Cops bust gang of robbers; four held
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 25
With the arrest of four persons, the district police claimed to have busted a gang of robbers and snatchers operating in Amritsar city and its adjoining areas. The accused were identified as Vishal Kumar, alias Kundra, of Katra Karam Singh, Kaka, alias Dana, of Gali 5, Haripura, Munish Kumar and Amit, alias Chand, of Gali 4, Bhadar Kali area, here.

They were nabbed from Medical Enclave near the Dr Vidya Sagar Institute of Mental Health while they were preparing to commit a dacoity.

However, two of their accomplices, later identified as Deepak Kumar, alias Deepu, and Vishal Kumar, alias Rinku, of Bhadar Kali Gali 4, escaped.

One Hero Honda motorcycle (PB02-AG-7247), Rs 3,100, two spearheads, one knife, one dagger, two mobile phones, eight chargers of mobile phones and a bunch of keys were recovered from the arrested persons.

During preliminary investigations, it was found that all the arrested were habitual snatchers and they had earlier also been convicted in many similar cases.

SSP Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh said Vishal Kumar and Amit Kumar, alias Chand, were notorious criminals and they had earlier also been arrested in 10 cases of snatching.

Interestingly, both were recently released on bail. Action had also been taken against Vishal Kumar, alias Kundra. Munish Kumar was also arrested in 12 cases of snatching and had come out on bail on March 17.

The district police chief gave commendation certificates to SHO Gurpreet Singh and constable Wassan Singh, who were instrumental in busting the gang. Raids are being carried out to arrest the other two accused, the SSP added.



Better Future
‘Armaan’ dreams of a drug-free society
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 25
“Drugs steal so much. Every time a drug goes into a human being, something else is forced out, like love, hope, trust and confidence. For the sake of our future generations, let’s be unyielding and inflexible in our opposition to drugs.”

Bikram Singh Majithia, information and public relations minister, stated this to the audience after witnessing a play, “Armaan,” staged at Guru Nanak Dev University here recently.

The play, depicting the ill effects of drug abuse, was organised by the Punjab Police, border zone, Amritsar, with the support of Punarjot, a centre for preservation and promotion of heritage of Punjab, and sponsored by the local Khanna Paper Mills Ltd. The play, written by Dr Jatinder Brar, was staged by artistes of the local Baba Farid Theatre Group under the direction of Rajiv Mehra.

Majithia, while giving a clarion call to one and all to jointly strive for a drug-free society, said the drug addiction among the youth has reached alarming proportions and though people are concerned about it but no one seems to be prepared to come forward and check it. Drug addiction if not checked in time, may lead to catastrophic consequences for the addicts, their families and society at large, he added.

Majithia presented a cheque for Rs 50,000 to Master Ajit Singh for his support against drug addiction on behalf of Punarjot. Jatinder Brar was also felicitated on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, R.P. Meena, IGP, said according to a survey conducted by the department of social security development of women and children, 67 per cent of rural households in Punjab have one drug addict each and the problem is rampant particularly in Majha and Doaba region. Drug addiction, besides directly causing life threatening physical complications, also indirectly aggravates the number of snatchings and robberies. So awareness levels of people need to be raised and they should join hands with the police to eradicate drug abuse, he added.



Decade-old Drama
Stage set for Naatshala’s 10th b’day
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 25
In the arena of television and cinema, theatre has its own charm and when it comes to the holy city, Punjab Naatshala on the Amritsar-Lahore road has tried its best to keep the spirit of theatre alive.

Started on March 27, 1998, Punjab Naatshala has emerged as a hub for dramatic arts for both Indian and Pakistani artistes. A brainchild of noted playwright Jatinder Brar, the Natshaala has hosted 825 plays staged by various local, national and international theatre groups.

Sharing its anniversary with World Theatre Day, the institute would complete its 10 years on Thursday.

It has been working with the aim to develop and promote theatre since its inception and is well equipped.

To mark the celebrations of World Theatre Day the Naatshala is going to stage “Fasle” written by Brar and directed by Narinder Sanghi. Renowned theatre personality Gursharn Singh would be the chief guest on the occasion.

The story revolves around the unvoiced liking of young girl Noori (a snake charmer) for a government employed doctor situated in a backward village of Mand.

It presents how corrupt government employees and their nefarious practices exploit villagers. Besides, it sends a message to do away with social evils and disparities by inculcating the spirit of brotherhood.



Pak delegation discovers Holi city
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 25
“We had not even thought in our dreams that we would ever be able to play Holi, the festival of colours, in our life as the festival is not celebrated in Pakistan.”

These views were expressed by a 24-member delegation, including eight teachers and 16 students of the National College of Arts, Lahore, and led by principal Shahnaz Malik, while interacting with the students and staff of the MKD DAV Public School, Neshta Attari, situated near the Indo-Pak border.

The delegation was in India on an education tour to visit various historical places like Taj Mahal in Agra, Kutub Minar and Red Fort in New Delhi, Golden Temple and Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar.

Shahnaz, while lauding the teachers and staff of the school, said she was happy to see the rural children getting modern education in a remote border area. She said they were returning back with lot of experience and want to do something for the betterment of the rural children in their country.

She said most of the children in their country belong to the rural areas and they would try to convince the government there to set up state-of-the-art infrastructure in rural schools to provide better education to the poor children there.

The foreign delegates were overwhelmed with love and affection showered on them by students here. They enjoyed the cultural fiesta and were all praise for the students and staff of the institute. They also invited the students and staff of the institute to visit their country.

The principal of the school, Paramjit Kumar, talking to The Tribune said they would consider the invitation and arrange a tour for students after seeking approval from the higher authorities.

Speaking on the occasion, V.K. Mahajan, assistant commissioner, customs and excise, said such educational tours should be organised regularly so that the teachers and students of both countries could interact with each other. He said that this would also help in strengthening the relations between the people of the two nations.

Members of the local managing committee, Arvinder Chamak, Rajshah and Palwinder Singh, were also present.



Insurance employees hold demonstration
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 25
Employees of public sector insurance companies held a lunch hour demonstration in front of the divisional office of United India Insurance Company. They were protesting against the arbitrary and anti-employee policies of the management.

Sham Lal Gill and Navjot Singh, president and secretary of the General Insurance Employees’ Union said the management had stopped the promotions for the last four years.

There is also a plan to bring in a new policy as part of which the employees can be transferred in the entire northern region.

Vacancies should be immediately filled under the existing policy, they said.

The other demands included restoration of compassionate appointments, upgradation of part-time employees, pension option to employees, stopping outsourcing of jobs by abolition of four cadres, review of transfer mobility policy which allows shifting upto 150 kilometers and none-core benefits.

The employees also criticised the policies of the government, which were harming the interests of public sector. The union decided to go on one-hour token strike on March 26. 



Police gets serious on image change
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 25
Police reforms, though a distant dream in Punjab, are emerging as a subject of discussion with the general public. At least a beginning seems to have been made. This is the impression that a casual observer would get after attending a seminar entitled “Police-Public interaction” organised by the Amritsar Vikas Manch (AVM).

Manch president Harbhajan Singh Gill enlightened the audience on the reforms and facilities introduced by SSP Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh and introduced in all the police stations of the city such as the appointment of lady police receptionists (PROs) who are supposed to welcome all complainants with a smile and guide them accordingly about the provisions of “Write your own FIR” scheme, initially available at the Sadar police station and the Golden Temple.

He said other states had welcomed the innovations made by the SSP and decided to implement these reforms in letter and spirit.

He has dwelt upon the idea of community police and said as per our Constitution every citizen is a policeman without uniform and every policeman is a citizen in police uniform meaning that crime be eliminated or at least reduced to the minimum if the community also gets involved and is vigilant. The city is becoming a highly preferred tourist destination which requires a police of a different kind. Hence the tourist-friendly wing of the police has been promoted to remain available and help the pilgrims, he added.

The SSP invited the audience to ask questions and spent an hour answering their queries. Replying to a query, he clarified that in foreign countries even a phone call from a politician is illegal.

He said yoga camps were being organised to keep the policemen fit. To sensitise the police force, various refresher courses were being organised. Rawail Singh Sandhu, principal Y.P. Gupta and others participated in the question-answer session.



Hockey Hullabaloo
It’s time to ponder, says veteran
‘Training needs overhauling, young talent must be nurtured’
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, March 25
Hockey veterans and experts lament that little is being done to train the young talent, which, they feel, should form the nucleus of the future team.

Kapoor Singh, a hockey stalwart in his 80’s, has presented a charter for the revival of Indian Hockey in view of its severe drubbing and the eventual ouster from the qualifying Olympic rounds in Santiago, Chile. He says the newly-appointed Australian coach Ric Charlesworth should be given independent charge to train under 19 and 21 teams along with the senior squad to plan a major core of talented youngsters with a blend of experienced players.

Singh felt that the Indian Hockey Federation and the Ministry of Sports should formulate a proper framework in consultation with senior players and draw out a short and long term plan to build team for the coming international championships. Also needed is an effective plan for the domestic and for international circuits.

Commenting on the sorry state of affairs in the rural segments, where hockey has been replaced by other games, the veteran said earlier these belts used to provide major talent pool. “Now, just few pockets churn out players, who, in turn, lack scientific approach due to the absence of trained and dedicated coaches,” added Kapoor.

He said the IHF and the government must encourage hockey in schools and colleges which should become the reservoir for talented players.

He said the government must chalk out a long-term plan by providing financial support and also give adequate funds for building up proper infrastructure to attract young talent.

He further said India lacks proper hockey academies with modern equipment and Astroturf facilities.



Book highlights bond between Gurbani, music

Amritsar, March 25
Renowned classical Singh Bandhu-Tejpal Singh Bandhu, along with prominent personalities, released a book titled “Sikh Religion and Bhakti Sangeet” written by Dr Jatinder Kaur, professor of music in the Khalsa College for Women here at Naatshala Auditorium.

The deep bond between Gurbani and music has been the main emphasis of the book. Speaking on the occasion, Tejpal Singh Bandhu said the 184-page book had a deep impact on him as the writer had put in her best efforts to make her compilation end up as a good reference book for the coming generations to understand the relevance of music in the context of Gurbani.

Among those who were present on the occasion were prof Ajit Singh Paintal from Delhi, Charanjit Singh Chadda, president, Chief Khalsa Dewan, Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina, honorary secretary, Khalsa College, Jatinder Singh Brar, playwright and founder of the Naatshala, Jasmit Nayyar, principal SR Government College for Women, Dr Neeta Mohindra, professor of fine arts, BBK DAV College for Women, Ishwar Singh, manager. — OC



DPS tiny tots have a reason to cheer
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 25
Tiny tots of nursery of Delhi Public School got the taste of their first academic success as they graduated from nursery to the primary section.

Chief guest Dr Suhinder Madaan and Dr Prashant awarded certificates to the students who were assessed for their academics, special abilities, responses, interests, general behaviour pattern and attention span.

Five-year-old Mayank Sood was honoured with a special prize for winning top honours in skating at the state level. The students presented different yoga “asanas” and folk dances. Nakul Rally and Madhav Avasthi gave solo dance performances on the occasion.



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