Monday, August 19, 2002, Chandigarh, India

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Hanspal takes over as PPCC chief
Promises to implement poll manifesto
Chandigarh, August 18
Mr H.S. Hanspal, who was today formally installed as the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President, promised to implement the party’s election manifesto. Addressing a press conference after taking over as PPCC President, Mr Hanspal said: “The party will act as a watchdog of the government, which is to implement the promises held out to the people at the time of the Assembly elections and also ensure that the benefits of government policies percolated to the grassroots”.

Book Badal under POTA: PPCC
Jalandhar, August 18
The Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee today demanded that former Chief Minister and SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal should be booked under POTA for his alleged role in the state managed “arrest” of Khalistan Commando Force chief Wassan Singh Zaffarwal last year.

IFC can’t fund govt development plans: Badal
Chandigarh, August 18
The SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, said here today that the IFC with which Captain Amarinder Singh claims to have reached an understanding for the loan-cum-grant of $ 1 billion was not even a legal entity and lacked the authority or resources to aid governmental development programmes.



Khanna charges CM with witch-hunt
Ludhiana, August 18
“The Union Government will consider the imposition of President’s rule in Punjab if the NDA’s fact-finding team visiting Punjab recommends it,” says Union Tourism Minister Vinod Khanna.

Union Ministers Vinod Khanna and Shahnawaj Hussain along with senior state BJP leaders during a rally against the Punjab Government in Ludhiana on Sunday. — Tribune photo Pradeep Tiwari
Union Ministers Vinod Khanna and Shahnawaj Hussain along with senior state BJP leaders during a rally

Tohra woos kin of Sant Longowal
Amritsar, August 18
The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, led by Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, has been trying to woo the kin of the late Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, former president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, who have been feeling dejected due to the “apathy” of the SAD.

Kribhco may bid for NFL
Ropar, August 18
Kribhco will bid for the NFL if the initial bidders fail to pay the price fixed by the government. Highly-placed sources told The Tribune that the cooperative, which has financial reserves worth about Rs 1,500 crores, could not bid directly for the second largest nitrogenous fertiliser company of the country despite the best efforts of the Union Chemical and Fertilisers Minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, due to opposition from the Disinvestment Ministry.

PSEB offer to defaulting consumers
Patiala, August 18
The Punjab State Electricity Board has declared one-time settlement offer for all categories of permanently disconnected defaulting consumers whose outstanding dues are subject of litigation. The board has Rs 99 crore tied up in litigation and the offer allows consumers one-time settlement with the Board by paying up half of the disputed amount.


Mann stands by EC, flays BJP remarks
Phagwara, August 18
Commenting upon the BJP’s outburst against the Election Commission for “creating a constitutional crisis”, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) today openly came out in support of the stand taken by the Election Commission regarding Gujarat poll. It lambasted the BJP or pursuing a politics of stridency.


A colourful insect atop a freshly-blossomed flower enjoys the late monsoon
A colourful insect atop a freshly-blossomed flower enjoys the late monsoon in Amritsar on Sunday.

Red Cross Society leaves donor high and dry
Bathinda, August 18
Mr Sher Singh repents the day he donated 10.5 acres, worth about Rs 25 lakh, to the District Red Cross Society. At the time of accepting the land as donation in 1999 from him the then Deputy Commissioner-cum- Chairman of the society had agreed in writing that he would be paid Rs 5,000 per month as honorarium.

Risks in marriage palaces
Even as the Punjab Government cries foul over emptied coffers by the previous government, little thought has been given to recoveries of taxes on swelling number of marriage palaces (MPs) in the state.

Dalits allege ostracism
Bathinda, August 18
Even as residents of Burj village, about 40 km from here, have banned the entry of strangers, a section of the Dalits belonging to Aur caste have been allegedly facing undeclared ostracism.

Girls participate in a festival
Girls participate in a festival held in memory of noted Punjabi poet Hasham Shahat at Jagdev Kalan village in Amritsar on Sunday. 
— Photo Rajiv Sharma 

Tangri overflows as boon
Budhmore (Patiala), August 18
After having faced an acute drought for a month and a half the farmers of the Dakala-Ghanaur Shutrana belt now are facing a deluge with Tangri river overflowing the situation seems to be grim but it may not spell much loss as the land submerged largely is a paddy-growing area and the flood water standing in the fields may turn out to be a boon for the farmers.

Sick animals wander in state
Jalandhar, August 18
More than one lakh animals like cows, bulls, calves and heifers wander as stray cattle in Punjab, causing accidents on roads, loss to crops and nuisance in rural and urban areas. Most of these stray animals are either old, sick and disabled or abandoned by owners.

Centre to give Rs 8 cr for CETP
Jalandhar, August 18
To deal with the problem of excessive discharge of untreated water released by about 48 tanneries and to encourage more tanners to set up their tannery units in the local Leather Complex the Central Government has come to the rescue of the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation by deciding to bear half of the cost of the second Rs 16-crore common effluent treatment plant to be set up within the complex within one year.

Kitoo remanded in judicial custody
Moga, August 18
Judicial Magistrate Tarsem Mangla today declined to extend one-day police remand of SAD MLA Malkiat Singh Kitoo and sent him in judicial custody till August 31. The court also gave a notice to the prosecution on his bail application which will come up for hearing on August 23.

Gramin bank staff allege double standards
Mansa, August 18
Resentment has been brewing among employees of the Faridkot-Bathinda Kshetriya Gramin Bank against the bank management allegedly for adopting double-standards while dealing with cases of alleged fraud committed by employees.

Sikhs ‘must have say’ in foreign policy
Chandigarh, August 18
The President of the Akali Dal (Amritsar) and MP, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, yesterday demanded that Sikhs must have a say in the country’s foreign policy. Decrying the plight of 30,000-odd “stateless Sikhs” who migrated from Pakistan occupied Kashmir to Jammu & Kashmir, he said neither the Jammu & Kashmir Government nor the Union Government had done anything for them.

Talks between Jathedars, Khalsa Panchayat not held
Amritsar, August 18
A secret meeting proposed to be held between Sikh high priests, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar Akal Takht, Prof Manjit Singh, Jathedar Kesgarh Sahib, and members of the Khalsa Panchayat, who had levelled charges of corruption against the Sikh clergy, could not be held, according to information leaked to The Tribune.

SGPC election likely in March
Ludhiana, August 18
The general elections to the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee are likely to be held in March next. The Chief Gurdwara Election Commissioner, Justice J. S. Sekhon, hopes to complete the electoral rolls of the SGPC by January 31.

Ambulance used for private trips
Talwandi Sabo, August 18
A team of the Vigilance Bureau, led by Inspector Kahan Singh, today seized the log book of an ambulance of the family planning wing of the Civil Hospital while it was allegedly being used for making private trips by an employee.

Labourers allege police torture
Khanna, August 18
The Khanna police has allegedly tortured five migrant labourers including two women, in police custody and at their houses. The labourers said they had left their houses due to police terror.


BKU for girdawari in cultivators’ names
Bathinda, August 18
Activists of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta) burnt effigies of the Punjab government for the second day today and demanded that girdawaris should be recorded in the name of the farmers cultivating the land and not in the name of the owner of the land.


Pesticide case: official may be booked
Muktsar, August 18
Tall claims made by the state government to check the sale of spurious pesticides, turned hollow yesterday when the Agriculture Department authorities here recommended the registration of a criminal case against an official of the Bhullarwala Cooperative Society allegedly for supplying the substandard pesticides to farmers on credit after purchasing the same from traders.


Constable held on kidnapping charge
Ropar, August 18
A startling case of nexus between cops and criminals has come to light with three policemen posted at the Sadar police station here being booked for kidnapping. Highly placed sources told this correspondent that the said cops were booked on the complaint of Malkiat Singh of Patiala, who has earlier been booked under several cases of smuggling. The sources said the police today arrested Constable Jagjit and Gurcharan Singh who were named in the FIR. None of the local police officers was, however, available for comments despite repeated attempts to contact them.



Hike ST registration limit: traders
Phagwara, August 18
The general house of the Punjab Kariana Retailers Association, which met here today with Mr Onkar Goel in the chair, adopted several resolutions, demanding an increase in the sales tax registration limit from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 25 lakh, exemption of retailers from the VAT, system being introduced from next year, abolition of octroi, tabling an amendment to the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act in Parliament, constitution of state-and-district-level PFA panels, subsidy and low interest loans of Rs 5 lakh to retailers on the pattern of industrialists, and representation to them at every level in sales tax advisory committees.Top

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