Amritsar Bypoll
6 left in fray after paper scrutiny
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, May 6
With the cancellation of the nomination papers of two covering candidates of the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Congress and one of the Lok Priya Samaj Party, six candidates have been left in the fray for the Amritsar (South) constituency byelection slated to be held on May 22. According to the list issued by the returning officer to the media, Inderbir Singh Bularia of the SAD, Navdeep Singh Goldy (Cong), Satnam Singh Kanda (All-India Shiromani Akali Dal), Ram Singh (Shiromani Akali Dal-Amritsar) and two independents Sharanjit Singh and Rajiv Sharma are in the race now.

Those whose nominations were cancelled by the returning officer are Hardish Kaur (Cong), Harinder Kaur Bularia (SAD) and Tajider Singh of the Priya Samaj Party. Hardish Kaur and Harinder Kaur were the ring candidates. The papers of Tajinder were cancelled as he was under age and did not qualify for contesting the elections as per the Indian Constitution. Interestingly, as per the details of nomination papers filed by Congress candidate Navdeep Goldy, he has bank deposits of Rs 45,093 in his account, besides having 120 gm ornaments. He has one-third share in a plot measuring 150 square yards, valued at Rs 11 lakh situated in Jallianwala Bagh here and has passed out higher secondary examination from the Punjab School Education Board.

He was facing two criminal cases, including an assault on a woman under sections 354, 160, 148 and 149, IPC, Arms Act and the NDPS Act. A case of attempt to murder is also pending against him. However, Goldy had claimed that the FIR was false as the police had failed to present the challans in the court even after one year.

Satnam Singh Kanda has Rs 50,000 in his bank account and in the name of his spouse, besides 70 gm ornaments and a guest house near Jallianwala Bagh. He had done higher secondary in 1968.

Ram Singh has Rs 45,000 in his and his wife’s account, 50 gm of gold and household goods worth Rs 1 lakh. He owns a Tavera, taken a loan of Rs 5.50 lakh.



Landa Bazaar traders protest police ‘high-handedness’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 6
Traders of Landa Bazaar today observed a bandh in protest against the arrest of two shopkeepers by the local police for allegedly providing mobile SIM cards to smugglers operating near the Indo-Pak border here. They raised slogans against the police highhandedness and sat on a dharna.

Anil Joshi, BJP MLA, also joined the protest and criticised the role of the police in the case.

The police had arrested Hardip Singh and Joga Singh of Nanneet Mobiles situated in Landa Bazaar, opposite railway station, on May 2 and registered a case under section 420 of the IPC for allegedly providing sim cards to Pakistan-based smugglers.

The shopkeepers who came in support of the two accused persons said it was the duty of mobile companies to ascertain the real identities of the purchasers. They said how would Hardip Singh and Joga know that the persons taking mobile sims from them would use it for smuggling.

The police authorities had claimed that the two notorious heroin smugglers, Satnam Singh Satta and Balwinder Singh, alias Doctor, managed to escape from the police clutches with the help of mobile sim cards which were purchased from their shop. Another notorious smuggler Jagjit Singh Jaggi who was caught by the police with 18 kg of heroin recently had revealed during interrogation that the sims were made available to them by the two shopkeepers. Besides, a Pakistan-based smuggler also possessed a sim card which was purchased from the shop, it is alleged.

The shopkeepers demanded that Hardip Singh and Joga Singh be released immediately.

The SSP could not be contacted even after repeated attempts for his views.



Service Club poll: Political activity reaches crescendo
Varinder Walia/TNS

Amritsar, May 6
With less then a week left for the Service Club poll, senior politicians of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Congress are leaving no stone unturned to ensure victory of their candidates.

Punjab minister for public relations Bikram Singh Majithia and Congress MLA O.P. Soni, both members of the club, are making efforts to bring their teams to power.

The main contest is said to be between two groups, one headed by former SP S.S. Chhina and the other led by Tarn Taran senior medical officer Dr Sant Parkash Singh Dhillon.

Interestingly, the elections are scheduled for May 11, just 11 days before the Amritsar (South) assembly bypoll. Since both groups have deep political roots, the club elections are definitely going to have a direct impact on the forthcoming assembly bypoll.

Though clean and honest administration tops the agenda of both the contestants, they have failed to make any concrete commitments to the voters. According to the information, present president Dr Adlakha had already written to the local administration to deploy adequate security outside the club on May 11 to prevent any untoward incident during the poll. Earlier, the club was in controversies before installation of Dr Adlakha, who wanted to expose a senior office-bearer of his group. The office-bearer was said to have got membership for his kin at concession.



Vacant posts: Customs staff threaten stir
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 6
Various officers’ unions in the customs department would go on indefinite strike throughout the country from May 26 if the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) failed to fulfil their genuine demands.

Stating this to the media, B.D. Surve, general secretary of the All-India Customs Group D Officers Federation, said a meeting of the nine-member committee would be held in New Delhi on May 25 to chalk out the future course of action. He said more than 25,000 posts were vacant in the customs department and they had urged the CBEC to fill the posts immediately. He said these posts were not being filled due to non-availability of recruitment rules or litigation created by the authority due to which working in the department was being hampered.

Surve said they had now decided to bring various federations under one umbrella so as to launch a united movement against the board for the fulfilment of their demands which included filling of all vacant posts, regularisation of services of casual labourers who had completed 10 years of service as per the directions of the apex court, waving of 5 per cent ceiling in compassionate appointment and settlement of all pending cases, change of recruitment rules and designation of sepoy as constable and taking appropriate steps for their settlement, besides restoration of pay parity of administrative officer with superintendent and deputy office superintendent with inspector.

He said unauthorised hiring of labour by customs commissioners at the borders, ports and airports in the country during their strike could be dangerous for the security of the country as illegal arms could be smuggled into the country by anti-national elements and for this the commissioner concerned would be responsible.



Rain brings cheer to city residents
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 6
Monday night showers brought some relief to the city residents from the blistering heat. The mercury dropped to 4º C today and the maximum temperature recorded was 42º C.

Similarly, temperatures at others places in the region too came down. Adampur recorded as low as 37º C followed by Pathankot 37.8º C. The cities of Ludhiana and Chandigarh recorded a rainfall of 3.4 mm and 2 mm, respectively, whereas Patiala received 12.6 mm of rainfall.

Interestingly, the city recorded season’s highest temperature 44.2º C on Sunday. The scorching summers with erratic power supply and shortage of potable water were giving a tough time to the city residents.



From London to Sydney via Amritsar
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 6
A vicar from York would undertake an 11,000-mile arduous journey to Sydney via Amritsar.

Martin Harrison, vicar of St Mary’s Church, would soon hop on to an “Oz Bus” from London and would cover various religious places such as Agia Sophia in Istanbul, the Blue Mosque in Iran’s Esfahan and the Golden Temple in Amritsar during his 13-week long journey. This was reported in The Press, a daily of York in the UK.

Harison would travel through 20 countries, across Europe to Turkey and then South through Iran and Pakistan to India, before continuing on to Nepal, Myanmar and then South through Indonesia.

Only stretch from Bali to Cairns would be covered by flight and then the bus would drive through the heartland of Australia.

His expedition in developing countries, including India, Pakistan and Nepal, would be test of endurance.

If he is a budget tourist, he has to spend nights at roadside dhabas, religious places and homes of strangers.



‘Sasha is history, it’s time to move on’
P K Jaiswar

Amritsar, May 6
Considered as one the most talented actors of the small screen (and these days Bollywood), Chetan Hansraj wants to move ahead of the image of Sasha, the character he played in the much-watched daily soap Kahani Ghar-Ghar Ki, with which he shot to fame.

A heartthrob among teenagers for his striking looks and enviable physique, he philosophically says, “Bollywood is a world of dreams where everything is a myth and short-lived yet everybody wants to be part of it.” Chetan was here for the launch of Savio, a collection of designer clothes here recently. In his modeling career, he has been a part of many ad campaigns including Cinthol and Lakme besides working in music albums.

Few people knew that he is the cousin of actor Jugal Hansraj. Chetan had also started his career as child actor and later entered the world of modeling. He played the role of Balram as a kid in B R Chopra’s serial, based on the epic of Mahabharata. He remained second runner up in the Gladrags Manhunt contest and was a state-level water polo player. This fitness freak has also won the best physique award in the Gladrags manhunt contest. He said he is enjoying his stint in Bollywood. Now one of busiest television actors, he struggled a lot in his initial days to be famous in the glamorous world.

He gained popularity as a film actor in the film ‘Kukuduku’ screened at the France film festival. He first appeared in the serial Kkusum, but the major break of his career came as the negative character of Sasha in Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, which made him a household name in the country.

He appeared in another daily soap - Kaisa Yeh Pyar Hai. His role in the serial Virrudh was also appreciated by many critics. He also appeared in the historical soap Prithiviraj Chauhan.

His latest projects on the silver screen include ‘Bhram’, the romantic thriller along with Dino Morea, Sheetal Menon and Milind Soman. He is playing the second lead in it.

He earlier did a movie Koi Aap Sa (also starring Aftab Shivdasani). He is also plans to produce an adventure-based reality show.



World Asthma Day
Special drive launched to educate students
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 6
On the occasion of World Asthma Day, doctors from Escorts Hospital undertook a month-long campaign in Green Avenue today to educate schoolchildren about asthma.

Senior consultant Dr Rominder Kaur (pulmonary medicine) said in India approximately 6 per cent of the people in all age groups were affected by the disease.

She said, “An asthma awareness month would provide an opportunity to all of us to work together and create public awareness about it.”

Dr Rominder said asthma was a chronic disease which affected air ways, the tubes that carry air in and out of lungs. “The inside walls of air ways are inflamed in persons who are suffering from asthma. This inflammation makes inner walls sensitive which react strongly to the allergic agents,” she added.

The senior consultant said children were more prone to the disease if there was any family history. Besides, exposure to tobacco, smoke and infections at early age were the other causes. She said the chronic disease could not be cured.

However, persons suffering from asthma could lead a normal and active life. “One just needs to work closely with his doctor and learn how to manage the condition. In addition, one can take precautions like staying away from things that bother air ways, taking medicines regularly and monitoring the disease,” she added.

She said it was safe to use inhalers and there was no risk of long-term dependence if used according to a physician’s advice. One should ask his doctor for a written daily asthma self-management plan and an emergency action plan to ensure better understanding about the device.



4 snatchers nabbed; gold chain, 2 bikes recovered
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 6
The district police arrested four snatchers and recovered a gold chain and two motorcycles from them in two separated cases here today. The accused were identified as Sonu Rana and Sandeep Singh of New Gurnam Nagar, Kulwant Singh of Nikka Singh Colony and Dilbagh Singh of Guru Nanakpura here.

Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh, SSP, in a press note issued here said Sonu and Sandeep had snatched a gold chain from a woman near Chowk Butt Malka on May 1 and a case under sections 382 and 34 of the IPC was registered at E-division police station. The gold chain worth Rs 30,000 and a motorcycle were recovered from them.Similarly, Kulwant Singh and Dilbagh Singh were nabbed by the Civil Lines police while snatching a bag from a man going on a rickshaw. Rs 200, a motorcycle and a bag were recovered from them. — OC



Parvasi media group honours NRI
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 6
NRI Raghbir Singh Bains has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award-2007 by the Parvasi media group for his contribution to society. Bains, who is the author of the Encyclopaedia of Sikhism and the brain behind the multimedia Sikh museum at Khadoor Sahib, near Amritsar, received the award from former IPS officer Kiran Bedi at a function held at Rexdale, Ontario, last month.

Jarnail Singh from Surrey and Kulbir Singh Thind from the USA were also honoured on the occasion.

The Parvasi awards were instituted in 2005 to honour the Punjabi Canadians in recognition for their contribution to the Canadian society.

Bains is a longtime social activist. He has been creating awareness on the evils of drugs, rape, prostitution and AIDS in various countries, including India, for the past many years.

He is an active campaigner for world peace and has travelled dozens of countries to spread the message.

He set up the first of its kind robotic and LCD touch-screen multimedia Sikh museum at Khadoor Sahib in Tarn Taran in 2004 to spread the message of universal love and peace.

A similar museum was also set up in Jalandhar this year.

Settled in Surrey, British Columbia, for the past 18 years, Bains has received various national and international awards.

He was declared scholar of the 20th century by the Punjab government.

In 2005, he was honoured with the Order of British Columbia award, the highest provincial award in Canada.



School Buzz
KV primary wing celebrates annual day
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 6
As many as 160 students of primary classes were felicitated during the annual prize distribution function organised by Kendriya Vidyalaya (No. 3) here. Social worker, Master Ajit Singh and his wife were the chief guests.

The students presented a cultural programme on the occasion. Welcoming the guests, principal, Amarjit Singh Gill claimed that it was the first time that an annual prize distribution function was being held for primary in section in a KV. Master Ajit Singh, who runs a school, Citizens’ Forum Vidhya Mandir for children of drug victims in Maqboolpura locality, said the students should come forward to educate their poor counterparts. Headmistress Shresta Sharma read out the annual report of the school.

DAV wins cricket tourney

DAV International School won the first ‘Pandit Purna Chand Prabhakar inter-school cricket tournament (U-15 category) held at Government Senor Secondary School, Chheharta here. The tournament was organised by Shaheed-e-Punjab Sports Club. DAV team defeated Holy Heart School in the final match. Danish Kaushal of 10th standard was adjudged the ‘best keeper’ and best batsman’ of the series, while Ankush Mahajan bagged the best bowler award. Ayush Tandon was the highest scorer.

Silver jubilee function

The AWES Amritsar, which runs Army and Army Public Schools all over the country, celebrated the silver jubilee at Panther Auditorium recently.

Addressing the gathering, Major-Gen P.S. Paul, described education as a multifaceted affair which included real-life experiences as well. He exhorted the teachers and staff of the school to be diligent and produce results par excellence. He also saw students’ performance in different craft competitions like best out of waste, salad decoration, fabric painting and flower arrangement.

International honour

Five students of the Spring Dale Senior School here have received International Award for Young People. Those who have received the award are: Sahiljeet Singh Sandhu, Sonika Sadh, Mikhil Mehra, Shivam Gupta and Satbir Inder Singh. Manveer Sandhu,. The awards were given in a function organised at New Delhi under the aegis of Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Honing musical skills

Nehal Khanna of class IX of DAV International School has been chosen for one-month training to hone his musical skills for the “sa re ga ma world championship” which concluded in Kolkata on April 30. The competition was organised by ZEE TV at Hawra indoor stadium. Principal Anjana Gupta said that more than 500 contestants from across the world participated in the competition.



Beopar Mandal holds meeting
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 6
A meeting of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal was held here on Sunday. Traders from 23 towns and cities participated and expressed their grievances against the callous attitude of the state government towards their demands.

Talking to The Tribune here, Amrit Lal Jain, president of the mandal, said the government was not serious towards their demands.

He said even some of the mutually agreed demands were not notified by the government.

These included the demand that sales tax cases till March 31, 2005, should be assessed with a token charge of Rs 300 per lakh and without the submission of C forms and other forms; and VAT on pulses should be reduced to 1 per cent and desi ghee to 4 per cent from 12 per cent.

Meanwhile, the mandal has demanded that the industrial corridor to be set up between Mumbai and New Delhi should be extended up to the holy city to boost the trade.



Bank chairman interacts with CII members

Amritsar, May 6
Industrialists and traders of the city yesterday interacted with R.P. Singh, chairman-cum-managing director, Punjab and Sind Bank. Welcoming R.P. Singh and his team, vice-chairman of the CII, Punjab, Gunbir Singh introduced the bankers to CII members.

The managing director, while thanking the CII chapter for organising the meet, made a presentation on how he and his team prepared an internal report in 2005 and convinced the finance minister to infuse Rs 500 crore into the bank to revive the bank.

He then explained how the bank achieved its targets in just six months of getting the government equity, which were originally to be achieved in three years’ time.

While presenting the facts and figures as to how the bank has grown in business since 2005, R.P. Singh mentioned as to how the bank has been rated by the KPMG as most profitable and efficient bank among all public sector banks across the country during the last financial year.

On the issue of lending to the industry and also increasing the limits, the banker said, “Since the scenario among banks is competitive, it would not be possible to decrease the lending rates to less than 11 per cent.” Gunbir Singh then introduced to the participants the new CII, Amritsar zone, chairman, Shivinder Singh Sandhu. — TNS



Biz Buzz
Now, artificial disc replacement facility in holy city
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 6
Amandeep Hospital here claimed to be the first hospital in north India to the launch an artificial disc replacement treatment by its neurosurgery section here on Monday.

This was revealed during a seminar on latest techniques in backbone treatment organised by the hospital at the IMA house here. Dr AA Mehra, neurosurgeon of the hospital, detailed about the technique launched in the hospital.

Addressing the seminar attended by famous doctors from Amritsar and other districts of states, Dr Mehra said in earlier techniques, patient’s bone was used to join the backbone with the disc which reduced the flexibility of the backbone.

However, with the artificial disc replacement treatment the old disc is replaced by a new artificial disc which is more beneficial than the earlier technique.

Dr Mehra said the flexibility of the backbone remains as normal with this technique. He said a small cut was used for this replacement thus helping early recovery.



New BSNL scheme
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 6
BSNL has launched a promotional scheme in Amritsar district (Punjab circle) for provision of second telephone (landline/WLL) on security deposit of Re 1 and zero monthly rental to the existing BSNL landline consumers. The connection would be given against the working telephone in the name of the same party and the same address.

Stating this to mediapersons, Raj Deo, DGM planning and administration, Amritsar, said the scheme was available for a limited period only and consumers could contact the nearest CSC/franchisee or dial 1500 for more details.

He said BSNL has achieved the landmark of providing 20 lakh mobile connections in the state and to celebrate this they were offering free GPRS facility for 20 days to its customers.



Office-bearers of AVM nominated

Amritsar, May 6
The following have been nominated as office-bearers of the executive committee of the Amritsar Vikas Manch (AVM): President - Manmohan Singh; senior vice-presidents - Yoginderpal Gupta and Kanwalpreet Singh; vice-presidents - Ravel Sandhu, Bhupinder Rattan, Daljit Kohli, Gian Jaggu and Yashpal Jhabal; general secretary - Amrit Lal Manan; secretary - Bhupinder Singh Chand; press secretary - Jasbir Jas; and executive members - Hari Singh Amar, Dev Raj Sharma, Gurdeep Singh, Harminder Sandhu, Harinder Mohan Singh, Dr Hardeep Singh Deep, Rakesh Sharma, R.P.S. Bedi, Varinderjit Singh Jyoti, Dr Ashok Arora and Balbir Singh Randhawa. — OC



Sports trials on May 19

Amritsar, May 6
The selection trials, for the sports wings to be allotted to the colleges affiliated to the Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), scheduled for May 10-11 both for boys and girls at Jalandhar would now be held on May 19-20. Stating this to the media here on Tuesday professor Kanwaljit Singh, director of sports, GNDU said the venue and the detailed instructions for these selection trials would be advertised in newspapers within a day or so by the Punjab sports department, Chandigarh. — TNS



2 held under NDPS Act

Amritsar, May 6
The district police has arrested Baljinder Singh, alias Bau, a resident of Ladha Munda village, Gurdaspur, and Karambir Singh of Tabowali village in two separate cases for allegedly possessing 35 kg of poppy husk and 4 gm of smack, respectively.

The police has registered cases under relevant sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act at Jandiala and Sadar police stations.

Meanwhile, on a tip-off, the police nabbed Amrik Singh of Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar, Gurwinder Pal of Chowk Chira, Harjinder Singh of Nizampura and Kashmir Singh of Muchhal village for running a satta. Rs 17,730 and three cell phones were seized from them. — OC



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