15 SGPC employees dismissed
Found guilty of theft, addiction, moral turpitude
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 5
The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee dismissed as many as 15 employees on the recommendation of the fact-finding committee, headed by general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur.

Earlier, they were indicted for indulging in serious cases including corruption, addiction and moral turpitude. However, the SGPC has decided to review the cases of those who were found guilty of pilferage of ration from the Guru Ram Dass Langar and iron rods from store of Gurdwara Sultanpur Lodhi (Kapurthalla).

Among those who have been dismissed include Sukhvir Singh, a gurdwara inspector, SGPC, Sawinder Singh, posted at Gurdwara Jind, Ajit Singh (Gurdwara Bir Sahib), Devinder Singh (Darbar Sahib, Amritsar), Lakhwant Singh, Satnam Singh (Gurdwara Sukhchaina Sahib, Phagwara), Pargat Singh and Baldev Singh (Darbar Sahib), Balkar Singh (Gurdwara Tahliana, Raikot), Harjit Singh, Natha Singh and Dalbag Singh (Takht Kesgarh Sahib), Rachhpal Singh (Darbar Singh) and Tarsem Singh (Gurdwara Amb Sahib).

Talking to The Tribune, SGPC president Avtar Singh said the employees who
were sacked were allegedly involved in theft/pilferage of ration, drug addiction
and moral turpitude.

He said the SGPC was determined to weed out corruption and all sorts of evils from the committee.

The sub-committee, which recommended immediate dismissal of the employees, comprised Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, Gurbachan Singh Karmuwala, Bibi Bhajan Kaur Dograwala, both executive members, Baba Tek Singh, Makhan Singh Nangli, Kulowant Singh Mannan and Harbans Singh Kandhola. Earlier, the accused employees were placed under suspension, but they had applied for mercy appeal.

However, after scrutiny of the record, 22 employees were found to be guilty of various charges, while certain officials were let off for want of proof. It may be recalled that the SGPC had dismissed its two employees while two officials were suspended for bogus purchase of more than 10,000 cement bags by the SGPC by tampering with records.

After reading the news item about the cement scam in the columns of The Tribune, the SGPC president had ordered the registration of an FIR against erring officials.



Huge response to the international trade expo
removes fear from Pak traders’ minds
Love Af‘fair’
Sanjay Bumbroo & P.K. Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 5
The standoff between India and Pakistan after Mumbai attacks notwithstanding, the huge response from the public and heavy deployment of police at the Punjab international trade expo have considerably removed fear from the minds of the traders of Pakistan who have arrived here to participate in the fair.

Three out of 21-member delegation, including a woman delegate, from the neighbouring nation today returned to their native country as they had only come to observe the security and mood of the people in the aftermath of brutal attack on the financial capital of India.

Bushra Khan, a business delegate from the Lahore Chamber of Commerce, talking to The Tribune said earlier she was very afraid of coming to the fair in view of anger brewing up in India against Pakistan as being projected by the electronic media.

However, after coming here and receiving the warm response from their Indian counterparts and people of the holy city, her fear was alleviated.

She was to accompany the business delegation along with her husband just up to the Attari-Wagah joint check post, but later decided to visit the fair site as they did not see any hatred among the people on their arrival.

Confirming the return of the delegates, the vice-chairman of the PHD Chamber of Commerce, R.S. Sachdeva, said they had to return as they had not brought any baggage with them.

However, he added that eight more delegates arrived from Lahore today to participate in the fair.

He said though visas had been issued to 77 persons, but fear psychosis and festival of Eid had forced most of the delegates to abandon their visit.

Commenting on the rush of the visitors to the fair, he said about 38,000 visitors had visited the exhibition stalls put up by various entrepreneurs till yesterday and added that about 30,000 people were likely to attend the expo today.

He said the Amritsar shawl industry had received a tremendous response as it had done good business during the past two days giving a great impetus to the shawl manufacturers facing government apathy besides economic meltdown worldwide.

However, he added that the exact amount of the business done during the expo could be assessed only after Saturday.

Ghanshyam Das, the only Hindu textile entrepreneur from Pakistan, said, “We are business minded people and we mean business.”

He said the political leaders on both sides had never thought about the welfare of the common man who was the main sufferer in six decades-long hatred.

He said the incidents like Mumbai attack should not hamper the peace initiatives started by the two nations.

An executive member of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce, Naeem Ahmad, who runs a printing agency in Lahore, pointed out that the tension between the two nations would certainly effect the trade ties.

However, he added that the governments on both sides should not allow the anti-people forces to thwart the years-long initiatives taken to improve bilateral relations between the two countries.

He said the people of Pakistan were showing keen interest in trade with India as
they could buy the commodities, including fresh vegetables and other items, at
cheaper rates.

Meanwhile, textiles and marble artifacts from Pakistan displayed at the PITEX were the major attractions for the visitors.

People, especially women, thronged expo in large numbers to have a look at the suits and sarees from Pakistan.



Stalemate between DC office staff, advocates continues
P.K. Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 5
The stalemate between the administrative staff and advocates continues to hamper the work in the deputy commissioner’s office and district court after the demolition of illegal chambers of advocates in the court.

The strikes of revenue officials and the District Bar Association are likely to spill over to other districts in the coming days with PCS officers of the state and Bar associations of other districts having expressed their solidarity with the local officers and advocates, respectively.

The strikes by the ministerial staff and the advocates had entered the fourth day today and the people who come here from the city and its adjoining areas for getting their work done are forced to return empty handed.

The employees’ association supported by various Patwar unions today held a protest rally in front of the DC office accusing advocates of manhandling the staff.

They alleged that the police was dithering on registering a criminal case against
the accused advocates even as the SDM, Sandeep Rishi, had complained to the
SSP in this regard.

They raised slogans against the advocates and police administration for inaction in the registration of a case.

Meanwhile, the district DC office employees association in a missive to the Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court, with copies to the Chief Minister, DGP, Punjab, and advocate general, had demanded the registration of a case against the accused advocates besides seeking their immediate arrest.

They said they were ready to provide enough evidence against the advocates for registering the case.

Association general secretary Sukhjinder S Riar, alleged that they had learnt the members of the Bar were going to meet the CM and Chief Justice for construction of illegal chambers by misrepresenting the actual facts of the controversy.

However, V.K. Dhand, president, Amritsar Bar Association, said they were ready to resolve the issue but no one was coming forward from the opposite side. He said the administration should provide land for the construction of chambers.

Meanwhile, disturbed over the tussle between the advocates and officials of district administration, the Mission Agaaz along with other NGOs has urged them to resolve the matter amicably and immediately so that no more harassment is caused to the common person.

They said, “We should abide by the directives of the HC and help the administration in making our city greener, cleaner, encroachment-free and a peaceful place."



Punjab gears up for national youth fest
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 5
Reviewing the arrangements for conducting of All India Youth Festival being held in the state for the first time, Punjab sports and youth services minister Gulzar Singh Ranike asked all the concerned departments to make comprehensive arrangements for the festival to be conducted smoothly.

The festival is scheduled to be held here from January 12 to 16, 2009.

In a high level meeting, attended by higher officials of district and police administration, Ranike asked the police to make foolproof arrangements for ensuring the security of participants who would be coming from all parts of the country.

He said if need be, the administration should tie up with the police administration
of neighbouring states to make the required arrangements for their security during
the journey.

Ranike said this event would prove to be a convergence of various Indian cultures, where a huge number of young participants from various states would participate.

Besides, it would be a great opportunity for the city to exhibit its unique culture.

He assured the members of the organising committee that there would be no paucity of funds for the event.

RPS Pawar, principal secretary, sports and youth services, also directed the members of various organising committees to ensure proper planning and co-ordination amongst themselves for the grand success of this mega event.



Golden Temple mesmerises global folk groups
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 5
International folk groups and student delegations from Bulgaria, Columbia and Belgium were bowled over by the beauty and peaceful environment of the Golden Temple and the magnificent building of the Khalsa College here.

The group was here to perform at the Amritsar Multicultural Festival being organised by the Khalsa College Management Committee in collaboration with Punjab Cultural Promotion Council (PCPC) at Khalsa College of Education.

The group was on a 10-day tour to Punjab. Earlier, the group had also performed at Ludhiana and Gurdaspur.

Talking to The Tribune, Loretta Dimitrova, managing partner, Lira Group Dance Company, Bulgaria, said they were impressed with the calm and quite environment in the Golden Temple, which she said, is a distinct and unique place in the world.

She said during their journey to various countries, they had visited many religious places, but the experience at Darbar Sahib was one she would never forget.

Davinder Singh Chhina, director PCPC, which is also global alliance partner of UNESCO for cultural activities, said all the delegations and folk groups were participating in the festival voluntarily.

Detailing about the council he said the main objective of the council was to highlight Punjab and its rich heritage and traditions all over the globe.

Bulgarian folk dancers expressed keen interest in Bhangra and Gidha performances.

Angel, the Bulgarian folk dancer, said he learned a few steps of Bhangra in a specially arranged workshop organised by Chhina.

Jos Van Den Kieboom, a flag waver Gelmelzwaaieers, Hoogstraten (Belgium) said the people of the holy city seemed a little shy in the beginning.

However, later on they started mixing up with the delegation and grew very friendly.



Mumbai attack: Residents all up against terrorism
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 5
Residents paid homage to martyrs and victims of Mumbai terrorist attacks at the historic Jallianwala Bagh here today and took pledge to build a national movement against terrorism.

The residents also pledged solidarity with the families of over 200 innocent victims.

Lauding the role of the security personnel for flushing out terrorists without any external help, the speakers said these attacks have once again reminded us that we could not afford to take strikes lightly.

They said it was high time the country strengthens its anti-terror capabilities and draw up long-term strategies to fight this menace.

Addressing the gathering, mayor Shawet Malik said terrorism was a war being raised by fundamentalist elements on civil societies and the first pre-requisite to defeat these elements was national consensus and will.

He said we must extend full support and solidarity with security forces and other institutions engaged in fighting terrorism.

Lauding the role of employees of hotels, which were under attack for not bothering about their own security save the lives of their guests in true Indian traditions.

He said entire nation pays its gratitude to these brave men and women.



Book on Sir Ganga Ram reveals city connection
Ram, an engineer who designed majestic buildings
of Lahore, Patiala and other parts of joint India,
had his schooling from Amritsar
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 5
Very few residents of Amritsar know that Sir Ganga Ram, a versatile personality and great engineer who designed majestic buildings of Lahore, Patiala and other parts of joint India, had his schooling from this Holy City.

This fact has been highlighted in his biography, “Sir Ganga Ram: A man for all seasons”, authored by Dr F.M. Bhatti and re-printed by Sir Ganga Ram Heritage Foundation, Lahore.

While Sir Ganga Ram is still an icon for the residents of Lahore where he got higher education and constructed beautiful structures there, he is still unsung in Amritsar where he spent his childhood.

The objective of the Sir Ganga Ram Heritage Foundation, Lahore is to enlighten the next generation about the contribution of our great ancestors and sons of the soil by highlighting their work.

It also aims at celebrating the religious festival of all castes and creed. Mark birth and death anniversaries of those great people who have rendered great services for the human cause.

The biography of Sir Ganga Ram reveals that his father Daulat Ram had to run from Muzaffarnagar (UP) because of marauding hordes of Jat and Afghan horsemen who harried the plains of Hindustan like jackals against whom he had launched a campaign. Some of them were overpowered by Daultat Ram.

However, instead of releasing them, Daulat Ram opted for self-exile and he along with his wife and young child settled in Amritsar near Golden Temple.

In those days it was a tradition to begin the formal education of a child when he was four years, four months and four days old and Ganga Ram was no exception to this time-honoured custom.

He was sent to nearby private school near Golden Temple called madrassa by the natives. Sir Ganga Ram mastered in calligraphy and Persian in the madrassa.

The great Urdu story writer, Saadat Hassan Manto who also lived near Golden Temple for some time before Partition wrote an event about Sir Ganga Ram.

As the riots got out of hand that leader of the group who had planned to insult Gang Ram’s monument, got injured and ended up in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

When he recovered and came to his senses, he saw a big picture of Sir Ganga Ram hanging in front of him in the ward of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

Ganga Ram was born in 1851 in Mangtanwala about forty miles from Lahore and fourteen miles from Nankana Sahib, his father, Doulat Ram, who was and Assistant Sub Inspector at a police station in Mangtanwala, later moved to Amritsar to become a copyist of the Court.

Here Ganga Ram passed his matriculation from the Government High School and joined the Government College Lahore in 1869.

Afterwards he obtained a Scholarship to the Thomson Engineering College at Roorki in 1871, where he passed with the gold medal in 1873.

He was appointed Assistant Engineer and called to Dehli to help in the building of the Imperial Assemblage.

Impressed by his work, Lord Ripon sent him to Bradford in the UK to get further training for two years in water works and drainage.



Apeejay, HMV jointly win youth fest
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 5
Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar and Hans Raj Mahila Maha Vidyalaya,
Jalandhar, were jointly declared the winner of the overall championship trophy
of the inter-zonal youth festival which concluded at the Guru Nanak Dev
University, here on Thursday.

More than 1,500 artists from 54 colleges participated in about 38 different items of dance, music, theatre, literary and fine arts.

BBK DAV College for Women, Amritsar, remained runners-up while Kanya Maha Vidyalaya, Jalandhar, stood third in this festival.

Vice-chancellor, Dr. Jai Rup Singh presided over the prize distribution function and gave away trophies to the winners.

Hans Raj Mahila Maha Vidyalaya, Jalandhar, received the fine arts trophy while Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, remained second in this category.

Literary trophy was awarded to Hans Raj Mahila Maha Vidyalaya, Jalandhar and PCM SD College for Women, Jalandhar was adjudged second in this category.

Similarly, first position in theatre went to Hans Raj Mahila Maha Vidyalaya, Jalandhar, and BBK DAV College for Women, Amritsar. Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, remained second.

Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, received First position for the music trophy and BBK DAV College for Women, Amritsar stood second.

Hans Raj Mahila Maha Vidyalaya, Jalandhar got first position in the folk trophy while Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, and Khalsa College, Amritsar, remained second in this category.



Campus Buzz
Special winter school from Dec 23
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 5
The Academic Staff College (ASC) of Guru Nanak Dev University is organising a three-week special winter school from December 23.

Dr H.S. Bhatia, director, ASC, said the thrust area of the special winter school was nano science and technology. Dr R.K. Bedi, professor of physics, had been appointed course coordinator of the school.

He said lecturers of colleges/university in the disciplines of sciences could apply on the prescribed from available at the ASC, which can also be downloaded from the university website www.gndu.ac.in.



School Buzz
National reading day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 5
Holy Heart Presidency School celebrated “national reading day”, by organising a seminar in the school premises.

Prof Memon, former professor of DAV College, made the students aware about the benefits of developing reading skills and spread the “global learning and communicative skills”.

Vijay Seth and Anjana Seth, chairman and director of the school, respectively, also encouraged the students to develop the art of impressive reading.

Dance presentation

Students from Arunachal Pradesh, led by Lama Tashi, renowned Buddhist scholar and musician, presented various dance forms reflecting the different manifestations of Indian culture at the Spring Dale Senior School, Amritsar.

Different dance forms depicting the culture of Arunachal Pradesh, Tibet and Nepal were presented before students who remained totally engrossed in presentations.

Tashi emphasised upon need of developing the strength of forbearance and added that we need to do away with a revengeful mindset if we wish to promote peace.

Annual function

The annual function of Akal Purakh Ki Fauj Public School would be organised at its school premises situated at Vain Poin village, Tarn Taran-Goindwal Road.

Avtar Singh Makkar, president Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee would be the chief guest on the occasion.



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