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Hindu jatha returns from Pak
Amritsar, February 22
It was a busy day at Wagah today after several delegations arrived here today. The 133-member Hindu jatha that had gone to Pakistan to pay obeisance at temples on the occasion of Mahashivratri arrived in batches via the Indo-Pak joint check point at Wagah.

Members of the Hindu jatha return from Pakistan after paying obeisance at temples there on Sunday Members of the Hindu jatha return from Pakistan after paying obeisance at temples there on Sunday. — Photo by Rajiv Sharma

India, Pakistan poets melt the ice
Jalandhar, February 22
The ice between India and Pakistan seemed to melt as poets from the two countries recited their qalaamas and ghazals during the Indo-Pak mushaira organised by the Sufi Foundation, India, at the local Red Cross Bhavan last night.

Sukhbir to contest from Faridkot
Faridkot, February 22
“I will contest the Lok Sabha elections from the Faridkot parliamentary constituency,” said Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, general secretary, SAD and son of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, here today. However, he stated that being a senior office-bearer of the party, he could not declare his candidature and only the chief of the party could announce it.

Badal dares CM to make graft poll issue
Chandigarh, February 22
SAD President Parkash Singh Badal today flayed the incident involving the alleged illegal collection of money by an RTA in Bathinda and dared the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to make corruption an issue in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

A girl cuddles two puppies at a Dog Show in Patiala
A girl cuddles two puppies at a Dog Show in Patiala on Sunday. — Photo by Rajesh Sachar

Fatehgarh Sahib


Qadian, February 22
The Punjab Congress today launched its formal election campaign from this international head quarters of Ahmadiyya Muslims to mark the 82nd birth anniversary of the late Satnam Singh Bajwa here.

PPCC President H.S. Hanspal, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and PWD Minister Partap Singh Bajwa flash victory signs at a rally in Qadian on Sunday. — Photo by Rajiv Sharma
PPCC President H.S. Hanspal, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and PWD Minister Partap Singh Bajwa flash victory signs at a rally in Qadian

 Bhai Ranjit Singh Akal Council not to contest LS poll
Chandigarh, February 22
The Akal Council has decided not to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, Bhai Ranjit Singh, a former Akal Takht Jathedar and Chairman of the council, said here today. The council would also not contest the Assembly elections and support only genuinely baptised Sikhs in the SGPC elections.

CM again fails to open administrative complex
Moga, February 22
Even as the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, once again failed to inaugurate the local District Administrative Complex today, a large number of Congress workers became bitterly disappointed over this development.

Faujis oppose new excise policy
Chandigarh, February 22
It is now the turn of army men to protest against the Punjab excise policy, 2004-05. Under the new policy, the price of a bottle of rum is likely to increase because the state excise duty has been raised from Rs 25 to Rs 39 per proof litre.


There is no ‘feel good’, says General Samaj Party
Bathinda, February 22
Mr Rajbir Singh Sidhu, general secretary, General Samaj Party, said here yesterday that people would ‘feel good’ only if merit and ability were recognised. He alleged that merit and ability were being ignored under the present set of rules drafted to subserve a vote bank interests.

Mann presents siropas to party men
Sangrur, February 22
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president of the Akali Dal (Amritsar), said people of the state would end the “rajwarashahi” era of “new rajwaras” like Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal.

New party launched
Jalandhar, February 22
The state BSP today suffered a jolt when the senior leaders of the Bahujan Samaj Morcha (BSM), which had recently been merged with the BSP, announced to form a new party — the Bharti Lok Lehar Party.


Institute pulls out of Pulse Polio campaign
Amritsar, February 22
The Pulse Polio programme was affected in the city today following the last-minute withdrawal of the SGPC-run Guru Ram Dass Institute of Research and Medical Sciences from the campaign, bringing to the fore the rivalry between the Health Department and the institute.

Employee bodies’ chetna march on February 24
Faridkot, February 22
Twenty-five members of different employee organisations of the PRTC, the PSEB, LIC, Banks headed by Mr Pawan Preet Singh, General Secretary District unit of the CPI launched three-day chetna march on scooters and motorcycles from here yesterday to make people aware Faridkot district about economic policies of the central government which had harmed country’s interests.

A day of foundation stones
Ropar, February 22
With Lok Sabha elections approaching and the code of conduct for the elections not far away, ministers have gone on a foundation stone-laying spree in the district. Yesterday was a busy day, with ministers laying foundation stones of projects worth about Rs 2 crore.

DAV committee to adopt 50 villages
Jalandhar, February 22
In its endeavour to support the cause of the ongoing community development programme, the DAV College Managing Committee has decided to adopt 50 villages and slums in Punjab for which a sum of about Rs 1 crore will be spent during the next financial year.

Pensioners to meet Jaswant
Jalandhar, February 22
Members of the All-India Central Government Pensioners Association will be meeting the Union Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, in New Delhi next week to prevail upon him to implement the Central Government order regarding the lowering of age limit from 65 years to 60 years for the grant of senior citizen status.

Union’s plea on families
Amritsar, February 22
The Punjab Employees Rights Protection and Welfare Union has urged the government to mitigate the sufferings of families of employees after their death.

Jat conference on Feb 28-29
Amritsar, February 22
The All-India Jat Maha Sabha, led by Rajya Sabha member and actor Dara Singh, would hold a two-day national-level conference here from February 28.


I am black sheep of family, says Taz
Patiala, February 22
He chose to chase a dream. When Tarsem Singh or Taz as he is popularly called decided to give up a course in industrial design to pursue a musical career, the only thing that buoyed him up was his own belief in himself. Thus came about Stereo Nation, a melodious entity that has carved a distinct niche for itself the world over.


Eight held for robbery
Hoshiarpur, February 22
Mr Lok Nath Angra, SSP Hoshiarpur, said here yesterday that the police arrested eight persons. They were identified as Jasvir Singh alias Manna, Sukh Raj Singh alias Sukha and Kulwant Singh alias Sahabi, all of Todarpur, Sodhi Ram and Harbans Singh, both of Suhani, Bhupinder Singh alias Bhinda of Phagwara presently residing at Jangnlwala, Kuldip Ram and Sarwan Singh, both of Rawalpindi.

4 booked under Prevention of Atrocities Act
Phagwara February 22
The police has booked four persons under Section 3(1) of the Prevention of Atrocities Act and Sections 323 and 34 of the IPC on charges of rouging up and using “casteist language” against Surjit Kumar, Sarpanch of Khera village.

Attacks by robbers: one succumbs to injuries
Kharar, February 22
Ravinder Kaur, who had sustained a serious head injury during an attack by a gang of robbers at a farmhouse in Sawara village on Friday, has died in a hospital in Chandigarh, the police said here today.

414 pirated CDs seized
Kharar, February 22
The police seized 414 pirated CDs from two shops and arrested two persons in Mundi Kharar today.

CTU bus driver beaten up
Kharar, February 22
A Chandigarh Transport Undertaking bus driver was beaten up on the Landran road, near here, today.


Varsity sacks sports official
Patiala, February 22
Punjabi University has terminated the services of its Joint Director, Sports, Mr Bhupinder Singh, who had been suspended last year on charges of instigating students of the Physical Education Department to go on strike during the agitation against fee hike.

PTU not keen on implementing 24-credit rule
Jalandhar, February 22
Notwithstanding the approval of the state Council of Ministers of the proposal to implement the 24-credit rule for engineering students of the 2001 batch of different engineering colleges affiliated to Punjab Technical University (PTU), the latter has expressed its reservations to implement the order.

More time sought to submit report
Chandigarh, February 22
Punjab’s Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Mr D.S. Guru, who is re-inquiring into the admission of six MBBS students to DMC, Ludhiana, is reported to have sought one week extension from the government to submit his report.


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