the roads just to sweep the garbage from one spot to another.

The worst insanitary spots are visible on the surrounding periphery of the Golden Temple, a part of which is called “galiara”.

Our custodians of the city frequently visit foreign lands and talk of the beautiful surroundings of cities there.

But coming home, no doubt, they themselves live lavishly but advise the citizens to bear with the conditions. Let some NGOs come up to devise some ways to improve the sanitation of the city.

Of course, of late, the municipal corporation has put up hoardings to undertake cleanliness campaigns. Let us see how much functional, in true sense, they prove themselves to be. — J.S. Jogi



From Schools
Holy Heart students excel in aptitude test

Amritsar, February 1
Three students of Holy Heart Presidency School bagged second position in “Academic aptitude and achievement tests” conducted by the Institute of Psychological and Educational Measurement, Allahabad, and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination, New Delhi.

The winners are Rana Resham, Poonam Soni and Amritbeer, all class XI students. They were awarded for their excellence in geography. Similarly, Shivani Kehair and Mehak Sharma of class XII secured third positions in geography section of the test.

Lecture organised

A lecture was organised by Ashoka Senior Secondary School for its students. During the lecture, resource person Avtar Singh exhorted the students to work hard for better employment opportunities and work ethics in India and abroad. Dr Charanjit Singh Gumtala shared his experiences and knowledge with the students, while Prof Mohan Singh advised the students to sharpen their communication skills in order to meet job challenges. — TNS



Spice & charity

Hollywood star George Clooney has revealed that he draws inspiration from Geri Halliwell for his charity work. The Oscar winning star insists that he is motivated by the Spice Girl’s humanitarian efforts. “She was always my favourite Spice Girl, I loved her feisty approach and the fact she wasn’t afraid to have an opinion,” he says.

“Her work with Unicef and (sexual health charity) Marie Stopes in the Third World was inspiring. “And her address at a UN Youth summit in 2000 was brave - it’s so easy to not get involved and she just gritted her teeth and went for it,” he added. Clooney has recently been named as the United Nations Messenger Of Peace on for his humanitarian work. — ANI



Up for Grabs

HERE’s another excuse to shop. Nautica, the leading global lifestyle brand has announced its much-awaited Bi Annual Sale. The on-going sale offers up to 50 per cent off on apparel and accessories. You can cruise through the collection and choose from an array of colours, styles and patterns. Styled in a timeless, energetic design that enhances the consumer’s adventurous and spirited lifestyle, the range is up for grabs. Bold colours, fabric innovations, signature designs and unwavering attention to detail, take your pick from a multitude of options and cash in on rock bottom prices. — TNS



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