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Centre may fix 7.5 pc interest rate on loans
Chandigarh, January 28
The Union Government is seriously thinking to cap the rate of interest on all the Central loans advanced to the states at 7.5 per cent. An announcement in this connection is expected to be made in the coming Union Budget, it is learnt. The present rate on central loans varies between 11 to 15 per cent.

Rana Sodhi controversy refuses to die down
Chandigarh, January 28
Explanations given by Chief Parliamentary Secretary Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi to the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Mr H.S. Hanspal, and the subsequent inquiry ordered by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh notwithstanding, the controversy over the Pathankot land scam refuses to die down.

FBI questions Kandahar hijacking accused
Patiala, January 28
The Kandahar hijacking accused today stonewalled inquiries by a two-member FBI team from the USA along with the Assistant Legal Attache of the US Embassy, in the Central Jail here.

Health services in Punjab sick
Chandigarh, January 28
The health services in Punjab are virtually sick as hundreds of posts of doctor, including those of Senior Medical Officer, Medical Officer and dental doctors, continue to remain vacant. Nearly 60 per cent of these posts are lying vacant in the rural dispensaries and primary health centres.




Cong clears Harpartap’s name for Ajnala
Chandigarh, January 28
The Congress High Command yesterday cleared the name of Mr Harpartap Singh for the Ajnala byelection which is to be held on February 23. The official announcement regarding this is expected soon.

EC approves Ajnala polling schedule
Chandigarh, January 28
The Election Commission of India has approved the programme for holding Ajnala Assembly constituency byelection. The polling hours would be held from 8 am to 5 pm on February 23, while counting of votes would be held on February 27.

Dal(A) writes to Nanavati
Ludhiana, January 28
The Akali Dal (Amritsar) will reject the Nanavati Commission report if it fails to deliver justice to the Sikhs and hold the Congress responsible for the organised massacre of the Sikhs in November, 1984.


Succour team returns
Rajpura, January 28

A team of volunteers from here, which went to Nagapattinam to bring succour to tsunami sufferers, had to clean up their camp site and work in stench of the dead. They slept on the floor and had bath with water from tankers.

Akali relief team returns to Rajpura after serving tsunami victims in Nagapattinam on Thursday. — Photo by Rajesh Sachar

Akali relief team returns to Rajpura after serving tsunami victims in Nagapattinam

Shaurya Chakra for city resident
Amritsar, January 28
Amardeep Singh (32), a resident of East Mohan Nagar, Sultanwind Road, has been nominated for Shaurya Chakra for killing two notorious dacoits who were wanted by the Bihar Government in various criminal cases. The Bihar Government had announced a reward of Rs 6 lakh on the head of the dacoits.

BC Roy Award for Ludhiana doctors
Ludhiana, January 28
In a rare distinction, a team of doctors headed by Dr Ajit Sood, Professor and Head, gastroenterology unit of the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here has been awarded the prestigious Dr B.C. Roy National Award for 2003 in the category of research projects. Ajit Sood
Ajit Sood

Residents rue poor water supply
Nabha, January 28
In spite of tall claims of the local municipal council, there is no water in the taps during the supply hours especially in the morning. The supply of water remained poor during the winter, complain residents.

Riat factory workers protest
Ludhiana, January 28
Protesting against the alleged compulsory retrenchment of workers of Riat Machine Tools Factory, the Moulder and Steel Workers’ Union held a dharna here today. Addressing the agitating workers Mr Mahinder Singh, leader of union, blamed the district administration and the Labour Department for flouting labour laws.

Protest against Pak play ‘Bullha’
Amritsar, January 28
Pakistani play 'Bullha' staged at the local Guru Nanak Dev Auditorium here on Wednesday drew protests from a section of the audience when some Sikh youths resented the presentation of a character as Sikh warrior Banda Singh Bahadur.

DC acts against spurious reflector sellers
Mansa, January 28
Mr Raj kamal Chaudhary, deputy commissioner, today asked the SSP to apprehend some unscrupulous persons, who had been indulging in sale of low quality reflectors to the owners of private vehicles forcibly without any legal or administrative sanction from the district administration.

Drive to curb corruption continues
Chandigarh, January 28
Punjab Vigilance Bureau has nabbed red-handed two cops, including an Assistant Sub-Inspector and a Head Constable, besides a telephone mechanic with BSNL, in different bribery cases.

Drive against corruption continues
Chandigarh, January 28
Continuing with its campaign against corruption, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau has nabbed a Senior Medical Officer, a Junior Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, and a patwari in different cases.


Life-term for 4 in looting case
Sangrur, January 28
Mr Jaspal Singh Chugh, Additional Sessions Judge (ad hoc), Fast Track Court, Sangrur, has awarded life imprisonment to four persons, Mulakh Raj, Hans Raj, Lakhwinder Singh and Rajinder Singh, all residents of Ludhiana district, in a case registered against them and some others at Dhuri police station in May 1996.

Stay granted on Punwire sale deed
Mohali, January 28
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed the registration of the sale deed of part of Punjab Wireless Limited, (Punwire) sold to the Chandigarh based Winsome Group in December, 2004, by the official liquidator.

Khalra case: arrest of key witness stayed
Chandigarh, January 28
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed the arrest of a key witness in the case relating to alleged disappearance of human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra. Mr Justice S.N. Aggarwal also issued notice of motion to the respondents for February 11.


Rotational scheme for irrigation
Chandigarh, January 28
The Punjab Irrigation Department has announced a rotational programme for irrigation through canal water during the rabi season. The programme, starting from January 29, would continue till February 5.

Agriculture technocrats stage dharna
Jalandhar, January 28
To lodge protest against the appointment of a ‘non-agricultural technocrat’ as the Director, Agriculture, members of the Agriculture Technocrats Action Committee, Punjab, staged a dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner here today.

Experts discuss farmers’ problems
Patiala, January 28
A two-day international conference on “Punjab peasantry in turmoil” commenced in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology on the Punjabi University campus here yesterday. Prof Aijaz Ahmed of Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, inaugurated the conference, while Prof Utsa Patnaik of JNU, New Delhi, gave the keynote address.


Inside Babudom
An exercise of arbitrary powers
Chandigarh, January 28
It’s a classic example of how the Punjab government functions. Even though the rules were “clear” and a clarification was issued by the Central government in favour of 11 IPS officers — belonging to the Punjab cadre — their case was opposed by the state government.

ZP official reinstated
Ropar, January 28
The Department of Rural Development and Panchayat, Punjab, has ordered the reinstatement of accountant of the Zila Parishad, Ropar, who was suspended for issuing cheques without authority.


Bank manager held for taking bribe
Bathinda, January 28
Under its anti-corruption drive, two different teams of the Vigilance Bureau, Bathinda, arrested Nachhatar Singh Gill, manager, Primary Agriculture Development Bank, Talwandi Sabo, and Mohinder Partap, a telephone mechanic, posted at Musa village in Mansa district, for their alleged involvement in taking bribe from two different persons.

3 cops in soup over bribe charges
Amritsar, January 28
The district police has suspended three Head Constables, Jaimal Singh, Kulbir Singh and Jaswinder Singh, for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 25,000. The case was registered, after an inquiry conducted by the SP(D) of Majitha police district, on a complaint by Ms Harjit Kaur who had claimed that her husband was falsely implicated in a flesh trade case.

Abducted boy’s body found
Tarn Taran, January 28
The Sadar police recovered the body of Raja (6), son of Mr Sham Singh of Gali Surain Singh Wali here, from Alladinpur canal today. He had been missing since January 26. He was allegedly strangled to death by Inderjit Singh and his son, Harminder Singh.

One held for murder
Kharar, January 28
The police has arrested one person for killing a 34-year-old resident of Sahora village on the night of January 22. The suspect, Mohan Singh, alias Mohana, was arrested for Padiala village last night.


NRI donates $ 25,000 to school
Patiala, January 28
The management of a school for deaf and dumb in Patiala, which had to endure the agony of being served a fake cheque for Rs 5 lakh by a youngster claiming to have inherited it from an uncle abroad, can now redeem the loss with an NRI donating $25,000 for the institution besides promising another $45,000.

Nod to 9 medical subjects
Amritsar, January 28
Baba Farid University of Health Sciences has granted permission to Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences and Research at Vallah near here to start nine new medical post-graduate courses.

2 Gurmat Awards in memory of Tohra
Chandigarh, January 28
The executive Committee of the Sikh Educational Society has decided to institute two annual Gurmat Awards in the name of Late Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra. Each award would consist of a siropa, a plate and Rs 51,000 cash.

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