P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Bhindranwale panel has police, Centre on alert
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 12
The “revival” of Bhindranwale’s ideology in the state has sent alarm bells ringing in the Police Department. Not only the state police, but also the union home and defence ministries have taken it quite seriously.

The police is on a high alert, but is not taking any chances to make the facts public. It has got sufficient clues and evidence regarding the active involvement of members of Bhindranwale Active Committee (BAC) in different parts of the state.

The revival of the committee came to light after suspects having contacts with Bakshish Singh, underground kingpin of a bomb attack on Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, were arrested in the state.

The records of cellphone calls made by the suspects to Bakshish Singh has been giving the clear picture of the current situation. Moreover, their mobile phones had ring tones of compositions on Bhindranwale’s messages.

After the arrest of Harjant Singh, alias DC, a resident of Vijliwala village of Batala in Gurdaspur district in September, the police has been working on theories that if “Khalistan Zindabad Froce” (KZF) chief Ranjit Singh Neeta, a Jammu-based hardcore terrorist, was the mastermind behind the revival of the BAC, besides supplying arms and ammunition to its members from across the border.

Apprehensions are there if Neeta was preparing youths as suicide bombers. Highly placed sources in the police disclosed that the Neeta had been hiding somewhere in Jammu on Indo-Pak border.

The Patiala police yesterday arrested three persons, including a woman, for hatching a conspiracy to eliminate Dera Sacha Sauda chief in a suicide attack.

Acting on the disclosure of Binder Singh, an accomplice of Harjant Singh from Muktsar, the policed arrested Harbant Singh and Mukhtiar Singh of Tarn Taran and Ferozepure, respectively. Amarjeet Singh of Samana in Patiala district was also taken into custody for his association with the group. It is also learnt that Amarjeet Singh was prepared to carry out a suicide attack.

Didar Singh, alias Dari, an aide of Harjant had reportedly surrendered before the Jalandhar police sometime ago. The district police authorities, however, denied the fact.

The police has launched a massive hunt for the BAC members through the state. 


Diamond Robbery
Life comes full circle for SSP’s son
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 12
Life has come full circle for Mohit Sharma, the eldest son of SSP, vigilance, Patiala, Shiv Kumar Sharma. Mohit is the alleged mastermind of the robbery of diamonds worth Rs 1.75 crore.

The Jalandhar police nabbed him and his security guard for his alleged involvement in the loot of the diamonds from a Mumbai-based merchant. The diamonds were recovered from his residence yesterday.

The turn of events has brought to the fore the ugly side of a man, who was ruined by never satiating greed. He was a successful businessman in the eyes of diamond merchants of the city. Equipped with good educational qualifications, he had enough money that would have sufficed for his lifetime.

Still he allegedly wanted diamonds worth crores, an amount that was nothing for him according to his close friends.

Family sources said Mohit was a jack of many trades. He would start a profession and jump to another whatever he fancied. He was a persuasive insurance agent and a model also.

After starting his career as a model, he has worked with many big names in the modelling industry like Sayed Zulfi of Big Boss fame, Mark Robinson and Dino Moria. After trying his luck in modelling, he switched his attention to the corporate world and became an insurance agent. He did well, thanks to his family’s contacts.

Finally, he tried his hand in the diamond trade and owned a franchise of D’dmas diamonds. Being a new entrant in the relatively old industry, he earned repute in the business.

He owned a showroom near Fountain Chowk. He had recently got married in an influential family who reportedly helped him a lot in establishing his business.

Mohit leads to booty
Jangveer Singh/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Investigation into the diamond robbery involving the son of Patiala SSP (vigilance) Shiv Kumar revealed today that four of the seven suspects, including two gunmen, belonged to Patiala.

Not only this, preliminary investigations have revealed that the vehicle used in the crime could also have been hired from Patiala. Confirming this, DGP N.P.S. Aulakh said it was still to be ascertained whether the vehicle was a taxi. Earlier, it was felt that the vehicle had been hired from Ludhiana at the instance of the SSP’s son Mohit Sharma.

The DGP also made it clear that the police was treating Mohit as the mastermind in the case. The diamonds were recovered from his instance today. Aulakh said Mohit’s interrogation had also revealed that another gunman was among those who had attacked diamond trader Bhupesh Shah.

Meanwhile, Jalandhar SSP Pawan Kumar Rai said the police had recovered the diamonds at the instance of Mohit. A team from Mumbai had been called to assess their worth. The trader had alleged that the driver of the taxi, which was to take him to Amritsar on Thursday, was in league with those who had robbed him as the driver had deliberately stopped the car on the pretext of relieving himself.

3-day police remand for two
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 12
Mohit Sharma and his gunman Harbansh Lal were remanded in three-day police custody by a Phillaur Court today.

Patiala SSP (vigilance) Shiv Kumar Sharma’s son Mohit Sharma and his gunman Harbansh Lal were arrested by the Jalandhar police for robbing Mumbai-based merchant Bhupesh Shah of diamonds worth Rs 1.75 crore.

Amandeep, alias Bittu, another gunman of Mohit, and his five other accomplices have absconded, said SP(D) P.S. Parmar.

Bhupesh was robbed on the night of October 9 at Bikhapur village, near Phillaur, while he was on his way to Amritsar.


Role of SP’s son in diamond loot being probed: Badal
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 12
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said the involvement of the son of SP, Vigilance, Patiala, in the loot of diamonds worth Rs 1.75 crore from a Mumbai-based trader, was being thoroughly probed. The presence of a gunman with the SP’s son was also being probed.

He stated this while talking to mediapersons at a state-level function organised to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maharaja Agarsen here.

Earlier, addressing the gathering at the function, he urged the masses to join the state government's move to eradicate social evils such as drug addiction, female foeticide and dowry.

Paying tributes to Maharaja Agarsen, the Chief Minister said by following the teachings of Maharaja Agarsen, a healthy society with values like human love, compassion, equality, humanity and secularism could be formed.

Appreciating the efforts of the Punjab Aggarwal Sabha to establish its 146 sub-units in various towns, mandis and villages, Badal said there was still a dire need to generate awareness amongst the masses to bring social structure in order. He said the government was committed to provide better health and education facilities to the people of the state.

He said to maintain communal harmony and unity in the state, the SAD-BJP government had decided to celebrate all religious functions at the state level.

The organisers were assured of allotment of land that had been cancelled by the previous government.

Chiranji Lal Garg, president, Agarsen Sabha, Punjab, thanked the Chief Minister for showing concern for the welfare of the Aggarwal community. 


Distress sale of paddy reported
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
While the government claims smooth procurement of paddy in the state, reports from western districts, especially Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran and Amritsar, have reported distress sale and at many places its sale below the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 850. This is especially true of the common varieties, while the “A” grade paddy is even fetching a price as high as Rs 1,145 per quntal .

The situation in Gurdaspur district is quite serious with figures showing not only low procurement, but reports of farmers indulging in distress sale because procurement agencies are unwilling to buy paddy with higher moisture. On Sunday, paddy was sold in Gurdaspur between Rs 745 and Rs 810 per quintal.

Reports from Kapurthala indicated that most of the procurement that took place today was between Rs 810 and Rs 840 per quintal. Similarly, a few days earlier saw procurement below the MSP in Tarn Taran as well. Paddy procured below the MSP today include Ajnala Rs 800, Rayya Rs 790, Bhagatanwala Rs 770, Dhariwal Rs 755, Batala Rs 795, Phagwara Rs 840 and Nabha Rs 825. These mandis have also procured paddy at a price higher than the MSP, but a majority of the sale called “distress”.

High monsoon led to high moisture in paddy, which is not being procured by the six agencies involved in the procurement. Global economic meltdown also seems to have shattered hope of bonus, thus causing further trouble for the SAD-BJP government.

Though the Central government has prescribed 17 per cent as the upper limit of moisture for procurement of paddy, most paddy coming to mandis in the western region contains between 18 to 21 per cent moisture. Punjab’s plea to the Centre to raise the permissible moisture content has failed to yield results.

While Pungrain has been the biggest procurer so far, the FCI that was given target of 10 per cent of the entire produce has so far only procured 1.2 per cent and is said to be the slowest in terms of procurement due to stringent norms.

The slow procurement of paddy and distress sale have become important pretext for the Congress to launch a campaign against the SAD-Akali government. Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa has issued a statement saying the procurement was very smooth from 2002 till the Congress ruled Punjab.

Even the BKU (Rajewal) has asked farmers to gherao the officers of procurement agencies wherever the procurement is slow. SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal understands the importance of the situation, but finds himself helpless with the Centre showing no inclination in raising the moisture level or announcing bonus in view of the global meltdown.

So far the six government agencies and traders have procured 33 lakh tonnes of paddy across the state. This includes 26.2 per cent (7, 73,994 tonnes) by Pungrain, 23.2 per cent (6, 83,118 tonnes) by Markfed, 23.2 per cent (6, 81,831 tonnes) by Punsup, 23.1 per cent (3, 96,667 tonnes) by Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, besides Punjab Agro has procured 12.6 per cent (3,72,472 tonnes) of paddy. The FCI procured only 41,972 tonnes of paddy (1.4 per cent) and the millers procured 11.4 per cent (3, 80,066 tonnes) till yesterday. 


Make procurement smooth: Bajwa to CM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Senior Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa has urged Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to ensure that the government’s procurement agencies worked in the right earnest rather than wasting the exchequer’s money by addressing appeals through advertisements to the Centre.

In a statement here yesterday, Bajwa said farmers had been left in the lurch by the avowedly farmers’ party, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), and it was for the people to compare the present plight of the state farmer with the hassle-free procurement conducted during all five years of the previous Congress regime. He said during the Congress rule farmers were assured of cash payments for their produce within 48 hours and their crops were nursed by an assured power supply which, too, had not been the case during the present SAD-BJP rule.

The Congress leader said the manner in which paddy was being procured in the state presently was clear from the statements of SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal and Punjab Mandi Board chairman Ajmer Singh Lakhowal. Bajwa said the government was trying to put the blame for its own mismanagement on the Centre by releasing meaningless statements addressed to the Prime Minister and the agriculture minister.



Delhi Assembly Polls
SAD for 15 seats from BJP
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 12
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which will contest the Delhi Vidhan Sabha elections on its symbol in spite of poll alliance with the BJP there, yesterday said talks on allocation of seats were progressing well.

The SAD had sought 15 seats from the BJP. However, the BJP, which had allocated four seats to the SAD last time, will not give more than 10 seats, it is learnt.

“We are discussing allocation of seats in West Delhi to our party by the BJP,” said Manjit Singh, Greater Kailash president of the SAD unit in Delhi. “Talks with senior BJP leaders on the allocation of seats are moving in right direction,” he said.

The SAD would contest the elections on its party symbol, he asserted. In fact, Sukhbir Singh Badal wanted that the SAD should contest the election on the party symbol. Sukhbir was keen on testing the party’s strength in Delhi to draw up a political strategy for future, it is learnt.

The party has submitted a list of 15 seats to the BJP. The seats include Kasturba Nagar, Kalkaji, Rajouri Garden, Timarpur, Hari Nagar, Moti Nagar, Shakoor Basti, Adarsh Nagar, Jangpura, Rohtas Nagar and Shahdra.

“We have told the BJP that the SAD should be allotted seats in areas where Sikhs and Punjabi are settled in a sizeable number,” said Manjit Singh. Last time, the seats were allocated to the SAD in areas where the number of Punjabis was insignificant. Manjit said BJP candidate for chief ministership of Delhi Vijay Kumar Malhotra would most likely contest from Greater Kailash, the area to which Manjit belonged. Due to this factor Manjit may choose some other seat or drop the idea to contest the election.


BJP to contest three seats in LS polls: Kalia
Rajay Deep
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 12
Putting an end to all speculations regarding seat-sharing for the parliamentary elections, Manoranjan Kalia, state minister for industries and commerce, today made it clear that the BJP would contest on three seats in the state, the pre-decided ratio in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

“Two BJP seats, Amritsar and Gurdaspur, have already been allocated, but it is yet to decide about the third seat. After the division of the Hoshiarpur parliamentary seat, the two parties have been chalking out about an amicable settlement for the third seat.”

Kalia was here in the city to attend a function at the public library.

When questioned about the possibility of BJP state chief Rajinder Bhandari contesting the third seat, he said, “Till this time, nothing has been decided. So, he too, like others, has the right to express willingness, but the decision of the Parliamentary Board will be final.”

Kalia hailed the efforts of the library authorities, blood donors and Sahara Jan Seva, an NGO working for social causes. He also donated Rs 2 lakh from his discretionary funds to the library and assured of his cooperation in continuing the lease of the library building.

No favouritism: Manoranjan Kalia also refuted allegations that the Malwa region was being favoured as compared to Majha and Doaba regions of Punjab. He dismissed such talk as speculative. 


Sukhbir for old formula
P. K. Jaiswar and Gurbaxpuri

Amritsar/Tarn Taran, October 12
Categorically discarding the demand of its alliance partner BJP, over the issue of increase in seats for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, Sukhbir Singh Badal, president, SAD, on Friday said the old seat-sharing formula would be followed.

The BJP has demanded to contest the Lok Sabha elections from four seats in the state. Earlier, it used to contest the parliamentary polls on three seats.

The Junior Badal was on his one-day tour of Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts to mobilise his party workers to participate in the rally to be held at Goindwal Sahib on October 18 during the stone-laying ceremony of 600 MW thermal plant.

He was addressing a party workers meeting at Guruwali village at Tarn Taran. Lashing out at the Congress-led UPA government, he said Punjab was always discriminated against by the Congress. He alleged that the export of rice was banned only to harm Punjab farmers. 


Shortage of migrant farm workers
Farmers, industrialists in lurch
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 12
Agriculturists and industrialists in Punjab seem to be struggling this season to hire migrant farm workers from Bihar and are believed to be using novel ways such as offering free cell phones and other attractive incentives to lure them. But the offer has few takers.

The lower scale of seasonal migration from Bihar could partially be due to the floods there.

Kulbir Singh, secretary, Punjab Rural Development Board, said at the forest rest house here today that the shortage of migrant workers from Bihar was an indicator of greater availability of jobs in their own state under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).

“The traditional migration did not happen and farmers from Punjab tell us that they are luring workers from Bihar by offering incentives like cell phones and other incentives, including one time meals,” he said at a district-level interaction on the implementation of the NREGS.

Highlighting lack of transparency in the implementation of the NREGS as a major challenge, he said draft rules for raising accountability were almost ready and had been posted on the ministry’s website for suggestions.

Surjit Singh Gill, a farmer with large land holding in Behman Diwana village, said Punjabis seek higher wages in comparison with migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Besides, the ones who work with commission agents get a share in the produce and manages to make extra money.

For the industry, which relied on workforce from within the state, the trend could spell more trouble in the future.

“The number of Punjabi labourers in our factories is now under 10 per cent, while earlier, it used to be quite high. We banked on them when the industrial town faced protests by labour unions. Most of these workers were migrants. However, now Punjabis do not want to work overtime and also seek higher wages than their migrant counterparts, which is why their number has significantly fallen,” said Rajnish Mittal of M.K. Industries. 


Pay Panel Report
Employees hope for early submission
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Punjab employees are hoping that the report of the Fifth State Pay Commission will be submitted within the next two months with the SAD-BJP government inclined to finally listen to the demands of government employees.

Besides hoping for a speedy submission of the Commission report, employee leaders are also gearing up to make the issue of enhancement of retirement age from the present 58 to 60 years an election issue in case it is also not agreed to 

“No one was called for talks by the government during the past one and a half years,” said Surinderjit Singh Walia, leader, Punjab State Services Federation. Talking to TNS, he said the government had always maintained that it would act once the Central Pay Commission submitted its report. “Nothing happened even after the Commission submitted its report but the Lok Sabha elections seem to have galvanised the government into action,” he added.

The Services Federation met the chairman of the Pay Commission and its members today under the leadership of its president and former MP Charanjit Singh Walia and demanded immediate submission of the report. It also submitted a memorandum demanding 50 per cent pay hike for the employees of the state with effect from January 1, 2006, increasing the retirement age to 60 from the present 58 and implementation of the 4-9-11-year promotion scale policy.

According to Surinder Singh Lakhowal, president, Joint Forum for Raising Retirement Age, an umbrella organisation of 14 employee bodies in the state, the SAD-BJP manifesto clearly stated that it would increase the retirement age of the government employees after coming to power. Lakhowal said this was not done despite reminders given to SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal.

He said the forum had decided to hold mass dharnas from October 25 and display page 46 of the SAD-BJP election manifesto which carried this demand.


Rs 123-cr grant for canal revamp project
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Bardwal (Dhuri), October 12
To ensure speedy development in all parts of the state, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced a grant of Rs 2 crore each for all 117 Assembly constituencies, in addition to the already announced grant of Rs 2 crore.

Badal made this announcement after laying the foundation stone of the Rs 123-crore First Patiala Feeder and Kotla Branch Rehabilitation Project at Kotla Feeder at Babbanpur village near here. This is the first-ever major canal revamp project in 60 years. With the completion of this project irrigation capacity will be up by 30 per cent. About 68,625 hectares additional area will be irrigated in 500 villages. Six districts, Sangrur, Bathinda, Mansa, Ludhiana, Barnala and Patiala, will get benefit from this project.

He said he had given instructions to the chief engineer (canals) to complete this project by February-end.

The Chief Minister said as a head of the state all regions of the state were equal to him. Due to this he had made the rehabilitation project for the entire state, including Majha and Doaba. He said the question of discrimination against Majha and Doaba did not arise as he had completed the UDBC Canal Project with Rs 600-crore in Majha during his previous government regime, while Rs 271-crore would be spent on kandi canal and Rs 300 crore on Bist Doab canal in the Doaba area now.

MP from Sangrur Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, state irrigation minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon, MLA, Dhuri, Iqbal Singh Jhundan, SDA general secretary Balwinder Singh Bhundar and party in charge for the Dhuri Assembly constituency Gaganjit Singh Barnala also addressed the gathering. 


Gold plaque to be installed at Sachkhand gurdwara
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, October 12
A gold plaque made by a local Kar Sewa sect headed by Baba Jagtar Singh will be installed at Gurdwara Sri Dashmesh Darbar, Sachkhand Sri Hazoor Sahib on October 30.

Baba Mohinder Singh, treasurer of the dera, said here today that their plaque worth Rs 50 lakh was going to leave for Sri Neder Sahib tomorrow where a Sri Guru Granth Chetna Yatra would reach from Mumbai on the same day.

Mohinder Singh said the plaque was going to be installed on the occasion of the 300th installation celebrations of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. He added that five-day religious functions would also be organised dedicated to the installation celebrations in Maharashtra.

It is worth noting that the sect had sent a gold plaque worth crores of rupees to Sri Nankana Sahib in 2006, which created a lot of controversies. The then main organiser of the sect Baba Amrik Singh was held allegedly responsible for embezzling Rs 8 crore soon after the installation of the plaque. A case was registered at the city police station here.


Kidnapped boy rescued
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 12
The police has rescued kidnapped schoolboy Tajinder Singh. Villagers are all praise for cops Tarlok Singh and Gian Chand who rescued Tajinder Singh, alias Kaka, kidnapped for a ransom of Rs 30 lakh from Pratabpura village on September 25 morning.

Sarpanch Dharam Pal praised Tarlok Singh and Gian Chand for solving the kidnapping case in 24 hours. The cops were on surveillance after the SSP pressed 14 PCR teams into service around suspected hideouts of kidnappers at Jandiala village.

Senior police officials claim that four cops nabbed the kidnappers of Tajinder. According to eyewitnesses, the facts are otherwise. The police had flashed a message that a Lancer car was used for the kidnapping.

According to Navtej Singh, a villager, there was only one PCR team on motorcycle No. 18 in the village when the boy was rescued from the terrace of a house in Samarai Colony.

The area of operation of the team comprising constables Tarlok Singh and Gian Chand was Thawalke, Samarai and Samarai Colony.

In a press note the SSP Jalandhar has claimed that head constables Surinder Singh, Gian Chand, Trilok Singh and Daljit Singh rescued the boy from a house on the directions of the Lambra, SHO and DSP, (Rural II).

The record of police phones say the PCR team made the first phone call from official mobile Nos. 9417565132 to 9915716300 informing the officer concerned about the recovery of the boy.

The cops also informed that Sikander Kumar, a kidnapper, and Gurdev Kaur, owner of the house where the boy was kept, were also in their custody. According to eyewitnesses, the cops even made the boy talk to certain police officers to ensure safe recovery of the boy. 


CM for free treatment to dengue patients
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has directed chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh to ask the Health and Medical Services to gear up for any eventuality due to dengue outbreak in the state. He also asked him to issue instructions in all government hospitals and dispensaries to provide free treatment to dengue patients.

Badal wanted special teams to be constituted to effectively treat the cases of dengue. Meanwhile, health and family welfare minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla also held an emergency meeting here with officials concerned to take remedial measures to prevent the further spread of the disease.


Punjabi Tribune launches Malwa edition
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, October 12
Punjabi Tribune launched its Malwa edition today. With this launch it has become the first Punjabi daily to be printed and distributed from Bathinda.

According to G.S. Sidhu Damdami, editor, “The edition will now cover the entire Malwa belt from Moga to Abohar and Ferozepur to Sardulgarh, including the adjoining areas of Rajasthan.”

The colour edition, hitting the stands tomorrow morning, will be a four-page pullout in addition to the main paper.


Sanctuary workers pay for ‘exposing’ officers
Without salaries for 7 months
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 12
It will be a black Diwali for scores of daily-wage earners working at the Harike Bird Sanctuary as they have not been paid salaries for the past over seven months.

Thirtysix workers of the sanctuary have even approached forest minister Tikshan Sud during the concluding function of the Wildlife Week held at the sanctuary on October 8 to narrate their tale of woes.

Many of the workers, who have been working for the past several years in the most trying circumstances, said they had been virtually forced to beg from their friends and relatives.

The aggrieved employees told The Tribune that salaries had not been paid since March this year while the salaries for the period October-December last year were still outstanding.

“In the absence of a regular income, we are finding it hard to feed our families. Many of the shopkeepers who have been giving us ration on credit refuse to do so anymore since we cannot assure them when we will clear out the dues,” they lamented.

“Our children too have been turned away from school since we cannot afford to pay the school fees. We are also not able to fulfil other social obligations for want of finances”, they rued.

“Compared to other employees, this section is entrusted with the most hard tasks like manning the nakas in the sanctuary round the clock. We work in shifts without any support from the department. In fact, poachers and fish smugglers shot three of our employees in the past months but our department refused to come to their aid”, they pointed out.

Some of the employees alleged they had been targeted because they had dared to expose the misdeeds of the senior officers who had given a free run of the sanctuary to the poachers and fishing contractors, who fished beyond their sanctioned allocation.

“One of the ranger officers, who had been transferred, had allegedly been patronising the poachers for extraneous considerations. He had become so bold that they frequently clashed with the guards and even threatened them with dire consequences,” they revealed.

The police personnel deputed with us accompany us during daytime but we were left to fend for ourselves against the well-armed poachers at night, they added.

Although we chase them away, little can be done since we cannot challan them, they said.

The sanctuary is spread over 86 square km in 55 villages of Ferozepur, Amritsar and Kapurthala and figures on the tourist map of Punjab.


What made Jai Rup’s father believe in astrology
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 12
It may amaze the modern mind that an astrological treatise, the Bhrigu Samhita, supposed to have been written a few hundred years ago, had not only predicted the destiny of Dr Jai Rup Singh, vice-chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, but also unveiled his previous birth about 44 years ago.

This revelation has been made by octogenarian Prof Pritam Singh, a noted scholar of Punjabi literature and father of Dr Jai Rup Singh, in his autobiography, “Kacchian Pakkiyan De Bhaa - Volume II” , brought out by local publishers Singh Brothers.

Dr Jai Rup Singh told The Tribune that his horoscope based on the Bhrigu Samhita still held mysterious incidents ahead in his life.

Prof Pritam Singh revealed that he was writing about this mystery after 44 years with due permission from his son. He has written that amazing accuracy of the predictions contained in the horoscope of his son came as a great jolt to his “disbelief” in astrology.

The inquisitiveness of Prof Pritam Singh to know the secrets of the Bhrigu Samhita had compelled him to visit Hoshiarpur in 1964, along with three friends. He wanted to visit the town with the aim of “exposing” the truth behind the ancient horoscopes preserved there. However, he said he was baffled to find that most of the facts given in the horoscope of Dr Jai Rup Singh proved true.

The horoscope reads that the father of the child would be a famous teacher of the state. The child would be brilliant and get higher education and attain the highest position in his field.

Prof Pritam Singh said he took the details of the births of his daughters and son to a Bhrigu astrologer. The astrologer, a descendant of Bhrigu Rishi, prepared a fresh horoscope of Dr Jai Rup Singh and asked him to find identical horoscope from the old bundles. Much to his surprise, the identical horoscope found from one of the old bundles stated that the name of the person would start with “Jai” while his father’s name would start with “Pritam” and he would take birth in a keshdhari family (Sikh family).

Giving the details of the previous birth of the child, the horoscope says he was born in a rich Khatri family of India and died at the age of 70.

It is believed that the Bhrigu Samhita was originally a massive document of the birth charts of millions and trillions of human beings to inhabit this planet. Some horoscopes are written on tree barks.


AISAD concerned over safety of minorities
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 12
Concerned over the recent killings of Christians in Orissa and other parts of the country, the All-India Shiromani Akali Dal (AISAD) has decided to submit a memorandum to President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Stating this here today, Jaswant Singh Mann, president of the AISAD, said a delegation of the party would submit the memorandum to both the President and Prime Minister on November 1.

He said they were going to set a Sikh mission to bring all Sikhs in the southern sides and other parts of the country, including Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, into the fold of “functional Sikhism”. He said the Sikhs scattered in other parts of the country were always ignored by the Akalis.

Mann said the delegation would also visit Jammu and Kashmir on October 17 with the message of peace in the valley. It would meet the Governor, separatist leaders, ruling party leaders, besides leaders of the Amarnath Sangharsh Committee. They would be invited to a Sikh convention of the AISAD to be held on October 19.

He said they would establish a world Sikh university at the cost of Rs 500 crore funded by philanthropist living abroad.

Meanwhile, at a separate press conference, Ravi Inder Singh, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal 1920, giving a call to all minority communities to come on a common platform, said a national-level confederation of all minority communities would be held on November 23 at the Ramlila grounds in New Delhi. 


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