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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Six student immigration centres raided in city
Jalandhar, May 6
Travel agent, Gurinder Bhatti, nabbed by the police during a raid in Jalandhar on Monday. The Commissionerate Police today raided six student immigration centres and arrested seven travel agents for allegedly forging bank documents and student certificates for sending them to the UK, Australia Canada and other foreign destinations for making a quick buck.

Travel agent, Gurinder Bhatti, nabbed by the police during a raid in Jalandhar on Monday. Photo: Sarabjit Singh

State Pollution Board issues strict warning to erring tanneries
Jalandhar, May 6
Taking cognisance of a recent Tribune report highlighting the violation of the pollution norms by some of the tanneries operational from the Leather Complex here, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) chairman Ravinder Singh has issued strict instructions against the erring tanneries.


EARLIER STORIES



RTE Act deadline over, Education Department mum on schools not falling in line
Jalandhar, May 6
While the district education department had issued closure notices to as many as 41 schools in the district for failing to file the self-declaration forms within the Right to Education (RTE) Act deadline, which was on March 31, 2013, the state of the rest of the private schools in the district remains steeped in ambiguity.

Army College of Nursing students mesmerise audience
Jalandhar, May 6
An impressive cultural programme marked the eighth annual day function organised by the students of the Army College of Nursing, Jalandhar Cantonment, here today. Songs, group dances and skits presented by the college students kept the audience spell-bound.

Marriage palace owners given time till May 15
Jalandhar, May 6
Even as the sealing of 61 marriage palaces, which have not applied for regularisation under the new policy, was scheduled to begin today by the Jalandhar Development Authority (JDA), a new order of by the Secretary, Housing and Development has put the action on hold. The orders have allowed the palace owners, who have not yet applied for regularisation, to submit their files latest by May 15, restraining the staff from acting against them. The JDA had mulled action against 14 palaces of Jalandhar, 25 of Hoshiarpur and 22 of Kapurthala.

Complaint lodged against colleges charging fee from poor students
Jalandhar, May 6
The principals of 13 colleges of the city have been summoned by Dr Sanjeev Sharma, Assistant Commissioner (Grievances), with regard to the demand of fees from poor students.

JDA to introduce housing projects in Hoshiarpur, Nakodar
Jalandhar, May 6
Having not been able to float even a single scheme since its inception six years ago, the Jalandhar Development Authority (JDA) has plans to float new housing projects at Hoshiarpur and Nakodar under a new Partnership Policy.

Infosys engineer cracks civil services exam
Jalandhar, May 6
City girl Ravi Kiran has cracked the civil services exam, getting the 949th rank in the all India Civil Services exam. Presently working as a team leader at Infosys Bangalore, Ravi Kiran studied at the Central School and BSF School in Jalandhar. After her schooling, she did BTech from GND varsity Amritsar and MTech from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh.


Pollution: Wheat straw set on fire by farmers on the Jandiala road in Jalandhar on Monday. Photo: Sarabjit Singh

Teachers resent duties for ZP, panchayat poll
Jalandhar, May 6
Many teachers' unions held a dharna at the DC office here today in protest against the assigning of duties of teacher couples and female teachers in remote areas during the forthcoming Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti elections.

227 file papers on penultimate day
Jalandhar, May 6
On the second last day of filing of nomination papers for the block samiti and zila parishad elections, as many as 227 candidates of various parties filed their papers today. There are 11 blocks for which samiti elections are to be held in 194 zones. While one candidate had applied for zila parishad election on Saturday, 29 applications were received today. There are 21 zones for zila parishad in Jalandhar.

ABVP activists stage protest
Jalandhar, May 6
Activists of the ABVP today staged a protest dharna at Company Bagh Chowk, demanding the immediate resignation of Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, whose nephew Vijay Singla was arrested on Friday night by the CBI for allegedly taking bribe.

 

 





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Six student immigration centres raided in city
7 travel agents held; forged documents, cash seized
Tribune News Service

Policemen show passports and cash recovered from travel agents.
Policemen show passports and cash recovered from travel agents. Photo: Sarabjit Singh

Jalandhar, May 6
The Commissionerate Police today raided six student immigration centres and arrested seven travel agents for allegedly forging bank documents and student certificates for sending them to the UK, Australia Canada and other foreign destinations for making a quick buck.

Raids were conducted around noon today with the police registering six FIRs at the police stations concerned while making a recovery of Rs 20 lakh unaccounted cash, 42 copies of passports, laptops, computer sets and various documents.

The police conducted a raid at Express Student Education Services, situated in the City Square shopping complex on the old GT Road. The police arrested Gurinder Bhatti, who is a partner and a sub-agent for Mohali-based Seabird Immigration Consultancy. The police also recovered Rs 12 lakh, six passports, 10 computers, 13 files, including cases pertaining to eight rejected cases and documents showing excess FDR statements and bank balance on forged documents from the premises. An FIR has been registered at the New Baradari police station.

The police also arrested Bhavnoor Singh Bedi of Pyramid e Services, Mall Road. A recovery of Rs 7.29 lakh, three computers, 40 files, passports and two cases of rejected files has been made from his premises. A case was registered at the Division Number 2 police station.

The police also took possession of eight computers, 30 files, three case files on the premises of Videshyatraa.com, based near Narinder Cinema. The owner Nitin Pal Singh Kahlon and staff Ruby, Vikas and Kala managed to evade arrest. They, however, have been booked under various Sections, including 420, 465, 468 and 120-B of the IPC, at the division number 7 police station.

The police also conducted a raid at Scholar Destiny, Chhoti Baradari, and arrested owner Sam and Lakhwinder Singh. A recovery of Rs 21,000, 20 passports, 25 files and one case file has been made.

The next target was Easy Way Immigration Consultancy near the bus stand, where they nabbed Prashant Kohli and Rahul, while one Brijesh Mishra managed to flee. The police also confiscated Rs 50,000, eight passports, two case files and two computers.

The sixth raid was conducted at MK Enterprises Immigration Services on Ladowali Road. The police arrested owner Mohan Kakkar and took into possession three computers, 40 files, passports and two case files.

OFFICIALSPEAK

The owners were taking Rs 6 lakh to Rs 7 lakh advance for getting the visa files cleared. Even the students whose cases had been rejected were being asked to make payment. So far, no involvement of bank officials has been found in getting forged loan letters, fake bank statements and fake FDR statements. The accused had even tied up with courier companies so that they had all information in hand regarding the delivery of visa documents so that they could extract more money. We are on the lookout for them also. Since the raids were conducted at noon, several more complaints have started pouring in at different police stations. — Jaspreet Singh Sidhu, DCP

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State Pollution Board issues strict warning to erring tanneries
No wet tannery to be operated from Dry Leather Complex
Umesh Dewan
Tribune News Service

A view of the Leather Complex Treatment Plant in Jalandhar.
A view of the Leather Complex Treatment Plant in Jalandhar and (below); the Kala Sanghian drain stretch in Leather Complex in Jalandhar. Photos: Sarabjit Singh

Jalandhar, May 6
Taking cognisance of a recent Tribune report highlighting the violation of the pollution norms by some of the tanneries operational from the Leather Complex here, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) chairman Ravinder Singh has issued strict instructions against the erring tanneries.

The PPCB has ordered to seal the drums of the five "wet tanneries", which were operating from the Dry Leather Complex area. The Board has also issued instructions to the Punjab Effluent Treatment Society (PETS) that runs the treatment plant to make sure that not even a single drop of untreated waste is discharged in the Kala Sanghian drain. The instructions in this regard were issued by Ravinder Singh during the hearing given to the PETS at the PPCB Patiala headquarters.

From the PPCB, besides senior authorities from the head office, Superintending Engineer SP Garg and PETS CEO Steven Kler and PETS director-cum-secretary Ajay Sharma were present at the hearing.

Giving details, Board chairman Ravinder Singh said, "Prime Leathers, Fibertech Leathers, V.S. Fibre, Deepak Leather and Indo Globe tannery units, operating from Dry Leather Complex, were into the wet tanning process due to which the untreated waste was being discharged into the sewerage. Hence, instructions had been issued to the Board authorities in Jalandhar to ensure that drum of all these tanneries were sealed at the earliest. These tanneries may continue their dry tanning works, but certainly the wet tanning won't be allowed."

He further said that work was on to make some improvements in the treatment plant at the Leather Complex due to which presently, the plant, which has a capacity of a million litres of discharge per day (MLD), was treating a maximum of 4-MLD waste. Directions have been issued to PETS to make sure that the treatment plant operates to its maximum capacity of 5-MLD within 15 days' time, added Ravinder Singh.

He said that the pre-treatment plants of many tanneries were not operational. "For the removal of the suspended solid particles from the waste of tanneries, the pre-treatment plant are used. Because of the non-functional pre-treatment plants, the common outlet overflows with discharge of the untreated waste. Surprise inspection drive would be initiated and in case the pre-treatment plant of any tannery was found non-operational, the drum of the erring tannery would be sealed", said PPCB Superintending Engineer S.P. Garg, while speaking to TNS. It is also learnt that the Board has directed to review the discharge limit of the tanneries. Elaborating the matter, the Board officials said, "Earlier, when the 1.5-MLD treatment plant was working, the discharge limit was fixed, which was increased after the new 5-MLD plant got operational. The new discharge limit of all the tannery would be fixed in such a manner that there is no disparity."

'Seal the drums'

The PPCB has ordered to seal the drums of the five "wet tanneries", which were operating from the Dry Leather Complex area. The Board has also issued instructions to the Punjab Effluent Treatment Society (PETS) that runs the treatment plant to make sure that not even a single drop of untreated waste is discharged in the Kala Sanghian drain. Also action is to be taken against the units not using pre-treatment plant

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RTE Act deadline over, Education Department mum on schools not falling in line
Aparna Banerji
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 6
While the district education department had issued closure notices to as many as 41 schools in the district for failing to file the self-declaration forms within the Right to Education (RTE) Act deadline, which was on March 31, 2013, the state of the rest of the private schools in the district remains steeped in ambiguity.

While there are about 833 private schools in the district, 600 out of them, sent self-declarations to the department before the RTE Act deadline.

While sources in the education department themselves confirmed that among these, about 41 were issued closure notices, no notice has been issued to the remaining 100 to 150 schools, despite the fact that they, too, had not yet issued declaration forms.

While the education department teams had checked all the remaining schools and issued objections to them based on the discrepancies which were prevalent in them, no action has yet been initiated and no deadline provided to any of the schools against which objections had been raised, despite the fact that they continue to run from buildings with inadequate infrastructure and/or staff.

So far the only aspect in which a deadline has been issued is the matter of the TET teachers. While a majority of the schools don’t have one, they have been issued a 2015 deadline to hire TET teachers.

As per sources, about 200 to 300 schools in the district have been made in lands which are less than 1 kanal area despite that fact that RTE guidelines state private schools seeking affiliations should be at least in an area of 2 kanals.

A majority of these schools also disregard the RTE guidelines regarding the requisite area of rooms, lab and library infrastructure, presence of playgrounds, proper toilets, fire-fighting equipment among other discrepancies.

So far, no checks have been initiated to check which schools are working to fix these discrepancies.

While the biggest problems remain to be the very little areas in which schools are situated in, sources say there are a large number of schools which will never be able to make up for the discrepancies, as many of them are situated in dingy small buildings or located in narrow inaccessible streets.

Even as the education department observes a studied silence on these schools, gross violations existing in various private schools hint at the education department’s unwillingness to act against them.

The District Education Officer (Primary) said, “The work is on to check which of these schools has managed to fix the discrepancies. A list of violators had been sought from us, but so far the lists haven’t reached me. The official responsible for doing that is presently on leave.”

Speaking on whether a deadline had been issued to these violating schools, after which they might be closed down, the DEO (Primary) said, “So far no such deadline has been issued. That can be done only after instructions from the higher-ups.”

Only 41 closure notices

While hundreds of schools are blatantly violating the Right to Education guidelines, only 41 have got the closure notices. The Eduation Department is sitting on information regarding discrepancies among the rest. Less space, poor infrastructure, lack of laboratories and libraries are the common violations, but the department says that it will act only after instructions from the higher-ups.

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From schools & colleges
Army College of Nursing students mesmerise audience
Tribune News Service


Students of the Army College of Nursing perform a cultural programme to celebrate the eighth annual day function in Jalandhar cantonment on Monday. A Tribune photograph

Jalandhar, May 6
An impressive cultural programme marked the eighth annual day function organised by the students of the Army College of Nursing, Jalandhar Cantonment, here today. Songs, group dances and skits presented by the college students kept the audience spell-bound.

Earlier, Lt-Gen AK Bakshi, General Officer Commanding, Vajra Corps and Patron of the College, who was the chief guest of the function, highlighted the role of the nursing profession, besides stressing on the relevance of the all-round development of students in this era.

He complimented Director Army College of Nursing (ACN) and Commandant, MH, Jalandhar Cantonment, principal and the staff of the ACN for providing a platform to students for displaying their talent.

Shraddha Bakshi, Regional President, Vajra AWWA, distributed prizes among the meritorious students.

The function was also attended by senior officers of Army as well as civil dignitaries from various hospitals and principals of contemporary nursing colleges under the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot.

Dr SS Gill, Vice Chancellor, Dr PS Sandhu, Dean (College Development), Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, and Chief of Staff, Vajra Corps (Chairman ACN) attended the function, a press note issued by the defence spokesperson Naresh Vij informed.

Grandparents’ Day

CT Kindergarten celebrated Grandparents Day. The special programme organised on the day was titled Radiant Beacons, conveying that the Grandparents are like beacons, always guiding and directing the family to the right path by radiating values of love, care and compassion. The chief guest of the day was Parminder Kaur Channi, Co-chairperson, CT Group of Institutions. They were given a warm and genial welcome with a shower of petals .Whereas tiny tots’ of CT Kindergarten presented the handmade greeting cards to them. To mark the prominence of the day the tiny tots decorated the beautiful cards especially made to express the feelings of love and gratitude to their grandparents.

The pick of the day was the puppet show in which the importance of the grandparents was elevated by making the comparison between the grandparents & the trees.

A myriad of games and activities were conducted for the grandparents.

Parminder Kaur said,” In this age human relationships are withering with the pace of the mechanical age. We should have the humanitarian view. In today's fast-paced life, get-togethers that celebrate family ties are important to further fabricate the social pattern, make it strong & be the part of it.

Awarded

“GNA institute of management and technology - PHAGWARA” was awarded “Winner of the National Level Best Performing ATC Award-2013’’ which was presented by John Stuart (SVP Global education program - PTC University USA), Eduarda Camacho (VP partner services - of PTC University USA) Rafiq Somani (AVP, PTC-India). On receiving the award Chitta Ranjan Tripathy Principal - CAD/CAM of GNA-IMT presented a seminar on training practices and outstanding blended course curriculum adopted in GNA -IMT PHAGWARA which was appreciated by the guests and conferred as Best training practice.

On the 2nd day of event, PTC University USA organized design contest - LEAP 2013 for ATC participants. GNA Institute of Management of Technology (ATC), Phagwara won 1st position in this contest. During his speech John Staurt (SVP) appreciated GNA-IMT for using industrial training and 3D printer(FDM) technology as a part of CAD/CAM curriculum advancement to meet future challenges of globalization and economic development.

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Regularisation
Marriage palace owners given time till May 15
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 6
Even as the sealing of 61 marriage palaces, which have not applied for regularisation under the new policy, was scheduled to begin today by the Jalandhar Development Authority (JDA), a new order of by the Secretary, Housing and Development has put the action on hold.

The orders have allowed the palace owners, who have not yet applied for regularisation, to submit their files latest by May 15, restraining the staff from acting against them. The JDA had mulled action against 14 palaces of Jalandhar, 25 of Hoshiarpur and 22 of Kapurthala.

About 102 palace owners had applied for regularisation by February 28. There were 41 more applications received by the office after this time, leaving 61 still without compliance. The association of palace owners had then met the bureaucrats at Chandigarh and got the action delayed yet again.

A.Venu Prasad, Secretary, Housing and Development, had earlier ordered the closure notices to the palaces who had not applied, asking them to shut their premises in case they were not interested in applying through the new policy and getting the requisite permissions from the departments concerned.

Since many palaces did not shut down on their own, the JDA officials were ordered last week to seal the palaces. Chief Administrator JDA Supreet Singh Gulati said the palace owners had been given the last opportunity till May 15, after which the action was bound to be taken against the palaces which were covered under the master plan.

Asked about the status of other palaces which had applied for regularisation, he said, "Barring a few, most of the 102 palaces are yet to seek the NOC from the PPCB. Without this mandatory approval, we cannot give NOCs to the palaces."

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Complaint lodged against colleges charging fee from poor students
Meeting summoned by Asst Commissioner (Grievances) today
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 6
The principals of 13 colleges of the city have been summoned by Dr Sanjeev Sharma, Assistant Commissioner (Grievances), with regard to the demand of fees from poor students.

Activists of the NGO Global Awareness Trust for Awareness of “Rights of Poor” today approached the DC with the demand that the fees of students of the said colleges be waived and action be initiated against the erring colleges.

While the DC was not available, activists approached the ADC Preneet Bhardwaj, who further directed them to the Assistant Commissioner.

While the SC scholarship and Indian and Punjab government instructions say that the fees of students with parents earning less than Rs 2 lakh should be waived in both government and non-government colleges, the same has not been done in the cases of these colleges, the activists claimed.

Madan Singh, president of the NGO, met the ADC and apprised him of the 28 to 30 children studying in various government and private colleges whose fees had allegedly not been waived.

The Assistant Commissioner has summoned the principals of various colleges to meet him at a meeting scheduled at 11 am tomorrow. District Welfare Officer Rajinder Singh, to whom the NGO had also complained has also been summoned.

Talking about the plight of some of the children, Madan Singh said there were some who were not even allowed to sit for the exams as they were asking for fee waiver.

The colleges against which the allegations have been levelled include St Soldier College for girls, Trinity College, SD College, MK College of Education, DAV College, Sant Baba Bhag Singh College, LPU, BD Arya College Cantt, MD Ifosus Lahar Complex, Nakodar, Doaba College and Guru Nanak National College, Nakodar.

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JDA to introduce housing projects in Hoshiarpur, Nakodar
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 6
Having not been able to float even a single scheme since its inception six years ago, the Jalandhar Development Authority (JDA) has plans to float new housing projects at Hoshiarpur and Nakodar under a new Partnership Policy.

Having done away with acquisition schemes and land-pool scheme, the JDA is hopeful of getting a good response from the land-owners under its new policy.

The policy, which is set to be out in coming days, does not involve any purchase of land from the farmers, who continue to remain the owners till it is developed. The land, however, will be mortgaged to take a loan for development purposes. After the land development, the JDA will hold its auction, collecting 80 per cent of the selling price in favour of the landowner, and 20 per cent for itself.

Giving details, Chief Administrator JDA, Supreet Singh Gulati, said he was hopeful of the scheme getting a good response. “The policy will offer a win-win situation for the JDA as well as the land-owners. The land-owners will have a high share in the sale price of the property. The JDA will not have to take heavy loans on its head for investment purposes. The major cost borne by the JDA in any project goes on acquisition which will not be required in this case,” he said.

Earlier, the JDA had floated an Urban Estate, Phase-III, project first at Nangal Shama and then at Pholariwal. Both the projects, however, had failed to take off. In the Pholariwal plan, the JDA had planned to come up with a 300 acre scheme about four years ago, but it was grounded as the cost of the developed land came too high. The farmers were also not interested in land-pool scheme, as they were not sure on whether they would be able to sell it at their own end later.

Failure: Has not been able to float even a single scheme since its inception six years ago

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Infosys engineer cracks civil services exam
Did BTech from GND University
Aparna Banerji
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 6
City girl Ravi Kiran has cracked the civil services exam, getting the 949th rank in the all India Civil Services exam. Presently working as a team leader at Infosys Bangalore, Ravi Kiran studied at the Central School and BSF School in Jalandhar. After her schooling, she did BTech from GND varsity Amritsar and MTech from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh.

While Kiran was away pursuing her job in Chandigarh, her elated father, Surinder Singh Amar, a Junior Telecom Officer at the BSNL, took pride in her daughter’s achievement, saying she opted for the IAS because it was more prestigious than her present occupation, even though it is much more paying.

“While Kiran presently has a package of Rs 15 lakh per annum, she opted for the IAS as it is much more fulfilling and would let her enjoy a good status,” he said. Kiran’s husband in the aviation industry. He is posted at Hyderabad while she in Bangalore.

Amar said despite many odds she faced in the past, she cracked the civil services exam.

“While Kiran got married in April 2012, soon after her wedding she had to move to China as she was posted there by her company and had a very busy schedule. From China she was posted to Bangalore and also faced some hard times. But despite the odds, she cleared the exam without coaching,” Amar said.

While Kiran remained a topper throughout her school years, she also secured 80 per cent marks in MTech.

Speaking on whether she wanted to appear again for a second attempt next year, her father said, “She wants to, but we are asking to settle down a bit first.”

Surinder Singh Amar is a proud father of two other daughters as well.

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Teachers resent duties for ZP, panchayat poll
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 6
Many teachers' unions held a dharna at the DC office here today in protest against the assigning of duties of teacher couples and female teachers in remote areas during the forthcoming Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti elections.

The teachers submitted a memorandum to the DC in this regard and demanded that female employees (assigned duties in distant areas) and couples, to whom election duties had been assigned, should be freed of them.

The teachers said the assigning of duties to couple teachers resulted in their households getting steeped in many problems.

They demanded from the DC that women members of teacher couples be exempted from election duties. They also demanded that BLOs be excused from election duties and be only allocated duties of the BLOs.

Meanwhile, as per a decision by the state committee of the Democratic Front Punjab, a meeting of various teacher unions was held at the Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Hall.

The lathi charge and arrest of the RMSA/SSA tecahers at Bathinda was condemned in strong words during the meeting.

A demand regarding the unconditional release of the said teachers and the acceptance of their demands was made at the meeting.

DTF Punjab Government Teachers Union Punjab (Science), Government Secondary School Teachers Union Punjab, Adyapak Ekta Manch, and BEd Teachers Front Punjab, participated in the meeting.

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Block samiti ZP poll
227 file papers on penultimate day
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 6
On the second last day of filing of nomination papers for the block samiti and zila parishad elections, as many as 227 candidates of various parties filed their papers today. There are 11 blocks for which samiti elections are to be held in 194 zones. While one candidate had applied for zila parishad election on Saturday, 29 applications were received today. There are 21 zones for zila parishad in Jalandhar.

The filing of papers has remained moreover a lackluster affair. The Jalandhar East block samiti has got just five applications. SDM-1 Iqbal Singh Sandhu, Returning Officer (RO), said there was one nomination paper received for Hazara, Jamsher and Chitti zones. Two papers were received for Shekhe village. The Jalandhar West block samiti, however, got 35 applications. There are 22 zones each in Jalandhar West and Jalandhar East blocks.

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Railgate
ABVP activists stage protest
Tribune News Service


ABVP activists protest against Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal at Company Bagh Chowk in Jalandhar on Monday. Photo: Sarabjit Singh

Jalandhar, May 6
Activists of the ABVP today staged a protest dharna at Company Bagh Chowk, demanding the immediate resignation of Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, whose nephew Vijay Singla was arrested on Friday night by the CBI for allegedly taking bribe.

The ABVP activists resorted to blocking traffic and also burnt an effigy of Bansal. Addressing the protesters, ABVP leader Varun Kayshap said since Bansal had got embroiled in such a major controversy and a corruption scandal, he must quit on moral grounds.

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