Politicians and peddlers: The Tribune India

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Allegations by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) against the Congressman and SAD leader (Sanyukt) of having relations with an international smuggler have brought drugs to light in the state. The leaders in question include Congressman Ramanjit Singh Sikki and Jathedar Ranjiit Singh Brahmpura, who have totally refuted the allegations. Such allegations and counter-allegations have long been formulated in political circles. After independence, the Indo-Pakistan border was open and anti-social elements were smuggling. The peddlers left for Pakistan with bottles of wine and pan leaves and smuggled opium and gold. Smugglers used to employ the services of laborers (known as Pandi) to transport contraband goods. Valtoha, Daleery, Naushehra Dhala, Sheron, Shakri, Van Tara Singh, Burj and Chheena Bidhi Chand, among others, have been included in this list. Smugglers were identified with milky white kurta-chadra and used to reach the market with their armed men on horseback. There was poverty everywhere as most of the families had emigrated from Pakistan and used to give smugglers a lot of respect. Part of the politicians, especially the then ruling Congress, had services from Sewa katta of Naushehra Dhala, Gurnam Singh Daleery, Ajit Singh Darya of Daleery, Ajit Singh Buraj and Sheron. Some politicians had even married their children to family members of known smugglers.

Vikram, a sniffer dog from the Tarn Taran police, being cremated with full state honors. Photos: Gurbaxpuri

State awards for dogs

Vikram, a police department sniffer dog, was cremated with full state honors. Chief Police Superintendent Dhruman H Nimbale has expressed sorrow over Vikram’s death. The SSP said the sniffer dog was trained at the Phillaur PAP Academy and joined the Tarn Taran Police Department in 2014. Vikram was an expert in drug and explosives detection and worked eight years and six months for the police.

Reforestation campaign

An afforestation campaign launched by environmentalist Baba Sewa Singh of Khadoor Sahib to revive a decades-old heritage has received a massive response from the masses. Baba Sewa Singh, leader of the Kar Sewa (Khadoor Sahib) sect, launched the campaign in 2020 on the occasion of the 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak Dev. The sect had a plan to convert 550 plots of land into jungels in different places to protect the environment because in most parts of northern India the trees were cut down. Even the hilly areas of Himachal Pradesh have lost their natural beauty and turned into a concrete jungle. In Khadoor Sahib and other parts of the state, a number of panchayats had come forward giving common village land to plant saplings and increase green cover. The SGPC had agreed to plant saplings on the land of no less than 40 gurdwaras. As the saplings began to grow, the general public showed a great deal of interest in going further down the green lane. Sukhpreet Singh Pannun gave her two kanals in her native village of Bahadurpur (Khadoor Sahib) to plant saplings. Deputy Commissioner Kulwant Singh launched the planting campaign on Pannun lands. More than 500 saplings of 50 varieties have been planted on this plot. Out of 15 Bhai Phoola Singh marlas from Safadarpur village (Kapurthala), a total number of 160 saplings of 50 varieties were planted. One of these jungles appeared to Mattewal in the Faridkot district. Besides this noble cause, the Kar Sewa sect started planting saplings in 1999. The journey started from Khadoor Sahib and covered the roadsides. More than 5 lakh saplings have completely grown. The sect prefers to plant medicinal saplings.

(Contributed by Gurbaxpuri)


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