Thursday, March 13, 2003, Chandigarh, India

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Arrest cops, say farmers
Sheron (Tarn Taran), March 12
Hundreds of agitated villagers, including farmers, women and children, staged a dharna throughout the night on the Amritsar-Ferozepore road following the police firing on farmers here yesterday. This led to the diversion of traffic while the dharna continued till the filing of this report today.

Genesis of farmers’ agitation
Chandigarh, March 12
Why have thousands of farmers taken to the streets in Patiala and Chandigarh? What are their problems and concerns? What is common between the two parallel agitations? How much blame should be apportioned to the BKU, which has split several times over? Are the agitations solely economic-based or is there a political touch or instigation?

Lok Bhalai Party out to rein in fraud NRI bridegrooms
Chandigarh, March 12
When Gurdev Singh (name changed) took a flight for India from England recently, he cherished a desire to have a new bride. On arrival at his village near Jalandhar, he got engaged to a 20-year-old girl, who was 27 years younger to him, without revealing anything about his family. The date of marriage was fixed. A banquet hall was booked in Kapurthala. Everything went smoothly till the marriage party reached the banquet hall.





Nishan Sahibs reinstalled

People gathered to witness the installation of Nishan Sahibs near Akal Takht at the Golden Temple on Wednesday. — Photo Rajiv Sharma

Amnesty moved in case of mistaken identity
Amritsar, March 12
The 21-member committee supporting clemency for death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh sentenced by the Lahore High Court has written to Amnesty International for his release. The support committee representing members from different political parties and organisations alleges a case of mistaken identity of Sarabjit who has been pronounced the sentence as Manjit Singh, son of Mehenga Singh, resident of Pakistan.

Vigilance probe against IAS officer, 4 SHOs
Chandigarh, March 12
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has ordered a probe against an IAS officer, Mr Vivek Aggarwal, and Chief Engineer, PWD (B&R) M.S. Gurm, besides four SHOs, Mr AP Pandey, Chief Director-cum-ADGP, Vigilance Bureau, said presiding over a state-level meeting of Vigilance Officers today.

CM to seek industrial package for Punjab
Patiala, March 12
Punjab Finance Minister Lal Singh today said special industrial packages to Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir had damaged the industrial prospects of Punjab and that a delegation of state leaders led by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, would meet the Prime Minister soon to demand a similar package for Punjab.


Vinod blamed for poor poll results
Pathankot, March 12
Master Mohan Lal Former Punjab minister and BJP leader, is up in arms against Union Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Vinod Khanna, blaming him for the party’s poor performance in the municipal poll an account of “wrong” distribution of the BJP ticket, without consulting local leaders.


2 ‘vaids’ booked under PNDT Act
Banur (Patiala), March 12
“Vaids” and “hakims” advocating treatment for women wanting a male issue are likely to be in trouble, with the district Health Department registering cases against two “vaids” who were trapped selling such cures after decoys had been sent to their “clinics”.

One of the 'vaids' operating in Banur, who promises a "miracle cure" for women wanting a male child. — Photo Subhash Patialavi.

Mumbai expert to rationalise traffic
Bathinda, March 12
To overcome the problem of traffic bottlenecks in this city, the district police and the Bathinda Municipal Council have sought the services of a Mumbai-based traffic expert, Mr Vishva Nathan.

Minister asks for user certificates
Constituency funds unaccounted for
Patiala, March 12
The Punjab Rural Development Department has spent crores in Banur, the constituency of former Finance Minister Kanwaljit Singh, and Rajpura, the constituency of former Local Bodies Minister Balramji Das Tandon, for which it has yet the submit user certificates.

Sukhnain all set to return with a bang
Jalandhar, March 12
After doing a round of the western part of the world and giving some lively performances there, noted Punjabi pop star Dr Sukhnain is all set to hit back in a new “avtaar” with the help of a new foot tapping number, which is in the pipeline and is likely to reshape the Punjabi music scenario.

NCM chief concerned over conversions
Ludhiana, March 12
Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities Tarlochan Singh is concerned at the conversion of border-area residents to Christianity and has asked the SGPC to inquire into this sensitive issue and initiate steps to prevent this practice at the earliest. He was also optimistic of the outcome of the unity moves among the Akalis but asserted that he was not in any way involved in the parleys. Mr Tarlochan Singh was in the city today to preside over the convocation of two local colleges.

Kidney scam: order on bail plea reserved
Chandigarh, March 12
In less than two months after the great kidney conspiracy was unearthed, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today reserved orders on bail pleas moved by advocate Pardeep Saini and another accused in the case. The case will now come up for orders on March 14.

BJP candidate declared elected
Fazilka, March 12
On the directive of Mr C.L. Bains, Election Commissioner, Punjab, Mr Bhupinder Singh Saharan, SDM-cum-Returning Officer, Fazilka, declared BJP candidate Ramesh Verma elected from Ward No. 6 here by 22 votes today. Mr Verma, Mr Dharam Pal Gandhi of the Congress and Mr Ashok Kumar, an independent candidate, had contested the election. During the counting process, the presiding officer lodged a complaint that an unidentified person had fled away with a packet containing 433 ballot papers.

Villagers seek 24-hr power supply
Rampura Phul, March 12
A large number of residents of Raman Bas village, near here, staged a dharna in front of the subdivision (urban) office of the Punjab State Electricity Board PSEB in protest against the poor Power supply to their village.

PSEB staff hold rally
Bathinda, March 12
Members of the Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant Employees Federation today staged a dharna near the plant for two hours as part of the statewide “satyagraha” of employees of the PSEB to oppose the formation of corporations in place of the board.

Reduce TDS on liquor, Capt to Jaswant
Chandigarh, March 12
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today wrote to the Union Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, requesting that the rate of tax deducted at source on country liquor and IMFL should be brought down from 10 per cent to 2 per cent.


Time for milling running out
Mansa, March 12
During the current season, paddy equal to 2,92,598 quintals of rice has been procured by all state and central government agencies. Out of this procurement, rice weighing 1,91,361 quintals have been delivered to the FCI till date and the remaining rice is lying with the millers.


PTDC shows door to 62 workers
Ropar, March 12
The Punjab Tourism Development Corporation management has decided to discontinue the services of 62 daily wage workers with the corporation since the past 15 years. Sources said orders to discontinue the services of these employees were issued last evening.

Govt offices major defaulters of power bills
Mansa, March 12
An amount running into lakhs is outstanding against government offices on account of pending electricity bills in the district. A sum of Rs 61.10 lakh is outstanding against various government offices in nine subdivisions of the Punjab State Electricity Board of the district.

MC razes 100 structures
Jalandhar, March 12
Municipal Corporation officials today demolished unauthorised constructions on government land in Housing Board Colony here today. The police resorted to a lathi-charge on the residents, who were opposing the move, terming it as selective.


MLA’s son booked for attacking SDO
Muktsar, March 12
A case has been registered against Mr Jaspal Singh, son of the local MLA, Mr Sukhdarshan Singh Mrar, along with two others under Section 332,353, 186, 342, 379 and 34, IPC, for allegedly beating up a senior functionary and a peon of the PSEB at Bariwala in this district.

Mansa SMO held for graft
Sangrur, March 12
The local Vigilance authorities have arrested Dr Bhagwan Dass Mittal, posted as SMO at the Civil Hospital at Mansa, after registering a case against him on March 10 under Sections 7, 13 (2) and 88 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Travel agent booked for cheating
Kapurthala, March 12
The Bholath police has registered a case under Sections 420, 406 and 120-B of the IPC and Section 24 of the Immigration Act against Jagtar Singh, a travel agent, of Maqsoodpur village for duping Amarjit Singh Rs 1.25 lakh on the pretext of sending him to the United Kingdom.

4 held for cow slaughter
Amritsar, March 12
At least four persons of the eight persons booked for slaughtering cows and selling beef on pretext of being goat meat have been arrested. The remaining four accused have absconded.

Video parlour owner held
Jalandhar, March 12
The police today arrested one person on the charge of allegedly showing obscene movies to minors in his video parlour.

Cinema owner booked
Amritsar, March 12
The district police has registered a case against the owner and the manager of the Maya Cinema here for allegedly showing blue films here today.


Ex-DEO (Primary) clarifies
Chandigarh, March 12
Dr Miss Malti Batra, former District Education Officer, Primary, today claimed that she had brought to surface a major Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan scandal running into crores of rupees.

Teachers flay MLA’s views
Bathinda, March 12
The Democratic Teachers Front has condemned the statement of the Chairman of the High Powered Finance Committee, Mr Surinder Singla, that despite the huge expenditure incurred on government schools, the quality of education there was poor.


Petrol dealers threaten stir
Jalandhar, March 12
Perturbed over the recent decision of the state government to include petrol and diesel under the purview of the state VAT policy in contrast to the national policy. The Punjab Petroleum Dealers Association has decided to observe an indefinite strike from March 20 if its demands are not accepted by the state government.


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