P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Gill seeks Haj-like sops for Hazur Sahib pilgrims
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Union minister of sports Manohar Singh Gill wants Air-India to make Amritsar-Delhi-Hazur Sahib Nanded flight a regular feature besides urging Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and civil aviation minister Praful Patel to further reduce the airfare on this special flight.

Talking to The Tribune over the phone, he said this special flight was introduced on October 29 to facilitate Sikhs to attend the tercentenary celebrations of Gurta Gaddi Diwas of Guru Granth Sahib. Air-India wants this flight to be discontinued from November 4, just six days after it was introduced.

Otherwise, even in the present day, it is difficult to visit Hazur Sahib Nanded because of no direct air connectivity.

“Hazur Sahib Nanded is our Haj and all facilities that are enjoyed by our Muslim brethren should also be extended to the Sikhs,” says Gill.

Gill, who returned from Hazur Sahib today after attending the tercentenary celebrations, said the demand for the continuation of the Air-India flight was made to him by hundreds of people he met and interacted with at Hazur Sahib Nanded.

Guru Gobind Singh also wanted that all Sikhs after the age of 60 years must visit Hazur Sahib Nanded on the lines of Haj.

“For Sikhs, the pilgrimage to Hazur Sahib Nanded is like a Haj. Since the government of India spends about Rs 450 crore every year to facilitate Haj of our Muslim brethren to Mecca, it will be in the fitness of things that a similar gesture is made to the Sikhs by making the Amritsar-Delhi-Hazur Sahib Nanded flight ergular besides reducing its return fare further from Rs 15,000.

“The government of India has built a new airport at Nanded Sahib. To make maximum use of this new facility besides facilitating Sikhs to travel to their Haj year round would serve a double purpose,” says Gill, maintaining that he will take up the matter with the Prime Minister as well as the union civil aviation minister.

“It was a fantastic experience for me not only to attend the celebrations but also to interact with people from all walks of life, including saints, villagers, locals and others. I also feel blessed as I also got lifetime opportunity of addressing the august gathering before various religious heads, saints and other prominent personalities were felicitated from the great podium, specially erected for the celebrations,” Gill adds.


News Analysis
Dal Khalsa’s ‘Punjab Jagao’ has Mumbai echoes
Economists foresee farm, industrial fallout
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
For true “federal structure” in the country, the Dal Khalsa has started a stir demanding sending migrants back from the state. This move is nothing but regional politics and has received a lukewarm response. The move may vitiate atmosphere in Punjab and precipitate crisis in agrarian, construction and industrial sectors.

The Dal Khalsa launched its “Punjab Jagao” (awaken Punjab) march from Hoshiarpur to Jalandhar yesterday, demanding a ban on the entry of migrant labourers into Punjab and a law to restrict entry of migrants into the state.

Taking a cue from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s (MNC) tirade against North Indians in Maharashtra, this movement can incite regional and communal trouble Punjab will find difficult to handle. The move has triggered alarm for the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance, but the government is yet to evolve a strategy to deal with it.

The Dal Khalsa argues the migrants have usurped jobs which Punjabis rigthtfully deserve.

Others say, “Addicted to drugs and intoxicants, the Punjabi youth does not want to work for menial and blue-collared jobs, making farmers and industrialists depend on the migrants”.

Those opposed to the Dal Khalsa move say Punjab’s farm operations have suffered when migrants were stopped from coming to Punjab. Industry and development work in the state is heavily dependent on the five lakh plus workers who come to Punjab from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. For the sowing of paddy , farmers from Punjab were looking to hire migrant labourers from Khanna railway station, the moment they arrived there.

SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann has claimed repeatedly that demography of Punjab has changed following influx of non-Punjabis into the state. The Dal Khalsa has escalated this “concern” to a feverish pitch.

Dal Khalsa chief H.S. Dhami said , "Uncontrolled influx and permanent settlement of migrants must be opposed. The government should have rules to curb this influx. These people are nothing but population bombs”. This sentiment has led them to take to the roads with placards saying, “Return Migrants, Save Punjab” and “Punjab for Punjabis”.

The Dal Khalsa says Punjab has 13 lakh migrants who have taken away the jobs from 15 lakh unemployed Punjabis. They cite a Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Ludhiana, study that suggests around 55 per cent of the migrant farm labourers have settled in Punjab on permanent basis .

The Dal Khalsa is likely to find many supporters for its move, but economists and intellectuals say such a move in the era of globalisation will hurt Punjab more than it will help. “The Dal Khalsa has made a point on the 42nd anniversary of division of Punjab which is valid, but it is impossible to stop anyone from seeking jobs in any region of India. When the locals don’t work, you have to depend upon outsiders to keep the economy going,” they say.


Busy with Nanded, govt forgets New Punjab Day
Rajay Deep
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 2
Because of its preoccupation with the Gurta Gaddi Diwas celebrations at Hazur Sahib in Maharashtra, the Punjab government apparently forgot to celebrate the New Punjab Day on November 1.

The state government neither held any state-level function nor did it declare the day as holiday.

Deputy commissioner, Bathinda, Rahul Tewari said: “We did not receive any letter from the state government regarding the declaration of a holiday or celebrations for the day. So, we did not do it”.

On the other hand, the SGPC announced a holiday for its offices on November 1, but it too did not hold any function to mark the day.

There were some differences over the declaration of a holiday on November 1.

When contacted over the phone, Daljeet Singh Cheema, adviser to the Chief Minister, said: “We all were busy with the Gurta Gaddi Diwas celebrations at Nanded. We have reached here just today, so it was not possible to celebrate the day.”

Speaking further, Cheema said: “Moreover, there are already many scheduled holidays. So it was not required to give one more holiday on the day.”

“The state government has already done a lot for the Punjabi language which can not lose its sheen just because the day was not celebrated,” he added.

SGPC chief Avtar Singh said: “We never announce a holiday suddenly. It was scheduled in the committee’s calendar. So we closed our offices.”


Atta-dal Scheme
Govt to put surplus wheat in open market
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Punjab, which is already distributing around 35,000 tonnes of wheat every month to the families living below poverty line in the state under the Atta-dal Scheme, will now extend the benefit to the common man.

In an turn of events, Punjab is now getting around 65,000 tonnes of wheat under the Centrally sponsored Antodaya Scheme every month, allowing it to fulfil its obligations under the Atta-dal Scheme and also pass on the benefit to the middle class.

The Food and Civil Supplies Department has decided to put this excess wheat in the open market. Minister Adesh Partap Singh said the commodity would be certified and fortified before being released in the market. He said the modalities of how this would be done and the price at which the wheat would be sold were still to be finalised.

According to the minister, there is a definite change in how Punjab is now perceived by the Centre. This has been possible due to the efforts of the department, which has successfully projected the state’s case before the union government. “Amarinder had tried to get 10,000 tonnes for the state and failed while we asked for 60,000 tonnes and were able to get even more than this”, Kairon disclosed, while referring to pleas of former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar in this connection.

The common man will benefit from the release of wheat into the open market as the state is getting the commodity at a subsidised cost of Rs 6.50, which is nearly half of its price in the open market. The state also stands to gain by selling the produce after adding more value to it.

The state is also comfortably placed as far as its populist Atta-dal Scheme is concerned. In times of shortage, it had to provide wheat bought at Rs 12.50 per kg at a price of Rs 4 per kg under the scheme. This subsidy quotient of Rs 8.50 per kg has now been reduced to only Rs 2 per kg with an ease in the supply of foodgrain from the Centre. The state stands to make a saving of Rs 300 crore due to the increased supply.

The state government is supplying wheat to over 13 lakh households with a maximum of 35 kg per household per month under the Aata-dal scheme launched in August last year. The wheat is being distributed through 14,000 ration depots and cooperative societies.


Khaira raises questions about CM’s sangat darshan
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, November 2
Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira has raised questions about Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s proposed sangat darshan in his constituency.

In a letter written to Badal yesterday, Khaira expressed regret for not involving elected representatives of the Opposition in sangat darshan programmes.

Also a District Congress president, Khaira stated in his letter that it was a matter of great regret that he was neither informed nor invited for the proposed sangat darshan being held in his constituency on Wednesday.

Khaira further questioned the CM whether he, as an elected representative of people, did not deserve to be a part of the programme where Badal appeared to hear grievances of the public.

The Bholath MLA further stated that over 200 Congress leaders and workers of his constituency, including him, were falsely implicated in criminal cases during the past over 18 months of his rule. A list of false cases was presented by him to the Governor of Punjab on whose intervention such cases were found politically motivated and, thus, cancelled, he claimed.

Khaira further stated that SAD president Sukhbir Badal had earlier on October 15 illegally laid four foundation stones in his constituency. Being an MP from Faridkot, Sukhbir was in no way entitled to perform duties of ministers and the Chief Minister.

Besides police atrocities, he intended to discuss and present the aspirations of his electorate on issues such as flood control, education, health and other matters of public importance during Badal’s visit to his constituency, he added.

The Bholath MLA said he, along with approximately 200 Congress workers and respectable persons, might kindly be given appropriate time during the sangat darshan programme. He further stated that he was sure he would not ignore his request or else the very purpose of meeting the public and knowing their difficulties would stand defeated.


Rajasansi flight cut to hit pilgrims, tourism
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, November 2
The curtailing of international flights from Amritsar international airport will hamper development and movement of overseas pilgrims to major tourist and commercial centre of northern India.

The fast growth of this airport of the country in three to four years will come to a halt. Statistics suggest it was showing signs of decline in passenger traffic. Tourism, trade and industry, mainstay of this city, will get a setback due to reduction of international flights and connectivity to destinations across the world which bring in businessmen and thousands of Punjabi NRIs and others.

The issues which have made the airlines like Singapore Airlines and Jet Airways to take this drastic decision include the high cost of landing which was double than that of major metro airports, lack of cargo traffic and a host of other causes.

A couple of other small airlines, including Trans Aero, Slovakia and Al Monark, have either terminated or cut down flight schedules due to economic crisis worldwide. The other two regular airways, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, flying to breakaway Russian countries providing connections to Europe and England were also reducing weekly 12 flights to seven to eight in the coming months due to low passenger intake from Amritsar and other destinations abroad.

A spokesman of the international flights originating from the CIS countries said they generally got aviation fuel from outside India in view of the high cost here to work out better economics for flight operations. He said they were operating six to seven flights a week, but forced to cut down to three flights and might review the situation subject to the number of passengers in November.

BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to look into various issues forcing big international airlines to cut down or discontinue flight operations from this upgraded airport of the city.

Criticising certain vested interests allowing growth of North India’s key airport Sidhu said the PM should intervene and take steps to save this airport from becoming redundant after spending several crores to modernise it. He said the decision of the airlines to decrease flight frequency would greatly impair Punjab’s connectivity to various parts of the world besides it would halt the cargo movement affecting export from the city.

The hospitality industry with some leading hotel chains including Radisson, Marriott, Holiday Inn and Taj Group coming up in the city will get major setback, besides the local hotel industry will become unviable.



LS polls: Atwal likely to contest from Fatehgarh Sahib
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 2
Lok Sabha deputy speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal is likely to contest the coming Lok Sabha elections from the Fatehgarh Sahib (reserved) seat.

Atwal has been frequenting the area to take feedback of various sects in this constituency. In Fatehgarh Sahib alone, he has paid visits thrice in the past few months. Sources say Atwal and his workers have been working tediously for past sometime, undertaking a survey of the Lok Sabha constituency to gauge his chances of victory and mobilise masses as well.

This Lok Sabha constituency comprises Fatehgarh Sahib, Sahnewal, Raikot, Samrala, Bassi Pathana, Payal, Amloh, Khanna and Amargarh.

While the SAD has already announced Rattan Singh Ajnala as its candidate from Khadoor Sahib, it’s expected that official announcement about Atwals candidature will be made soon.

Atwal said: “I am keen on contesting the elections. I expect party to give me ticket from Fatehgarh Sahib. I also expect a ticket from somewhere else in case it’s not possible from this constituency.”

Sources in the party reveal that Atwal decided to contest the elections from Fatehgarh Sahib after consultation with the high command and the party workers. Out of nine constituencies, five are represented by the Akalis and the rest by the Congress. It is learnt that the process of enlisting all party workers, sarpanches, MCs and other volunteers has begin.

Atwal has recently paid visits during private functions in Sirhind, various grain markets of the districts and adjoining areas. He had also made his presence felt at various sports meets in rural and urban areas.


Power engineers plan statewide stir
Attar Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 2
Extension given to two retired senior engineers has angered the PSEB Council of Engineers. The executive committee of the PSEB Engineers’ Association, at a meeting held here, condemned the extension given to two superintendent engineers whereas the council has demanded immediate withdrawal of the orders.

The committee also criticised an inordinate delay in the filling of vacant posts of engineers through promotions by the board.

Meanwhile, the council decided to launch a statewide agitation against the ad-hoc policies of the board. A mass deputation of engineers would meet the board members and its chairman tomorrow while Wednesday would be observed as a “protest day’ throughout the state. The engineers would hold meetings at regional headquarters.

A protest rally has been planned in front of the PSEB Head Office on Friday, which will be followed by zonal protest meetings starting from Ludhiana on November 11. It has been decided that none of the PSEB engineers will cooperate with the re-employed engineers, nor will they take any instructions from them since they have been employed to assist some individual officers in their capacity as advisers.

The association expressed concern at the manner in which very important policy matters were being decided at board’s meetings. Many important issues having far-reaching consequences were put forth at the last moments of the meetings and decision taken without even going through their contents.

The board recruited 40 computer engineers last year while it has preferred to assign routine job of setting up call centres, that too on a turnkey basis, through a superannuated engineer. In addition, the board is paying Rs 4.5 crore to consultants for preparing a detailed plan for the introduction of information technology in the PSEB, said the association.

However, without waiting for the report of the consultants, the board is now pushing the purchase of computers and other hardware worth several crores. Despite the fact that the fiscal health of the board is poor, all these purchases are being made without waiting for a scheme where 100 per cent grant is admissible for such IT-related jobs.

Similarly, the board has paralysed the “system operation” organisation, which is responsible for managing the power system in the state, by entrusting the entire job to a superannuated engineer, the association alleged.

In the past one year, five chief engineers have been posted in the highly technical and important organisation. The board has failed to revamp the directorate that looks after regulatory affairs, one of the most important department of the board.

By taking such ad-hoc decisions, the management, instead of making the PSEB a “system-driven organisation” is changing it into a “person-driven organisation”. It has been depending on a few individuals to carry out routine functions of the utility, it added.

Such ad-hocism will surely result into slow demise of a vibrant organisation known for its technical competency, efficiency and well-established system of checks and balances.

Army moots 150 polyclinics for ex-servicemen
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, November 2
The Army authorities have sent a proposal to the Centre to open 150 polyclinics for defence personnel across the country.

Col L.S. Randhawa, regional director, Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme, while disclosing this at an integrated ex-servicemen rally organised by the Gurj Division under the patronage of Western Command at the Mamun military station here, said if the proposal got through, four polyclinics would be opened in Pathankot and its adjoining areas of Himachal Pradesh.

At the rally organised by the division to know the problems being faced by ex-servicemen and to inform them about various re-employment opportunities, hundreds of ex-servicemen, senior Army and civil officials and other prominent citizens were present.

The rally was inaugurated by Major-Gen Ravi Harshvardhan, GOC of the division.

Colonel Randhawa said though the scheme was a good initiative for the ex-servicemen, only 45 per cent of them had come forward avail themselves of its benefits. Though the Centre had released enough funds for making it beneficial for the ex-servicemen, the funds remained under-utilised as the number of ex-servicemen opting for it was very less.

He urged the ex-servicemen to keep a touch with ECHS cell in their respective areas to get its benefit.

Ravi Harshvardhan, while addressing the rally, said all necessary facilities were being given to the ex-servicemen. Various agencies had also been involved for providing better opportunities to ex-servicemen in the field of self-employment and re-employment.

He also distributed gifts to those ex-servicemen, who had made a mark in their careers, and dependants of martyrs.

N.S. Randhawa, deputy director, Sainik Welfare, while apprising the ex-servicemen of the benefits and facilities available to them, urged the Army authorities that a mobile van service to distribute CSD goods in the Dunera area of Gurdaspur district, which had been lying closed for the past more than one year, must be restored.


Narcotic cell identifies smuggling spots in riverine belt
P.K. Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 2
In a bid to thwart nefarious designs of the international drug cartel which had been probing the loopholes on the Indo-Pak border to facilitate smuggling, the Special Narcotics Cell (SNC) has managed to identify certain vulnerable points in the riverine belt of the Harike and Ferozepur sector.

The revelations were made during the investigations into the case involving the sensational recovery of 15 kg of heroin worth Rs 75 crore on October 18.

It has been revealed that ex-servicemen had been involved in smuggling through the riverine belt who had become more active in illegal trade after surveillance was stepped up alongside the plain areas of the Amritsar and Tarn Taran sectors by the Border Security Force (BSF).

It is pertinent to mention here that the border fencing in the riverine belt is vulnerable due to the changing course of the Beas and Sutlej rivers which converge at Harike and the floodwaters which destroy the fencing, making an easy way for the smugglers to send narcotics and arms into Indian territory.

Worried over this, various agencies, including the SNC and the BSF, decided to identify various places and points in the riverine belt. The consignments recovered by the SNC in the last three major seizures were smuggled from this area. A total of 28 kg of narcotics have been recovered by the SNC in these three cases.

SNC SSP P.K. Sinha said during investigations they had identified certain points downstream Harike to Muththianwala. He said they had informed the BSF in this regard which would take corrective measures to plug the points.

Meanwhile, he added, they were trying to trace the big fish involved in the smuggling network across the border through the mobile number seized from dismissed army man Harpal Singh, a resident of Mallanwala Khas, Ferozepur, and his brother-in-law Harjit Singh of Jhuggian Peer Baksh, Tarn Taran, who were caught with the contraband. Sinha said they were also trying to find the person to whom the consignment was to be delivered.


National Congress of Homoeopaths from Nov 8
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 2
The Indian Institute of Homoeopathic Physicians (IIHP) will organise a two-day 21st National Congress of Homoeopaths (NCH) for the first time in Punjab from November 8.

Stating this to the media today, Dr Ranbir Singh Josan, organising secretary, NCH, said the seminar was being organised at Guru Nanak Dev University here, in which more than 500 delegates from across the country would present their research work. He further announced that 20 doctors of national fame, besides 50 delegates from Asian countries were also likely to participate in the seminar, he added.

The main subjects on which the doctors will present research work include homoeopathy for mother and child, environment pollution and pollution, lifestyle disorders, autoimmune diseases, geriatrics, national health scheme and homoeopathy and other subjects.

Giving details of the registered practitioners of the homeopathic system of medicines, Dr Josan said there were about 2,700 qualified doctors out of the 4,000 registered in Punjab. Similarly, there were 225 qualified doctors among the 600 registered in the holy city of Amritsar.


Surprise check reveals dirty wards
P.K. Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 2
Director research and medical education (DRME) Dr J.S. Dalal on Saturday paid a surprise visit to the Guru Nanak Dev Hospital and newly-constructed multi-specialty ward, besides other government-run hospitals, including the children ward and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, here.

During the checking, he found cleanliness and hygienic conditions in several of the wards at the Guru Nanak Dev Hospital unsatisfactory. He immediately reprimanded the concerned doctors and other staff present on the occasion.

He also directed medical superintendent, Dr R.P.S. Boparai to make routine checks in the hospitals.

The DRME also found medical representatives of various pharmaceutical companies meeting with the doctors and roaming around in the hospital premises prior to the timings fixed for the meeting by the hospital authorities.

He asked them to refrain from visiting the hospitals before 2 pm in the afternoon as fixed by the authorities. According to sources, several doctors were also found absent from their OPDs. However, Dr Dalal, when contacted, denied this and said the doctors were carrying out their routine check-ups in their respective medical wards. 


CM, Sukhbir mourn death of Dr Kang
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has mourned the death of noted Punjabi writer, critic and winner of the Shiromani Sahitya Award, Dr Kulbir Singh Kang, who died in Amritsar on Saturday after a prolonged illness.

In a condolence message, the Chief Minister recalled the outstanding services of Dr Kang towards the promotion of Punjabi literature and language, besides enriching cultural heritage of Punjab. He said, "With the passing away of Dr Kang, a void has been created in the Punjabi literary circles, which is difficult to be filled."

Meanwhile, MP and president of the Shiromani Akali Dal Sukhbir Singh Badal has also expressed grief over the death of Dr Kang. Information and public relations minister Bikram Singh Majithia also offered condolences to members of the bereaved family.

Education and languages minister Punjab Dr. Upinderjit Kaur has also expressed profound sorrow at the demise of Dr Kang. In a telephonic message from China, Dr Upinderjit Kaur said the literary world had lost a writer and critic whose writings gave it a new identity and a social purpose.

She said Dr Kang, who was a pillar of Punjabi literature and had contributed a lot to the Punjabi language and literature for more than 48 years with his novels and literary books, would be remembered by one and all.


Lehra power plant sets new records
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 2
Units 1 and 2 of the Guru Hargobind Thermal Project at Lehra Mohabbat, near here, surpassed previous records in generation last month. These units have achieved a record of highest-ever monthly generation of 319.033 million units against a target of 290 million units during October 2008. The unit 1 and 2 have generated 2.10 per cent more than their rated capacity by achieving the highest ever monthly plant load factor of 102.10 per cent.

According to a spokesman for the project, this record generation has been achieved without any tripping, without consuming any oil and with the lowest demineralised water makeup of 0.5 per cent, thus saving crores of rupees. Both units have been running continuously without any tripping since August 28 and generating more than its capacity.

Unit 3 with a capacity of 250 MW has been running at full load for the past 32 days and has generated 181.63 million units at a plant load factor of 97.65 per cent during October, 2008. The unit 4 is expected to achieve full generation this month.


100 pilgrims leave for Haj
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, November 2
More than 100 Haj pilgrims today left for the Delhi airport by the Dadar Express from Malerkotla railway station for the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Chaudhry Abdul Gaffar, chairman, Haj Committee, said a total of 387 Haj pilgrims were going for Haj from Punjab.

Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, president, Lok Bhalai Party, was also present at the railway station to bid farewell to the Haj pilgrims. Accompanied by their relatives and well-wishers, the pilgrims dressed in white assembled at the railway station here today afternoon before their departure for Delhi.

The relatives bid a tearful farewell to the pilgrims who will be staying in Saudi Arabia for at least 40 days during the holy trip.


CM orders probe into functioning of Aviation Dept
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today ordered a comprehensive inquiry into the entire functioning of the state Civil Aviation Department.

Stating this, Chief Minister’s media advisor Harcharan Bains said the inquiry would be conducted by state chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh, who would also keep the minister concerned Upinderjit Kaur apprised of the progress of the report.

Bains said the chief secretary had been directed to submit the report of the inquiry within 45 days. He said the inquiry had been ordered in the wake of reservations about the functioning of the Civil Aviation Department.

A separate inquiry into the King Air C-90 Beechraft crash is being held by the director general, Civil Aviation, government of India, said the media advisor.


14 injured in roof collapse
Tribune News Service

Moga, November 2
At least 14 persons, mostly women, were injured when the roof of a room, on which they were standing, collapsed all of a sudden here in the wee hours today. As per details available, they all were standing on the roof of a room in the Dashmesh Nagar locality to see a prabhat pheri, organised by the management of the Gurdwara Kalgidhar on the eve of Guru Nanak Dev’s birth anniversary, that was passing down the street.

The injured were Mukhtiar Kaur, Daljit Kaur, Lakshmi, Pushminder Kaur, Balbir Kaur, Charanjit Kaur, Kamlesh Rani, Kanwaljit Kaur, Paramjit Kaur, Rajbir Kaur, Rajwant Kaur, Rani, Amit and Darshan Singh. All were residents of the Dashmesh Nagar locality.

Most of the injured persons were immediately rushed to the local Civil Hospital, while some of them were sent to private hospitals. A senior official of the district administration said all injured persons were out of danger. The police has initiated inquest proceedings into the incident.


Drunk man kills friend
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, November 2
Balbir Ram killed his rickshaw-puller friend, Rampal (50), in a fit of rage as Rampal refused to repay him the money he had borrowed and did not take him to his village on his rickshaw.

DSP H.P.S. Khakh said Balbir Ram of Khangura village killed Rampal by hitting him on his head with an iron rod. Rampal had been found murdered at a house in Chahal Nagar, falling under city police station, on October 23.

On October 22, both Rampal and Balbir Ram consumed liquor at an “ahata”. After drinking, Balbir Ram asked Rampal to drop him at his village on his rickshaw but Rampal expressed his inability saying that he was not in a condition to do so.

At this, he hit Rampal on his head with a rod, the DSP added.

A case has been registered.


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