Monday, March 24, 2003, Chandigarh, India

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Kalam leaves villagers mesmerised
Kharoudi (Hoshiarpur), March 23
A “delighted” President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam left hundreds of villagers mesmerised with his “inquisitiveness” and “simplicity” as the country’s first ever VIP village — Kharoudi — opened its arms to receive the Head of the State here this afternoon.

Emulate sacrifices of martyrs: Kalam
Khatkar Kalan, March 23
The President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, urged the youth to emulate the sacrifices of martyrs and said the rich history of Punjab and the sacrifices made by the martyrs had greatly moved and inspired him.

President A.P.J Abdul Kalam comes out of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Museum after paying tributes to the martyr at Khatkar Kalan on Sunday. — Photo by Pradeep Tewari



  Cong wins post of president, vice-president
Jaitu (Faridkot), March 23
Mr Mantar Singh Brar, MLA, Kotkapura, and six municipal councillors belonging to the SAD (Badal) today staged a walkout from the meeting held in connection with the election of the president and vice-president of the local municipal council in its hall today to lodge their protest against the “high-handedness” of the civil and police administration “to facilitate the members of the ruling party to grab these pests by hook or crook.”

Stagnant farm sector worries Punjab
Chandigarh, March 23
For Punjab, the stagnant agricultural sector is a cause of concern because rooted in this is the overall economic growth. Agriculture accounts for 40 per cent of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) with a two-thirds of its population living in the villages.


CM has failed to fulfil promises: Badal
Amritsar, March 23
SAD President Parkash Singh Badal today lashed out at the Punjab Government accusing it of backtracking on its poll promises.

Infighting mars Cong chances for top posts
Faridkot, March 23
Infighting in the Congress party in this district marred its chances to win the post of president and vice-president in the election of the nagar council Kotkapura held here today. Although the Congress had won only six seats out of 23 during the municipal council polls on March 9 in Kotkapura, it mustered the support of nine more rebel Congress and independent councillors today, raising its strength to 15.

Dhindsa against SAD unity: Riar
Chandigarh, March 23
The local unit president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar today pointed an accusing finger at the Union Chemicals and Fertiliser Minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, for attempting to stall the unification process of the Shiromani Akali Dal.


JEs threaten to intensify stir
Patiala, March 23
The Junior Engineers of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) yesterday threatened to further intensify its agitation in case the board management took any step to restructure or privatise the PSEB. It also announced that junior engineers would take out a mass procession from the cricket stadium in Sector 17 in Chandigarh to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha on March 24 to protest against the recommendations of the Haldea committee.

Youth hostels to be built in all districts
Ropar, March 23
The Punjab Government has decided to construct youth hostels in all districts of the state in a phased manner. The Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Punjab, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, gave this information to newsmen at Anandpur Sahib today. He was here to lay the foundation stone of the youth hostel building being built near Jhinjri village in Anandpur Sahib.

18,511 bank loan cases settled
Muktsar, March 23
As many as 18,511 defaulting bank loan cases have been settled at 49 special Lok Adalats held at different places in the state so far. This was stated by Mr H.P.S. Mahal, Member Secretary of the Punjab State Legal Authority, during a seminar here yesterday. He said the banks did not have to spend a single penny for getting decree in these cases and for settling disputes as these were settled at the pre-litigation stage.

Analyse folklore, say experts
Amritsar, March 23
Folklore and literary creations need to be analysed in all dimensions. This was the opinion of critics who spoke at the concluding day of a seminar on “Folklores, tradition and modernity” organised by the School of Punjabi Studies, Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU). 

Effigy of Bush burnt
Sangrur, March 23
Activists of local units of the All-India People’s Resistance Forum, the Kirti Mazdoor Union, the Punjab Radical Students Union and the Dhodhi Union today burnt the effigy of US President George Bush in protest against military action against Iraq.

Boy traced after 20 months
Sangrur, March 23
A minor Dalit boy, Sunil Kumar, who was kidnapped was traced after about 20 months by the police. Joyous residents of the local Guru Nanak Colony organised a “jagran” here last night on the occasion.

2 Bangladeshis arrested
Amritsar, March 23
The BSF arrested two Bangladeshis while they were trying to cross over to Pakistan through Attari border last evening.


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