P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


They want SEZ
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Mukerian, January 27
This is one area in Punjab where farmers and traders are crying to get a special economic zone (SEZ), but no one pays heed to their demand.

Cutting across party lines, every candidate in the area is promising to compel the prospective government to bring in an SEZ in this area, much of which is unsuitable for agriculture. “The SEZ proposals are not for the benefit of the people, but cater to the interests of a select few; therefore the Kandi and Bait areas of Hoshiarpur have been overlooked while choosing a location,” echo candidates and workers of political parties.

The water-deficit areas of Kandi, where hundreds of acres are concrete rocks, are the most suitable location for an SEZ. No wonder people in the Mukerian and Dasuya Assembly segments have started blaming the sitting MLAs and the Vidhan Sabha Speaker, Dr Kewal Krishan, and the state’s Technical Education Minister, Mr Ramesh Chander Dogra, for deliberately ignoring the interests of the people.

“Either they did not have the vision or their arguments did not carry much weight with the government,” says Mr Avtar Singh Thukral, president of the Dasuya Beopar Mandal.

Unlike farmers of Amritsar, who are agitating against setting up an SEZ there, small and marginal farmers from Hoshiarpur district, especially those from the Tanda, Mukerian and Dasuya Assembly segments, are willing to give their land for setting up an SEZ, provided they are offered some share in the pie.

Even though they have small landholdings, they are willing to part with their land in the Kandi region to overcome repeated crop failure due to water shortage. A group of farmers and traders has decided to throw their weight behind the Tanda Congress dissident, Mr Sangat Singh Gilgian, because he feels that an SEZ can change the lives of the people of an area that just does not have any industry.

Several SEZ votaries gathered at one of the political rallies and announced their support for a candidate who would openly come out with the promise of getting an SEZ in the region if elected. No wonder despite a hush-hush opinion on the issue, candidates in the fray nod their heads vehemently in support when asked if they would press for an SEZ. At his election rally at Ghogra village in the Kandi area of the Dasuya constituency, the BJP-SAD nominee, Mr Amarjit Singh Sahi, announced, “You elect me and I will transform this poverty-depraved area into an industrial zone. When industry can come up in neighbouring Himachal, why can’t we have an SEZ here? I will persuade the government to take over the vast stretches of land in the Talwara region and turn these into an industrial zone.”

A former MLA and Mukerian’s BJP-SAD candidate, Mr Arunesh Kumar Shahker, echoes a similar view. “With the Pong Dam having been completed, hundreds of acres, currently with the Bakhra Beas Management Board, are available for being turned into an industrial zone. Earlier, legislators from here did not want industrialisation for reasons best known to them, but now locals are pressurising the political leadership to use their unfertile land for industry.

Sukhvir Singh of Ghogra village says land in villages like Chbibo Chak, Marula, Koddu Bela, Bareowal and Beh Sariana has no cultivation as it is full of big rocks.

Offering his land for the purpose, he says, “What better use can this land be put to than setting up an SEZ here.”


BSM throws its lot with Congress
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, January 27
The Bahujan Samaj Morcha (BSM) today announced to extend unconditional support to all Congress candidates.

President of the morcha Satnam Singh Kainth criticised the policies of the Shiromani Akali Dal. He alleged that SAD president Parkash Singh Badal had wasted his energy in levelling allegations against the ruling party in stead of doing something constructive for the people of the state.

The Bahujan Samaj Party, which claims to be a Dalit party, has failed to do anything for the welfare of Dalits, he claimed.

TNS adds from Ludhiana: Welcoming the support of the BSM, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh claimed that the Congress was already doing well and he expected the party to win at least 75 seats.

He said the recent survey conducted by the CNN-IBN, which showed 46 per cent support, a swing of more than 5 per cent towards the Congress, was the right indicator.

When told that the Shiromani Akali Dal had dismissed the survey as “motivated and manipulated”, the Chief Minister remarked: “This was a nationwide survey covering not only the political issues, but also social and spiritual ones.”

Capt Amarinder Sing said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi would address four rallies each in the state. About the rebels, he hoped, most of them would withdraw in favour of the party candidates.

When senior leaders like Mr Bir Devinder Singh had returned to the party fold with grace, the others were likely to follow the suit.

The Chief Minister also had a dig at cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu. He said: “He (Mr Sidhu) will meet more than a match in Mr Surinder Singla.”


Chahal tab
A probing Q, a phone-sack and then back
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
A reporter of a vernacular daily lost his job for “asking inconvenient questions” at the press conference of the Chief Minister here today. The journalist was, however, reinstated following vociferous protests from fellow colleagues.

Mr BIS Chahal, Information Adviser to the Chief Minister, reportedly complained to the Editor of Spokesman that their reporter, Jagdeep, was posing ‘uncomfortable’ questions to the Chief Minister.

The reporter was summoned by his Editor who terminated his services. This infuriated other reporters who raised slogans against Mr Chahal and demanded reinstatement of the reporter.

Mr Chahal spoke again to the Editor, saying he did not have any complaints against the reporter. He also apologised to the protesting scribes. The issue was resolved after the reporter received a message from his Editor that his services had been restored.

Meanwhile, Mr Chahal said, a communication gap had led to some misunderstanding between the reporter and his Editor. He held that he had always worked in close association with the media and would not think of harming the interests of the journalist fraternity.

Chandigarh-Punjab Union of Journalists (CPUJ) president Vinod Kohli has condemned the role played by Punjab Chief Minister’s Media Adviser in the incident. At a meeting today, the union demanded that the Chief Minister must apologise.


Badal: Bid to muzzle press
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
The Shiromani Akali Dal and the its alliance partner, the BJP, have come out strongly against the incident in which the reporter of a Punjabi daily was allegedly threatened at Ludhiana.

The President of the BJP state unit, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna and the national secretary of the party, Mr Harjit Singh Grewal, condemned the behaviour of Mr BIS, Chahal, Media Adviser, to the Punjab Chief Minister, for ‘insulting’ the journalist.

The president of the SAD, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, called it a “brazen attempt to muzzle the media”.

In a statement, he said the SAD had stood and fought for the freedom and dignity of the press. He said that the media in the country in general and in Punjab in particular had always discharged its duties as a watchdog of people’s interests.


In Tarn Taran, it’s about missing kids
Saurabh Malik and Gurbaxpuri

Buchar Kalan ( Tarn Taran), January 27
Everyone in the border village of Buchar Kalan knows Shamsher Singh’s house. But no one is really familiar with his whereabouts.

As you ask the quaint villagers about the location of his quarters somewhere along the road leading to the international boundary, they look at your face weirdly, and hopefully, as if you are about to solve the mystery shrouding his movements. But disappointment appears as they find vital clues absent in your voice.

Eighteen months have passed since their happiness disappeared along with five-year-old Shamsher Singh, alias Sheru, yet the authorities concerned have just not succeeded in bringing back the smile on their forlorn faces.

Sheru is one of the 10 children missing for the past two years from Tarn Taran district. The others include a 15-year-old girl from Dhollan village, year younger Dilpreet Singh from Vaan village and Bagga from Valtoha town.

Though villagers have all along been putting pressure on the government and the district administration for locating the missing children, nothing much has so far been achieved.

As the Assembly elections in the state draw near, they have now decided to ask the vote-seekers to ensure the constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) for tracing the young innocents. In fact, location of the missing children is fast becoming an election issue in these villages

Back in Buchar Kalan, Sheru’s mother Manjit Kaur has heard “something” about the Nithari and Muktsar incidents, but is sure about her little one’s safety. For, Sheru often shatters the nightmare by appearing in her dreams with promises of a comeback.

Leaving nothing to chance, the family has approached not just cops, but even soothsayers. “They all say Sheru is `just fine’ and will soon return to our lives,” says Manjit Kaur in a desperately hopeful voice. “In fact, the cops brought along with them dogs to sniff Sheru out. The local MLA also came on a visit, but so far luck has eluded us”.

Describing Sheru as “sharp”, she says he will find his way back from wherever he is. “For, he knows not just the village, but even the names of almost everyone in the vicinity. We are just waiting for Sheru’s captors to release him,” she asserts.

The dreadful day’s memory is still fresh in the family’s mind. “It was sometimes in the fag end of July 2005,” recalls relative Jagir Kaur. “After bathing in the evening, Sheru went out to play in the fields while waiting for the dinner to be served. He never came back”.

Since then, food has lost its flavour for the family. For them, the only hope of the authorities listening to their pleas for the constitution of a SIT to locate the children now lies in the election din.


They have ID-cards, but can’t vote
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 27
Many of them have been residing in Ward No.10, Beant Nagar, for the past about two decades and were taken aback when they did not find their names in the fresh voter list.

Upset over the denial of voting rights in the Assembly poll, they accused the staff involved in the preparation of electoral rolls of misguiding them.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Hari Ram, president of a residents' body, claimed that the name of about 200 persons from the colony did not figure in the voter list. He said he took personal interest in the matter and managed to help an equal number of people in making it to the electoral rolls.

Mr Manmohan Singh, a colony resident, said he had been staying there for the past 15 years and his family members had voter identity cards, but their names did not appear in the voter list.

He rued that he had filled the required form twice, but to no avail.

Similarly, Sudama Devi and her three sons have been denied their voting right. She said: "We've been residing here since 1984, but it seems we will not be able to cast our vote this time. On the other hand, those who have shifted into the locality a couple of months ago have their names in the list."

Udaal Chand, another resident, had his voter ID-card issued in 1995, but he too cannot vote in the elections. "A majority of us are illiterate and the staff engaged in revision of electoral rolls misguided us," was the common refrain of the residents.

They said they were keen on exercising their voting right, adding that they had been living in pathetic conditions for the past many years. "We don't have a proper power supply, sewerage and access to potable water and more votes would have meant more power in our hands. Though politicians can't be trusted, but who knows we may have got someone to fulfil our basic demands," said Suresh, a resident.

The SDM, Mr Anil Garg, said the revised electoral rolls were published on January 3 after which they added 644 more names in it and the process continued till January 18.

He said no more additions could take place in the voter list till the election process was over.


Price hike will prove Cong’s undoing: Jaitley
Tribune Reporters

Gurdaspur, January 27
The BJP general secretary, Mr Arun Jaitley, today managed to get disgruntled leaders campaigning for the party.

Mr Jaitley, along with the Gurdaspur BJP MP, Mr Vinod Khanna, held a meeting with BJP workers in the Pathankot and Sujnapur Assembly constituencies. He managed to bring back into the party campaign a former minister from Sujanpur, Mr Satpal Saini.

Mr Saini was a hot contender for the party ticket from Sujanpur. However, the party fielded a greenhorn, Mr Dinesh Baboo, in his place.

Addressing party rallies, Mr Jaitley accused the present Congress government of trading the agriculture land of farmers with property dealers. Thousands of acres of farmers had been acquired by the government for peanuts and given to real estate developers for making malls and special economic zones. This had rendered many small farmers in the state jobless, he said.

Mr Khanna, who would campaign for the BJP in the state for the next 10 days, accused the Congress candidate from Sujanpur and Minister for Transport, Mr Raghunath Sahay Puri, of corruption.

Mr Mohan Lal, BJP candidate from Pathankot, also charged the government with playing foul with farmers.

AMRITSAR: Mr Jaitley said here that if voted to power, the SAD-BJP government would positively review the discretionary powers of the government to dole out major concessions to real-estate conglomerates as seen during the current Congress rule in the state. Mr Jaitley said the Congress government had failed to control the spiralling prices of food and essential items, which would prove to be its undoing.


The Lalls and Lallis of the state
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
If Haryana boasts of several Lals as political heavyweights, Punjab has its own share of Lals and Lallis. The difference, if any, is in connotation of the word Lal or Lalli or Lalji...

While Haryana’s political scenario remained dominated by Mr Devi Lal, Mr Bansi Lal, Mr Bhajan Lal, Mr Hardwari Lal and Mr Bhajan Lal, Punjab’s Lals, Laljis and Lallis have remained close to powers that be.

The nickname of Mr Sukhbir Badal, general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal, is “Lalli”. Firebrand Congress leader Jagmeet Singh Brar shares his nickname with the junior Badal.

Though there are several other Lallis in Punjab politics, a couple of them have “Lalli” as their surname. One example is sitting Congress MLA from Adampur Kanwaljit Singh Lalli.

Another Lalli is the Congress candidate from Majitha, Mr Sukhjinder Raj Singh. During the past few days, two major defectors from the Congress to the Shiromani Akali Dal are Lallis. Both are from the Malwa region.

Mr Gurbir Singh Lalli, was a key office-bearer of the Ferozepore District Congress Committee and Mr Jaipal Singh Lalli of Budhlada is a close relative of Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

While in Malwa, “Lalli” is a common nickname for the male child, in the Majha belt, it gets a little respectful. For example, Mr Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, son-in-law of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, is popular in political and social circles as “Lalji”.

While talking about Lallis, one should not forget the name of Lalli Badal, a member of the Punjab Public Service Commission.


parallel economy
Corporates decide to please all
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
With campaigning gathering steam, it is not just the fortunes of politicians and political parties, but also that of big corporates, at stake .

As the most flamboyant exercise in the state gets underway, hundreds of crores have been pumped in by corporates to fund the election campaigns of the two main political parties in the fray - Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal.

With campaigning for candidates of these two parties in each Assembly segment estimated to cost over a crore on an average, the role of local industry and trade in supporting the campaign has been largely undermined by big corporates and realtors who have already started projects in the state, or are in the process of doing so.

The corporate strategy for election funding is simple- please all. A specific sum is decided for the funding and the party they think will storm back to power gets the lion’s share of 60 per cent of the “donation”.

The rival party gets a 30 per cent share, while 10 per cent is reserved for other political parties. After all, they do not want to annoy anybody-the voters could turn the tables on anybody at the hustings.

Gone are the days when each election exercise in the state would see politicians flocking to industrialists, especially in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar, or to the liquor contractors. Also, it is not just over the last few weeks that the parties are being flooded with donations. These parties have been collecting donations over the past more than a year.

Now, big corporates who have announced either their retail plans in Punjab, or top realtors of the country who were given the go-ahead to expand business in the state during the last five years, are the ones alleged to have made huge donations to both parties. After all, they want to be in business, irrespective of who comes to power.

Though liquor contractors reportedly “finance” party campaigns, the amount “donated” by them and the local industry has not increased much as compared to the last Assembly as well as parliamentary elections. A close relative of a chief ministerial candidate is rumoured to be accepting corporate donations, the minimum bar being set at Rs 50 lakh.

Sources say while macro funding of the election campaign is being done by the party at its own level (like running advertisement campaigns for the party at the state level), candidates are pumping in their own resources and ‘donations’ for mobilising supporters.


294 papers rejected in 17 dists
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
Nomination papers of 294 candidates in 17 of the total 20 districts were rejected during scrutiny today.

Twentyeight nominees, the largest number, were rejected in Jalandhar district.

Till the filing of the report, out of 1,241 nominees who had filed papers in 17 districts, only 947 were left.

Nominations of 24 candidates were rejected in Hoshiarpur, six in Fatehgarh Sahib, 10 in Ropar, 20 in Mansa, 12 in Kapurthala, 16 in Patiala, three in Barnala, 17 in Moga, 11 in Muktsar, 22 in Gurdaspur and 12 in Faridkot.

Ferozepore saw the papers of 28 candidates being rejected while in Tarn Taran the nominations of 16 candidates were rejected. The figures for Ludhiana, Bathinda and Sangrur are awaited.

Prominent among those whose nomination papers were found in order were Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) president Parkash Singh Badal, Pradesh Congress Committee chief Shamsher Singh Dullo, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann and former SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur. Four of the 14 nominations filed for the Amritsar parliamentary byelection were rejected, leaving 10 candidates in the fray. The nomination papers of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and Finance Minister Surinder Singla were found in order.


Parliamentary Secys resign
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
Almost all Chief Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Secretaries in Punjab have submitted their resignations as a precautionary step to guard against disqualification in the Assembly elections. The resignations have been accepted. Sources said this had been done to pre-empt any decision of the Election Commission in the case of “office of profit” filed by the Shiromani Akali Dal.

The resignations follow a similar action by Chairmen of various boards and corporations a few days ago.

The Punjab Government had issued orders cancelling the official participation of these secretaries in Republic Day functions. Several of them were to unfurl the Tricolour.


Phagwara: Old rivals to slug it out

Phagwara, January 27
Both Mr Joginder Singh Mann of the Congress and Chaudhury Swarna Ram of the BJP, candidates for the Phagwara (SC) seat, are trying to get credit for the Satnam Pura railway over bridge, the construction of which is under way.

Chaudhury Swarna Ram claims the over bridge is the brainchild of the previous SAD-BJP government while Mr Mann says the funds for the project were allocated during the Congress regime.

Mr Mann and Chaudhury Swarna Ram are facing each other for the fourth time in a row. Mr Mann defeated Swarna Ram by getting 36.27 per cent votes in 1992. However, Chaudhury Swarna Ram defeated him by a huge margin of 26,623 votes in 1997. — TNS


Triangular contest in Hoshiarpur
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, January 27
The Hoshiarpur Assembly segment is witnessing a triangular contest among the Bharatiya Janata Party-SAD alliance, the Congress and the Bhaujan Samaj Party (BSP). The BJP has fielded Mr Tikshan Sood, who won the two previous elections.

He defeated the Congress candidate in 2002 and the BSP nominee in 1997. The Congress has fielded Mr Charanjit Singh Channi, after he rejoined the Congress. The BSP nominee this time is Mr Gurdev Singh.


Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 27
Mr Paddam Kumar Jain has been appointed Secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, by PPCC chief Shamsher Singh Dullo.



Ex-servicemen back SAD

SANGRUR: The district unit of the Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab and Chandigarh has announced to support the candidates of the SAD-BJP alliance. Mr H. S. Chahal, district general secretary of the league, said the government had failed to fulfil their demands. — TNS

CPI secy quits

MANSA: Apparently irked over the denial of the ticket, member of state council of the CPI Harmandarjit Kaur Joga on Saturday resigned from the party along with her supporters. Dr Joga said she would fight the elections from the Mansa seat as an Independent. — TNS


GURDASPUR: Spiritual intervention has helped Congress leaders sink their differences. Baba Kashmira Singh on Saturday brought together Congress leaders Mr Pratap Sing Bajwa, his brother Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa, Mr Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Mr Amarjeet Bajwa. — TNS

Press sealed

SANGRUR: Four local printing press units have been sealed by the district administration for violating the provisions of the Peoples Representation Act -1951. Mr S.R. Ladhar, District Magistrate, said on Saturday that the units of M/s J.R. Printing Press, M/s The Bhagwant Printing, Publisher and Stationery Workshop Co-operative Industrial Society, M/s New Rainbow Printing Press and M/s Jagga Printing Press had been sealed. — TNS



Security breach: Home Dept ‘jittery’ over information
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 27
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs appears jittery over supplying information, relating to alleged security breach of senior politicians including former Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana, sought under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, 2005.

Ms Vandana Kini , Director RTI while responding to the petition , made by Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, president All-India Anti Terrorists Front, refused to supply relevant record on the pretext that such information could not be provided as per the second schedule of the intelligence and security organisations because any information furnished by such organisations to the government was exempted from the purview of the RTI Act 2005. He (Mr Bitta) has challenged the order before the appellate authority.

However, the eyebrows are raised over the refusal of supplying the names of senior IPS officers who had issued orders to withdraw security cover of Mr Badal, Mr Lal and Mr Bitta while the fact remains that it won’t jeopardise the security arrangements at this juncture. Even though the interrogation of Jagtar Singh Hawara, a Babbar Khalsa International militant has already revealed that Mr K.P.S. Gill, a former DGP, Punjab, Mr Badal Mr Bhajan Lal and Mr Bitta were on his hit list, yet the senior police officers ordered to prune their security from time to time.

While the orders to withdraw security cover of Mr Badal after the formation of the Congress government could not be implemented on the intervention of the central government, Mr Bhajan Lal could retain the security umbrella following orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. On the other hand, Mr Bitta escaped in 1993 when he was the President, Indian Youth Congress even though some senior IPS officers of Punjab had recommended pruning of his security cover. Mr Bitta alleged there were certain politicians and police officers who used to conspire for ‘political murders’ in the country.

Talking to The Tribune, here on Thursday, Mr Bitta said now the Delhi Police had registered an FIR on the bases of the threatening calls received by him from a Dubai-based Pakistani national for his campaign to hang Afzal Guru, responsible for attack on Indian Parliament. The case was registered on the basis of the intelligence reports that established the calls received by Mr Bitta were actually made from Dubai.


‘Human rights mean right to life’
Our Correspondent

Nabha, January 27
Mr B. C. Rajput, a member of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission addressing students of the Punjab Public School, Nabha said Human Rights mean right to life, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed in the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Civil & Cultural Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations of the December 16, 1996.

During a discussion on “Human Rights” Mr Rajput emphasised that common people should be educated about their rights. He said the government as well as social organisations should play greater role to spread awareness about human rights. He added we must tell people we should learn to respect the rights of other people also. At the same one should be aware of his or her duties.

He said last year the Punjab State Human Rights Commission received 86,000 complaints of which 83,000 complaints had been dealt with.

Enlightening the students about human rights he added this was one of the main achievement of the present times that awareness about their rights had come to the forefront. In 1948 some European countries came together to talk about Human Rights and then in 1950 the United Nations issued some guidelines about the same. He also gave information how one can approach the commission. Students of PPS asked many questions to Mr Rajput.

Commodore (Retd) I.L. Syal, Headmaster, PPS thanked Mr Rajput and presented him with a memento.


Sacrifices of martyrs recalled
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, January 27
Republic Day was celebrated with enthusiasm in all the towns and subdivisions of the district. The district-level function was organised at the grounds of MG College, Fatehgarh Sahib. Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister unfurled the National flag and took the salute from contingents of Punjab Police, Home Guards and NCC cadets.

She along with Mrs Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner, and Mr Paramraj Singh Umranangal, SSP, inspected the parade in a gypsy. Due to election code, the spirit among the gathering and participants was missing.

In her address she recounted the sacrifices made by leaders to attain Independence and highlighted the importance of Republic Day.

She urged the people to follow the path of love, brotherhood and communal harmony.

She honoured all those who participated in the function. On this occasion school children presented an impressive cultural show.

Dr Harbans Lal, MLA, Mr Kanwaljit Singh DIG Patiala Range, Ms Sabina, District and Sessions Judge, along with other judicial and civil officers attended the function.

Republic Day was also celebrated at Government Senior Secondary School, Bassi Pathana.


Four printing presses sealed
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 27
Four printing presses have been sealed by the district administration for violating the Representation of People Act-1951.

Mr S.R. Ladhar, District Magistrate said here today, printing presses J.R. Printing Press, The Bhagwant Printing Publisher and Stationery Workshop Co-operative Industrial Society New Rainbow Printing Press, and Jagga Printing Press had been sealed for violating the guidelines, issued for printing presses under Section 127-A of the Representation of People Act. The owner of these presses had also not provided the requisite information, regarding election material printed by these, to the administration, he added.

Mr Ladhar said these presses would be issued notices, seeking explanation from them. He said after that action would be taken against the erring printing presses.


Mutilated body of female infant found

Amritsar, December 27
Mutilated body of an unidentified one and-half-year-old female child was found outside the new building of government-run Guru Nanak Dev Hospital here.

The body was being eaten by stray dogs. The Majitha road police station has initiated enquiry under section 174 of the CrPC.

The body was mutilated beyond recognition. Nobody has complained of the missing child. The police suspected child might have been killed and body thrown near the hospital.

Incident has raised questions over management of the bio-waste by hospital authorities and negligence of the local administration which failed to tackle the menace of stray dogs rising day by day. Earlier too residents adjoining the areas of the hospital had complained about stray dogs. — OC


Body found on rail track
Our Correspondent

Abohar, January 27
Body of a 30-year-old person packed in a gunny bag was found on the rail track near the Railway station here today. The police on getting the information at 7.30 am reached to the starter signal, a few metres away from the Railway platform, and took the bag in possession. It contained blood-stained body with “Pappu” inscribed on the right arm besides key of an attache case.

Sharp-edged weapon injuries were existed on the head and other parts of the body. DSP Amreek Singh Minhas and Gursewak Singh SI of the police inspected the spot. It indicated the bag had been placed on the rail track in the morning after passing of the morning. The body was taken to the civil hospital for a post-mortem examination. A case under Sections 302, 34 of the IPC has been registered.


Pbi varsity shines at Chennai fest
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 27
The Punjabi University stole the limelight in the National Inter-University Youth Festival held at the University of Madras, Chennai, from January 21 to January 25 by winning top honours in seven items - play, bhangra, classical instrumental, cartooning, folk orchestra, installation and rangoli.

This enabled the university to win the overall trophies in the dance and fine arts categories, even as it finished overall first runner-up among a total of 65 universities which participated in the five-day competition.

The university finished runner-up in the classical dance, on-the-spot painting and clay modelling events.

In mime and skit items, it managed to corner the third and fourth positions, respectively.

Giving this information, Dr Sunita Dhir, Director, Youth Welfare of the university, said that their impressive performance in the inaugural procession along the Marina beach was also highly appreciated by one and all.


R-Day celebrated

Patiala, January 27
Republic Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm in Diesel Loco Modernisation Works (DMW), a production unit of the Indian Railways. Mr S.M. Bhardwaj, Chief Administrative Officer, unfurled the National Flag and took salute from the contingents of the RPF and Scouts and Guides followed by a colourful dance, group songs and PT display presented by students of Kendriya Vidyalaya and DMW Public School.

Republic Day was celebrated at Sant Ramanand Public School, Sant Nagar, by Lions Club, Patiala Central, with the cooperation of the management committee of the school and mandir committee of Sant Nagar. The flag was hoisted by the club president Lion R.M. Bansal. — TNS


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