SPECIAL COVERAGE

CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
punjab
P U N J A B
Top stories | Politics | Community

TOP STORIES

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
1,800 Punjabi youths lost lives, says Ramoowalia
Mullanpur Dakha,December 25
As many as 1,800 Punjabi youths have lost their lives while immigrating abroad illegally and 8,000 girls were forced to indulge in flesh trade to sustain themselves in foreign shores. These were the startling figures given by the Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) supremo, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, to awaken masses against human trafficking during his “sensitising” rally here this afternoon.

Refrain from political mudslinging, Takht to parties
Amritsar, December 25
Ahead of political conferences during Jor Mela at Fatehgarh Sahib, Akal Takht today renewed its message to political parties of the state to refrain from political mudslinging in the mela.

Soul-stirring start to music festival
Jalandhar, December 25
Pt Rajan and Sajan Mishra perform in Jalandhar during the 135th Shree Baba Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan on Friday night. The first day of the 135th Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan got off to a soul-stirring start here.


Pt Rajan and Sajan Mishra perform in Jalandhar during the 135th Shree Baba Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan on Friday night. A Tribune photograph



YOUR TOWN
Amritsar
Chandigarh


EARLIER STORIES




Visually impaired boys from the Sector 26 Blind Institute repair old furniture at Panjab University, Chandigarh.
Eye-Opener: Visually impaired boys from the Sector 26 Blind Institute repair old furniture at Panjab University, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Vinay Malik 

Ambala gang drops injured beggars at Jor Mela
Fatehgarh Sahib, December 25
An organised gang of beggars is trying to cash in on the Jor Mela to make money and have left bleeding beggars at the mercy of devotees visiting Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib.

‘Religious’ Jor Mela now more of a cultural event
Fatehgarh Sahib, December 25
The importance of the Jor Mela has undergone significant changes over the last few years. Instead of mourning the death of younger Sahibzadas, people indulge in merry making and shopping. Even political parties cash in on the opportunity and aim to address gatherings during the mela.






POLITICS

Bir Devinder ‘Academic occasions not for political mudslinging’
Bir Devinder criticises Sekhwan for blaming Manpreet for delay in funds for Pbi University
Patiala, December 25
Former Punjab Vidhan Sabha Deputy Speaker, Bir Devinder, has reacted to the recent remarks made by the Punjab Education Minister, Sewa Singh Sekhwan. Sekhwan had blamed the former Finance Minister, Manpreet Singh Badal, for the delay in the financial assistance for the Punjabi University.

Bir Devinder

COMMUNITY


Children light candles at the Saint Paul Church during Christmas celebrations, in Amritsar on Saturday.
Children light candles at the Saint Paul Church during Christmas celebrations, in Amritsar on Saturday. Photo: Vishal Kumar

Murder Case
CBI flayed for clean chit to dera chief

Patiala, December 25
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) general secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra today alleged that the CBI was a puppet in the hands of the Central Government and a clean chit to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the Faqir Chand murder case was a result of the weak case presented in the court by the CBI. He said the fate of the 1984 riots had been shocking so far only because “the CBI was acting on the dictates of the Congress”.

Punjab relaxes norms for residential colonies
Mohali, December 25
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal approved the proposal relaxing minimum area norms for developing residential colonies, submitted by the Government of Punjab in the Department of Housing and Urban Development today.

PCMS-I docs threaten to move HC
Patiala, December 25
Punjab Civil Medical Service-I (PCMS-I) Association representatives have threatened to knock at the door of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in case the Department of Health and Family Welfare fails to finalise all pending cases of seniority of doctors working in the department.

Judicial Services
Manu Goel (centre) with her father, RP Goel, and mother, Nishi Goel, after being declared successful in the judicial services examinations of three states, in Kotkapura on Saturday. Kotkapura girl clears 3 states’ exams
Kotakpura (Faridkot), December 25
Having made an unsuccessful attempt in 2007, Manu Goel from this town, famous for sweet ‘dhodha’, has this time created a hat-trick by clearing judicial services examinations of three states — Punjab, Haryana and Delhi.


Manu Goel (centre) with her father, RP Goel, and mother, Nishi Goel, after being declared successful in the judicial services examinations of three states, in Kotkapura on Saturday. A Tribune Photo

No policy on affordable housing for poor
Jalandhar, December 25
Punjab’s heart does not beat for the poor as providing affordable housing to the urban and rural poor does not figure on the priority list of Punjab despite tall claims by the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues in this context.

3 Pak nationals held for crossing border
Ferozepur, December 25
Three Pakistani nationals, identified as Mohd Sohil, Mohd Saqil and Mohd Aalam, were arrested by BSF jawans after they entered into the Indian territory by crossing over the Zero Line in this sector late last night.

People go about their business despite the fog that enveloped Bathinda on Saturday.
People go about their business despite the fog that enveloped Bathinda on Saturday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Jail inmate found dead
Ferozepur, December 25
Nahar Singh (34), an inmate of the local Central Jail, who along with his father was undergoing life imprisonment in a murder case, found dead under mysterious circumstances in one of its toilet this afternoon.

A shot in the arm for Manpreet
Chandigarh, December 25
Bharat Bhushan Thapar, nephew of Shaheed Sukhdev, today joined Manpreet Singh Badal’s ‘Jaago Punjab Yatra’. On joining Manpreet’s movement, Thapar said, “Manpreet has been taking up issues that concern the common man. The martyrs gave their lives but unfortunately, the principles they stood for have been forgotten.

Honey producer: A profile in courage
Jalandhar, December 25
Sangeeta Deol is a woman of extraordinary fortitude. The way she has triumphed over her physical disabilities is worth emulating. She figures among the leading honey producers of the state.A resident of Dhanal village, near here, Sangeeta, who is helped by her husband, Inderpal Singh Deol, and two sons in her endeavours, is also a popular mushroom grower.


Top








 

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
1,800 Punjabi youths lost lives, says Ramoowalia
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Mullanpur Dakha,December 25
As many as 1,800 Punjabi youths have lost their lives while immigrating abroad illegally and 8,000 girls were forced to indulge in flesh trade to sustain themselves in foreign shores. These were the startling figures given by the Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) supremo, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, to awaken masses against human trafficking during his “sensitising” rally here this afternoon.

Stating that as many as 65,000 youths were either languishing in jails or spending their life in forests to escape from the cops abroad as they were illegal immigrants, Ramoowalia said it was unfortunate that many travel agents were making money on the miseries of these youths.

‘‘It is a sad state of affairs. These agents are on the prowl, while the successive governments have been insensitive to the issue. Why cannot the Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal, put all these people behind the bars taking a cue from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has dealt with as many as 52,000 anti-social elements with an iron hand,’’ stated he, while addressing a well-attended rally.

Raising several issues that were confronting the state, Ramoowalia said it was unfortunate that the Punjabi youth had fallen prey to drugs, was wasting its youth, adulteration was reported in all edible items, underground water was turning poisonous, education and medicare were getting out of bounds for the poor man and corruption was all-pervasive. The daughters of the state were either being killed in the womb or were treated badly by seekers of dowry.

‘‘Where are we headed to? Nobody knows as all political parties, we look up to lead us, are in a deep slumber,’’ he remarked, claiming that all participants in his rally were there as they were connected to him by a specific ideology.

Top

 

Refrain from political mudslinging, Takht to parties
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 25
Ahead of political conferences during Jor Mela at Fatehgarh Sahib, Akal Takht today renewed its message to political parties of the state to refrain from political mudslinging in the mela.

In his message, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said: “It has been noticed that political parties use language which is not befitting to the significance of historic places where their conferences are held.”

He said political parties should restrict themselves to propagating their achievements and message to the people, besides dwelling on the history of the pious occasion. He said a section of the media had created an impression that Akal Takht had banned political conferences, which was not true.

He said only the use of foul language by political parties had been banned. However, going by the statements of leaders of major political forces in the state, it seemed unlikely that they would pay heed to Akal Takht’s message.

SAD spokesperson Daljeet Singh Cheema said the SAD had always maintained decorum in its political conferences and had never stooped so low to attack its rivals. “We talk about the Sikh history, Panthic issues and challenges before the community in our conferences. Here, I would like to make it clear that Operation Bluestar and the 1984 riots are also a part of the Sikh history and if we talk about these incidents, it should not be seen as political mudslinging,” he said.

Senior Congress leader Lal Singh said the Congress never resorted to political mudslinging at a place where Guru Granth Sahib was installed. He said if Akal Takht issued an edict that political speeches should not be made in gurdwaras or any other place where Guru Granth Sahib was installed, their party would welcome the decision.

Referring to their archrival, the SAD, he alleged they did not spare any gurdwara or religious occasion to further their political agenda. He urged the Jathedar of Akal Takht to first reign in the SAD over the issue. He clarified that Guru Granth Sahib would not be installed in the pandal where the Congress’ conference would be held at Fatehgarh Sahib.

On the other hand, SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjeet Singh Mann said it was not possible to keep politics apart as the Sikh religion itself talked about the concept of Miri Piri. “At a time when political leaders are neck deep in corruption, why the people should not be made aware of their misdeeds,” he said, adding that the Jathedar of Akal Takht should not interfere in political issues.

Meanwhile, hailing the move, former Akali minister Manjeet Singh Calcutta said Akal Takht should also step in to put a check on “exploitation of gurdwaras for political interests”. 

Top

 

Soul-stirring start to music festival
Aparna Banerji
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 25
The first day of the 135th Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan got off to a soul-stirring start here.Beginning with the performance of Jalandhar?s own Ashupreet Kaur, who is among the most promising young artists of the region, a galaxy of musicians dazzled the audience with their performance.

Ahmed Abbas Khan on the Shehnai, accompanied by Kauser Ali (shehnai), Sandeep Banerji (tabla) and the unique, sur peti (sticking-to-the-sa-instrument) accompaniment by Ahmad Ali, young Uday Bhawalkar, a disciple of the Dagar Brothers, and Sukhwinder Singh Namdhari?s amazing Jodi Pakhawaj added to the in-the-temple feel.

Reena Chakraborty Shrivastava and Himanshu Mehta (tabla), were followed by Bhai Baldeep Singh on the Jodi Pakhawaj, with a sarangi for accompaniment.

Prasad Khaparde performed a composition in Raag Darbari Kanhada and the audience gently swayed with eyes closed, meditating to his music. Khaparde?s voice has the ability to convey the element of pain to the audience. Vivek Bansod on the harmonium winced every time Khaparde touched on a soulful element.

Then came husband-wife duo - Sudhir Pande and Amrit Prabha Pande.

Daughter of Jalandhar-based tabla virtuoso Pt. Ramaknat, Amrit performed the Teen Taal, presenting it in the Punjab Ang.

Sudhir?s tabla rendition had a lot of fire and one of his parans even emulated a falcon (baaj) pouncing upon its prey. Both he and Amrit shared with the audience a lot of tabla treasure from Sudhir?s guru Pt. Kanthey Maharaj.

The final performance of the evening was from Pt. Rajan and Pt. Sajan Mishra. They began singing at dawn of Saturday and the strains of kaahe guman kare tu banware in Raag Jog Kaus, followed by jagat hai sapna, kou nahi apna in drut laya transported the fortunate to be present there to a different world.

Top

 

Ambala gang drops injured beggars at Jor Mela
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

A beggar seeks alms sitting on the roadside in Fatehgarh Sahib on Saturday.
A beggar seeks alms sitting on the roadside in Fatehgarh Sahib on Saturday.Tribune photo by writer

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 25
An organised gang of beggars is trying to cash in on the Jor Mela to make money and have left bleeding beggars at the mercy of devotees visiting Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib.

The three-day mela, organised to observe the martyrdom day of younger sahibzadas (sons) of Guru Gobind Singh will begin tomorrow. Several devotees from all over the world will pay obeisance at the gurdwara.

“We have seen the vehicle dropping these beggars on roads leading to the gurudwara. They all were bleeding and were draped in white bandages,” said Jai Kishan, a resident of Bassi Pathana.

People were seen offering Rs 5 to Rs 50 to these beggars. Most of them are in a pathetic condition and have been left out in biting cold.

Sources in the police said this was an organised gang, which comes from Ambala during the mela every year.

“Packed in vehicles from the railway stations, these beggars are dropped at various crowded locations and are picked up at night. The contractor, who collects money, has demarcated various areas for these beggars. If someone tries to dislocate these beggars, the contractor in-charge intervenes,” said a police official on duty at the mela. Though none of the beggars disclosed their identities but they said around 18 beggars, suffering from different ailments were brought here by a contractor from the railway station.

In the evening, beggars “on duty” divide the money collected with contractors. “I collect Rs 200 to Rs 500 or more in a day at market places. But at the mela, I have already collected Rs 250 by afternoon. As the pilgrims keep pouring in, the collections increase,” said a beggar, who identified herself as Pawa.

She said the beggars rush back to the railway station at night to come back again in the next morning.

Sources said some of these beggars were not suffering from any illness but scratched themselves to evoke sympathy.

Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Ranbir Singh Khattra could not be contacted for comments despite repeated attempts.

Top

 

‘Religious’ Jor Mela now more of a cultural event
Tribune News Service

Shops are all decked up ahead of Shaheedi Jor Mela
Shops are all decked up ahead of Shaheedi Jor Mela. Photo by writer

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 25
The importance of the Jor Mela has undergone significant changes over the last few years. Instead of mourning the death of younger Sahibzadas, people indulge in merry making and shopping. Even political parties cash in on the opportunity and aim to address gatherings during the mela.

The political congregations turn out to be more of show of strength. More than a hundred toyshops have come up on way to the gurdwara. People are seen purchasing entertainment gadgets, musical instruments and different Chinese games at the fair.

Exhibition stalls have been put up by the government and private firms near the gurdwara. All these stages are set by active political parties.

“Cries and tear of losing young sons of Guru Gobind Singh have taken place of fun and frolic. Just a few years ago people would walk the way to gurdwara, shed tears and mourn the death of younger Sahibzada’s. People would sit on ground and never used beds for sleeping,” said Gurbeg Singh, a 75 year-old resident of Khamano.

Another area resident, Taranjit Singh, said people never prepared sweets, arrange marriages or purchase goods during these days.

Area residents said the youngsters enjoyed absorbing the festivity and could be seen laughing in hordes, playing flute and other musical instruments. 

Top

 

‘Academic occasions not for political mudslinging’
Bir Devinder criticises Sekhwan for blaming Manpreet for delay in funds for Pbi University
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 25
Former Punjab Vidhan Sabha Deputy Speaker, Bir Devinder, has reacted to the recent remarks made by the Punjab Education Minister, Sewa Singh Sekhwan. Sekhwan had blamed the former Finance Minister, Manpreet Singh Badal, for the delay in the financial assistance for the Punjabi University.

Devinder said it was unfair to blame Manpreet for the delay. “It is absurd that he (Manpreet) did not release the funds for the university intentionally with the intent to embarrass the state government, as claimed by Sekhwan,” he said. Devinder said the university did require financial assistance to advance its academic programmes.

“The present Punjab Finance Minister Upinderjeet Kaur is not only the former Education Minister but has also served the university as a professor of economics, who could better appreciate the expedition of the University for a fiscal stimulus, than her,” he added.

Devinder said it was still to be seen if Sekhwan and Upinderjeet could jointly relieve their government of the huge embarrassment and immediately send the demand daft of Rs 50 crore, in favour of the Punjabi University, as announced by Sekhwan during the 34th convocation of the university, held yesterday. The government claims to have suffered due to the non-release of funds by the former Finance Minister Manpreet.

“I am of the view that politicians must not use occasions of academic eminence for such political mudslinging. I suggest my friend, Sekhwan, to resign if he is unable to get the cheque of Rs 50 crore from the state government’s Department of Finance for the university within one week. In case you fail to do so, your government and CM Parkash Singh Badal will suffer greater embarrassment. We all will understand that you and Upinderjeet are going “Manpreet’s way,” he added. 

Top

 
 

Murder Case
CBI flayed for clean chit to dera chief
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 25
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) general secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra today alleged that the CBI was a puppet in the hands of the Central Government and a clean chit to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the Faqir Chand murder case was a result of the weak case presented in the court by the CBI. He said the fate of the 1984 riots had been shocking so far only because “the CBI was acting on the dictates of the Congress”.

“It is shameful that victims are yet to get justice”, Chandumajra told mediapersons here after convening a meeting with Patiala Akali leaders. He said wherever happened during the riots was the murder of the democracy and it was under the rule of the Congress government. 

Top

 

Punjab relaxes norms for residential colonies
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 25
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal approved the proposal relaxing minimum area norms for developing residential colonies, submitted by the Government of Punjab in the Department of Housing and Urban Development today.

Secretary Housing and Urban Development Department SS Sandhu said the decision was taken in view of the rising land prices and un-abated mushrooming of illegal colonies in the state. The decision would encourage development of approved residential colonies in the state and would provide a break-through for the mushrooming unauthorised colonies.

The minimum area required to set-up a colony in high potential zones of Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and medium potential zone of Patiala will now be 10 acres. The minimum area requirement for the development of an authorised residential colony anywhere in rest of the Punjab will be 5 acres.

The Secretary said the area outside the municipal limits of above said cities falling in high/medium potential zones and within the master plan, all over the state, would be made available to the promoters for the development of such colonies. Similarly, the minimum area requirement for group housing projects in the above said cities/zones and any where in the state would be 2 acres.

Earlier, the minimum area requirement for getting a licence for the development of a residential colony under the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act, 1995, used to be 25 acres in high/medium potential zones. However, in low potential zones the land requirement was 10 acres. Also, group housing projects all over the state qualified for licence against 5 acres of land. 

Top

 

PCMS-I docs threaten to move HC
Umesh Dewan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 25
Punjab Civil Medical Service-I (PCMS-I) Association representatives have threatened to knock at the door of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in case the Department of Health and Family Welfare fails to finalise all pending cases of seniority of doctors working in the department.

Association president and general secretary Dr YC Marken and Dr DC Sharma, respectively, told The Tribune that the Health Department should promote doctors to the posts of Senior Medical Officer, Deputy Director and above, from the dates these posts have fallen vacant. “In case the issue is not resolved immediately, our association will be forced to file a civil writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, to get these posts filled,” they announced.

Dr Marken and Dr Sharma alleged that the Health Department is deliberately not settling the years’ old seniority disputes of several doctors, just to extend undue benefit to others.

They also accused the top brass of the Health Department of intentionally keeping a large number of posts of Deputy Director and above vacant, so that they can devise some mechanism to accommodate their favourite candidates to these key posts.

Substantiating their claims, PCMS-I Association leaders stated that out of the 40 posts of Director, Additional Director, Joint Director and Deputy Director, 16 posts are lying vacant, despite the fact that there are scores of eligible and competent doctors available in the PCMS cadre, who are waiting for their promotions.

Dr Sharma, who is also the president of the Doctors Federation of India, said, “The 12 vacant posts of Deputy Director rank included the key post of Chemical Examiner, Punjab, the five out of 20 posts of District Civil Surgeon of Bathinda, Ferozepur, Fatehgarh Sahib, Hoshiarpur and Tarn Taran districts, both the posts of Medical Superintendents of key hospitals — Mata Kaushalaya Hospital (MKH) Patiala and the Civil Hospital, Jalandhar and four out of seven posts of Deputy Director in the Directorate of Health services.”

Top

 

Judicial Services
Kotkapura girl clears 3 states’ exams
SP Sharma
Tribune News Service

Kotakpura (Faridkot), December 25
Having made an unsuccessful attempt in 2007, Manu Goel from this town, famous for sweet ‘dhodha’, has this time created a hat-trick by clearing judicial services examinations of three states — Punjab, Haryana and Delhi.

She has made the town proud by being the first girl to achieve the distinction of having passed the prestigious examination, and that, too, in three states that declared the results between December 1 and 24.

Manu, 27, told this correspondent that she had yet to make up her mind about the choice of the state where she would join the judicial service. However, the choice would be between the home state of Punjab and Delhi.

Her father, RP Goel, a practising lawyer in the district courts at Faridkot, too, was undecided on the issue. He says that for a woman judicial officer, Delhi being the national capital was definitely a better place where she will be in a position to do her best. Moreover, another advantage in Delhi is that she will not be transferred out of the capital. Promotional avenues and other aspects will also be weighed before taking the final decision. However, Punjab was her home state and the choice will be between the two places, Goel said.

A large number of residents of the town were visiting Manu’s house to congratulate her parents since yesterday when the result of the Delhi Judicial Service was announced in which she secured the ninth position. She secured the eighth position in the Punjab Civil Service (Judicial) of which the result was declared on December 23. Manu got the 15th position in the Haryana Civil Service (Judicial) of which the result was declared on December 1. Her mother Nishi Goel was offering ladoos to the visitors.

Top

 

No policy on affordable housing for poor
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 25
Punjab’s heart does not beat for the poor as providing affordable housing to the urban and rural poor does not figure on the priority list of Punjab despite tall claims by the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues in this context.

This despite the fact that Union Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja had last year asked all states to amend the existing city planning models to address the needs of slum dwellers.

That Punjab has done nothing in this context till date has come to light following information sought by Dr Ram Lal Jassi under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Various departments passed the buck to one another, saying that they did not have information in this context. It took more than five months for him just to get a one- line reply -- “information is nil” -- from the authorities, he revealed.

The lone exception was the Bathinda Development Authority that had conducted a survey and developed 1,294 sites besides conducting a survey in this context, he added.

Jassi said it was a matter of shame that master plans had over the years left out the poor from the city development plans and had driven them to a miserable existence in illegal shanties across the state.

Taking a humane view of the difficulties of the poor, the budget under this head was enhanced to Rs 3,973 crore by the ministry but Punjab has failed to even draft a policy in this context, he pointed out.

Regrettably, when the state is unable to spare finances for this project, it has failed to capitalise on a golden opportunity offered by the Centre, he added.

Thousands of acres of land that could have been put to use for affordable housing for the urban and rural poor is under the illegal occupation of encroachers who enjoy political patronage, he alleged.

Interestingly, the Chief Town Planner’s office did not reply to the queries in this context implying that they had no policy in this regard. Similarly, implementation of the Rajiv Awas Yojna, 2009, for the urban poor was still under consideration of the state as was the proposal for conferring proprietary rights to the slum dwellers, he pointed out.

Top

 

3 Pak nationals held for crossing border
Chander Parkash/TNS

Ferozepur, December 25
Three Pakistani nationals, identified as Mohd Sohil, Mohd Saqil and Mohd Aalam, were arrested by BSF jawans after they entered into the Indian territory by crossing over the Zero Line in this sector late last night.

According to information, the trio, in the age group of 18 to 20 years, are suspected to be residents of Kasur and Lahore districts, where the headquarters of some terrorists’ organisations are located. They had planned to go to Delhi in search of work. Clothes and one cellphone have been seized from their possession.

DIG (BSF) Ferozepur Rajesh Gupta said the trio was caught after they raised their hands when challenged by BSF jawans, who were on duty near border pillar number 144 in the Pulo Batti border observation post area. After that, they surrendered to BSF jawans.

They will be handed over to the police for action.

Top

 

Jail inmate found dead
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Ferozepur, December 25
Nahar Singh (34), an inmate of the local Central Jail, who along with his father was undergoing life imprisonment in a murder case, found dead under mysterious circumstances in one of its toilet this afternoon.

The death of Nahar Singh has put a question mark on the functioning of the jail authorities as 14 inmates of the jail have died this year and seven out of these in the past six weeks. The jail has been housing nearly 1,800 inmates against its capacity of accommodating only 1,136 inmates.

Mukhtiar Singh, assistant superintendent of jail, who talked to this correspondent on behalf of Chander Mohan, deputy superintendent of jail, said the body of Nahar Singh was found hanging from water pipes of one of the toilets this afternoon by another inmate.

He claimed that Nahar had entered into a verbal duel with his father Sudagar Singh as he was demanding Rs 200 from him, which he refused. Nahar was a drug addict and always picked up quarrels with his father in the jail despite the fact that both were in separate cells. Both Nahar Singh and Sudagar Singh had been shifted to the Central Jail from another jail a few months ago.

He said naib tehsildar Madan Mohan came to the jail premises after the matter was reported to the district administration. The matter was also brought to the notice of the district police. The body was brought down in the presence of civil and police officials. Action in this connection will be taken by the district police.

Top

 

A shot in the arm for Manpreet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Bharat Bhushan Thapar, nephew of Shaheed Sukhdev, today joined Manpreet Singh Badal’s ‘Jaago Punjab Yatra’. On joining Manpreet’s movement, Thapar said, “Manpreet has been taking up issues that concern the common man. The martyrs gave their lives but unfortunately, the principles they stood for have been forgotten.

I stand with Manpreet because he has waged a battle against corruption, intolerance, depravity, nepotism and other such ills that are plaguing Punjab’s society today.”

Speaking on the issue, former Finance Minister Manpreet said, “There can be no greater honour for me and for this movement.”

Top

 

Honey producer: A profile in courage
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Sangeeta Deol
Sangeeta Deol 

Jalandhar, December 25
Sangeeta Deol is a woman of extraordinary fortitude. The way she has triumphed over her physical disabilities is worth emulating. She figures among the leading honey producers of the state.A resident of Dhanal village, near here, Sangeeta, who is helped by her husband, Inderpal Singh Deol, and two sons in her endeavours, is also a popular mushroom grower.

However, there is much more to the list of her achievements. She has proved to be a great motivational force for others. Physically challenged, Sangeeta has trained about 2,000 persons, including retired

Army officers and unemployed youth in bee-keeping. Of these, 300 have entered the business of bee-keeping and producing honey. “Anyone can come to our farm house any day to get training. It takes a few weeks to learn the art of bee-keeping,” she said.

For being a great motivational force, she was honoured with the Punjab Agriculture Award by the state Agriculture Department. However, it was not the first award she has won. She has, in fact, won many such awards over the years.

She is perhaps the first woman in the state who drove a tractor in her fields in the 1960s. Sangeeta was a leading poultry farmer in the 1980s. 

Top

 





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 |