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Hectic parleys to end Cong row
Chandigarh, January 3
Supported by several former senior Congressmen, who called on Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal at her residence this afternoon, dissidents, on the eve of their final encounter with the party high command next Monday, are debating their future, including the chances of their success in their demand for change of leadership of the Punjab Congress Legislature Party.

Channi blames Hanspal for crisis

BJP to contest 375 LS seats, says minister
Sangrur, January 3
Mr Sanghpriya Gautam, Union Minister for Agriculture and Rural Industries, said yesterday that the BJP would contest at least 375 seats in the Lok Sabha elections with the aim of winning 300 seats on its own, while the rest would be contested by its alliance partners.

Takht, SGPC to pay tributes to Indira’s assassins
Amritsar, January 3
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and Akal Takht today described Satwant Singh, the assassin of Indira Gandhi, as a great martyr and decided to observe his 15th death anniversary at Akal Takht on January 6.

Takht in a bind over parallel celebrations
Amritsar, January 3
The parallel celebrations of the 338th “Parkash Utsav” of Guru Gobind Singh at Takht Patna Sahib and Hazoor Sahib has put the SGPC and Akal Takht in a sticky situation. The issue may be taken up in the forthcoming meeting of the Sikh clergy, likely to be held in the second week of this month.



Children wearing the traditional Sikh dress raise slogans during a procession on the eve of Prakash Utsav of Guru Gobind Singh Sikh intellectuals, Vedanti again on warpath
Nagar kirtan taken out
Panj Piaras lead nagar kirtan
Varsity holiday on January 5

Children wearing the traditional Sikh dress raise slogans during a procession on the eve of Prakash Utsav of Guru Gobind Singh at the Golden Temple, Amritsar, on Saturday. — PTI

New pension formula sent for review
Chandigarh, January 3
The pension commutation issue, that has been hanging fire for the past several months in Punjab, has been referred back to the Finance Department. Informed sources said today that the Chief Minister’s Office had asked the Finance Department to review the new pension commutation formula in view of the several representations given by various organisations of employees. Even a number of deputations of employees have also met the Chief Secretary as well as the Chief Minister on this issue.

Special buses to Pak may be reality
Amritsar, January 3
Even as the demand of the SGPC to ply special buses to take pilgrims to Pakistan may be accepted by India and Pakistan, the demand of the Shiromani Committee to start a religious procession from Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib (Pakistan) to Khadoor Sahib (Amritsar) to mark the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Angad Dev in April may be turned down by the Central Government.


Mann decries siropa to Badal, son
Amritsar, January 3
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), yesterday criticised French President Jacques Chirac’s legislation banning wearing of articles of faith in public schools and regulating their wearing at the workplace. Sikhs had historical links with the French and had been instrumental in their victories in the two World Wars.

Ex-militants to contest on ‘Khalistan’ issue
Jalandhar, January 3
A former militant leader and chief of the newly-formed Shiromani Akali Dal (International), Atinder Pal Singh, yesterday announced that his party would contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha, SGPC, and Vidhan Sabha elections on the issue of “Khalistan.”


Satirical scheme for drug addicts
Sangrur, January 3
Launching a campaign against the use of drugs and intoxicants on New Year day, Charanjit Singh Kainth, a Punjabi writer, announced a satirical “maha bumper scheme” for drug addicts by distributing hundreds of handbills here and in other parts of the district. In the handbill, he promised that the scheme will continue for life.

Polio case at Nangal
Ropar, January 3
Despite a persistent eight-year vaccination campaign for the eradication of polio and repeated claims of the Health Department that Punjab was a polio-free state, a case of polio has been detected in Nangal area of Ropar.

Lack of proper facilities led to jailbreak, say guards
Patiala, January 3
Guards of the Central Jail here which witnessed a jail- break by two undertrials recently, today claimed that the lack of proper lighting, deterioration of security standards and practically no checking by senior officials were the factors behind the escape of the two undertrials.

Withdrawal of hike in petrol, diesel rates sought
Chandigarh, January 3
Prof Balwant Singh, Secretary of the Punjab unit of the CPM, has demanded immediate withdrawal of hike in the rates of petrol and diesel and called upon all political parties and other organisations to launch mass agitations against the anti-people policies of the BJP-led NDA government.

CPI leader Bhaura cremated
Malerkotla, January 3
The CPI MP from Bathinda, Bhan Singh Bhaura (69), who died in Delhi during the intervening night of January 2 and January 3, was cremated with full state honours here today. His son, Dr Rajneek Singh, lit the pyre.

Musician brings laurels to town
Abohar, January 3
Krishan Kumar, a member of the socio-cultural organisation Natrang here, has brought laurels to the town by winning a medal for his tabla performance at the 128th Harballah Sangeet Sammelan at Jalandhar. He was accorded a warm welcome by members of the organisation on his return today.

Brar’s appeal to lawyers
Faridkot, January 3
Congress MP Jagmeet Singh Brar has appealed to lawyers to utilise their energies to strengthen the nation in the interest of society. He said this while addressing a meeting of members of the District Bar Association here yesterday.

Sikh bodies block traffic
Tarn Taran, January 3
A large number of activists of various Sikh religious organisations today organised a traffic jam at Rohiwala bridge here today in protest against the alleged holding of functions by the followers of Jeewan Jyoti Jagran Sansthan Noormahal.


Falling profit margin worries poultry farmers
Amritsar, January 3
Poultry farmers in Punjab are distressed over the decreasing profit margins for their supply of poultry to Jammu and Kashmir. They have now urged the Financial Commissioner, Jammu and Kashmir, to take up the matter with the Director, Food and Civil Supplies, to facilitate continuous supply of poultry to the state, said Mr Arun Kumar, general secretary of the Punjab Poultry Association.


MC to computerise birth, death registration
Jalandhar, January 3
The Municipal Corporation here has decided to issue computerised certificates of deaths and births in bilingual format from the first week of February. Municipal Corporation Commissioner Sarojini Gautam Sharda said here that it was decided to provide all relevant dates regarding registration of death and birth on its website to enable the applicants and the authorities concerned to download it.

Keep watch on staff, DCs told
Chandigarh, January 3
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, yesterday directed all Deputy Commissioners and SSPs to keep a close tab on the subordinate staff to check stray incidents of corruption and ensure “clean, transparent and accountable administration”.

Board plans 2 gas-based power plants
Patiala, January 3
The Punjab State Electricity Board has proposed the establishment of two gas-based power plants in Bathinda and Doraha to take advantage of the gas pipeline which has been completed till Panipat.

Panchayat demolishes wall
Dera Bassi, January 3
Following the directions of the Deputy Commissioner Patiala, Mubarikpur village panchayat today demolished an unauthorised wall constructed by a family of Meerpur village in past a couple of months.


Gang circulating fake currency busted, 3 held
Jalandhar, January 3
Claiming that Pakistan’s ISI is pumping fake Indian currency in to Punjab through its Dubai based agents, the district police has busted a four-member gang for its involvement in the distribution of fake currency to the tune of Rs 49 lakh during the past six months.

Love marriage proves fatal
Hoshiarpur, January 3
Jaswant Kaur, alias Roopa, was shot dead by her father Santokh Singh, a former sarpanch of Feroze Rollian village, at Nathupur early this morning. Her husband Gurwinder Singh was wounded in the firing.

Flesh trade racket busted, 3 arrested
Amritsar, January 3
Kanwal (name changed), a Dalit (Majbi) girl, has given startling facts about gangs in Punjab forcing girls into flesh trade on the pretext of lucrative jobs. After escaping from the clutches of the gang, she disclosed to the police how she was sold in Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Hoshiarpur and forced into flesh trade after she was raped by two persons.

Ex-Miss Punjab booked
Jalandhar, January 3
The police has booked former Miss Punjab and three others on charges of duping a farmer of Rs 7 lakh on the pretext of sending him to the USA. Mr Lakhwinder Singh of Polar village in Kaithal district, in his complaint to the police, alleged that former Miss Punjab and resident of Model Town, Parpreet Kaur Brar, had duped him.

3 held, ornaments worth 60,000 recovered
Patiala, January 3
The local Kotwali police today arrested three persons and recovered gold and silver ornaments worth Rs 60,000. A case under Sections 457 and 380 of the Indian Penal Code had been registered against the three accused.

Sales tax evasion worth lakhs detected
Patiala, January 3
The mobile wing of the Excise and Taxation Department has detected sales tax evasion worth lakhs of rupees during surprise raids conducted in several cities of the state, including Chandigarh.


Six Punjabi varsity dons lose seniority Dean (Languages) resigns
Patiala, January 3
The seniority of six Professors of Punjabi University granted by the former Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia was struck down by the Syndicate, forcing one of them to resign from the office of the Dean, Languages.

PTU guidelines on quality education
Jalandhar, January 3
The Punjab Technical University has issued guidelines to all engineering and management colleges affiliated to it to impart quality education to the students using emerging technologies. This was stated by PTU Vice-Chancellor Y.S. Rajan during the first convocation of the local Apeejay Institute of Management here today.
A student receives her management degree from the Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Technical University
A student receives her management degree from the Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Technical University, Dr Y. S. Rajan, during the first Convocation of the APJ Institute of Management in Jalandhar on Saturday. — Photo by S.S Chopra


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