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SAD demands CBI probe, scrapping
of auction

Says deal favouring Ponty caused Rs 400 cr loss

Ludhiana, March 8
The Shiromani Akali Dal has demanded a CBI inquiry into the auction of liquor shops in Ludhiana district. It has claimed that certain senior state government functionaries had received at least Rs 100 crore for facilitating the grant of licences for the liquor shops to two particular groups. The deal, the SAD leaders said, had caused a loss of Rs 300 crore to Rs 400 crore to the state exchequer.

Dissidents’ ultimatum to Badal
Abohar, March 8
Dissidents in the Shiromani Akali Dal today gave an ultimatum to SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal to reconsider and change candidates for Tarn Taran, Patiala, Sangrur, Bathinda and Ferozepore constituencies otherwise they would form a new Akali Dal in the name of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal at a rally to be held on March 15 at Zira.

PM may intervene for Dhindsa-Barnala patch-up
Chandigarh, March 8
Indications are that the BJP high command will intervene for a patch-up between Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Andhra Pradesh Governor Surjit Singh Barnala. 

Anandpur Sahib



Gujral campaigns for son, not SAD, BJP
Jalandhar, March 8
Former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral today predicted that the NDA would form the next government at the Centre. “Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has run the coalition government in a good way” Mr Gujral told reporters here. Admitting that the era of coalition governments had come to stay, Mr Gujral said, “In fact the coalition government at the Centre or the state has proved a boon for economic development at the grass-root level”.

Nihangs take part in a Hola Mohalla procession at Anandpur Sahib Hola Mohalla concludes
Anandpur Sahib, March 8
The annual Hola Mohalla concluded here last evening amid a march by the SGPC and a display of traditional marshal arts by Nihang groups. The march began from Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib after bogh of akandh path. The march was led by the Panj Piaras.
In video (28k, 56k)

Nihangs take part in a Hola Mohalla procession at Anandpur Sahib on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Pankaj Sharma

Punjabi University VC-Pro VC battle ends
Patiala, March 8
Last week saw the ouster of Punjabi University Pro-Vice-Chancellor Dr R.N. Pal after more than one-year of verbal duel with Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai. Dr Pal had been accused of many “omissions”, including instigating students and indulging in financial impropriety by the university management. It was a political decision which led to his removal.


Youth Congress office-bearers threaten to quit
Jalandhar, March 8
Office-bearers of the state Youth Congress today threatened to resign from their posts if their demand to replace newly appointed Punjab Youth Congress chief Raminder Singh Amla was not accepted.


Police custody boon for undertrials!
Jalandhar, March 8
Being in police custody has proved to be the most convenient way to attain freedom by fleeing for undertrials or accused in the Doaba region, comprising four districts of Jalandhar, Nawanshahr, Hoshiarpur, and Kapurthala. If one goes by the police records, 34 of the 46 undertrials and accused escaped from the police custody in the court premises, where they had come to attend hearings of their cases, or from police stations itself in different townships during the past five years.

44 artistes leave for Pak
Amritsar, March 8
Indian theatre artistes wave to mediapersons at Wagah joint check-post before leaving for Pakistan Fortyfour theatre artistes left for Lahore via Indo-Pakistan joint check post at Wagah yesterday. For the first time, Indian theatre artistes will perform in Pakistan after the Partition. Theatre groups — “Manch Rang Manch” and “Rangtolli” joined from Punjab while theatre artiste Usha Ganguly with others arrived from Kolkatta for performance in Pakistan.

Indian theatre artistes wave to mediapersons at Wagah joint check-post before leaving for Pakistan on Monday. — Photo by Rajiv Sharma

Society for inviting Pak dignitaries to SGPC functions
Ferozepore, March 8
The International Bhai Mardana Kirtan Darbar Society, which has played a vital role in the release of Sikh youths from the Pakistan security agencies, has appealed to the SGPC President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, to invite Pakistan dignitaries during the celebrations, relating to three important events in Sikh history, to be held this year.

Insecurity among Muslims led to Partition, says Talbot
Amritsar, March 8
Sense of insecurity among the Muslims, British policies and riots were main reasons for the Partition of India, observed Prof Ian Talbot of Oxford University, UK. He was speaking at the three-day refresher course in history organised by the History Department of Guru Nanak Dev University here today.

Students of DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology perform Bhangra at cultural show held on its premises in Jalandhar
Students of DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology perform Bhangra at cultural show held on its premises in Jalandhar on Monday. — Photo by S.S.Chopra

Womens day celebrated
BATALA: International Women Day was celebrated at the office of the All-India Women Conference under the patronship of Mrs Parkash Kaur Naroo, former president of the Batala unit of the conference. Mrs Naroo lashed out at the political parties that wanted to give 33 per cent reservation but now when the elections were to be held, parties had forgotten reservation.

Bus operators’ threat to suspend service
Amritsar, March 8
The Amritsar and Gurdaspur Districts Bus Operators Association has threatened to suspend bus service and also not to pay adda fees if the make-shift but stand was not shifted from Mall Mandi to Pataka Market site.

Freeway sought to gurdwara
Amritsar, March 8
The Sangat Langah Kartarpur has demanded a freeway to Kartarpur gurdwara located on the Indo-Pak border. In a press note here today, sangat convener Babishan Singh stated that while Pakistan had offered a visit to the historical gurdwara without the requirement of a passport, the government here was dilly-dallying on the issue.

Traffic awareness week begins
Barnala, March 8
Observing traffic awareness week should not be a sheer ritual but traffic norms must be understood and then acted upon in real and true spirit to avert fatal accidents and bring down the mounting rate of road accidents. These views were expressed by Mr Amit Prasad, SSP Barnala, while addressing truck operators, drivers and conductors on the local Truck Operators Union Office Complex today after inaugurating the traffic awareness-education week celebrations of the Barnala police district.

Environmental council set up in Punjab
Chandigarh, March 8
Following directions of the Supreme Court, Punjab has established the State Environmental Council for proper management of hazardous waste.

Paucity of funds hits Shahpurkandi project
Pathankot, March 8
The Shahpurkandi Dam Project has been hanging fire reportedly due to paucity of funds. The project is the second phase of the Ranjit Sagar Dam. Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister had formally dedicated the Ranjit Sagar Dam Project to the nation on March 4 and promised financial help for the other co-related projects like SKDP (168 MW), the Upper Bari Doab Project Stage-III (57 MW) and the Shahpurkandi Hydroelectric extension (75 MW).

Narrow escape for Jalandhar DIG
Hoshiarpur, March 8
Jalandhar range DIG of the Punjab police P.S. Sarao today said he had a narrow escape in a road accident at Adampur while on way to this town to speak on road safety at a local college.

20 couples tie knot
Moga, March 8
In a mass-marriage function, organised here on the occasion of the festival of colours, 20 couples belonging to weaker sections of the society entered wedlock.


Bid ignored, says liquor contractor

Chandigarh, March 8
If allegations in a petition filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court are to be believed, liquor vends in Nawanshahr were allotted to liquor baron Ponti Chadha’s firm for Rs 37 crore against an available bid of Rs 40 crore. This was not all. The entire process of auctioning liquor vends of Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr and Jalandhar was completed within a few minutes in violation of the licence rules, auction conditions and directions issued by the high court.

  • Notice issued

Another set of MC tenders cancelled
Amritsar, March 8
Close on the heels of cancellation of tenders of the municipal corporation’s operation and maintenance cell, another set of tenders of the civil cell of the corporation worth crores have been cancelled by the Commissioner, MC, Mr K.S. Kang.


Murder accused arrested
Bathinda, March 8
Raju, a local resident, was arrested by the police today for his alleged involvement in the murder of the second husband of his wife, Rakhi Khan, on May 30, 2003. In a press note issued here today, Mr Kapil Dev, SSP, said that Vicky, who was working in a music group, was set on fire by Rakhi and Raju on May 30, 2003. Rakhi was earlier married to Raju and later got married to Vicky.

Murder cases solved, 2 held
Fatehgarh Sahib, March 8
The police claimed to have solved two murder cases in which a man allegedly killed his brother-in-law by pushing him in Bhakra Canal at Bassi Pathana to grab his land.

Fake bail racket busted
Amritsar, March 8
In a sting operation, the local police along with a local journalist today busted a ‘fake bail racket’ allegedly prevailing in the District Courts here. According to Mr J.P. Birdi, Inspector-General (Border Range), the racket had been running unchecked for the past about four years. Junior staff of the court used to provide ‘fake bail documents’ with the connivance of three women operators.

Man commits suicide
Bathinda, March 8
An unidentified person committed suicide this morning by jumping in front of a train on the Bathinda-Delhi railway line. The incident took place about 5 km from the local railway station.


No ban on loudspeakers despite complaint to DC, claim students
Bhikhi (Mansa), March 8
Many students and residents of the town have alleged that no action had been taken on a complaint lodged with the Deputy Commissioner, regarding the misuse of loudspeakers during odd hours. Ms Rajni Jindal and the students, in a statement issued here today, said the authorities had not intervened to put a stop on the use of loudspeakers at high volumes at religious places and marriage functions.

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