Friday, November 16, 2001, Chandigarh, India

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Fernandes for defence race with China
Bathinda, November 15
The Union Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, visited the forward airbase of Bhisiana here today. He said Pakistan should not be the central point for the country in defence matters. India should advance its defence and become on a par with China.

George’s ‘operational’ visit to Fazilka
Fazilka, November 15
Mr George Fernandes, Defence Minister, visited this strategic sector today. Top Army ranks and civil administration officers tried to keep the visit a secret. Mediapersons were denied access to the Defence Minister on the grounds that it was an “operational” visit.

Union Defence Minister George Fernandes Union Defence Minister George Fernandes before addressing Air Force personnel during his visit  to Bhisiana Air Force Station on Thursday. 
— Photo Kulbir Beera

PM’s rally pandal to cost Rs 40 lakh
Amritsar, November 15
Disillusioned with the “poor show” on the beginning of the bicentenary celebrations of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s coronation, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, held a series of meetings of Akali Dal functionaries and officials of the district administration with a view to ensuring a mammoth gathering at the proposed rally on November 18 to be addressed by the Prime Minister and a galaxy of leaders of the SAD and the BJP to mark the concluding functions here.





Talwandi’s utterances annoy Sikh scholars
Amritsar, November 15
Cold War between Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht and Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, President, SGPC intensified when both read parallel ‘message’ in the name of ‘panth’ to celebrate Divali yesterday.

3 armed robberies in one night
Eight injured; residents block traffic
Patiala, November 15
Eight persons were injured in three incidents of armed robbery on the outskirts of the city last night. This follows a bid by armed dacoits to rob a farmhouse in Dera Bassi subdivision two days back.

BJP draws up poll strategy
Chandigarh, November 15
Concentrating on 23 assembly constituencies from where it contested the last elections in 1997, the Punjab unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to adopt a double-pronged strategy for the rallies and public meetings to be held on National Unity Day against terrorism on November 25.

Punishment under Essential Commodities Act to go
Ropar, November 15
In a final bid to please traders, who are considered to be a traditional vote bank of the ruling alliance partner BJP, the Punjab Government will abolish the Essential Commodities Act in the state.


Senior Congress leaders join SAD
Amritsar, November 15
The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal today got a shot in the arm as the one time general secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee and currently its member Dr Dalbir Singh (a former MLA) today joined the ruling party along with his supporters in presence of the Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Keep off SAD affairs, Mann tells BJP
Sangrur, November 15
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president of the SAD (A) and senior leader of the Panthic Morcha, today said Prof Brij Lal Rinwa, president of the Punjab BJP, was interfering in the affairs of the SAD by enticing Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, president of the SHSAD and senior leader of the Panthic Morcha, to join the SAD. He said this type of interference would not be tolerated by the Akali groups.

Panthic Morcha constitutes council
Chandigarh, November 15
The Shiromani Akali Dal Panthic Morcha convener, Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi, today announced the constitution of a 74-member Panthic Council. A morcha press release said there would be 10 permanent invitees.

SAD to discuss SGPC poll
Chandigarh, November 15
The Political Affairs Committee of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal will meet at the Chief Minister’s residence here on November 25, according to a party release issued by the secretary, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar.

Cong to organise rally on Nov 18
Nawanshahr, November 15
The meeting of a newly constituted executive committee of district unit of the Congress was organised here today at Punjab Mata Vidhyawati, Bhavan, with a view to motivate Congress workers for the forthcoming Assembly elections and for making the district-level Congress rally, to be held at Old Grain market here on November 18, a success.

Sitting Cong MLAs to get ticket
Faridkot, November 15
The Congress has decided to give ticket to its sitting MLAs in the forthcoming Assembly election in Punjab. Their names are likely to be announced in the next week.


Doctors to take mass leave on Dec 1
Patiala, November 15
Doctors of medical and dental colleges in the state are set to paralyse work in all major hospitals on December 1 by going on mass casual leave to protest against the failure of the government to fulfil their demands.

Educational institutes to have FM radios
Amritsar, November 15
Ms Sushma Swaraj, union minister for Information and Broadcasting today announced that FM radios would be installed at each educational institute of the country. The first phase of this ambitious scheme would start from universities and IITs right down to the school level.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj sitting with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal after the inauguration of a high-power transmission tower at Basarke Gillan in Amritsar on Thursday. — Photo Kulbir Beera

Villagers await promised power house
VEN after a lapse of 15 months the residents of Gharota village in Pathankot subdivision are eagerly awaiting the implementation of the Punjab Chief Minister’s orders for the installation of a 66 KV substation to ensure a 24-hour power supply to the village.

8 incidents of fire reported
Bathinda, November 15
Even as eight incidents of fire reportedly took place here on Divali, no loss of life was reported. Damage to property, however, was minor. The fire incidents happened at Gangaramwali Street, near Melaram Hospital, near Rose Garden, at Aggarwal Street, Sevian road, Sanpura road and Powerhouse road. The fires were brought under control quickly. Three incidents of fire took place on Aggarwal Street but no huge loss was reported. A house was gutted in a fire incident on Powerhouse road. The house belonged to Mr Harbans Singh. The fire broke out due to leakage in an LPG cylinder. Another incident of leakage of LPG gas occurred at Santpura road but it was controlled immediately.

Action against MC official demanded
Mansa, November 15
Shopkeepers, who are tenants of the Municipal Council, Mansa, and have deposited Rs 20,000 per square yard with the municipal council to become owners of the shops they are holding, have demanded action against the Executive Officer of the council for his failure to execute sale deeds of the shops in their favour.

Golden Temple official transferred
Amritsar, November 15
Mr Major Singh, Additional Manager, Darbar Sahib has been transferred to Haryana till further orders. Though no reason has been assigned for Mr Major Singh’s transfer, sources said he was “punished” for allegedly arranging a meeting between Bibi Jagir Kaur, former SGPC chief, and her supporters in the SGPC complex after the beginning of the bicentenary celebrations of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s coronation. On the directions of Mr Talwandi, Mr Major Singh will remain at Gurdwara Teg Bahadur, Jind (Haryana), in the same capacity till further orders.

Pharmacists’ rally at Lambi on Nov 18
Sangrur, November 15
Nearly 3,000 pharmacists, working in the government hospitals and dispensaries in Punjab, will hold a state-level rally and demonstration on November 18 at Lambi, the Assembly constituency of the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in protest against the non-implementation of their demands by the Chief Minister on June 22 last.

Medicines worth lakhs destroyed in fire
Malerkotla, November 15
Medicines worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed in a fire which broke out in a chemist shop situated on the College Road here last night. A short circuit is said to be the cause of fire.

Wrath of tipsy policemen
Kapurthala, November 15
Cops vested with the rights to challan drivers for the violation of traffic laws become nasty at times particularly when why are under the influence of liquor. This was exactly what happened with Happy, a local resident and a BA-I student of Sports College, Jalandhar today. Happy along with two friends was moving on a scooter when two cops under the influence of liquor signalled him to stop in the Mahatabhpur locality of the town.

Polio drops to be given on Dec 2
Chandigarh, November 15
As many as 35 lakh children below the age of 5 years will be administered polio drops on December 2 and January 20 by the Health and Family Welfare Department, Punjab, under the polio immunisation programme.

BSP (A) plans stir against SHO
Tarn Taran, November 15
Mr Mangal Singh and Mr Lalit Kumar Lovely, leaders of the Bahujan Samaj Party (Ambedkar), in a written press statement issued here today said the party had planned to launch an agitation against the use of vulgar language by an SHO for a senior district women leader and against other police atrocities.


Poll officer visits Faridkot
Faridkot, November 15
Mr S. Mendiratta, Deputy Election Commissioner from New Delhi visited Faridkot today to review the distribution of photo identity cards and other process in this division comprising Bathinda, Mansa and Faridkot districts. He held a meeting with senior officers of these districts.

Admn Secys asked to implement EIS
Chandigarh, November 15
The Punjab Chief Secretary, Mr N.K. Arora, has directed all Administrative Secretaries to devise a plan for their department to implement Executive Information System, a pilot e-governance project, in their departments. The direction was issued during a special meeting called for the implementation of EIS, on Monday.


VDCs may be back
Zirakpur, November 15
The Patiala police is likely to reintroduce the Village Defence Committee scheme to curb the alarming rise in crime in Dera Bassi and its surrounding areas. Sources in police department revealed that under this scheme, the police and local administration would include some responsible retired defence personnel and youth of the villages. Arms and ammunition would be distributed among them.

One more held in robbery case
Jalandhar, November 15
The district police today claimed to have arrested one more person in last month’s Rs 1.22 crore foreign exchange robbery case and recovered foreign currency worth Rs 1.1 lakh from his possession.

Pak national held
Batala, November 15
The Punjab police today apprehended a Pakistan national who had crossed international border from Pakistan illegally.

10 hurt in clash
Bathinda, November 15
As many as 10 persons, including two women, were injured late last night at village Behman Diwana in a group clash, hospital sources said today.


NAAC accredits Punjabi University
Chandigarh, November 15
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council, an autonomous institution of University Grants Commission, has granted accreditation to Punjabi University, Patiala and 24 other institutions of higher education in the country.


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