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Home Dept seeks Rs 3.72 cr for upgrading jails
Chandigarh, December 27
Punjab’s Home Department has reportedly asked the Finance Department to allocate Rs 3.72 crore in the revised budget of 2004-05 for modernisation of prisons in the state.

No one backed Virk’s extension, Patil
tells CM

Chandigarh, December 27
Union Home Minister, Shivraj Patil has conveyed to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that on the file no officer of the Union Home Ministry has supported the extension of deputation of ADGP S.S. Virk in Punjab.

Punjab to give all possible aid to southern states
Moga, December 27
Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Avtar Henry today said the state government would offer all possible aid to the southern states, which were hit by devastating tsunami waves yesterday.

Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Avtar Singh Henry presides over the monthly meeting of the District Grievances Committees in Moga Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Avtar Singh Henry presides over the monthly meeting of the District Grievances Committees in Moga on Monday.

Fatehgarh Sahib



Dhumma’s nomination causes split in Damdami Taksal
Chowk Mehta (Amritsar), December 27
The 300-year-old Sikh seminary — Damdami Taksal — witnessed a split once again following the nomination of Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma (36), a US citizen, as the successor of Baba Thakur Singh, six days before Baba Thakur Singh’s antim ardas.

Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan ends on melodious note
Jalandhar, December 27
Sonorous notes of sitar, vigorous beat of tabla, sheer melody of santoor, mellifluous lilt of sarod, rich inflection of ragas rendered in unique styles — it was a complete musical fare at the third and concluding night of the 129th Shree Baba Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan organised at Devi Talab Mandir here yesterday.

Gag order served on The Tribune
Furnishing of groundwater data
Ludhiana, December 27
Instead of taking corrective measures to project the right picture of the groundwater level in the state, the Agriculture Department has reportedly chosen to issue a gag order on the release of such data to the media.

NGO demands inquiry into boat tragedy
Chandigarh, December 27
Eight years after 300 youngsters perished in the Malta boat tragedy, a non-government organisation today sought inquiry into the incident after meeting Punjab Governor Gen. S.F. Rodrigues.

A deputation of relatives of the victims of the Malta boat tragedy at Chandigarh to meet Punjab Governor on Monday. — A Tribune photograph

A deputation of relatives of the victims of the Malta boat tragedy at Chandigarh to meet Punjab Governor


New portents in Punjab politics
Ludhiana, December 27
Punjab politics has witnessed interesting ups and downs during the past few months. While the Akalis have been feeling the pain of departure of Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra and have been vying with each other to fill the vacuum created by his death in Akali politics, the Congress has witnessed dissidence within its ranks.

Khurana has tough time at meeting in Jalandhar
Chandigarh, December 27
Former Delhi Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Madan Lal Khurana faced a lot of hostility from senior BJP leaders of Punjab at a party meeting in Jalandhar yesterday. Mr Khurana, who was recently made zonal general secretary of the party and given charge of party affairs in Punjab and two other states, had presided over the meeting.


PSEB launches welfare schemes for employees
Patiala, December 27
The Punjab State Electricity Board today launched several schemes for the welfare of its employees even as the board Chairman, Mr Y.S. Ratra, distributed cheques among about 100 dependents of the deceased employees from all the five operational zones of the board at a function held here.

PSEB Chairman Y.S. Ratra hands over a cheque to a widow during the launching of several schemes for the welfare of the board employees in Patiala on Monday. — Photo by Rajesh Sachar

PSEB Chairman Y.S. Ratra hands over a cheque to a widow during the launching of several schemes for the welfare of the board employees in Patiala

Billing complaints against Reliance
Phagwara, December 27
Complaints have been received against Reliance India Phone (wireless services) here over the payment of bills. This reporter was today told by at least three customers that even though they had paid the telephone bills much before the due date of payment, they were shocked to find that their connection had been discontinued abruptly yesterday.

Watershed project approved
Sangrur, December 27
The Government of India has approved a project, namely “Lehragaga Watershed”, submitted by the District Rural Development Agency, Sangrur, costing Rs 2.22 crore. Out of this amount, Rs 203.50 lakh will be released by the Central Government, while Rs 18.50 lakh will be provided by the state government.

DC presented siropa
Fatehgarh Sahib, December 27
Various religious and social organisations led by Mr Subegh Singh, manager and Bhai Baldev Singh, Head Granthi of Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib, today honoured Mr S. K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, and presented siropa for commemorating the tercentenary of the martyrdom of the Sahibzadas in a purely religious manner and not allowing anybody to indulge in the playing of loudspeakers, putting up amusement, circus, gambling and dance stalls.

Revenue officers to resume agitation
Phagwara, December 27
The Punjab Revenue Officers Association today decided to resume and intensify its agitation. It also decided that the circle revenue officers of Jalandhar Division comprising Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Nawanshahr, Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur districts would resort to mass casual leave on December 30 and 31.

Ramoowalia protests against toll tax
Kotkapura, December 27
The Lok Bhalai Party chief and member of National Commission for Minorities’ Educational Institutions, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, has protested against the toll tax being charged by the state government and termed it as “loot” of the people.

Protest by MC workers
Patiala, December 27
The Safai Majdoor Federation, Municipal Workers Union, Nagar Palika Workers and Technical Employees Union held a demonstration in front of the Municipal Corporation office in protest against the deputation of the Health Officer, Dr. Karamjit Singh.

Annual credit plan progress reviewed
Patiala, December 27
A meeting of the District Level Consultant Committee under the chairmanship of Mr M.K. Rastogi, Deputy General Manager, State Bank of Patiala, was held at Red Cross Bhavan today to review the progress of annual credit plan for 2004-05 and implementation of government sponsored schemes.


Govt forcing farmers to follow crop cycle: BKU
Moga, December 27
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Punjab) today alleged that the state government was forcing the farmers to follow the traditional crop cycle. The state union president, Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, stated this while addressing mediapersons here.

BKU (Punjab) leaders address a press conference in Moga on Monday.
— Photo by Iqbal Singh

BKU (Punjab) leaders address a press conference in Moga

BKU (Ekta) activists protest against arrest of two farmers
Sangrur, December 27
A large number of farmers and activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union-Ekta (Sidhupur), led by Mr Manjit Singh Dhaner, district president of the union, today staged a dharna in front of the office of District Manager, Housefed, here.


Arrested ISI agent sent to police remand
Amritsar, December 27
The ISI agent held by the Intelligence Bureau in a joint operation with the district police has been sent to five-day police remand. He would be presented in court on December 30.


PTU to begin academic auditing scheme
Dera Bassi, December 27
Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, has decided to introduce an academic auditing scheme for tightening the noose around different private technical colleges that have been functioning with inadequate infrastructure and teaching staff and having poor job placement services.

Dr S.K. Salwan, Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Technical University (PTU), Jalandhar.

Dr S.K. Salwan, Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Technical University (PTU), Jalandhar

12 papers presented on second day of symposium
Amritsar, December 27
More than one dozen research papers were presented on the second day of the five-day National Symposium on Solid State Physics being held at Guru Nanak Dev University here.


Beopar Mandal threatens stir
Phillaur, December 27
The Punjab Beopar Mandal has threatened a statewide agitation, if the government could not reviewed its policies regarding imposition of value added tax. This was stated by Punjab Beopar Mandal president Amrit Lal Jain while talking with newspersons here today.

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