Sunday, July 13, 2003, Chandigarh, India

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Vigilance asks banks to ‘seal’ Badal’s accounts
Chandigarh, July 12
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has asked different banks to “seal” the accounts of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal against whom a disproportionate assets case has been registered.

CM trying to ‘weaken’ SAD
Alamgir (Ludhiana) July 12
Former Chief Minister and the President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today ridiculed the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, for filing a defamation suit against three NDA leaders.

Akali workers rush for shelter as it begins to rain during a party meeting at Alamgir

Akali workers rush for shelter as it begins to rain during a party meeting at Alamgir in Ludhiana on Saturday. — Photo Pradeep Tewari

CM’s reply misleading, says Badal
Chandigarh, July 12
The Shiromani Akali Dal President Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today described as “totally unsatisfactory and misleading” Capt Amarinder Singh’s letter to the Union Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh regarding allegations of grave fiscal irregularities committed by him and his mushroom venture.

Fatehgarh Sahib


Order probe against “corrupt” officers, Amarinder told
Chandigarh, July 12
Senior BJP leaders Balramji Dass Tandon and Madan Mohan Mittal have challenged Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to order on inquiry against “corrupt bureaucrats and ministers” in his Cabinet by an independent investigating agency.

Officer smells scandal in Forest Dept, probe on
Chandigarh, July 12
Another controversy has rocked the Punjab Forest Department, this time regarding a Japanese project under which the department received funds in crores for afforestation of various areas.

News Analysis
Punjab yet to grapple with caste virus
Chandigarh, July 12
Punjab survived the virus of communalism that failed to divide the Sikhs and the Hindus during the phase of militancy because of “roti-beti” bonds. Today, the state has to fight against the virus of caste politics involving Dalits and Jats.


Repoll in 39 panchayats today
Chandigarh, July 12
Re-poll in 39 panchayats takes place in Punjab tomorrow at a time when the virus of casteist politics has appeared. A small number of panchayats will see re-poll on July 27.

No pact for Lok Sabha poll: BSP
Patiala, July 12
Punjab Bahujan Samaj Party President Avtar Singh Karimpuri today ruled out an alliance with any political party in the state for the coming Lok Sabha elections.
Talking to newsmen here, the BSP President said the party would contest all 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state on its own.

Preneet Kaur to fight LS poll
Patiala, July 12
Local MP Preneet Kaur today laid to rest speculation that she may opt out of the electoral race in the coming Lok Sabha elections at a public rally held at Rajpura to felicitate the newly elected panchayat members.

Surjit men join Pasla group
Gurdaspur, July 12
Ms Gurmej Kaur and Mr Pargat Singh, district committee members, and Mr Durga Dass and Ms Renu Sehgal, Pathankot tehsil members, left the Surjit faction of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and joined the Pasla group today along with their supporters.


High Court
Kahlon’s plea

Chandigarh, July 12
Acting on a petition filed by former Akali minister Nirmal Singh Kahlon and his son seeking the quashing of a first information report registered against them, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has fixed September 20 as the next date of hearing in the case.


Naik: work on Bathinda refinery to continue

Chandigarh, July 12
Laying to rest any apprehension about the fate of the upcoming Rs 16,000-crore Bathinda refinery in Punjab, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Mr Ram Naik today said that the refinery would be completed within four years.

Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Ram Naik addresses a Press conference in Chandigarh on Saturday. — PTI photo

Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Ram Naik addresses a Press conference

Sarabjit, Mathur to head central police forces
Chandigarh, July 12
The Union Government has reportedly cleared the names of two of Punjab’s senior police officers — Mr Sarabjit Singh (1965 batch) and Mr V.N. Mathur (1969 batch) — for empanelment in the rank of Director-General.

Errors not rectified in ID cards
Abohar, July 12
Even when the Election Commission has made photo identity card compulsory for exercising franchise in next elections, the last round of preparing such cards in this constituency is failing due to lack of training, technical snags and autocratic behaviour of employees.

Singla promises to revamp marketing set-up
Amritsar, July 12
The newly appointed Chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board Mr Sant Ram Singla, has alleged that Mr Parkash Singh Badal squandered funds meant for rural development. This had deprived the agriculture marketing board of precious money resulting in the poor maintenance of the mandis and rural roads in the state.

Suspended Class IV staff cry foul
Chandigarh, July 12
Six members of the non-teaching staff of Government Senior Secondary School, Ratewal, suspended for being “absent from duty” are yet to be reinstated, though 11 teachers, including the acting Principal suspended along with them on the same charge have been re-instated.

When Bhisham Sahni broke down at Wagah
Chandigarh, July 12
Bhisham Sahni lived the pain of Partition all his life. So struck was he by the difference between what things are and what they ought to be that he consciously refrained from visiting Pakistan or even the Wagah border between India and Pakistan.

Train engine catches fire
Fatehgarh Sahib, July 12
Around 1,700 passengers of the Bombay Superfast Express (2472 down) had a narrow escape this evening when the engine of the train caught fire.
There was no casualty as the fire was detected in time.

Mail damage: action against staff sought
Phagwara, July 12
Mr Bhushan Nandwani, Station Superintendent of the local railway-station, has written to the higher postal authorities for action against the erring postal staff due to whose negligence postal bags had been tossed away by the down-line Swarn Shatabdi Express here last evening and strewn upto a considerable distance.

Water level of Bhakra, Pong dams rises
Chandigarh, July 12
The rains in the higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh have led to a slight rise in the inflow of the Gobind Sagar reservoir of the Bhakra Dam and the Pong Dam reservoirs, as catchment areas of the Beas and the Sutlej were having a scanty rainfall.

Body of Pak national handed over
Wagah (Amritsar), July 12
The Pakistani rangers today accepted the body of Abdul Aziz Ahmad (55), one of its nationals, who had died in a Bikaner hospital while undergoing treatment during his jail sentence in Sri Ganganagar jail on June 17.

Strict visa regime brings few Pak passengers
Wagah, July 12
Zubaida, wife of Sultan Ahmad, who was denied a visa to travel with her husband on the inaugural Lahore-Delhi bus service yesterday, was the only Pakistani passenger along with four Indian journalists who had gone to Lahore last evening to come to India this morning.

‘CAs can help detect company scams’
Chandigarh, July 12
The Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Legislative Assembly, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, while addressing the Northern Region Conference of the Chartered Accountants in his inaugural address sought the help and cooperation of CAs to enable the Punjab Government to bring in investment and for exposing the gross fiscal scams at various levels.

Blood scam: suspect ‘tried to end life’?
Amritsar, July 12
The district police has arrested Kamaljit Singh, a laboratory attendant at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, in connection with the recently unearthed illegal blood sale scam. The police claimed that Kamaljit tried to kill himself with his kirpan during custody while employees of the blood bank of the hospital alleged that he was injured by the police.

Who will repair collapsed bridge?
SAS Nagar, July 12
Communication across the seven villages beyond Manoli village remained cut off for the second day today following the collapse of the link bridge in the village yesterday.

Dalit MLAs have failed community: SC panel
Chandigarh, July 12
The Punjab State Scheduled Castes Officers Association, which organised a conference here today at Begumpura Hall, has expressed anguish over the recent caste violence in the state.


Admn drive to recover loans
Fatehgarh Sahib, July 12
The administration has launched a drive for the recovery of loans given to various government departments in the district. According to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, all revenue officials have been directed to speed up the recovery of loans.


Gang adulterating diesel busted
Patiala, July 12
The Food and Supplies Department today claimed to have busted a gang involved in adulterating diesel at Sunam in Sangrur district. Disclosing this here, the Deputy Director of the department, Mr Bhupinder Singh, said a special team of the department had raided a locality in Sunam, which led to the seizure of 10,000 litres of adulterated diesel.

Three travel agents booked
Kapurthala, July 12
The police has registered a case under Sections 403,420 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 24 of the Immigration Act against three travel agents on the charge of depriving two persons of Rs 5.85 lakh on the pretext of sending them to Germany.

4 more held in robbery case
Phagwara, July 12
Four more persons have been arrested in the stage-managed robbery case of June 13 in which it was alleged that the robbers looted Rs 2.75 lakh from employees of a liquor vend owner, who were returning after collections of the day’s income from the area near Banga road.

Nobody named in Kanchan’s suicide note: experts
Phagwara, July 12
The Kanchan suicide case has taken a new twist as handwriting experts have found that the suicide note left by Kanchan Bansal was written by her, the Railway police sources said today.

Dalit woman alleges beating
Mansa, July 12
The situation in Dalel Singh Wala village, near here, became tense yesterday when a Dalit woman, Ms Manjit Kaur (38), alleged that she was beaten by some Jat Sikh farmers and her clothes were torn by Gurmail Singh, Roop Singh and Chota Singh, all residents of the village.

Travel agent held for cheating
Jalandhar, July 12
The district police has arrested a travel agent for impersonating as a senior official of the Research and Analysis Wing and duping and ex-serviceman of Rs 7.41 lakh on the pretext of sending his son abroad.


Ranjit Singh, a ruler of Hindustan?
Manoli (SAS Nagar), July 12
“Maharaja Ranjit Singh Hindustan da ik dayalu raja see,” said a Class VII student of Government Senior Secondary School, Manoli, when asked who Maharaja Ranjit Singh was. Maharaja Ranjit Singh constitutes the first chapter in an English textbook prescribed in the school.

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