R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


Protest call
: The Kisan Sangharash Committee on Thursday gave a call to protest against high electricity bills and the move of the government to privatise the PSEB. The protest will be held on December 2 in Patiala, according to Mr Kanwalpreet Singh Pannu, convener of the committee.

Dy Speaker's assurance: The Punjab Government is committed to resolve the problems of the business community related to Value Added Tax (VAT) in the state, said Mr Darbari Lal, Deputy Speaker of the state Vidhan Sabha in a press statement here on Thursday. He said he had asked the Chief Minister to rationalise and reduce the VAT rate to bail out traders. 

Cop held
: A policeman posted at Kotshamir has been arrested along with his mother and his 12 aides allegedly for attempting to take possession of a farmerís land at Kotfatta village. Sources said the accused, Rashpal Singh, his mother Amarjit Kaur and over 20 armed men tried to make a water channel forcibly on the land of Pal Singh.

Bank staff strike
: Employees of the State Bank of Patiala in the district observed strike on Thursday in support of their demands. Mr Sat Pal Sharma and Mr Kulbir Singh, district president and secretary of the employees union of the bank, respectively, said their main demands included non-opening of currency administrative cell and non-withdrawal of single window operations.

Installation ceremony: The third installation ceremony of new office-bearers of the Lions Club Hoshiarpur Action was held at Zeena Valley, 15 km from here, on Wednesday. The function was presided over by Lion Manjit Singh Shahi and Lion Prof Ravi Manuja. The governor of District 311-D administered oath to Lion Kuljinder Singh Cheema and his team.

Protest by PSEB employees
: The Punjab State Electricity Board Employees Federation has decided to intensify their agitation against the management's decision to privatise the board. Addressing the gathering at the end of a two-day delegates session, the federation president, Mr Daljit Singh, said the PSEB would be financially ruined if it went ahead with its proposed decision to implement the Electricity Act, 2003, that had a provision to trifurcate the board which would be followed by privatisation. 



Fire incidents
: Goods worth over Rs 1 lakh were allegedly damaged when a grocery shop here was gutted by fire in the wee hours on Thursday. In another incident of fire, paddy worth Rs 40,000 was allegedly destroyed when fire broke out in a house on the Bhattu Road here.

: The Murthal police has arrested four members of a family of Bhuri village in connection with the alleged murder of a woman, Bharpai, of the same village. The accused have been identified as Jaipal, Prem Dutt and Raj Singh, all brothers and Naveen, son of Raj Singh.

Five held: Officials of the Railway Protection Force ( RPF) arrested five youths on the charge of trespassing and illegally crossing the railway track at the railway station here on Thursday. The youths have been identified as Ram Rattan of Subhash Colony, Bijender of Khewra village, Ashok of Model Town, Shakeel of Jain Bagh Colony and Sidharth of Gautam Nagar. They were later produced before Judicial Magistrate Rakesh Singh, who imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 each on them.

Human SKELETON found: A skeleton of a man was found while digging earth for laying sewerage pipes near Shanni Mandir here on Thursday. The skelton is stated to be a decade old.


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