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CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H I M A C H A L   P R A D E S H

9 new cases of mystery fever admitted to IGMC
Health Dept to send report to NICD
Shimla, August 23
With nine new cases of mystery fever, identified as scrub typhus, being admitted to Indira Gandhi Medical College here, the health department will be sending a detailed report to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, New Delhi.

Dhumal concerned over weak counter attack against Cong
Shimla, August 23
Perturbed over disinterest being shown by senior BJP leaders in launching an attack on the ruling Congress regime, former Chief Minister P.K. Dhumal raised the matter at the state party meeting which was attended by all-India Vice-President of the BJP Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, here recently.

SFI sweeps students’ body poll in Shimla

Shimla, August 23
The Students Federation of India swept the Students Central Association elections in a majority of the colleges in Shimla district, while in other parts of the state they shared seats with the ABVP and NSUI.

Policemen resort to a lathi charge on SFI leaders during counting of votes on the Himachal Pradesh University campus in Shimla on Monday.
Policemen resort to a lathi charge on SFI leaders during counting of votes on the Himachal Pradesh University campus in Shimla on Monday. — Photo by Anil Dayal




YOUR TOWN
Chamba
Hamirpur
Dharamsala
Kangra
Shimla
Solan


EARLIER STORIES

 

Excessive silt hits Nathpa generation
Shimla, August 23
There seems to be no end to the problems of the 1500 MW Nathpa-Jhakri project, the country’s largest hydroelectric venture, which has been unable to operate at its full capacity even during the peak generation season.

Flood threat subsides
Shimla, August 23
A majority of the people living along the banks of the Sutlej who were shifted to safer places in the wake of flood threat due to formation of a lake in Tibet will be able to return to their homes soon.

Rain disrupts normal life in HP
Shimla, August 23
Normal life was disrupted in various parts of Himachal Pradesh today following widespread heavy rain during the past 24 hours. The city and its surrounding areas were lashed by heavy rain since last night, bringing down the minimum temperature in the region to 15° Celsius.

HPSEB to instal 300 transformers to plug voltage fluctuation
Dharamsala, August 23
With a view to stabilising voltage fluctuation in the Kangra region, the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board has decided to put up 300 transformers and also to double the number of substations. It had been a long-pending demand of the resident of the area to provide smooth power supply.

Manimahesh pilgrimage from Sept 7
Chamba, August 23
The Manimahesh pilgrimage in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh will start on September 7 and conclude on September 22, the occasion of Sri Radha Ashtami when the pilgrims and devotees of Lord Shiva will take a holy dip in the icy cold water of Manimahesh Lake at an altitude of 4170 metres.

Pay 50 pc fee, says court
Shimla, August 23
The Himachal High Court today directed the candidates selected for admission to the first year of Bachelor of Dental Surgery courses at private colleges to deposit only 50 per cent of the prescribed fees subject to the final outcome of the petition.

Fish poaching on in Beas
HAMIRPUR: Fish poaching is on in the river Beas and its tributaries. Fish breed in July and August. Hence a ban on catching for these months.

Students continue boycott of classes
Kangra, August 23
Hundreds of students of the local Polytechnic College boycotted their classes for the fourth day today and decided to resort to an indefinite agitation from tomorrow and hold rallies in support of their demand for a golden chance for detained students.

10-year RI for possessing drugs
Sundernagar, August 23
The Sessions Judge, Mandi, Mr J.J. Gupta, today convicted Jasbir Singh of Nagwain police station, Aut, for possessing 2.3 kg of charas and sentenced him to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment and pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh.

Youth held with fake currency
Solan, August 23
The Solan police today apprehended a Kashmiri youth from the main bazaar here while he was trying to transact fake currency notes worth Rs 2,000 in the market.

Bus operators resent fee hike
Shimla, August 23
The Himachal Pradesh Private Bus Operators Association has urged the government to withdraw hike in fee for the renewal of route permit and special permission fee as the bus operators were already facing financial problems due to increasing price of diesel.

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9 new cases of mystery fever admitted to IGMC
Health Dept to send report to NICD
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 23
With nine new cases of mystery fever, identified as scrub typhus, being admitted to Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) here, the health department will be sending a detailed report to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), New Delhi.

A majority of the new patients admitted to IGMC hail from Sunni, Tattapani and Sundernagar areas. “The health authorities will be sending the break up of the total cases to the NICD tomorrow as they might be interested in keeping an eye on the situation” informed Prof L.S. Pal, Principal, IGMC.

With these new cases being admitted during the past 24 hours, the total number of patients under treatment at IGMC has gone up to 17. Last week there were two suspected deaths due to scrub typhus. Ten patients have been discharged after being treated fully.

With the number of scrub typhus cases going up, the IGMC authorities have constituted a special team to monitor the situation. Last year there were 100 cases of scrub typhus, and as many as 25 deaths were reported due to the disease. Majority of deceased belonged to Solan, Shimla, Bilaspur and Hamirpur.

Prof Pal informed that today two patients — Rama (24) from Karsog in Mandi and Balraj from Solan had tested positive for scrub typhus. He said during the past 10 days, 39 cases of fever had been admitted to IGMC with 13 being confirmed as scrub typhus cases. Out of these positive cases there were five women and five children. He said the remaining cases were of other types of fever and patients had been treated.

Prof Pal said scrub typhus was characterised by high grade fever like in case of jaundice. The disease is accompanied by severe headache and in case no treatment is taken for five days it could lead to multi-organ failure affecting the lungs, liver and kidneys. He added that the tests were being conducted on all patients suffering from fever after obtaining the reagent from the Central Research Institute, Kasauli.

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Dhumal concerned over weak counter attack
against Cong
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 23
Perturbed over disinterest being shown by senior BJP leaders in launching an attack on the ruling Congress regime, former Chief Minister P.K. Dhumal raised the matter at the state party meeting which was attended by all-India Vice-President of the BJP Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, here recently.

Barring a handful of party legislators, no prominent leader has really come out strongly against the Congress, ever since the party lost the assembly elections in March, last year. In fact, barring Mr Dhumal and state BJP chief, Suresh Bhardwaj, no former minister or MLA has issued statements on the much-debated MoU on fiscal reforms signed by the state government with the Centre.

Mr Dhumal is learnt to have pointed out at the meeting that none of the leaders, who have a standing in the state politics had bothered to counter the Congress propaganda about the MoU having been signed during the BJP regime. Rather, it is only him and a few loyalists like Dr Rajiv Bindal, MLA from Solan, and party spokesperson, who have been trying to counter Congress claims.

A former minister, who was present at the meeting said though Mr Dhumal did not name anyone for not launching a tirade against the Congress, it was very obvious that he was hinting towards the Shanta loyalists, a majority of whom were ministers in his government, who were now lying low.

Interestingly, none of the loyalists of former minister Shanta Kumar, have come to the defence of Dhumal. The Shanta loyalists, who were present at the meeting, included former ministers Ramesh Chaudhary Kishan Kapoor and former MLA Dulo Ram.

The signing of the MOU on fiscal reforms with the Centre in May has become the main debating issue between the Congress and the Opposition. Both the parties have been levelling charges against each other for failing to protect the interests of the state. The issue of the MoU dominated proceedings of the Assembly session in June, also.

Being the first interaction of the partymen with Mr Naqvi, who is the in charge of the party affairs in Himachal Pradesh, the meeting was more of an introductory one and no contentious issues were raised. However, Mr Naqvi asked all leaders to forget the past and work unitedly for strengthening the party in the state.

Mr Brij Lal, who had contested on the BJP ticket from Rampur, rued that though all other appointments had been made to various party cells, despite there being 25 per cent Scheduled Caste population in the state, the appointments to the SC Cell had still not been made.

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SFI sweeps students’ body poll in Shimla
Tribune Reporters

Shimla, August 23
The Students Federation of India (SFI) swept the Students Central Association (SCA) elections in a majority of the colleges in Shimla district, while in other parts of the state they shared seats with the ABVP and NSUI.

It was a clean sweep for SFI as it bagged all four posts in the Rajkiya Kanya Maha Vidyalyay (RKMV) and Government College for Boys, Sanjauli here and Government Degree College, Rampur.

The ABVP’s performance in districts of Hamirpur, Bilaspur and Mandi was good as it swept the poll in a number of colleges. Though the elections were more or less peaceful, there was a minor incident of poll-related violence at Himachal Pradesh University, where the police had to use force as the ABVP and SFI accused each other of stone pelting.

Elections to the HPU, Post Graduate Centre, Dharamsala and 70 government and private colleges in the state were held today. Despite incessant rain throughout the day, students turned out in large numbers to cast their vote, with poll percentage in most of the colleges being above 65 per cent.

At RKMV, Ms Meenakshi Dhanta won the post of president, Ms Reeta Negi of vice-president, Ms Ritu Thakur of general secretary and Ms Reenu Verma of joint Secretary. The voter turnout at RKMV was amongst the lowest at 41 per cent.

The SFI also bagged all four seats in Government College for Boys, Sanjauli, as Mr Surinder Singh Verma was elected president, Mr Sandeep Kumar was elected vice-president and Mr Ajay Kumar is joint secretary.

The poll percentage in Rampur Government Degree College was 73 per cent with SFI bagging the four seats. The SFI won three seats each in Government Degree Colleges, Theog and Nerwa. One seat each was won by ABVP and NSUI at Theog and Nerwa, respectively.

The ABVP and the NSUI won two posts each in Seema Government College, Rohru. The post of president and vice-president went to the ABVP with their candidates Umesh Kumar and Ajay Kumar registering victory, while the NSUI bagged the posts of general secretary and joint secretary as their nominees Gaurav Fishtu and Des Raj also emerged successful.

The ABVP and the NSUI once again shared two seats each at Government College, Sabra in Rohru as NSUI nominees Vijay Sharma (president) and Anshul Verma (joint secretary) were elected. Praveen Tanta and Sonia Kumari of the ABVP won the posts of vice-president and general secretary, respectively.

HAMIRPUR: The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) today won a majority of seats in the college SCA elections.

At the local college the ABVP candidates won all the four posts of president, vice-president secretary and, joint secretary trouncing candidates of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) and the Students Federation of India (SFI) with good margins. They also won a majority of seats of class representatives. Sanjay Kumar, Anurag Sharma, Sushil Parmar and Ajay Prashad were declared elected president, vice-presidents, secretary and joint secretary, respectively.

At Nadaun college, the ABVP won seats of president, vice president and secretary thus overturning the apple cart of the NSUI, the student outfit of the Congress. The NSUI could only get the post of joint secretary.

Abhishek Joshi, Navdeep Singh, and Pavan Kumar all ABVP candidates, were declared elected as president, vice-president and secretary, respectively. Moniya of the NSUI was declared elected joint secretary.

The ABVP also swept the poll at BBN College, Chakmoh, where Manglesh Kumar, Gaurav Kumar, Neeraj Kumar and Praveen Kumar, all ABVP candidates, were declared elected president, secretary and joint secretary, respectively.

The ABVP winners at Tarkwari College are: president — Rakesh Kumar; vice-president — Alpana Kumari; secretary Rajeev; and joint secretary — Sunil Kumar. The ABVP winners at Surjanpur Tila college are: president — Parveen. vice-president— Govind; secretary — Kapil; and joint secretary — Punit.

KULU: The students wing of the ruling Congress, NSUI, was routed in the local college SCA elections while it won all seats in the second college at Banjar on Monday. In Kulu college the ABVP and the SFI shared two posts each. Mohinder Rana and Sheilja of the SFI were declared elected president and vice-president, respectively, while Bhoj Prakash and Saurav Bharadwaj of the ABVP were elected general secretary and joint secretary, respectively.

Among the elections of he class representatives (CRs), the ABVP won 10 seats out of the total 18 and the remaining were shared by the SFI (5) and the NSUI (3).

In the degree college at Banjar, Satish, Bhuvneshwar, Bhupinder and Maheshwar, all of the ABVP, were elected president, vice-president, general secretary and joint secretary, respectively.

The Class Representatives elections also went in favour of the NSUI as it won three out of the four seats. One seat went to the ABVP.

KANGRA: The ABVP won the seats of president and vice-president in the SCA polls after a gap of more than a decade defeating the NSUI candidates in the local MCM DAV College here on Monday. The NSUI, however, retained the posts of general secretary and joint secretary.

Manish Soni and Narinder Singh of the ABVP were declared elected president and vice-president, respectively, while Ashish Kumar and Sunil Guleria of the NSUI were declared elected general secretary and joint secretary, respectively.

CHAMBA: The NSUI swept the CSA poll in all three colleges of Chamba district.

The winners at Government Postgraduate College are: president — Kuldeep Singh; vice-president — Pankaj Nanda; general secretary — Ranjan Mahajan; and joint secretary — Des Raj.

Government College, Chowari: president — Rajeev Kumar; vice-president — Nagesh Kumar; general secretary — Tej Bahadur; and joint secretary — Rakesh Kumar.

DAV College, Banikhet: president — Dildar Ali Shah; vice-president — Arpana; general secretary — Harsh; and joint secretary — Suneel.

NAHAN: The ABVP was routed in the SCA poll held at Nahan and Paonta Government Colleges.

In Nahan College Rajender Singh and Ravi Kumar of the SFI was declared president and general secretary, respectively, while Rajiv Negi and Ishwar Chand of the NSUI were elected vice-president and joint secretary, respectively.

In Government College, Paonta Sahib, the alliance of the Hills Chatra Sangthan (HCS) and the SFI win all the seats. Rakesh Rana and Asha Devi of the HCS were declared elected president and vice-president, respectively, while Archna and Vasim Ahmed of the SFI was elected general secretary and joint secretary, respectively.

SUNDERNAGAR: The SFI won all seats in the SCA elections defeating the candidates of the NSUI in local Government Sanskrit College, Sundernagar. The winners are: president — Devinder Singh; vice-president — Sunil Kumar; general secretary — Bhawani Devi; and joint secretary — Om Parkash. The ABVP also won all four seats in Maharaja Laxman Sen Memorial College, Sundernagar. The winners are: president — Vikas Sen; vice-president — Amit Katoch; general secretary — Ansu Sen and joint secretary Mahesh Naik.

KUMARHATTI: The record 88 per cent voting was recorded at Government Degree College, Arki, 50 km from here. As against the total votes 577, votes polled were 510. The NSUI won all four seats defeating ABVP candidates. However, the NSUI won three class representatives (CR) seats out of total six seats. The winners are: president — Gaurav Thakur; vice-president — Hem Lata; general secretary — Vikas Kanwar; and joint secretary — Veena Kumari. Meanwhile, the NSUI candidates won all seats in GGDSD College, Subathu.

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Excessive silt hits Nathpa generation
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 23
There seems to be no end to the problems of the 1500 MW Nathpa-Jhakri project, the country’s largest hydroelectric venture, which has been unable to operate at its full capacity even during the peak generation season. The flood threat owing to the formation of a lake in Tibet apart, generation in the project has been affected due to excessive silt and low discharge in the river waters. So there has been a shortfall of about 700 million units in generation from April 1 to August 22.

Just when the flood threat subsided the generation has been hit due to inadequate discharge in the river. The Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam planned to make all six units, each of 250 MW capacity, operational from today. However, the sixth unit could not be operated as the discharge in the Sutlej was only 392 cumecs (cubic metre per second). A minimum discharge of 450 cumecs is required to run all six units but the requisite quantum is not available even during the peak season.

Not only that the project had to be closed down repeatedly over the past two months due to high silt content in the water. The project has been designed for a maximum silt level of 5,000 ppm (particles per million) but the silt content had even crossed the 16,000 ppm mark. The level of silt was expected to exceed the permissible limit only four days in a year. However, over the past two months the limit has been crossed more than 10 times, forcing repeated closure of the project.

The high silt content is causing damage to various part’s of turbines. Deep cavities have been formed in guide vanes and runners due to corrosion caused by continuous bombardment of silt particles. The engineers are facing problems in running the project, particularly when units are to be restarted after shutdown. All this indicates that the project has been designed on the basis of incorrect data pertaining to discharge and silt content. 

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Flood threat subsides
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 23
A majority of the people living along the banks of the Sutlej who were shifted to safer places in the wake of flood threat due to formation of a lake in Tibet will be able to return to their homes soon.

The crisis management group, which met today under the chairmanship of Mr Shamsher Singh, Chief Secretary, reviewed the situation in the light of the information given by the Government of India regarding the likely surge in the level of the river in case the dam formed due to landslides burst. Taking notice of the fact that the flood level was not expected to exceed 13 m at Lapcha, 11 m at Sumdoh, 9 m at Khab and 7 m at Jhakri and Rampur, it directed the local administration to assess the flood danger zone accordingly.

Earlier, the administration had evacuated all those living up to a level of 23 m from the river to safer places. Thus, most of the people will be able to return to their homes.

However, the army columns and the disaster management teams of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police will continue to be a standby duty and the arrangements made for reporting the water level of the Parchu at Lapcha every half hour will also continue.

The Centre has asked the state to strengthen the warning system by setting up control rooms, wireless network, broadcast warning facility and helplines.

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Rain disrupts normal life in HP

Shimla, August 23
Normal life was disrupted in various parts of Himachal Pradesh today following widespread heavy rain during the past 24 hours.

The city and its surrounding areas were lashed by heavy rain since last night, bringing down the minimum temperature in the region to 15° Celsius.

The capital town recorded 27.2 mm rainfall till this afternoon. Heavy rain was also reported from Mandi, Kulu, Kangra, Hamirpur and Solan districts.

A flood-like situation was caused by the continuous rain in some villages in Paonta tehsil in Sirmaur district.

A report from Hamirpur said the water level in rivulets flowing through the district rose alarmingly. Road traffic in various parts of the district was hit due to the accumulation of debris.

However, farmers in the region were happy with the rain as it could be beneficial for the maize and paddy crops.

Meanwhile, the Hindustan-Tibet Road, which was blocked at Bhagal nullah, near Tapri, in Kinnaur district last evening, was opened today at about 11 a.m. — UNI

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HPSEB to instal 300 transformers to plug
voltage fluctuation
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, August 23
With a view to stabilising voltage fluctuation in the Kangra region, the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board (HPSEB) has decided to put up 300 transformers and also to double the number of substations. It had been a long-pending demand of the resident of the area to provide smooth power supply.

The project is a part of the Acceleration of Power Development and Reforms Programme (APDRP) of the Government of India and the board staff are already on the job. Mr Kailash Chawla, Chief Engineer (Operations), said, "Our department has already been sanctioned money for this and we are much ahead of the schedule even though the project has to be completed within two years."

Besides the new transformers to be installed in Kangra, Una and Chamba district to ensure better distribution of power setting up of six new substations of 33 MW each is also on the cards. "We would also augment the existing five substations so that the quality of power received by people is improved," he said.

Mr Chawla emphasised that apart from the problem of voltage fluctuation, power supply has been almost uninterrupted in the region. "Unlike other places, there are no problems of seepage of power or transmission losses. Whatever flaws are there would be removed as part of this project as the working of all substations would be improved," he said.

Another board official said the setting up of various micro power projects in the region had also helped in improving the power situation. "The Manjhi Hydel Power Project, at Thatari village in Khaniara gram panchayat is the latest addition. Built at a cost of Rs 24.5 crores, it has the capacity to generate 4,500 KW, of power per hour. The project was inaugurated in June this year. This is the only project built in private sector in Kangra district so far. The other projects include the Gaj Power Project and the Binwa Power Project," he said.

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Manimahesh pilgrimage from Sept 7
Our Correspondent

Chamba, August 23
The Manimahesh pilgrimage in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh will start on September 7 and conclude on September 22, the occasion of Sri Radha Ashtami when the pilgrims and devotees of Lord Shiva will take a holy dip in the icy cold water of Manimahesh Lake at an altitude of 4170 metres.

Presiding over a meeting of district officers with regard to arrangements for the Manimahesh pilgrimage here today. Mr Rahul Anand, Deputy Commissioner, said that the holy Chhari of Manimahesh would commence from Chamba a week before the holy dip. The district administration is all set to provide adequate security to the pilgrims coming especially from the Bhadarwah area of Jammu and Kashmir in view of the prevailing disturbed conditions in J&K, the DC added.

The DC said that the district authorities had been directed to make all possible arrangements such as regulation of traffic, parking lots, medicines, fuel, water and electricity for the facilities of devotees on their way to Manimahesh.

The DC said temporary toilets would be constructed for the pilgrims.

Considering the initiative taken to constitute a trust in order to supervise and monitor the arrangements for the pilgrimage, a meeting was expected to be convened shortly to discuss the issue, the DC said.

Set in the snow-clab Bharmour tribal valley of Chamba district, Manimahesh is about 214 km from Pathankot railhead, via Chamba.

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Pay 50 pc fee, says court
Our Correspondent

Shimla, August 23
The Himachal High Court today directed the candidates selected for admission to the first year of Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) courses at private colleges to deposit only 50 per cent of the prescribed fees subject to the final outcome of the petition.

This interim order was passed on a plea of two students to the Chief Justice of the High Court alleging that last year this fees was 20,000 but now it has been increased almost five times.

Hearing the petition, a Division Bench comprising Mr Chief Justice V.K. Gupta and Mr Justice M.R. Verma further directed the state government, H.P. University and four private dental colleges of the state to file their replies within two weeks.

The court has further directed that no candidates who has otherwise been selected will be denied admission to the four private dental colleges on the grounds that he is paying only half of the fee.

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Fish poaching on in Beas
Chander Shekhar Sharma

HAMIRPUR: Fish poaching is on in the river Beas and its tributaries. Fish breed in July and August. Hence a ban on catching for these months.

Following the river course in the district this reporter found persons of all ages angling mahasheer, singhara and dhambar.

When this reporter tried to take pictures of the poachers, a few of them dropped their rods in the river and took to their heels.

There was a rush of buyers at Badaur Shahar, also called Sandhole Pattan, located on the Hamirpur-Mandi border.

Vijay Kumar halwai said Badaur Shahar is known fish market in the radius of 25 kms. He said the ongoing rate of raw fish is Rs 70 per kg and cooked is Rs 120 per kg.

Shopkeeper Suresh Kumar said that there were two dozen legal fish licence holders in the area.

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Students continue boycott of classes
Our Correspondent

Kangra, August 23
Hundreds of students of the local Polytechnic College boycotted their classes for the fourth day today and decided to resort to an indefinite agitation from tomorrow and hold rallies in support of their demand for a golden chance for detained students.

They raised anti board slogans and held a demonstration on the college premises in protest against question papers of the second semester being out of the syllabus which resulted in a sharp decline in the pass percentage of the students.

When contacted Mr D.R. Sharma, Principal of the college, here said: “As long as the students are on strike, none of their demands should be accepted”.

He said students of Hamirpur Polytechnic College had incited the students of this college to start the agitation.

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10-year RI for possessing drugs
Our Correspondent

Sundernagar, August 23
The Sessions Judge, Mandi, Mr J.J. Gupta, today convicted Jasbir Singh of Nagwain police station, Aut, for possessing 2.3 kg of charas and sentenced him to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment and pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh.

The prosecution said the police was on routine checking near the Bindra Vani forest check-post on June 27 last year when a motor cycle came from the Pandoh side. The convict who was siding the pillion was carrying a bag. When the motor cycle was signalled to stop, to the convict put the bag on the vehicle and jumped into the Beas. But he was captured and the charas was recovered from the bag. He was arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

The prosecution examined 16 witnesses.

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Youth held with fake currency
Our Correspondent

Solan, August 23
The Solan police today apprehended a Kashmiri youth from the main bazaar here while he was trying to transact fake currency notes worth Rs 2,000 in the market.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Abhishek Trivedi while confirming that a youth in late twenties hailing from Jammu and Kashmir was nabbed while tying to transact fake currency, said they were trying to verify his antecedents and a communication had been sent to the Jammu and Kashmir police in this regard.

The youth was living in a rented accommodation here and was selling shawls in the area.

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Bus operators resent fee hike
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 23
The Himachal Pradesh Private Bus Operators Association has urged the government to withdraw hike in fee for the renewal of route permit and special permission fee as the bus operators were already facing financial problems due to increasing price of diesel.

The working committee of the association, which met here today, pointed out that the increase in the permit renewal fee from Rs 1,300 to Rs 5,000 and special fee from Rs 150 to 500 was unreasonable and unjustified.

It also stressed that a provision be made in the relevant Act to ensure that special road tax should not be charged for the period when the buses remained impounded for any reason. The outstanding token tax should be recovered in instalments and some concession should be given to those who make payments in time.

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College taken over
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 23
The Himachal Government has taken over Sant Dhangowala Degree College at Beetal in Santokhgarh with immediate effect. A notification in this regard was issued here this evening. Mr Mukesh Agnihotri, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, thanked the Chief Minister for fulfilling the promise made by the Congress to the people of the area during elections.

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