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Escape attempts bare chinks in jail security
Amritsar, January 23
Several jailbreak attempts in the high security jail here not with standing, the ‘disc system’ which plugs all loopholes in the security of the jail has not been revived so far. Though Pakistani nationals and certain international smugglers have made attempts to escape from the jail, in the past yet the inmates have been found using facilities, including cell phones allegedly in connivance with the jail authorities.
A view of high-security Central Jail, Amritsar, where foreign nationals are also lodged A view of high-security Central Jail, Amritsar, where foreign nationals are also lodged. After the jailbreak at Burail, the jail authorities have shifted the alleged assassins of former Akali Chairman to high-security barracks on Friday. — Photo by Rajiv Sharma

Badal criticises CM's move on expansion
Chandigarh, January 23
The Shiromani Akali Dal President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, yesterday described Capt Amarinder Singh’s move to expand his Cabinet as a direct insult to the spirit of the Constitution, an outrage against Parliament and a brazen attempt to buy political survival by burdening the people of the state with an unnecessary fiscal load.



Don’t rake up Sonia’s foreign origin issue: Mann
Chandigarh, January 23
Various Akali factions differ on making Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin as an election issue during the Lok Sabha elections. The President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, says “it does not suit Sikhs politically to raise such an issue”.

Bail bonds in favour of Ravi Sidhu accepted
May get bail after January 26
Patiala, January 23
A local court today accepted personal bail bonds of Rs 5 lakh each filed by two aunts of the ousted PPSC Chairman Ravinderpal Singh Sidhu but the former PPSC Chairman will remain in jail for a few days more as his lawyers failed to submit the sureties necessary in two other courts in Ropar and Chandigarh.

Hailstorms hit wheat, mustard crops
Chandigarh, January 23
Farmers are feeling distressed as hailstorms hit parts of this region this afternoon. Around 4 p.m. a hailstorm hit several parts of the Morinda area. Around 5.30 p.m. again a hailstorm hit various parts of the Rajpura- Sirhind belt. It was severest in the areas adjoining Mohali and Kharar.

A farmer of Bhagomajra village, near Morinda, tries to assess the damage caused by a hailstorm to his crop on Friday afternoon. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

A farmer of Bhagomajra village, near Morinda, tries to assess the damage caused by a hailstorm to his crop on Friday afternoon

12 rice mills sealed
Ferozepore, January 23
The police has sealed at least 12 rice mills here in a bid to unearth what it suspects to be a multi-crore scandal following a complaint by the Food Corporation of India. The FCI had alleged that the millers had been supplying FCI low-grade rice imported from Gujarat instead of the one milled from the paddy purchased in Punjab.


Sonia to name LS nominees
Chandigarh, January 23
The state election committee of the PPCC today, resolved to authorise Congress President, Sonia Gandhi to select the candidates for the forthcoming general election.

Shatrujit to contest Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat
Kapurthala, January 23
Tikka Raja Shatrujit Singh, a scion of Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia founder of the Kapurthala princely state and great grandson of Maharaja Jagatjit Singh, will contest the Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat on the Shiromani Akali Dal ticket.

Bahujan morcha merges with BSP
Jalandhar, January 23
The president of the Bahujan Samaj Morcha and a former MP, Mr Satnam Singh Kainth, today revealed that his party would merge with the BSP during “Bahujan Ekta Rally” to be held at Banga in Nawanshahr district on February 15.


Panel questions credibility of NHRC
Amritsar, January 23
The Human Rights Watch Asia has expressed concern over the inordinate delay on the part of the National Human Rights Commission in pronouncing verdict in the case of large-scale disappearance of people and illegal cremation of 2,098 bodies in Amritsar district. The case has been hanging fire for the past more than six years.

Mr Brad Adams (right), Director of the Asia division of the Human Rights Watch, addresses a press conference in Amritsar on Friday. — Photo by Rajiv Sharma

Mr Brad Adams, Director of the Asia division of the Human Rights Watch, addresses a press conference in Amritsar

DGP’s assurance on custodial death
Sangrur, January 23
An 11-member deputation, led by Mr Gobind Singh Kanjhla, MLA from Sherpur, today met the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Punjab, Mr Suresh Kumar, and Punjab DGP A.A. Siddiqui to protest against the “failure” of the police to arrest five policemen, including DSP Gurjit Singh and Sherpur SHO Kulwinder Singh, who were allegedly responsible for the death of Ravinder Singh (25) of Kala Bula village in police custody on January 18.

2 kids rendered mentally ill by militants get help
Amritsar, January 23
Two minors who lost their mental balance after being severely beaten up by terrorists and witnessing the brutal killing of their father have finally found help after nearly 12 years. The All-India Anti-Terrorist Front adopted the two here yesterday.

Border Security Force jawans keep vigil at the India-Pakistan border near Atari
Border Security Force jawans keep vigil at the India-Pakistan border near Atari station on Friday. The security agencies are on high alert to check any untoward incidents on Republic Day. — PTI

Stress on more Indo-Pak cultural exchange
Ludhiana, January 23
Noted Sufi singers from India and Pakistan, including Hans Raj Hans, Bashir Khan and Akbar Ali, today said that there was a need for more cultural exchange between the two countries as this would help the ongoing peace process initiated at the highest level between the two countries.

Mahasabha seeks reservation for Jats
Bathinda, January 23
Mr Gurdial Singh Khaira, General Secretary, All-India Jat Mahasabha, Punjab unit, said the Mahasabha would continue its struggle till the members of the Jat community of the state were given reservation according to the recommendation of the Mandal Commission report.

Train coaches derail
Ferozepore, January 23
Three coaches of the Ferozepore-Fazilka Diesel Multiple Unit 3 FF train got derailed near the Jhoke Tehal Singh railway station here today. The train, which started at 10.05 a.m. from the Ferozepore Cantonment station, reached Jhoke Tehal Singh station in about 30 minutes.

Tributes paid to Netaji
Amritsar, January 23
The birth anniversary of Netaji Subas Chandra Bose was celebrated with great enthusiasm here today.
The All India Azad Hind Fouz Freedom Fighters Successors Association held a special function at Government Girls Senior Secondary School in the Putlighar area.

Govt not helping panel on Netaji, says Saini
Ropar January 23
“The Union Government is not extending help to the Mukerji Commission probing the circumstances leading to the death of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.” Mr V.P. Saini, the general secretary of the All-India Forward Bloc, levelled these allegations at a press conference held here today.

Health mela from February 2
Faridkot, January 23
Under the ‘Swasthaya Jagrukta Maah’ programme being launched by the Central Government, the district administration in collaboration with Government. Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital and the Health Department has made elaborate arrangements to hold a three-day health mela from February 2 at the Nehru stadium here.


High Court
Education board asked to get FIR registered
Chandigarh, January 23
Acting on a petition filed by Samrala-based Amanpreet Kaur and four other Plus two students seeking declaration of examination result, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the Punjab School Education Board to get a first information report registered against the Principal of the institute they were studying in for allegedly issuing factitious roll numbers.

Delay in notification hits consumers, says Justice Brar
Bathinda, January 23
Justice H.S. Brar, President of the State Consumer, Punjab, said here today that the state government had been denying justice to consumers by causing inordinate delay in the issuance of notification in connection with the appointment of presidents of three district consumer forums.


Liquor mafia bank records seized
Amritsar, January 23
The Income Tax investigation team seized relevant documents of three employees of Chadha group that runs liquor trade in the state from Punjab and Sind Bank here on Wednesday on the suspicion that these persons were maintaining fake accounts for paying government excise dues.

CA held for forgery
Jalandhar, January 23
The district police has arrested a chartered accountant and his assistant for allegedly preparing forged documents to help applicants secure visas for immigration. Following a tip-off that a chartered accountant Rajesh Kumar of Balwant Nagar locality here was running a racket of preparing forged documents pertaining to income tax returns, bank accounts and PAN cards to help those who had applied for grant of visa, the police yesterday raided his house and arrested him.

Patwari, nambardar held for fraud
Phagwara, January 23
A team of Vigilance staff Kapurthala headed by DSP Vigilance Mr Rajwant Kumar today arrested Kashmir Singh a patwari Amarjit Singh, a nambardar, and Darshan Singh a resident of Bhabiana village, presently residing in HP, under Sections 120, 467, 458, 471, 120-B, IPC for fraud, forgery and criminal conspiracy and Sections 7/8 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Porters clash at Wagah, 2 hurt
Amritsar, January 23
The Indo-Pak joint checkpost at Wagah was a witness to a clash between two groups of porters on Wednesday evening. The Gharinda police has registered a case against eight porters under Sections 323, 149 and 34 of the IPC.

Gang of drug smugglers busted
Ferozepore, January 23
Sleuths of the Division Field Security unit have reportedly busted a gang allegedly involved in drug peddling and supply of narcotics in the cantonment area.

Armed youths rob man of car, cash
Lalru, January 23
Three armed miscreants robbed a resident of Ambala of his car and Rs 1,500 on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway in Jharmari village, near here, this morning.
Employed as a technician with an industrial unit in the Industrial Area Panchkula, Mr Brij Kishan, was going to his office in his car (HR-01P-8686) at about 8 am when the incident took place.


National integration camp concludes
Patiala, January 23
The seven-day all-India national integration camp-2004, hosted by Punjabi University concluded here today. The Minister for Higher Education, Punjab, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, was the chief guest.

College students go on strike
Patiala, January 23
On the call given by the Students Federation of India, students of various colleges and schools of the city observed a strike here today.
Speaking on the occasion the state president of the SFI, Gurpal Singh Dhaliwal, said the students would intensify their struggle against the “anti- education” and “anti-employment” policies of the state government.

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