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Rs 224-cr SGPC budget passed
Amritsar, March 15
The SGPC’s Rs 224 crore budget for 2004-05 was passed at the Teja Singh Samundari Hall here today. It laid special emphasis on austerity measures, including slashing of expenses on official cars and mobile bills, etc. The budget for last year was Rs 206 crore.

SGPC members raise their hands to accord acceptance to the Rs 224 crore SGPC budget as SGPC President Gurcharan Singh Tohra looks on.
— Photo by Rajiv Sharma

Central scheme falls prey to graft, scandals
Chandigarh, March 15
Corruption, scandals and disinterest in the implementation of a scheme have shattered the dream of thousands of houseless poor to own houses in Punjab. It was a Union Government-funded scheme designed to provide plots and grants to make about 10,000 houses available to the poor among Scheduled Castes in the countryside.




DSP (Jails), other officials accused of taking bribe
Ropar, March 15
Another case of alleged corruption in the jails of the state has come to the fore with two Punjab police head constables levelling charges of corruption against officials of the Ropar sub-jail.

UK police officer Allen Baits shows a poster announcing a cash reward for clue on a rape and murder accused in Amritsar on Monday. Rs 50 lakh reward for clue on murder accused
Amritsar, March 15
A police team from England, led by Detective Police Superintendent Allen Baits, arrived here to arrest Mahinderpal Kohli, who was allegedly involved in the kidnapping, rape and murder of a British girl, Hanna Hosten, in March last year.

UK police officer Allen Baits shows a poster announcing a cash reward for clue on a rape and murder accused in Amritsar on Monday. — Photo by Rajiv Sharma

Hindus from Pak allege conversions, excesses
Attari (Amritsar), March 15
Members of nearly 15 Pakistani Hindu families from Sindh province, who arrived here today on the Samjhauta Express, narrated their tales of woe and the pitiable condition of the Hindus and Sikhs living in frontier provinces of Pakistan.

BSF, Pak Rangers exchange agendas
Wagah, March 15
Officials of the Border Security Force today held a meeting with their counterparts on the Pakistani side of the border and exchanged agendas of the meeting of Directors-General to be held on March 24 in Lahore.

BSF officials, including Mr G.S. Sandhu, DIG, along with officials of the Pakistan Rangers, after a meeting held in Pakistan on Monday. — Photo by Rajiv Sharma


FACE TO FACE: Sangrur Lok Sabha Seat

I will make Sangrur a 
centre of education

Mr Simranjit Singh MannKnown for his constant liaison with the people of the Sangrur parliamentary constituency as an MP during the past more than four years and distribution of grants from his MP Local Area Development Fund among all sections of society in a big way, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), is once again in the poll arena as the candidate of SAD (Mann) from the constituency.
People of Punjab will vote for SAD
Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa A graduate from the local Government Ranbir College, the 68-year-old nominee of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD for the Sangrur parliamentary constituency, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, started his political career as sarpanch of Ubhawal village, near Sangrur, and rose to various state and national-level positions, including Union Cabinet Minister.

Bajwa’s prime focus farmers
Chandigarh, March 15
Mr Varinder Singh Bajwa today filed his nomination papers as SAD candidate for the Rajya Sabha seat. Born at Lyallpur on February 15, 1945, he is credited with laying the foundation of the Akali Dal in Hoshiarpur district. His father, late Mr Balwant Singh, was a staunch Congressman, a social worker and a friend of farmers. He also served as Chairman of the Block Samiti.

CM asked to come clean on Garcha’s remarks
Chandigarh, March 15
Mr Daya Singh Sodhi and Mr Madan Mohan Mittal are likely to be the BJP candidates from the Amritsar and Hoshiarpur Lok Sabha constituencies, respectively. Though no official announcement has been made in this connection, the party had asked both these leaders to be ready to contest the elections.

Cong Sewa Dal to check poll malpractices
Phagwara, March 15
AICC member and chief organiser Punjab Pradesh Congress Sewa Dal Rajinder Rasrania yesterday declared that five-member watchdog panels of the Dal activists would be deployed at every booth during Lok Sabha elections to check poll malpractices by the SAD-BJP combine.

Industrial body seeks 10 seats in LS poll
Sangrur, March 15
The Sangrur District Industrial Chamber (SDIC) today asked the political parties to field at least 10 representatives of the industrialists and traders in the Lok Sabha elections. It said they would otherwise have to enter the poll arena to safeguard their interests on their own.

Adampur airport issue high on Gujral’s list
Jalandhar, March 15
The SAD nominee, Mr Naresh Gujral, today stated that his party would take up the issue pertaining to domestic use of the Indian Air Force airport at Adampur with the Defence Ministry soon.

Trinamool Cong faction to contest 13 seats
Amritsar, March 15
The Nationalist Trinamool Congress (Sangma-Banerjee) will contest all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab. The spokesman for the state working committee of the party, Dr Harbhajan Singh Chhina, said the party had also decided to approach the Akali-BJP combine in Punjab for an alliance.


Desi "lassi" is passé, hot "coffee" is in!
In video:
(28k, 56k)

2 more succumb to hutment fire burns
Bathinda, March 15
Death toll in the hutment fire incident in the Beant Nagar of the city on Saturday night went up to four as two more persons, who received burns, died today morning in the Civil Hospital here.

Publicise bank defaults, say bank staff
Chandigarh, March 15
Supporting the letter written by the All-India Bank Employees’ Association to the Chief Election Commissioner, The Punjab Bank Employees Federation has sought the publication of bank loan defaults by candidates contesting the forthcoming general election.

Tohra lays stone of auditorium
Amritsar, March 15
Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, President, SGPC, today laid foundation stone of Guru Hargobind Niwas Auditorium on the Khalsa College premises here.


Punjab denies favouring Ponty

Chandigarh, March 15
Denying the allegations of favouring liquor baron Ponty Chadha during the auction of liquor shops at Jalandhar, the state of Punjab today claimed that he was neither the owner nor partner of the firm which secured the bid.


Area under cotton to be increased
Bathinda, March 15
Dr Mangal Singh, Joint Director, Department of Agriculture, Punjab, today said that the area under cotton would be increased to 5.5 lakh hectares in the coming season from 4.52 lakh hectares last year.


Rs 31.5-cr Patiala MC budget approved
Patiala, March 15
The city is likely to see more development, thanks to the increased budget of the Municipal Corporation for 2004-05. Under the new budget, funds allocated for development projects are 11.5 per cent more than the allocations made last year. The budget was approved by the general house of the corporation here today.

4 PCS officers promoted to IAS
Chandigarh, March 15
The Union Government today issued a notification promoting Mrs Amrita Atwal, Mr R.L. Mehta, Mr Megh Raj and Mr G.R. Bansal, all PCS officers, to the IAS.

Chemist shops raided
Kharar, March 15
The District Drug Inspector and the police conducted raids on chemist shops at Kharar and Kurali today. Intoxicants kept in violation of the rules were seized during the raids.


Former SP held gets bail
Bathinda, March 15
Mr Hardeep Singh, who retired as Superintendent of Police (SP) about a year ago, was arrested by the Moga district police today while executing non-bailable warrants issued against him by the court of the Additional Sessions Judge, Faridkot.

2 cops held on extortion charges
Pathankot, March 15
The police today arrested two Head Constables of the Gurdaspur traffic police for allegedly extorting money from some transporters of the Sarna area, near here.

Bankman held for demanding bribe
Patiala, March 15
The Patiala Vigilance Bureau today arrested a Land Evaluation Officer of the Land Development Bank in the city on charges of demanding bribe for clearing a loan.

Shop burgled, lakhs stolen
Patiala, March 15
Lakhs of rupees and dress material worth Rs 2.5 lakh were stolen from Om Text showroom, near Dhillon Residency Hotel, here last night.


6 copying cases detected, invigilator removed
Jhunir (Mansa), March 15
In a significant development, which could expose the arrangements made by the Punjab School Education Board to check the copying, six cases of copying were detected at a single examination centre set up in the town bordering Haryana.

Sarbat Vikas Utsav opens
Amritsar, March 15
The five-day Sarbat Vikas Utsav, an exposition of eco- friendly technologies by Kheti Virasat, Punjab in collaboration with the Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, was inaugurated by Mr V. Murlidharan Director General, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, at the university today.

Stripping case: Dang for exposing VVIP-teacher nexus
Amritsar, March 15
Referring to the stripping of a student who refused to cooperate with a VVIP ward for copying in examination at Bathinda reported in the press a few days ago. Mr Satya Pal Dang, senior CPI leader has written to the Chief Minister and the Education Minister, Punjab. Mr Dang has demanded that the nexus between teachers and the VVIP be exposed.


J.P. Khanna heads petro dealers’ body
Amritsar, March 15
Mr J.P. Khanna was re-elected president of the Punjab Petroleum Dealers Association for the next three years at the annual meeting of the association.

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