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High Court
EC not for advancing Beas poll

Chandigarh, February 21
Even as two top officials of the Punjab government, the chief secretary and the DGP, assured the Punjab and Haryana High Court that free and fair election was possible in the Beas constituency, the election commission today reiterated its stand that conditions prevailing in the constituency were still not conducive enough for voting.

’07 poll different in more ways than one
Ludhiana, February 21
Elections in Punjab saw the fiercest-ever campaigning by the Akali Dal and the Congress. It has also been described as the costliest elections in Punjab so far.

Fatehgarh Sahib


Farmers take to sugarcane cultivation in big way
Tractor-trailers loaded with sugarcane line up near the Beas bridge on the Gurdaspur-Mukerian road on Wednesday. Gurdaspur, February 21
The long queues of tractor-trailer loaded to their brims with sugarcane clogging the Gurdaspur-Mukerian road indicate that farmers of the border district Gurdaspur have achieved another feat. The district has become the highest producer of sugarcane in the state.

Tractor-trailers loaded with sugarcane line up near the Beas bridge on the Gurdaspur-Mukerian road on Wednesday. —  Photo by Lalit Mohan

Tribune Impact
NRI promises facelift for neglected village
Nijjer along with sarpanch of Mardanpur village. Mardanpur (Patiala), February 21
Masol, the neglected poor cousin of Chandigarh, is all set to get a new lease of life, thanks to a non-resident Indian. A UK-based NRI Surinder Singh Nijjer has come as a messiah for the residents of the village whose plight The Tribune highlighted on February 7. Mr Nijjer read about it on The Tribune website while flying to India.

Nijjer along with sarpanch of Mardanpur village. — Tribune photo by Vinay Malik

Shopkeepers protest against the demolition of shops by the Improvement Trust in Pathankot on Wednesday. ‘Selective’ demolition of shops; traders agitate
Pathankot, February 21
The Improvement Trust here today under took selective demolitions in the city. Three shops were demolished near the bus stand, in connivance with the owners. When the trust authorities tried to demolish other adjoining shops the owners resorted to agitation. The move drew flak from the shopkeepers and political dealers.

Shopkeepers protest against the demolition of shops by the Improvement Trust in Pathankot on Wednesday. — Photo by Jangi

Salima Hashmi Daughter as non-conformist as Faiz
Patiala, February 21
Had it not been for her inheritance of love, Salima Hashmi could not have seen life in the face of death. Stepping on the Indian soil just two days after terror strikes killed many of her countrymen aboard the Samjhauta Express, she says it’s an opportune time to visit India.

Seminar on Punjab crafts concludes
Patiala, February 21
Bekan House National University Lahore dean Dr Salima Hashmi and daughter of renowned Pakistani poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, today said that with India and Pakistan’s building relations, the craftsmanship in both the countries would get a boost.


LPG shortage hits Doaba region
Chandigarh, February 21
Diversion of domestic liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for commercial purposes and an unprecedented hike in demand has led to a severe shortage of cooking gas in Punjab, especially in the Doaba region.

‘Sikhs abroad being misled on birs’
Amritsar, February 21
A preliminary inquiry conducted by the SGPC has indicted certain Sikh organisations for misguiding the Sikhs living abroad about Guru Granth Sahib ‘birs’ from Italy.

Mystery shrouds fall of car in canal
Fatehgarh Sahib, February 21
Mystery shrouds the fall of a Ford Icon car into the Bhakra canal on the Sirhind-Patiala highway near Madhopur chowk last night. The car belonging to a trader of Jagadhri in Haryana was today fished out but surprisingly all the doors of the car were locked. No dead body was recovered from the car, which created many doubts.

Ludhiana villages mourn death of army band members
Baddowal/Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 21
There was gloom in Baddowal and Mandi Ahmedgarh today, when six members of a Baddowal-based army band belonging to Kalarh, Sihar, Detwal and Pamal villages were killed and six injured seriously when the tempo trax they were travelling in collided with a bus near Tangra on the Jalandhar-Amritsar road today morning.

Electoral officer urged to defer counting in Budhlada
Chandigarh, February 21
Government employees from the Budhlada Assembly segment have urged the chief electoral officer to defer the counting of votes in that segment till the employees who were put on poll duty on February 13 are allowed to cast their vote. They submitted a representation in this regard to Babu Lal, additional chief electoral officer, Punjab, here today.

Hindu jatha install idols at Pak temples
Wagah, February 21
Idols of Hindu Gods were installed at various ancient Hindu temples of Pakistan by the Hindu jatha that returned through the Wagah road here yesterday.

‘India, Pak cops face identical challenges’
Phillaur, February 21
Policemen of India and Pakistan have almost same work culture and experience similar challenges and problems owing to common organisational roots and heritage. Dr D.J. Singh, dean-cum-deputy director, Punjab police academy, Phillaur, said here today. He has returned from Pakistan after attending an international conference on mental health held in Lahore from February 15 to February 19.

Naxalites organise congress after 37 years
Ludhiana, February 21
The Communist Party of India (Maoist), an ultra Left extremist organisation in the country, organised its party congress in “one of the liberated zones” after a gap of 37 years recently. The CPI (Maoist) was formed after the merger of the two most active ultra Left extremist groups, the People’s War Group (PWG) and the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC), in September, 2004.

Auto workshop for deaf and dumb
Bathinda, February 21
DC Rahul Bhandari inaugurated an auto workshop at MGD School for Deaf and Dumb being held under the aegis of the NRI Charitable Foundation and the Bathinda Brotherhood Club last evening.

2 books of Punjabi writer released
Amritsar, February 21
Chief of the janwadi lekhak sabha Dev Dard, senior IPS officer Manmohan Singh and editor of a monthly Punjabi magazine 'Akhar', released the two books written by noted Punjabi writer Talwinder Singh to mark the International Mother Language Day, here today. Speaking on the occasion, Jatinder Singh Jolly, a reader, Guru Nanak Dev University, and Sumit Singh urged Punjabis to help in promoting their language.

17 relatives of blast victims arrive
Amritsar, February 21
Seventeen relatives of the victims of the bomb blasts in the ill-fated Attari Express arrived here though the Wagah joint checkpost today.

Train blasts condemned
Amritsar, February 21
Sain Mian Mir International has condemned the ghastly act of the disruptive forces which claimed the lives of 68 innocent persons travelling in the ill-fated Attari Express train at Panipat.

Relief fund for train blast victims
Wagah, February 21
The Punjab Istri Sabha Relief Trust today sent a cheque for Rs 20,000 towards the Prime Minister’s relief Fund for giving relief to the victims of the Attari Express train.


Badal’s counsel submits IT report
Ropar, February 21
In a new twist to the corruption case involving SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal and his family members, Mr Badal’s counsel, former advocate-general H.S. Mattewal today submitted a confidential report of the Income Tax Department about assessment of their property claiming that the Badals did not have disproportionate assets as alleged by the Vigilance Bureau before Special Court Judge G.S. Saran.


Police reforms may be deferred
Chandigarh, February 21
The much-awaited reforms in the Punjab police will take some more time to be implemented as the matter is likely to be left for the next government to decide. Though officials are planning to send the issue in the forthcoming meeting of the Punjab council of ministers, in all likelihood it will be deferred.


3 killed in road mishap
Khamano, February 21
Two members of a family, including a girl and her mother, were among three persons killed during a road mishap near village Jatana Ucha, near here, on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana road. One person seriously injured is fighting for life at the PGI, Chandigarh.

Servant kills 3 of family
Gurdaspur February 21
In a gory incident that sent shock waves in the Kanuwan area, a migrant servant killed all the three members of a family and fled with cash and jewellery. Ravel Singh, a landlord, was living in his farm house, near village Simby, in the Kanuwan area along with his two wives Kanso and Balwinder Kaur. The landlord did not have a child from either of the wives. 

SAD workers attacked
Amritsar, February 21
In yet another case of poll related violence, Chuhar Singh and his son Manjit Singh, both belonging to the SAD, were seriously injured when they were attacked by seven persons with sharp-edged weapons in Danyal village, about 40 km from here, last evening. They were rushed to the Baba Bakala Civil Hospital in a serious condition. However, doctors attending on them referred them to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital here.


People more aware of their rights: CJ
Patiala, February 21
Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Vijender Kumar Jain has said that the people of India are becoming more and more aware of their constitutional rights than ever before, which is a positive development in a democratic society.

International seminar on “Role of religion”
Patiala, February 21
A three-day international seminar on the theme “Towards building a peaceful society”, "Role of Religion" concluded here today. The seminar was organised by Harbans Singh from Department of Encyclopedia of Sikhism of Punjabi University in collaboration with International Interfaith Centre, Oxford, U.K. In his valedictory address, Swami Ved Bharti, said that all names lead to one name.


One-day seminar on software industry at SVSM
Banur, February 21
A one-day seminar on “Programme and Project Management for software industry” was organised at the Swami Vivekanand School of Management. Eminent resource persons and various software executives attended the seminar. CEO of the institute Manmohan Garg presided over.


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