Firing Incident
Cong leader blames MLA’s men, legislator
rubbishes charge
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 8
Agitated over the indiscriminate firing by one of the supporters of BJP MLA Anil Joshi during a function here today, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee joint secretary Harpal Singh Bhatia has urged the SSP of Amritsar to register a criminal case against the MLA.

Narrating the sequence of events, Bhatia said he, along with his father Ajit Singh Bhatia, councillor of Ward 20, was invited to a function by the municipal corporation to inaugurate the road repair launched by the mayor. He said that as the function was in progress ruling alliance MLA Anil Joshi, along with his PA Raja and supporter Jarnail Singh Gora, came to the spot. Bhatia alleged that Joshi instructed his PA to direct Gora to open fire to terrorise the gathering which had collected due to his father’s influence.

When contacted, Joshi refuted the allegation and said that no firing incident occurred in his presence. He said that Bhatia in order to gain cheap popularity was trying to rake up unnecessary controversies to malign him.

However, according to senior police official, a complaint of firing has been received and an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the facts of the case before taking any action against the guilty.

Bhatia alleged that Joshi had a grudge against his family and had lodged false complaints involving his family and had been issuing threats regularly after the municipal corporation elections last year.

A large crowd and their supporters on the inauguration function might have irritated the MLA who indulged in firing to disperse the crowd. He pointed out that some of the policemen on guard duty at the function were mute spectators to the whole incident of firing and did not take any action against Gora.

Bhatia said that at the start of firing he tried to contact the SSP on the phone but his mobile phone was switched off. He said the family was under threat from the MLA and urged the police to take action under the law against him as well as his supporters, including Gora.

He warned that in case the police failed to register a case they would be forced to stage a dharna against the administration.



‘Singh is Kinng’ opens to packed house
Youngsters throng theatres
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, August 8
Never before has any film received such a tremendous response as Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif-starrer “Singh is Kinng,” which opened to full houses in two separate theatres, probably for the first time, in the holy city today.

Young movie enthusiasts jostling with each other lined up outside ticket booking centres from early in the morning to get tickets for the first day first show, while a special show was screened for schoolchildren at 8am today.

People had to return home without watching the movie as all tickets were sold out.

The film, which received considerable publicity due to the controversy generated by certain Sikh organisations, has been a hit with the young crowd, who bunked classes to watch their favourite stars in the movie.

When asked they said they loved the comedy of the hero, who had manage to carry the film on his own shoulders. The film has nothing controversial or objectionable about the Sikh character portrayed by Akshay and added that they loved every bit of the film and would like to watchit again.

Tight security arrangements were made in both cinema houses to keep the mischief mongers away. Although, the cinema owners had shown anxiety over the threats by certain Sikh youth organisations, but the police had assured them that proper security arrangements would be made to protect the life and property.

The police thwarted the attempt of certain groups to disrupt the screening and arrested some miscreants.



Dowry Demand
Woman accuses in-laws of torture
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, August 8
Amandeep Kaur, daughter of Sukhjinder Singh of Boparai village, near Patti, has filed a case against her in-laws for torturing her for dowry.

Police sources said here on Friday that the accused included the victim’s husband Angrej Singh, father-in-law Mehal Singh, mother-in-law Devinder Kaur and a sister of her husband who is a resident of Mandi Jamal (Moga).

The police said that a case under sections 498-A and 406, IPC, has been registered against the accused.

Amandeep in her complaint alleged that her husband and other members of the in-laws’ family had been harassing her mentally and physically for dowry soon since the marriage. She was married to Angrej about one and a half years back.

Amandeep, in a written complaint, brought the matter to the notice of SSP Harinder Singh Chahal who got the matter investigated by a DSP. On the inquiry report the SSP ordered registration of a criminal case.

Patti SHO Bachitter Singh said that none of the accused had been arrested yet though a police party raided their residence.



Birthday gifts bring smile to kin of drug addicts
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, August 8
A leading philanthropist could never imagine that his small gesture of providing gift hampers on the birthdays of some of the students of the Citizen Forum’s Vidya Mandir School would bring cheers and broad smiles on their faces.

Founder-promoter of the school Brij Bedi said that for these children the birthday celebration had no meaning as a majority of them landed at the school without even a loaf of bread. They came with empty stomach.

Bedi said the generous businessman, who had refused to identify himself, said that it turned out to be a big party for the students who belonged to the poorest sections of society living in the locality of widows, a slum area of Maqboolpura, in Amritsar. He said the businessman, along with his family, promised to provide gift hampers to all the students on their birthdays which he described as a unique gesture.

The 450-odd students were delighted by this gesture and offered prayers for the family to continue with its generosity. The family had earlier contributed handsome amount last month for adding more facilities in the school.

Bedi said the school was opened at the prompting of The Tribune and Master Ajit Singh who had offered his only living quarters in the area for running the institution to educate the wards of the victims of drug-addiction in the locality where more than 150 widows lived.



Shiromani Gayika award for Bawa
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 8
“Four decades ago I could never imagine that one day I would become a folk singer as I wanted to join teaching profession but due to the persistent encouragement by my husband, who despite opposition from the family elders, supported me to become a singer.” These views were expressed to The Tribune by famous Punjabi folk singer Gurmeet Bawa, who received the Shiromani Gayika award by the Punjabi language department during a special function organised today.

Gurmeet said her talent was initially recognised by her husband Kripal Singh, who asked her to perform in front of public. She said the family elders opposed his move due to the social stigma attached to the singing profession at that time. Her husband requested his parents to give him some chance to prove his point and if he failed in his effort he would not force his wife into the singing profession. She said at this her sister-in-laws talked to their parents and convinced them in this regard who later relented and gave their approval.

Her all-time famous folk song “Kaharo doli Chaiyo aje mera babul aya nahi” (A newly wedded girl ask not to lift the doli as her father has not arrived) is an emotional song, which brings tears to the eyes of the listeners.

Bawa said initially she sang folk songs during family functions or school functions. It was during her performance at a function organised by the Punjab Association in Mumbai where cine stars of yesteryears like Raj Kapoor, Pran, Prem Chopra and other gave a standing ovation after she finished her performance for the “heek” (breathless alap), which she continued for about 35 seconds. Born in 1944 at Kothe village in Gurdaspur district, Bawa has been singing since 1968 and has been instrumental in reviving the totally vanished folk songs of Punjab like suhag, ghori, lambe geet (songs without swars and talas) and gave swars and talas. She sung these folk songs on the All-India Radio and Doordarshan with folk instruments.

She had won many national and international awards, which include state award by the Punjab government in 1991, Sangeet Puraskar in 2002 by the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademy, distinguished artiste of millennium 2000 award by American Biographical Institute, New York, USA, and Rashtriya Devi Ahillya Award in 2002 by the Madhya Pradesh government.

The folk singer has also represented India during the festival of India organised in the USSR and Japan in 1987 and 1988, respectively. She also performed in the festival of Indian performing arts in 1988 organised by the Indian embassy and the office of national cultural commission at Thailand Cultural Centre, Bangkok, besides representing the country in the Bosra festival and the 25th Jashan-e-Azadi festival in Tripoli (Libya) in 1989.

Her two, out of the three daughters, Laachi Bawa and Glory Bawa, are also trying to carry on the legacy and are presently doing masters in music from Guru Nanak Dev University.

Bawa, while giving message to the new generation of singers, said, “Apni mitti pe chalne ka salika seekho, sangemarmar par chaloge to phisal jaoge” (Try to learn to walk on the earth and you would slip if you try to walk on the marble).



Heritage sites impress, upkeep doesn’t
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 8
The state government should initiative steps for the preservation of heritage buildings of the city so that the coming generation could be made aware about its rich legacy.

These views were expressed by four Oxford University students, who are in the city to interact with the students and teachers of Khalsa College, Amritsar, under the United Sikhs Oxford University Travel Aid English Language Teaching Programme, while talking to The Tribune. During their visit, the students will also explore the Punjabi culture.

Venessa, who is from USA, said the spiritual ambience of the Golden Temple and the resultant positive energy highly impressed them. “However, there’s a need to preserve the heritage building and other old structures in a proper way. The place seems to be a big religious tourism destination and the proper upkeep will only earn more revenue for the government,” she added. Another problems Venessa confronted were stray dogs, heaps of garbage and lack of traffic signals. “It is difficult to even walk here,” she said.

Talking about their interaction with the students of the college, Venessa and her another companion said the former have tremendous potential but due to lack of proper infrastructure they finding it difficult to make best use of it. Vensessa said she found students little hesitant to converse in English. The government should introduce more exchange programmes so that the students can be trained in spoken English, besides acquainting themselves with cultural knowledge of other countries.

Richard from London said he was full of awe when he saw the historic building of the Khalsa college. “It resembles a lot to Keble College of London. It appears that same kind of bricks have been used to construct the two structures,” he quipped.

The programme coordinator Tejinder Pal said that Venessa has insisted on getting training in yoga and meditation. “She is not ready to go back without learning these techniques and has even applied for extension of her stay here,” said Pal. 



Sidhu checks elevated road project
Our Correspopndent

Amritsar, August 8
Taking a serious view of the persistent complaints of regular devotees of the Golden Temple and commuters of the potholed Amritsar-Jalandhar GT Road and the delay in the execution of elevated road project, Navjot Singh Sidhu, BJP MP, yesterday checked the entire working of the project, being undertaken by a leading multinational construction company.

Sidhu said the delay in the execution of the highly ambitions Rs 210-crore project was a blot on his unblemished track record of the development of the city during his tenure. He said he along with mayor Shwet Malik grilled project in charge Lokesh Kumar Sharma of the Gammons India, who were the executing agency, and took him to task for the lackadaisical approach to complete the project on time.

Addressing mediapersons in the presence of the representatives of the company, Sidhu said all hurdles, which were the impediments to complete the task by the end of this year, would be overcome and they would be provided with clear front to give a definite push to the ongoing work.

Sidhu set a new deadline for the company to complete the ambitions project of constructing the elevated road till Bhandari bridge by March next year and the second phase to extend the road till the Golden Temple parking by December, 2009.

The Mayor said now there were two main obstacles left. One of clearing the telecommunication cables for which the corporation had already deposited Rs 1.13 crore and general manager Rajinder Kumar have already confirmed that the project to clear the cable network would be launched on war footing. The second problem being faced by the contractor was the laying of new sewerage lines till the Golden Temple, which would also be complete by the next two months.

Sidhu said the company had till date erected 88 pillars out of 157 projected in the plan and hoped that the company would adhere to the new schedule.

He assured the public that the corporation would from its own resources and repair the service lane by the end of the month.



IT can bring qualitative revolution: IAS
lad from city

P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, August 8
Information technology can bring about qualitative revolution in the management of the country and bring in transparency. IAS incumbent Rajan Vishal Mannan, who has made the holy city proud, while talking to The Tribune expressed his vision about how to improve the working of the state administration.

In recent years, Ranjan was the second aspirant who made it to the IAS. Earlier, Rachita Bhandari from the Delhi School of Economics had made it to the IFS two years ago.

Ranjan, a former Reserve Bank of India manager based at Chandigarh, who became an IAS officer in the second attempt, said his banking and economic experience during his tenure in the RBI would be very beneficial in the administrative services.

He said the present young breed of the IAS was very innovative and would draw inspiration from them to prepare a framework in giving quality administration to the people. His first priority would be to bridge the information gap and get closer to the problems to find solution for easy dispensation of justice on routine basis.

He said during his tenure in the RBI he had been fortunate to get an opportunity to interact with the great economic visionaries like RBI Governor Y.B. Reddy and deputy chairman of the Planning commission Monkek Singh Ahluwalia and found their ideas extremely beneficial which he would like to implement to bring the economic policies closer to the general public. He strongly believed that good economics was always good politics and would always try to share the economic problems of the common man and make them financially self-reliant by improving the strong economic fundamentals.

Talking about his career, Ranjan said he did his schooling from Sainik School, Kapurthala, and after completing his masters in economics, he did his MBE from Delhi University where he achieved the third position and joined the certified Associate of Indian Institute.

Commenting on his decision to quit the banking services, he said he could have made it to the post of the deputy governor as final destination but it took some time for him to opt for the IAS which would be his final frontier.

Expressing his admiration for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi who, through innovation planning, had made a turn-around of all the loss-making public sector units from the brink of economic collapse by infusing fresh capital and ideas, he said such bright planning could always make the difference.



Campus Buzz
Niti tops MEd exam
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 8
Niti Sharma of DAV College of Education for Women, Amritsar, has topped in M.Ed. examination of the Guru Nanak Dev University held in April 2008. Anita Sharma of Khalsa College of Education, Amritsar, stood second. The result is available on the varsity website

VC to unfurl Tricolour

Vice-chancellor Dr Jai Rup Singh would unfurl the national flag in front of the varsity guest house to celebrate the Independence Day. The students of the varsity would present a cultural programme. Dr Raghbir Singh, dean, academic affairs and registrar Dr RS Bawa would also address the gathering.

3-week refresher course

The university would organise a three-week refresher course in performing arts from September 5 to 25 at academic staff college of the varsity. Dr HS Bhatia, director of the staff college, said the refresher course was being conducted in collaboration with the department of music. Dr Bhagwant Kaur, professor and head of department of music has been appointed subject coordinator of the course. The interested lecturers of various colleges and universities in the disciplines of music, fine-arts, drama, dance, TV can apply on the prescribed form available at the academic staff college. The form can also be downloaded from the varsity website

Saplings planted

Vanmahotsav was celebrated today at the botanical garden of the varsity. The vice-chancellor inaugurated the event by planting a sapling. Addressing the students and faculty members, he said immediate steps were necessary to check environmental pollution and global warming. He also exhorted the students to plant as many trees as they can in and around their houses and localities. “Efforts would be made to make the campus more clean and green,” he added. Saplings were also planted by the faculty members and students. A competition on potted plants was also held on the occasion.

Khalsa college girls shine

The second and fourth semester students of MSc (computer science) in Khalsa College for Women have achieved excellent results in the examination conducted by the Guru Nanak Dev University.

Out of 32 students who appeared in the second semester exam, six have secured more than 70 percent marks. Sumanpreet Kaur has secured third position in the varsity with 75.3 per cent marks, while Kulbir Kaur with 75 per cent marks has secured fifth position.

Out of 25 students who gave the fourth semester examination, four secured more than 70 per cent marks.



Farmers, traders stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 8
Various farmers and trade unions today sat on dharna near SDM’s office in the city to protest against the rising inflation and privatisation of public sector units.

Addressing the protestors, Satnam Singh Pannu and Rattan Singh Randhawa said they had been protesting against the state government move to privatise the Punjab State Electricity Board.

They also sought easy availability of essential food items to the poor through public distribution system. The leaders also urged the state government for providing the prevalent market price to the farmers for their land being acquired in Attari, besides providing compensation to those whose lands were situated across the fence.



Rotary Club office-bearers installed
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 8
An installation and award function was organised for the new office-bearers of the Rotary Club Amritsar South here. The chief guest at the function, district governor-elect K.C. Kalra complimented the launch of a school library by club members who donated books, fans and other furniture to inculcate reading habits among schoolchildren.

Club president Kanwaljit Singh Jandiala introduced his team which included Randeep Singh Arora (secretary), M.M. Khurana (president-elect), A.P. Singh (vice-president), D.P. Puri (joint secretary) and G.S. Sethi (finance secretary).

Earlier, SSP Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh said the Rotarians had a great social role to play and they must create awareness about ocial evils prevalent in society. Kalra handed over certificates to students of the computer centre being run by the club.



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