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Land scam involving Rana Sodhi
tip of iceberg

Gurdaspur, January 20
The land scam of Pathankot in which allegation of demanding Rs 25 lakh has been levelled against the Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, by a local businessman, Mr Gurdev Singh Sidhu, is just a tip of the iceberg. The government land around Pathankot has been prone to encroachment and grabbing by a nexus of local land dealers and officials.

Tax disparity forces drug makers to look hillwards
Chandigarh, January 20
“We have no choice but to close our units in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh and move to Himachal Pradesh,” is the message representatives of the drug manufacturers from the plains conveyed to senior functionaries of the Punjab Government yesterday seeking their intervention for withdrawal of January 8 notification of the Central Government.

Panchayati Raj institutions victims of politics
Bullowal Saunkhari (Nawanshahr), January 20
Panchayati Raj institutions have been victims of politics and hence have largely failed to achieve their true objective. Panchayats cannot function in their true sense without proper awareness among representatives of the Panchayati Raj institutions about their rights and duties,” observed Mr P.H. Vaishnav, former Punjab Chief Secretary.

Punjab wakes up to welfare plan for SCs
Chandigarh, January 20
Already behind schedule, the Punjab Government has finally decided to implement the Special Component Plan to benefit Scheduled Caste population of the state. The implementation becomes possible with the promise of release of Rs 16 crore by the state Finance Department.

Fatehgarh Sahib



Mann moves HC against Virk as DGP
Chandigarh, January 20
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) President Simranjit Singh Mann has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking directions to the Punjab Government not to appoint ADGP (Intelligence) S.S. Virk as Director-General of Police, Punjab, when the current incumbent retires at the end of this month.

Education board's matric exams from March 2
Mohali, January 20
The Class X (matric) annual examinations to be conducted by the Punjab School Education Board here would begin on March 2. Releasing the datesheet for the examinations, board authorities today listed the schedule of the written and practical examinations that would end by March 16.

MC staff lock offices of Commissioner, Mayor
Patiala, January 20
Municipal Corporation employees today locked the offices of the Commissioner and Mayor this morning after what they termed as the indifferent attitude of Commissioner Manvesh Singh Sidhu towards their demands.

Municipal Corporation employees of Patiala lock the office of the Commissioner on Thursday.
— Photo by Rajesh Sachar
Municipal Corporation employees of Patiala lock the office of the Commissioner

Pak students, teachers on visit to India
Amritsar, January 20
A 46-member delegation, including teachers and students of the National College of Arts, Lahore, led by Prof Shehnaz Mali today crossed over to India through the Wagah joint check post, about 27 km from here. The delegation includes eight teachers and 39 students of the college. The delegation includes eight teachers and 39 students of the college. The delegation is on a 10-day visit during which it will visit New Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ajmer Sharif, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, besides holy cities. Mr Navneet Grewal, an organiser, said the visit was sponsored by the local DAV Public School.

Students of the National School of Arts, Lahore, cross over to India through Wagah post on Thursday.
— Photo by Rajiv Sharma

Students of the National School of Arts, Lahore, cross over to India through Wagah post


Ranjit Sagar Dam workers resent govt decision
Shahpur Kandi (Pathankot), January 20
Resentment prevails among engineers and workers of the Ranjit Sagar Dam project against the Punjab Government for handing over the construction to the National Hydro Power Corporation.

MoU on Shahpur Kandi Dam signed
Chandigarh, January 20
The Punjab Government and the National Hydro Power Corporation today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to start the Shahpur Kandi dam over the Ravi in Gurdaspur district.

Govt depts fail to pay power bills
Sangrur, January 20
On the one hand, ministers of the Punjab Government have been making tall claims that the state government’s financial health, shattered during the SAD-BJP regime, has improved during the regime of the Amarinder government, and on the other, the government is unable to make funds available to its departments to pay bills to the Punjab State Electricity Board.

Drive launched to check power theft
Bathinda, January 20
Seven official of the Punjab State Electricity Board posted in its enforcement wing in Bathinda zone have been shifted and a number of meter readers have been taken to task for their alleged involvement in facilitating theft of power.

PWD seeks 20 cr for repair of roads
Hoshiarpur, January 20
The Public Works Department has demanded Rs 20 crore from the Punjab Government for immediate patch work on almost all the state highways for smooth running of vehicular traffic. This was disclosed by Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, PWD Minister, while talking to media persons at the Canal Rest House here yesterday.

Hoardings removed from highway
Phagwara, January 20
Huge hoardings were removed from Gol Chowk on National Highway No. 1 here today. These big hoardings had been fixed there on iron structures by political and industrial bigwigs.

Fresh probe ordered into scribe’s case
Moga, January 20
Taking serious notice of the Press Club’s demand for a fresh probe into the case registered against a journalist, Sanjeev Gupta, the SSP has ordered an inquiry into the matter. A delegation of the Press Club led by its president, Mr Iqbal Singh, today met the SP (D), Mr H.S. Pannu, in this connection.

Look into Colonel’s complaint, SSP told
Abohar, January 20
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission has asked the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ferozepore, to look into the complaint lodged by Col Onkar Nath Chopra (retd).

Negligence by doctors alleged
Kharar, January 20
A resident of Tirpuri village, near here, has allegedly held doctors of the local Civil Hospital and the police responsible for the death of his father. Malkit Singh, who had met with an accident about a week ago near the city police post, died at the PGI, Chandigarh, last night.

Wadali brothers enthral audience
Fatehgarh Sahib, January 20
Wadali brothers, renowned sufi singers of the region, enthralled the audience at a cultural evening organised by the District Cultural Society at Giani Dit Singh Memorial Auditorium of BBSB Engineering College here today.


Power cuts hit cotton industry
Bathinda, January 20
The power cuts in Punjab have triggered a crisis in the cotton markets as the sale of raw cotton has come down drastically as the functioning of units was affected.

KKU demands withdrawal of cases against farmers
Moga, January 20
Hundreds of farmers under the banner of the Kirti Kisan Union today staged a dharna outside the DC’s office in favour of their demands. They were demanding immediate withdrawal of the false cases against the farmers, and their unconditional release.

Kirti Kisan Union activists stage a dharna outside the DC’s office in Moga on Thursday.
— Photo by Iqbal Singh

Kirti Kisan Union activists stage a dharna outside the DC’s office in Moga


CS to review reforms implementation
Chandigarh, January 20
As some government departments continue to drag their feet to implement administrative reforms, the Chief Secretary, Mr Jai Singh Gill, has decided to conduct department-wise review of the implementation of such reforms.

Police-public meeting attracts few
Ropar, January 20
Residents of the city are not following traffic rules and regulations. This was stated by the SP (D), Mr Surjit Singh Garewal at a police public meeting organised at Bhaseen Bhavan here today. The meeting was attended by seven municipal councillors, seven reporters and 11 residents.


Child’s torture: police Inspector suspended
Amritsar, January 20
The district police chief, Mr R.P.S.Brar, today placed Mr Sawinder Singh, Inspector, CIA Staff, under suspension on the charges of giving electric shocks to a student of Class IV. He would be posted in Police Lines during his suspension.

MVI, 2 others held on graft charge
Moga, January 20
The Vigilance Bureau has arrested local Motor Vehicle Inspector, a clerk and a peon, red-handed while accepting bribe for issuing fitness certificate of vehicles. The Vigilance SP, Mr I.S. Randhawa, revealed this at a press conference here last evening.

Wife murdered after 20 years of marriage
Pathankot, January 20
A case has been reported today from Thara Upparla Teeka Patta village near here in which husband has reportedly killed his wife after 20 years of marriage. After committing the crime he had allegedly destroyed her body.

7 hurt as Akali-Cong workers clash
Batala, January 20
A clash took place between Congress and Akali supporters at Wadala Grandhian, about 7 km from here, on the Batala-Qadian road yesterday. Seven person were injured. A case has been registered against 15 persons, of which nine have been arrested.

17, including patwari, held in fraud case
Moga, January 20
Seventeen persons, including a patwari and four nambardars have been booked for duping various banks of about Rs 50 lakh by taking loans on the basis of forged documents.

Labourer’s body found hanging
Kharar, January 20
The body of a migrant labourer was found hanging from the ceiling of a house in Balongi village last evening. It is learnt that the deceased, Ram Darsh Yadav, who hailed from Uttar Pradesh worked in a factory in Mohali.


Seminar on immigrant literature begins
Amritsar, January 20
Even though the Punjabis settled abroad have enormously contributed for the development of their respective countries yet they can not get the same respect, regard and equality, which they were enjoying in their parent country, commented Dr Raghbir Singh of Panjab University, Chandigarh, while presenting his keynote address at the opening of the two-day international seminar on “Twentieth Century Immigration and Immigrant Literature” at Guru Nanak Dev University here today.

Principal harassed my daughter, alleges father
Nabha, January 20
Alleging mental harassment of her daughter, a local resident has demanded a strict action against the principal of the school. Lajpat Rai, a local commission agent, has sent copies of the legal notice served on the Principal of Government Girls Senior Secondary School, here, to the Chief Minister, Education Minister, and various officers of the Education Department.

Khalsa College teachers back GNDUTA
Amritsar, January 20
The Khalsa College Teachers Union today extended support to the struggle launched by the Guru Nanak Dev University Teachers Association protesting against the Vice-Chancellor and the university authorities over the headship issue of the Department of Sports Medicine and Physiotherapy.

School’s contribution to PM's Relief Fund
Mandi Gobindgarh, January 20
The principal, teaching, non-teaching staff and students of Gobindgarh Public School expressed deep anguish on the large-scale disaster caused by the tsunami tidal waves, and donated their one-day salary to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.


Khadi board subsidies for entrepreneurs
Chandigarh, January 20
The Punjab Khadi and Village Industries Board will give subsidies worth Rs 1.25 crore to those entrepreneurs who have been given loans by the board to set up industries in rural areas in the state.

Abolish octroi, sales tax, demand traders
Abohar, January 20
The Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal has urged the Union Government to abolish central sales tax, octroi duty and other provincial taxes before enforcing VAT from April 1.

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