P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Inside Babudom
Move to amend PSEB Act for Ratra’s extension
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
Re-employment of superannuated bureaucrats is low on the priority of the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party government in Punjab. The only exceptions have been two former chief secretaries - R.S. Mann and Y.S. Ratra.

While Mann, who was chief secretary during the previous term of Parkash Singh Badal as Chief Minister has been asked to head the State Pay Commission, Ratra has been asked to continue as chairman of the Punjab State Electricity Board pending amendment to the PSEB Act which allows its chairman to continue beyond the age of 65 years.

Earlier Mann headed the State Power Regulatory Commission.

Since the provisions of the PSEB Act provide for the chairman of the board to retire at the age of 65 years, the SAD-BJP government wants him to continue by amending the Act. Till the amendments are made, Ratra has been asked to continue till further notice.

Unlike the previous Congress government, the SAD-BJP has not been that liberal with re-employing ex-bureaucrats. There are some vacancies that can only be filled by appointing ex-bureaucrats.

The Punjab Information Commission has been without a chief ever since retirement of Rajan Kashyap. Since the commission has a couple of senior retired bureaucrats as its members, the SAD-BJP government has been caught in a fix over the appointment of the new chief information officer.

The position is normally in the rank of the chief secretary to the state government. Besides the chief information officer, there is also a vacancy of one information commissioner.

The government has to take a decision in three weeks as the issue is pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Unless the government has something on its mind as a retirement package for some of its trusted senior officers, including those holding key positions, this position of the chief information officer may have to be filled soon.

Besides the Information Commission, the State Educational Tribunal too has a couple of vacancies. While one of former chairman of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission is tipped to head the State Educational Tribunal, a retired woman IAS officer, is likely to be named member of the Educational Tribunal.

If one looks at the gradation list, the number of senior IAS officers who retired since the SAD-BJP government assumed office include Harsimrat, Janak Raj Kundal, Amitabh Pande, Bharat Raj Bajaj, Vijay Kain, Rabindra Nath Gupta and Ravinder Singh Sandhu.

Next on the retirement list are R.P.S Pawar (March 31, 2009), Jivtesh Singh Maini (Aug 31,2009), Ramesh Inder Singh and Tejinder Kaur (both on September 30,2009), Gurjit Singh Cheema (December 31,2009).


Police hamstrung by political interference
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
Punjab has seen a number of high-profile state police chiefs from the much-celebrated J.F. Ribeiro and K.P.S. Gill to other competent officers, so anyone ensconced in this position cannot avoid being the target of comparison.

Present incumbent N.P.S. Aulakh’s tenure of more than one-and-a-half year can be seen in perspective when compared to his predecessors, particularly Sarabjit Singh Virk and Dr A.A. Siddiqui who led the state police in the recent past.

All DGPs have tended to emphasise their agenda. Virk’s forte was crime detection and intelligence while Dr Siddiqui emphasised on community policing. Aulakh is trying to create processes to streamline police functioning in order to bring in regulation at every level. He is known for following the book and is keen to create a structured level of command so that making rules and enforcing them becomes simpler.

However, where Aulakh has succeeded in monitoring of the force more effectively, political interference in police functioning has increased than before. It has also resulted in parallel authorities with the present government relying on ministers, legislators, defeated candidates and even circle ‘jathedars’ to post officers in the field rather than the police headquarters. While there is an argument that political interference is present everywhere, even senior police officials say it was never so rampant and that the previous government allowed police officers more independence.

There is also a growing feeling that excessive interference in police functioning at the grassroots level may not help the cause of the ruling coalition in the forthcoming parliamentary poll. This is because injustice meted out at the police station level at the hands of interested parties has only helped polarise opinion against particular leaders.

Even as the political temperature is rising in the state, the Punjab police seems to have slowed down during the last one-year or so. Police officers, who have to deal with increased political pressure, which has restrained them from following up with their own initiatives, are also demoralised due to the complete standstill in promotions. Though the Punjab police is not responsible for this, indiscriminate promotions given earlier have resulted in this state of affairs at the lower level. The most affected are PPS officers whose seniority is now being finalised following the intervention of the Punjab and Haryana High court.

In April this year, the high court gave the government three months to finalise seniority but it is eight months and the exercise is still to be completed. There is a problem of seniority at the level of deputy inspector general of police (DIG) due to a writ by a senior officer, which is preventing promotion of DIGs to the rank of inspector general of police (IG). At the level of IG also a problem arose after the state government did not put IG Rajinder Singh’s name in the list for promotion as additional director general of police (DGP).


Luxury tax
Strike by hoteliers, banquet hall owners tomorrow
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, December 21
Owners of hotels, restaurants and banquet halls will to go on strike and close their establishments on December 23 in protest against the tax levied by the state government.

Associations of the hotel and restaurants today gave vent to their resentment against the government and ridiculed 8 per cent luxury tax on room rent, besides other taxes, including 10 per cent on food and banqueting.

Chairman of the Hotel and Restaurant Welfare Association Surinder Singh Lalli said today the government stood exposed as it had provided freebies to the agriculture sector - free water and many benefits - while taxing the tourism industry. He said in case the government continued to kill commerce and industry it would spell doom for economic revival of the state facing serious crisis due to meltdown.

Lalli said the government must review its taxation structure and bring the levies on a par with other neighbouring states otherwise it was bound to get into worsening financial position. He said the wrong policy initiated by the government had already cast its shadow on fan industry, power-loom sector and light engineering industry, besides other small and medium scale enterprises which were forced to shift units to Haryana and Himachal. He urged the government to withdraw the taxes to save tourism industry.

Meanwhile, A.P.S. Chatha general-sceretary of the Hotel and Restaurant Association said the tourism industry in the country had been under strain after the Mumbai strikes with considerable fall in tourist traffic and it was out of context to impose heavy taxes on hotel industry.

He said small hotels and restaurants had come up here to cater to budget class tourists who wished to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple at moderate room tariff. He feared heavy imposition of taxes would turn tourists away, leading to further slowdown in the economy of the city which depends on religious tourism. 


Agitating farmers feel let down by Centre, state govt
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
Protests, including dharnas, blockage of traffic and rallies throughout the state since the beginning of December and regular representations to the Union Ministries of Agriculture and Textiles notwithstanding, state farmers have achieved little in respect of grievances’ redress.

Farmers have been agitating for more than a month and they are feeling let down by the state and Central governments. No major relief has been announced for them.

A delegation of farmers, led by the chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board and president of one of the factions of the Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, met union minister of state for agriculture Kanti Lal Bhuria and union agriculture secretary T. Nanda Kumar to seek end to harassment of cotton growers of the state.

Besides, Lakhowal and his party also impressed upon the Union Agriculture Ministry to announce remunerative MSP for wheat, sowing of which has nearly completed in the northern region.

Only on Wednesday, thousands of farmers, owing allegiance to the BKU (Ekta), organised rallies and demonstrations at district and sub-divisional headquarters in the state. They were demanding among other things cut in prices of petroleum products in general and diesel in particular, besides reduction in prices of other farm inputs, including pesticides, insecticides and fertiliser, etc.

On Thursday Lakhowal and members of his delegation reached the Union Ministry of Agriculture in Delhi, they were informed food minister Sharad Pawar was busy in Parliament.

Instead, the union minister of state for agriculture was deputed to discuss demands of Punjab farmers. Major issues discussed included conditions imposed on cotton growers for selling the produce to official agencies like the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI).

The CCI recently issued a circular asking cotton growers to bring with them copies of their revenue record, khasra-girdwaris, in support of their claim to be genuine farmers before their produce could be lifted. “This condition,” the delegation held, “was only to harass farmers as they were not only caught between marketing their one produce, but also busy in sowing rabi crops at this time”.

“This is very tedious procedure and if the CCI insists on its implementation in the middle of procurement season, it will lead to chaos among farmers as they have to run after revenue officials to get these documents,” a letter written by Lakhowal to union textiles minister Shankar Sinh Vaghela said.

The Agriculture Ministry delegation reportedly agreed to write to the Textiles Ministry for the withdrawal of this condition.

The Punjab delegation also insisted that cotton growers should be given the minimum support price for their produce by the CCI and other state agencies.

The Punjab farmers’ delegation also insisted on withdrawal of duty levied on the export of Pusa 1121 variety of rice.

Kanti Lal Bhuria assured the delegation the MSP for wheat would be announced shortly.


Defining Sehajdhari
Now, DSGMC blasts SGPC
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
Definition of a Sikh as enshrined in Gurbani and based on messages of Sikh Gurus has already been accepted and approved by the Sikh Panth and no one has right or power to amend or change it.

This was the unanimous resolution adopted at an emergency meeting of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) to which Sikh scholars, academicians and intellectuals were invited.

Delhi SGMC chief Paramjit Singh Sarna, who presided over the meeting, said since the general house of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) had in 1973 passed and forwarded a resolution to the Union government saying after the Partition in 1947, a percentage of Sehajdhari Sikhs had become complete Sikhs with the remaining getting assimilated in the Hindu culture, the provision of Sehajdhari Sikh had become irrelevant.

The DSGMC’s strong-worded resolutions are on the expected lines, but they have brought to surface growing rift between Sikhs in and outside Punjab. Sikhs of Bengal have already resented the new definition of Sehajdhari Sikhs and urged intervention by the Jathedar of Akal Takht to resolve the crisis arising out of the affidavit submitted in Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The DSGMC now wants SGPC chief Avtar Singh and the executive committee to quit, and appear before Akal Takht to seek pardon for its endorsement of the new definition of Sehajdhari Sikh. “Till they do that, the entire Panth should boycott them,” said a resolution adopted at the DSGMC meeting.

Based on this resolution, the Union government made amendments and thereafter only “Keshadhari Sikhs” were allowed to vote in gurdwara elections. After the 2003 notification by the Union government, the term Sehajdhari Sikh became redundant and irrelevant and as such there was no occasion to submit a fresh definition to the high court.

The issue before the court was to determine whether a woman who trims her eyebrows was entitled to be called a Sikh or not. Instead of getting into a controversial issue of redefining a Sikh, the simple answer should have been that any one who cuts or trims hair is not a Sikh.



Expelled Cong men not re-inducted: PPCC chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Mohinder Singh Kaypee has clarified the three Congressmen expelled from the party for six years have not been taken back into the party’s fold.

In a statement by Gopal Krishan Chatrath issued on behalf of the PPCC president, it has been stated the three expelled members could not be inducted into the party by any authority other than the PPCC president or the party high command.

Chatrath is president of the disciplinary action committee of the PPCC. He stated the statements by former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that the three expelled members - Harjinder Singh Thekedar, Dhanwant Singh and Rajinder Singh Deepa - had been re-inducted into the party were not true.

Chatrath added Harjinder Singh was given ticket by the Congress for Amritsar but he turned rebel and joined hands with the Akali Dal. Dhanwant Singh, ex-MLA from Dhuri, had also contested elections despite been denied ticket.


Town upgrade puts students to disadvantage
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Talwandi Sabo, December 21
Upgrading of the town to the level of the Town Area Committee (TAC) has rendered the youth here ineligible for admission to the technology institute run by Patiala-based Punjabi University. The off-campus institute was established here only for rural students to pursue courses in B.Tech and other disciplines.

However, as the town has lost its status of gram panchayat, students are denied admission in the institute as the town with a population of around 14,000 has grown into an urban area. Hukam Singh, a resident, said although the institute was situated in the heart of the town, the youth was deprived of admission in it. What purpose has upgrading of the town solved? he asked.

Mohinder Singh Sidhu, principal of the campus, confirmed that the admission could be given only on the basis of the bona fide resident of the rural area certificate issued by the sub-divisional magistrate.

However, a seat could be thrown open for the general category only if it remained vacant.

The campus runs three colleges, Guru-ki-Kashi College, University School of Business Study and B Tech institute. Foundation stones were recently laid for setting up the departments of pharmaceutical sciences, biotechnology, information technology and library sciences for which the Central government has provided Rs 20 crore. The college was established in 1961, but the campus was taken over by the university in 1989.

As many as 679 rural students under the Golden Heart Scholarship were exempted from paying any tuition fee. The Rotary International recently provided grant of Rs 1 crore to the institute for introducing modern technology relating to computers, installing wi-fi Internet and other equipment.

A course in MCA has also been started with 60 seats. However, reservation for the rural students was restricted only in the B Tech course of six years.

Another resident pointed out that although the town had been given the status of a religious place, the liquor vends in the area had not been shut by the government.


Centre urged to extend health scheme to
pvt schools too

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 21
The Union government has been urged to cover unaided private school students suffering from serious ailments like heart problems in the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scheme.

The government has provided for the treatment of heart and other ailments of students enrolled with the schools owned or aided by state governments. Funds for the treatment are to be provided from allocation made to the states under the mission.

Official sources said health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla had asked the Union government to remove this discrimination against students of private schools. Number of students enrolled in these private schools in rural areas is in lakhs and they should not be denied the facility provided by the Union government.

Punjab government has tied up with the PGI, handigarh for the treatment of students under the scheme. Around 6,000 students from government and aided schools had been identified for treatment.

“We have asked the Union government to include those students of the private schools whose parents are not taxpayers,” said Satish Chandra, administrative secretary, planning and director, NRHM, Punjab. He said all students should be treated on a par whether they may be studying in government schools or private schools. In most of the private schools in rural areas, students belonging to average and lower middle class families were studying, he added.


Akali MLA accused of bid to grab temple land
Neeraj Bagga
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 21
About six-decade old private religious trust looking after nearly two-century- old Shiva temple at Bakkarmandi here, today alleged that Inder Bir Singh Bolaria, Akali MLA, was attempting to grab its land.

Ashok Khanna, secretary, Lala Devi Sahai Khanna Family Dharmarth Trust, said the temple had nearly 8,000 sq yd of land around it. The property has been rented out to 52 tenants in the shape of shops, sheds and residential places, he said adding the rent from these was Rs 5,000 a month.

He said the mutation of the temple land was in the name of Harinder Kaur, mother of Bolaira. The mutation was registered a year ago. Earlier, however, mutation of the same land was registered in the name of Narinder Singh, brother of Harinder.

He claimed that as per norms, mutation did not take place in the interiors of the city.

He said they came to know about the mutation about four months ago when “henchmen” of the ruling MLA damaged a wall to usurp the land. He said he, along with nearly 52 tenants, protested against it. The opposite party showed them mutation of 3,500 sq yd in its favour which was a shock to them, he added.

A deputation of members of the trust and tenants today met MLA of the area Laxmi Kanta Chawla, health and family welfare minister. She assured them that no encroachment would be allowed in the area. She said if needed the matter would be brought to the notice of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Khanna claimed the trust was constituted following permission of the Lahore High Court in 1947. It comprises four members of the family and no space could either be possessed or rented out to the Khanna family.

Bolaria said the mutation was done in 1991 when he was just 10 years old and not aware of the matter. He said his family business of livestock commission agent had been running adjacent to the temple land for decades.

He said it was an attempt to malign his image as he had protested against the raising of a wall some time back.


Travesty of justice
Police to get DNA test of Jagseer Singh
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
The Ludhiana police (rural) will get DNA of Jagseer Singh tested to prove he was a son of Sukhdev Singh of Tallewal village, who was alive and five innocents were convicted for his murder.

Jagseer Singh had been living all these years as Baldev Singh of Balachaur district. He opened a bank account and holds Election Commission's identity card in this name.

SHO Raikot police station Gurdyal Singh said though the convicts in the case had identified Jagseer Singh, for whose murder they served a term , the police will get the DNA report to be produced as evidence in court.

He said the case was being transferred to Bhadaur police station in Barnala as Tallewal village, where the incident took place, fell in that jurisdiction.

The police had booked Jagseer Singh under Sections 420/195/211/465/467/471/120-B of the IPC with his father, maternal uncles and the prime witness in his murder case.

Like five innocents, who were convicted for murder, Jagseer Singh too proved to be an unfortunate man. He was also a victim of political rivalry between his father and his opponent.

He was beaten up by his father's rivals when he was a minor. He went into a hiding thinking he would never fall in the clutches of the law. Hoodwinking the law at the behest of his father and maternal uncles to settle their scores has cost him dear.

Owner of 10 acres as his father inherited 20 acres and has two sons, Jagseer spent 12 years of his life taking up menial jobs. Most of the times, he was washing utensils at a dhaba and somehow eking out a living while his family was hiring people like him to get agricultural work done.

When he demanded Rs 2 lakh from his family to get married, he was caught by the police. He may have to spend years of his life behind bars.

Probe on to identify dead man

The Barnala police has started the process of identifying the body that was passed off as Jagseer’s 12 years ago. Since the body was found from Gharailan village under Rampura Phull police station, the Bhadaur police has asked the former to send it the file relating to the body. The police will get the picture of the body published in newspapers to find out who was the person found dead at that time.


Corruption in judiciary not to be tolerated: CJ
Lok Adalat settles over 3.25 lakh cases
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, December 21
The Punjab State Legal Services Authority has been able to settle around 3.25 lakh cases involving Rs 4. 58 billion which is a record in the history of two-day mega Lok Adalat held in the state.

This was claimed by Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Tirath Singh Thakur, to media persons after inspecting the working of the Lok Adalat here today.

Chief Justice Thakur said results were more than expectations. Lok Adalats were held in every district at the sub-division level. There was participation of executive, police authorities, banking sector, insurance companies as well as co-operative institution. With their co-operation, we had been able to achieve all this, he added.

This was a new experiment in the judicial history that mega Lok Adalat was organised for two days in the state.

The Ludhiana District Legal services Authority has topped by settling 68,417 cases involving Rs 54 crore.

To a question, the Chief Justice said seven judges had been sent back home in the last four months as their performance was not up to the mark, as per the parameters defined by the Supreme Court.

Corruption will not be tolerated in the judiciary. If any judicial officer was found in indulging corrupt practices, he would be shown the door. This was awarning was given by the Chief Justice.

For the first time in the history all Judges of Punjab and Haryana High Court were in the field for inspecting working of Lok Adalat in their administrative districts, said the executive chairman of State Legal Services Authority, Justice Mehtab Singh Gill.

Justice M.M. Kumar, a judge of the Punjab and Haryana HighCourt, sessions judge Ludhiana G.K. Rai, chairman of the Bar Council of Punjab and Hayrana Balwinder Goel, State Legal Services Authority member secretary Charnjeet Singh Bakshi were also present on this occassion.


Payment of Oct, Nov pension to PAU retirees ordered

Ludhiana, December 21
Punjab Agricultural University vice-chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang has ordered the payment of pension to varsity retirees for the months of October and November. The retirees have already received pension up to the month of September.

There are more than PAU 2600 retirees facing difficulties in getting pension due to financial crisis faced by the university. The state government has been helping the university in respect of pension funds. The state government had sanctioned special grant of Rs 20 crore to the PAU for pension to the retirees. Out of this there was Rs 10 crore lying with the university and the vice chancellor has ordered payment of pension for October and November from this amount.

Meanwhile the state governemnt is understood to have assured the PAU to meet the pension fund requirement of the university till March next. Chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh at a meeting with the university authorities last month made this assurance. The state government has promised Rs 15 crore to the university for pension fund till march.

The government is also considering PAU demand for funds for research. The S.S. Johl Committee recommendation of 50 paise cess per Rs 100 on the sale of produce of the farmers is also still under the consideration of the government. The government earler decided to levy this cess from last kharif crop but there was opposition from the farmer’s organisations. Now the government is said to be considering this cess on the buyer of the agricultural produce. The case is with the Chief Minister, it is learnt. 


Appoint academicians as VCs: UGC
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 21
The Pay Review Committee (PRC) of the University Grants Commission (UGC), in its report, has suggested to the central and state governments that a vice-chancellor should be an academician and the practice of appointing vice-chancellors from among bureaucrats, police officers and even Army officers should be stopped .

The UGC report further states there should be transparent, uniform and academic criteria for the appointment of VCs and the practice of political patronage should also be discontinued.

The report recommended the VCs should have regular scale of pay and uniform term of office in the country. The present practice of varying term of three or five years should be done away with. It was also suggested there should be a code of conduct or assessment of the VC’s work.

The PRC comprises G.K.Chadha, chairman, Sudeep Banerjee, G. Padmanaban, B.S.Thapliyar, Manimala Das, all members, and R.K. Chauhan, member-secretary.

According to S.K.Thorat, chairman, UGC, the PRC members had discussions with senior academicians of the country. He said the PRC was also convinced formidable challenges lay ahead especially in the context of globalisation and privatisation of education on the one hand and competition that Indian economy would have to contend in future, on the other. 


SC ban on hoardings
Billboards back on highways 
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Ropar, December 21
In clear violation of the Supreme Court guidelines that ban hoardings along highways, a large number of billboards, advertising products ranging from winter wear to mobile services, have mushroomed on the national highways 21 and 95.

While NH-21 links Kharar with Kiratpur Sahib, NH-95 leads from Morinda to Ludhiana.

The apex court had issued a ban on hoardings along highways in 1997 while the Punjab and Haryana High Court had passed a similar order earlier in 2004.

Now, not only commercial enterprises, even political parties, especially the ruling SAD, are defying the court ban only to leave the roadsides defaced.

On the NH-95, advertisements of Students Organisation of India (SOI), the SAD’s youth wing, appear atop the signboards raised by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).

Advertisements have also sprung up near the Kurali bridge toll tax. Similarly, the stretch from Mohali Verka Milk Plant to Gharuan is dotted with advertisements of various religious congregations as well as small-time ventures.

In June this year, the Mohali district administration had undertaken a drive under which all billboards on the Chandigarh-Kharar stretch were removed. Interestingly, the advertisements were removed, but the permanent structures that had been raised stood tall.

Central public works division XEN Karnail Singh said the Mohali district administration had not convened even a single meeting regarding these encroachments in the past year. "Last week, I wrote to the Mohali deputy commissioner to convene a meeting on the issue. Now, I am all set to send him a reminder letter," he added.

Singh said he had also asked the deputy commissioner to provide them with police help to remove the structures installed on rooftops of houses that were situated along the national highways.

Already, two public interest litigations (PIL) were pending in the High Court over the issue, he added.


Fire in airport’s arrival lounge
Neeraj Bagga
Tribune News Service

Rajasansi (Amritsar), December 21
Staff members at Rajasansi international airport averted major mishap when a fire broke out in its arrival lounge at 5:30 in the morning.

Under the ongoing upgrade process, welding work was on the ceiling of the lounge when a spark from it fell on cotton and fibre objects lying on the floor.

Soon smoke started billowing out of it and engulfed the arrival lounge. Number of passengers was negligible in the early winter morning besides no flight was scheduled to arrive or take off from the airport. Staaff members informed the Fire Brigade of the Indian Airports Authority in the airport complex. According to officials present at the airport, the fire was extinguished in half an hour. Timely action did not allow it to spread. Cotton and fibre objects are highly inflammable and a wayward spark caused the fire.

Arun Talwar, director, Rajasansi international Airport, said it was not a fire in the true sense since only smoke was billowing out from cotton and some objects lying close to it while welding was in progress. He said a fire tender was rushed to the spot and smoke was smothered in few minutes. He added senior officials had been told to oversee the safety measures while upgrading was in progress.


Akhand Kirtani Jatha chief dead
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 21
Chief of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha Bhai Surat Singh “Puranji” (80), also a former managing director of the Food Corporation of India, died here today after a prolonged illness.

There was split in the jatha after the death of Baba Ram Singh and Bhai Puranji headed the mainstream group.

According to Bhai Nirmal Singh, cremation of Bhai Puranji would take place here tomorrow.

An 11-member committee will elect successor to Bhai Puranji after the cremation.

However, Bhai Jeewan Singh, a former hazuri raagi of the Golden Temple is said to be the front- runner for the post.


Scribe bereaved
Our Correspondent

Nabha, December 21
Vidya Wati Sharma (95) wife of late Meghraj Sharma died here yesterday after brief illness. She was grandmother of The Tribune correspondent here.

She is survived by a daughter and five sons. People from all walks of life attended her cremation.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |