Sunday, February 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India

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Badal for putting ban on opinion poll
Chandigarh, February 16
The political affairs committee of the ruling SAD today slammed the Congress for its bitter election campaign and called for electoral reforms, including banning of media opinion and exit poll. It urged the Election Commission to invite political parties to discuss the reforms.

Exit polls leave alliance fuming
Chandigarh, February 16
Near-peaceful polling in Punjab on February 13 notwithstanding, the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance has been fuming over media opinion and exit poll.

What next for Punjab-II
Improving growth rate
Chandigarh, February 16
Despite the entrepreneurial spirit of the Punjabis, the state is in an economic mess. Its annual growth rate has dipped from 5.3 per cent in the eighties to 4.4 per cent in the first two years of the Ninth Plan.

Congress ultimatum to cops in Kalia case
Jalandhar, February 16
The issue involving the Punjab Medical Education Minister, Mr Manoranjan Kalia, and the Congress allegations that he had slapped the daughter-in-law of his rival and Congress candidate from the Jalandhar (Central) constituency on the day of polling took a new turn today with the District Congress Committee threatening to launch a stir against the Jalandhar police if it failed to register a case against Mr Kalia within three days.




Stamp duty worth crores evaded
Mansa, February 16
Evasion of stamp duty amounting to crores of rupees is taking place in the district allegedly with the connivance of the sub-registrars of the district. Sub-registrars are allegedly pocketing part of such stamp duty amassing huge money. The Deputy Commissioner as Registrar, has fixed rates for agricultural, commercial and domestic land. The rates of “nehri” agriculture land has been fixed at Rs 1.5 lakh per acre, “Barani” land at Rs 1 lakh per acre for the purpose of registration.

Custodial death: govt told to pay relief
Amritsar, February 16
Even as the National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi, has directed that “the Government of Punjab shall pay a sum of Rs 1 lakh as immediate relief under Section 18 (3) of the Protection of Human Rights Act to the next of the kin of the deceased and report compliance with in six week”, the family of the deceased, Ram Chander, who allegedly died in police custody in 1997 has reportedly shifted to an unknown place.



Securitymen guard a room where electronic voting machines have been kept
Securitymen guard a room where electronic voting machines have been kept after the polling, in Amritsar on Saturday. Counting will begin on February 24.
— PTI photo

Bid to glorify criminal: Abohar DSP
Abohar, February 16
The police has taken a strong exception to “motivated attempts” made by a section of the people to glorify an alleged criminal as a hero of the polling day violence. DSP Gurmeet Singh Chauhan said here today that on February 13 police patrolling parties were informed that some persons were creating trouble at the polling station in the Pucca Seed Farm locality on the outskirts of this sub-divisional town. Inspector Mal Singh, in charge of the city police station, led a patrolling party to the area.

244 matrimonial cases disposed of
Patiala, February 16
As many as 244 matrimonial cases were disposed of and Rs 64.14 lakh was awarded as compensation at a state-level lok adalat organised for quick disposal of matrimonial cases in the court complex here.

Absence of railway underbridge hits life
Mansa, February 16
The non-construction of a railway underbridge is affecting life and business of the local residents who are held up for hours daily. All trains — passenger and goods pass through the city, which lies, on the busy Delhi-Bathinda section. This is one of the major demands of this 10-year-old district and has been one of the issues that was prominently highlighted by all contesting candidates in the Assembly poll. Prominent politicians of the district have turned a blind eye towards this problem while officials cite paucity of funds for the project as the reason for the non-construction of the underbridge.

A BSF man keeps vigil at the re-polling in Valtoha constituency
A BSF man keeps vigil at the re-polling in Valtoha constituency. 
— Photo Rajiv Sharma

Maruti told to pay Rs 1,000
Jalandhar, February 16
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Maruti Udyog Limited and its local dealer, Lovely Autos, to replace all four faulty shock absorbers of the Maruti 800 car purchased by Mr Krishan Lal Saini. The forum also directed the company to pay litigation costs to the tune of Rs 1,000 to the consumer.

Fairness of poll process questioned
Amritsar, February 16
Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, BJP MLA, while questioning the authenticity of the polling process, said it seemed that the Election Commission neither took notice of the complaints nor does it see the ground reality in which voting took place.

Nisha — a local celebrity
Raikot (Ludhiana), February 16
Eversince her letter addressed to the state Chief Minister was published in an English Daily on the frustration prevailing among unemployed youth in the state, Nisha Kaur has become a celebrity in this town, 40 km from Ludhiana. While enjoying public attention, Nisha and her family members are a bit apprehensive over any possible backlash due to their outburst against the government.

MLA denied bail
Ferozepore, February 16
The bail plea of Mr Sher Singh, MLA from Jalalabad, has been rejected by a local court. He was accused of beating up certain excise officials and serving illicit liquor to lure the voters.

Old-age pensioners want dues paid
Moga, February 16
An emergency meeting of the Punjab Government Old-age Pensioners Association was held here yesterday. The state president of the association Mr Hardev Singh, urged the government to make payment to the persons who had attained the age of 65 to 75 at revised rates.

Docs go on strike over rowdyism
Moga, February 16
The doctors of Moga civil hospital today went on a three-hour strike in protest against the rowdyism of a mob gathered at the behest of a candidate of a political party from Dharamkot last night.


SI suspended for slapping candidate’s kin
Moga, February 16
A Sub-Inspector, in charge of a counting centre at Kotisekha in Dharamkot Assembly segment, has been suspended for allegedly slapping the son of Congress candidate Bibi Gurdarshan Kaur at the centre last night. Besides Sub-Inspector Ram Parkash’s suspension, a DSP Mr Lashkar Singh, was also served a show-cause notice on the charge of not properly supervising security of the counting centre which had the polled electronic voting machines, the SSP, Dr Sharad Satya, told newsmen here today.


Robbers in police uniform loot houses
Patiala, February 16
Robbers dressed in Punjab Police commando uniforms forcibly entered several houses in the Hira Bagh locality on the outskirts of the city yesterday and made off with around Rs 15,000 and 15 tolas of gold jewellery. Sources disclosed that the gang members, who had muffled their faces with red cloth, entered street number 1 in Hira Bagh yesterday. They first entered the house of one Surinder Singh on the pretext of searching it and robbed him of Rs 4,000.


DCC chief’s remarks flayed
Patiala, February 16
The dominant faction of the Punjabi University Teachers Association today condemned the utterances of District Congress Committee (Urban) president Ved Prakash Gupta, who yesterday demanded the registration of criminal cases against the university Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, following a complaint of harassment by a girl student, besides allegations of irregularities.

Oppn plea to Governor on ETT test result
Chandigarh, February 16
Various Opposition parties have urged the Punjab Governor to stop the Education Department from declaring the result of the entrance test for the Elementary Teacher Training till the formation of the next government. There is flurry of activity in the Education Department to declare the result on February 18.

‘Use IT for masses’ benefit’
Amritsar, February 16
"Political freedom without economic prosperity is meaningless. India has political freedom but not economic prosperity. The vast majority is still not free from hunger, disease and illiteracy," Dr Gulshan Rai, Executive Director, Ernet project, Department of Information Technology, New Delhi, said here today. He was addressing the annual convocation of the faculties of engineering and technology, physical planning and architecture of Guru Nanak Dev University.

Principal suspended for violating code
Amritsar, February 16
Mr Prabhjot Singh, Principal, Government Senior Secondary School, Chheharta here has been suspended allegedly for the violation of election code. An inquiry conducted by the Circle Education Officer, reportedly established the charge.


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