Saturday, February 8, 2003, Chandigarh, India

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Poll for ZP posts put off as members stay away
Kapurthala, February 7
Mr G.K. Sabharwal, Additional Deputy Commissioner cum Presiding Officer for elections to the posts of Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Zila Parishad postponed the election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman today as none of the 15 members participated in the election which was to be held today.

Senior Cong leaders abetted terrorism: Bitta
Amritsar, February 7
All-India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) chief and former president, Indian Youth Congress, today announced that he had exposed certain senior Congress leaders who had encouraged terrorism in Punjab, in his memoirs — “The Book Written With Blood”.

Bitta plans drive to ‘expose’ Congress
Bathinda, February 7
A statement by the PPCC President, Mr H.S. Hanspal, favouring the conversion of the death sentence of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, convicted by the Delhi High Court for his involvement in a bomb blast case near the office of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC), into life imprisonment seems to have snowballed into a controversy.

Couple narrates tale of torture in custody
Amritsar, February 7
Karam Singh (45) seems to have grown old overnight. He is unable to walk due to police torture. Two persons assist him to meet Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, BJP leader here today to expose the police high-handedness for no fault of theirs, Karam Singh is a brother of Dharam Singh who along with his family members was allegedly beaten up ASI Arjun Singh of Tarn Taran police district on the Republic Day.



Shatabdi’s farewell run today
Bathinda, February 7
The city, known as heartland of the Malwa region, will lose the Bathinda-Delhi Shatabdi Express, which was flagged off by the Union Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, on August 16, 2002, amid much fanfare, as it makes its last journey from here to New Delhi tomorrow.

Human rights body being treated casually
Chandigarh, February 7
Inspite of recent gory tales of human rights violations by the police and strong observations made by Amnesty International regarding violation of fundamental rights of people in the state, the Punjab Government continues to treat the Punjab State Human Rights Commission in a casual manner.

Prisoner caught smuggling drugs
Bathinda, February 7
“Old habits die hard”. This proved true in the case of Avtar Singh, undergoing nine months rigorous imprisonment after being convicted by a court for smuggling narcotics. Who was today again caught red-handed while trying to smuggle about 700 intoxicant tablets into the local Central Jail, where he is presently lodged.

SI’s bid to flee court, cop hurt
Patiala, February 7
Panic gripped the court premises here today when a Punjab police Sub-Inspector fired at a policeman to escape after being sentenced to 10-years of imprisonment in a kidnapping case.


Preneet pleads for farmers under debt
Sunam, February 7
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has instructed the authorities concerned not to handcuff any farmer even if he was a loan defaulter. This was stated by Maharani Preneet Kaur, MP from Patiala, while addressing a Cooperative conference here today. A cooperative Lok Adalat was also organised to settle long outstanding dues with mutual consent.

IAS body wants Tiwari reinstated
Chandigarh, February 7
After stormy emergency meeting of its executive this morning, the Punjab IAS Officers Association here met the Chief Secretary, Mr Y.S. Ratra. The association members led by its president, Mr B.R. Bajaj, urged Mr Ratra to immediately reinstate, Mr D.K. Tiwari, Deputy Commissioner of Ferozepore, who was placed under suspension yesterday on the directions of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

MC passes Rs 105 cr budget
Jalandhar, February 7
The local Municipal Corporation today unanimously passed Rs 105 crore budget for 2003-2004 during the General MC House meeting here amidst allegations levelled by the councillors of the ruling Congress pertaining to widespread corruption and indifferent attitude of the civic body officials towards the redressal of grievances of public. The House was adjourned for half-an-hour after paying tributes to astronaut Kalpana Chawla.

Dalit rape case: CPI threatens stir
Bathinda, February 7
The district unit of the CPI today while alleging that the Mansa police was not taking action against its two personnel who had allegedly raped a Dalit at a Sardulgarh police station on the night of December 13, 2002, threatened that it would launch an agitation if justice was denied to the victim and action was not taken against the guilty.

DPS Jalandhar ‘not owned by Dhumal family’
Chandigarh, February 7
Mr Rajiv Bhatnagar of Delhi Public School, Jalandhar, today refuted the allegation that the school was either promoted or even partly owned by family members of the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal.

Direction to Faridkot SSP
Chandigarh, February 7
Taking up a petition filed by four Kotkapura residents alleging the snatching of a vehicle by a District Transport Officer, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed Faridkot’s Senior Superintendent of Police “to look into the grievance of the petitioners, and on being approached take appropriate action as required under the law”.

Vedanti, Chauhan hold meeting
Amritsar, February 7
Dr Jagjit Singh Chauhan, president, Khalsa Raj Party, who was not allowed to enter the SGPC’s information office during his previous visit, today held a closed-door meeting with Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht.

Unions ask farmers not to pay bills
Gurdaspur, February 7
Six pro-left farmer unions, including the Kirti Kissan Union, Jamboori Kisan Sabha Punjab and the Kisan Sabha have given a call to the farmers not to pay electricity bills.

Rally by DC office staff
Ferozepore, February 7
The Punjab Government’s decision to suspend the Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepore has evoked criticism from all corners An official said that an official had been martyred to politics.

AG’s office ‘retires’ clerk from life
Batala, February 7
Mr Kundan Lal, a clerk in the office of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate here got retired under VRS on December 15, 2002 and sent his case to the office of the Accountant-General (AG) Punjab, for post retirement benefits.

Facts overlooked during probe: rice millers
Ferozepore, February 7
Office-bearers of the Ferozepore Rice Millers Association, who called on the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, Mr Lal Singh, Food and Supplies Minister, Mr S.K. Sinha, Principal Secretary to the CM, have in a press note claimed that during the course of investigations into the paddy scam by the Vigilance Department certain facts were overlooked due to which some innocent rice millers have got trapped.


2 held for trade in humans
Gurdaspur, February 7
Mr Varinder Kumar SSP said today that Gurdev Singh, alias Deba, resident of Ganja and Harbhajan Singh resident of Nangal Dalla had been arrested and the girl whom they exploited sexually had also been recovered.

Heroin worth Rs 5 cr seized
Amritsar, February 7
Customs officials here seized 5 kg of high grade heroin from the Sutlej bed in Mamdot tehsil in Ferozepore district yesterday. The Additional Commissioner of Customs, Mr P.S. Sodhi, told newspersons that a team of the Preventive Department recovered five packets worth Rs 5 crore in the international market.
In video (28k, 56k)

Custom officials show seized heroin at a Press conference in Amritsar on Friday. 
— Photo Rajiv Sharma 

Custom officials show seized heroin at a Press conference in Amritsar

Attack on lawyer: 6 booked
Amritsar, February 7
On a complaint of Mr Satnam Singh, an advocate, who was seriously injured in an attack in the court complex yesterday, a case against six persons was registered here today, including a father-son duo.


Former BJP MLA Lakshmi Kanta Chawla with students from 40 schools raise slogans
Former BJP MLA Lakshmi Kanta Chawla (C) with students from 40 schools raise slogans on Friday against the government to start their stipend stopped since February,  2002. These schools generally incorporate students from labourers' families. — Photo RS

Ex-DEO’s medical examination ordered
Ropar, February 7
The Punjab Government has ordered the medical examination of former District Education Officer (DEO), Primary, Ropar, Malti Batra. Highly placed sources in the Education Department, who confirmed the news, told the correspondent that the government by invoking the provisions under the Punjab Civil Services Rules had ordered the medical examination of the former DEO by a medical board constituted by the Health Department at Patiala.

Science Congress begins
Longowal (Sunam), February 7
The three-day 6th Punjab Science Congress was inaugurated by Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, Chandigarh, at the Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET) here today. It is being organised under the auspices of the Punjab Academy of Sciences (PAS) on “Sustainable innovations in science and technology for regional development”.


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