Sunday, January 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India

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Jagmeet Brar goes underground
To expose Cong, SAD on SYL issue
Amritsar, January 19
The Congress high command has launched a desperate search for Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, Senior Vice-President of the PPCC, who has gone “underground” to compile a “white paper” with a view to exposing the betrayals of the Congress and the SAD leadership on the controversial SYL canal.

Sober Punjab stand on SYL likely after poll
Chandigarh, January 19
Even as Punjab is maintaining a strident stand that it would not part with “even a drop of water”, despite the Supreme Court’s recent order asking Punjab to complete the SYL canal in a year’s time, a Haryana minister today said that the belligerence of the Punjab politicians would have to be seen in the context of the impending Assembly elections in the state.

SYL case: Oppn to pin down Badal
Chandigarh, January 19
The Sarab Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, the Akali Dal (Amritsar) and certain other Opposition parties have been chalking out strategies to pin down the Shiromani Akali Dal chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, on the SYL canal issue.

State’s economy takes backseat in agendas
Chandigarh, January 19
As the process of filing of nominations picks up, political assimilations and eliminations become clearer, prevailing confusion and chaos fades away and poll campaigns kick-off, Punjab will get into the election mode.

Fatehgarh Sahib


Indian soldiers take part in a memorial service
Indian soldiers take part in a memorial service for their colleagues who died in a land mine blast in the frontline border village of Mahwa in Punjab on Saturday. At least 18 persons, mostly soldiers, were killed on January 5, 2002 when their vehicle went over landmines. 
— Reuters

Who was ‘Dawood’ of selection process?
Ludhiana, January 19
While the dust raised after the announcement of candidates for various assembly segments by the Congress is yet to settle down, the party workers in general and the ticket aspirants in particular wonder as to who acted Dawood during the selection process. Dawood was the code name, obviously drawn from the underworld, for the “invisible” authority who would decide on the final fate of candidates.

Poll champs promised berths
Bathinda, January 19
The Punjab Chief Minister and President, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today while comparing the February 13 elections with a one-day cricket match and laying down the procedure for the next cabinet, said the victory margin of SAD-BJP candidates in the coming Assembly elections would be a key factor in deciding their portfolios in the next government.

Maharaja yet to make appearance
Patiala, January 19
Even though it has been more than one week since the Congress released its list of candidates for the forthcoming Assembly elections and the nominees have opened their election offices and started campaigning, the Pradesh Congress President, Capt Amarinder Singh, who is referred to as Maharaja in the city because his family ruled the Patiala riyasat in the princely days, is still to make a public appearance in the town.

This small belt has given three CMs
Chandigarh, January 19
The districts of Muktsar and Faridkot located on the south-western of tip of Punjab may be small in size. But they have been making a hefty contribution to the economy as well as the politics of the state.


Punjab chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal addresses a gathering
Punjab chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal addresses a gathering (from atop a special vehicle) of party workers after inaugurating the election office of Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, SAD-BJP candidate from Bathinda, on Saturday. 
— Photo Kulbir Beera

Mohindra accepts challenge
Patiala, January 19
Senior Congress leader and former minister Brahm Mohindra today inaugurated his election office at Samana, near here, claiming that the Congress high command had thrust the responsibility of fighting from Samana on him and he had accepted the challenge as a loyal Congressman.

Setback to Cong as Nagpal enters fray
Abohar, January 19
All office-bearers of the city Congress committee and president of the Youth Congress block-1 today submitted their resignations to the party high command and endorsed the decision of the outgoing block Congress president, Mr Sudhir Nagpal, to contest the Assembly elections as an Independent candidate from the Abohar constituency.

Sibia bows to Cong wish
Barnala, January 19
Bowing to pressure of the Congress high command, Mr Surinderpal Singh Sibia, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee secretary who is the Congress nominee from Barnala, today very reluctantly decided to contest from Barnala. He launched his poll campaign with a large number of his well wishers from Sangrur supporting him.

Badungar asks people not to vote for ‘outsider’
Patiala, January 19
The Shiromani Akali Dal led by Shiromani Committee President Kirpal Singh Badungar urged the people not to vote for an “outsider” in the forthcoming elections while inaugurating the office of Samana party candidate Surjit Singh Rakhra in Samana town.

SAD supporters oppose Kharar nominee
SAS Nagar, January 19
Supporters and party workers of the SAD and the BJP gathered here today in protest against the decision of the allotment of the SAD ticket to Mr Kiranbir Singh Kang from the Kharar assembly constituency.

SAD candidate denies charges
Fatehgarh Sahib, January 19
Mr Didar Singh Bhatti SAD candidate from the Sirhind Assembly constituency, while addressing a press conference here yesterday, denied the allegation that he had purchased the party ticket.

Pahara RRD nominee for Gurdaspur
Chandigarh, January 19
Mr Kartar Singh Pahra, a Shiromani Akali Dal MLA from Gurdaspur joined the Rashtriya Raksha Dal here today. Mr Pahra was denied party ticket for the coming Assembly elections. Col Harsharan Singh Sandhu (retd), President, Rahtriya Raksha Dal (RRD), said that Mr Kartar Singh Pahra would be the RRD candidate from Gurdaspur replacing the earlier announced candidate, Hav Narinder Singh (retd).


HC censures Sessions Judge
Chandigarh, January 19
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has come down heavily upon a District and Sessions Judge for granting anticipatory bail to an accused in an assault case after “showing gross judicial indiscipline and impropriety”.

Build-up: villagers start returning
Bathinda, January 19
Residents of border villages who had migrated to safer places in the wake of the buildup there, have started returning to their native places. Information gathered by TNS revealed although fear had gripped the villagers due to the laying of mines by the Army in the border areas, they had started coming back with their belongings. Mr S.R. Ladhar, Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepore, when contacted said about 25 per cent of those who had migrated to safer places in the last week of December has come back.

Threats: SGPC team to visit J&K
Talwandi Sabo, January 19
The SGPC has decided to send a three-member fact-finding committee to Jammu and Kashmir to look into the matter pertaining to the threats being held out to members of the Sikh community living in the trouble-torn state.

Two-year RI for ASI
Moga, January 19
An ASI of the Punjab police has been sentenced to undergo two years of rigorous imprisonment, eight years after he allegedly illegally confined a woman and her driver in prison for a day. Additional District and Sessions Judge J.S. Chawla yesterday convicted and sentenced ASI Gurcharan Singh and imposed a fine of Rs 6,000 on him.

Nagar kirtan taken out
Samana, January 19
Religious and educational institutions took out a nagar kirtan on the eve of Guru Gobind Singh’s birth anniversary today. Thousands of villagers from various villages participated. A procession led by the Panj Piaras started from Gurdwara Ramgarh and passed through the main bazars of the town. Sweets and fruits were also served at some places.

Swiss national on cycle tour
Amritsar, January 19
A Swiss national has adopted a novel method to raise money to create awareness for leprosy patients in Asia — cycling a distance of 9,000 km. Christoph Von Toggenburg, popularly called Barli, is on a 9,000 km long journey from New Delhi to Switzerland.

Three convicted for rape
Ferozepore, January 19
Additional District and Sessions Judge G.K. Dhir has convicted three persons, including two schoolboys for dual jail terms of 10 years to two and five years to one along with a fine of 9000.


Parties’ hoardings removed
Bathinda, January 19
The district election authorities have launched a campaign to save the public property from being defaced by the political parties. The authorities have removed hoardings and flags of various political parties from telephone and electricity poles and walls of institutes in past two days.

More poll observers appointed
Gurdaspur, January 19
The Election Commission has posted five observers — Mr Munish Johri, Mr R.P. Samadhar, Mr C.R. Biswal and Mr M.R. Mohan, all IAS officers, and — Mr J.C. Pegu, IRS officer at present posted as Additional Income Tax Commissioner to conduct free and fair elections in all 11 constituencies of this district for which elections are being held on February 13.

EC order followed in case of one IGP
Chandigarh, January 19
Only one of the four Inspectors-General of Police is being shifted in Punjab in accordance with the guidelines of the Election Commission, a spokesman for the Punjab Police clarified today. He said that Mr Rajdeep Singh Gill, IG (Zonal), has been at Patiala for more than four years. He will now swap positions with Mr S.M. Sharma, Inspector-General, India Reserve Battalions, Bahadurgarh. Mr Anil Kaushik has been posted as IG, Commandos of India Reserve Battalions, SAS Nagar.


Shiv Sena district chief booked
Mansa, January 19
The Bhikhi police has registered a case against Raj Kumar of Bareta town and Vijay Kumar Singla, district president of the Shiv Sena, under Sections 406, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC and Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, on the complaint of Mr Gurnam Singh, District Manager, Punjab Agro-Industries Corporation.

Rs 15.91 lakh looted from PNB branch
Hoshiarpur, January 19
In a daring daylight robbery, four armed persons with muffled faces today looted Rs 15.91 lakh from Punjab National Bank’s Miani branch. Confirming the incident police officials said here that the robbers came on two Hero Honda motor cycles.


Forensic science symposium
Patiala, January 19
Punjabi University’s Department of Forensic Science will hold a symposium on the latest trends in forensic research from February 14 to 17, 2001. Several research scholars and scientists from around the world, including Prof Stephan Cordner, Director, Victorian Institute of Forensic Science, Australia, President of the Indo-Pacific Law Medicine and Science, Australia, and those from Japan, Malaysia and England will participate.

Forum demands action against VC
Patiala, January 19
The Forum for Educational Action and Reform (FEAR), at its meeting here today, demanded an immediate action by the Chief Election Commissioner of Punjab against Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, for his "violation of the model code of conduct".


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