P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Power hike in urban areas
BJP threat on Cabinet meeting
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, October 7
Serious differences have cropped up between the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and its alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the increase in power tariff in the urban areas of the state as Balbir Punj, national general secretary and in charge Punjab affairs, announced that BJP ministers would boycott the forthcoming Cabinet meeting if the matter was brought for approval.

Giving a clear message to the Akali Dal, Punj made it evident that he wanted to protect the “self-esteem” of the BJP at all costs.

Peeved at the “strained relations” and lack of “taal-mel” (coordination) between the coalition partners following “glaring irritants”, Punj quipped that there was only “taal” (orchestration) but no “mel” (harmony) between the two coalition partners. This is the strongest-ever statement given by any senior BJP leader after the formation of the SAD-BJP government in the state.

The BJP high command was reportedly annoyed with SAD following ignoring of Navjot Singh Sidhu in the newly announced Amritsar Development Authority. He (Sidhu) was also not allowed to address the public on the eve of the birth centenary celebrations of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. The strained relations between Sidhu and Akali minister Bikram Singh Majithia have also become a major irritant for the BJP high command.

The BJP high command also took a serious note of the non-registration of case against the owner of an ultra-sound centre (Valtoha), though health minister Laxmi Kant Chawla herself took up the matter with the Chief Minister and the DGP. The health minister was also annoyed with Majithia for compelling an SMO of Amritsar for putting an undertrial in an AC room of the hospital against norms. The trouble started when the SAD tried to get coveted posts of the mayor of Amritsar and Jalandhar and the state BJP president had to threaten that the attempt was against the “coalition dharma”.

The direct threat is being described as “serious” since Punjab directly reports to national president of the BJP, Rajnath Singh and L.K. Advani.

However, a senior Akali leader, close to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said that Akali Dal won’t mind accepting the demand of the BJP by giving subsidised power to urban voters. Efforts would be made to ensure the participation of the BJP in the Cabinet meeting at “all costs”, he said.

The national general secretary of the BJP, while talking to the media here today, alleged that the SAD was not taking its coalition partner into confidence before taking important decisions. Sticking to his guns, Punj said the government must give power subsidy to the urban consumer on the pattern of rural areas. He said the BJP was not in favour of putting extra burden on the common man in urban areas in view of the increase in the prices of essential commodities.


Badal backs N-deal
Tribune News Service

Patran (Patiala), October 7
The Congress that has been beleaguered by the Left on the Indo-US nuclear deal has got the support of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on the issue.

Badal, who was on a private visit to Lale village, 4 km from Patiala, said today that the deal was in the interests of the country, as it would help in its development.

He said that the SAD was expecting mid-term parliamentary polls due to the continuous rift between the Congress and Left parties over the Indo-US nuclear deal. The SAD/BJP combine in the state was ready for mid-term parliamentary poll at any point of time, he added.

The government has summoned lists of suitable candidates for forming the district planning boards and grievances committees.

About the appointment of chairpersons to various boards and corporations in the state, he said the decision regarding the appointments would be taken after the planning board and grievances committees were finalised. About the chances of appointing defeated SAD or BJP leaders as chairpersons, he said no decision had been taken in this regard.

He said the state government would demand a bonus of at least Rs 100 on paddy for current season from the Union government. A case for the same had been made due to increase in the cost of agriculture inputs. I would personally take up the matter with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said.

The Union government would have to take a firm decision on the issue, as the country is already in panic due to reduced area under wheat cultivation in the state.

He denied the allegations of vendetta against Congress workers. He said no Congress MLA had been arrested or booked on flimsy grounds.

The present government was just acting on the report submitted by the vigilance bureau on the city center scam during the previous government.

About the terse letter written to him by the VC of Punjabi University Patiala Swarn Singh Boparai, the Chief Minister said that he was in a responsible position and should be careful about the language to be used in official communications. He said the government was seized of the university position and action would be taken within the legal framework.


Vigilance giving out false facts to sway Virk’s bail plea: Son
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
The family of arrested former Punjab DGP S.S. Virk today alleged the Punjab Vigilance Bureau was giving false information to the media to influence the pending bail application of the DGP. “ It is direct interference in the administration of justice and amounts to contempt of court”, alleged Pardeep Virk, a son of the DGP countering the claims of the VB made yesterday on bank accounts and property of the DGP.

The information was being given out to the media to jeopardise career prospects of the DGP while the VB itself had broken all rules in arresting him as the matter was never referred to the Vigilance Committee headed by the vigilance secretary that is the chief secretary.

The district and sessions judge, Ropar has reserved order on the bail plea till tomorrow.

On the claim of the VB that it had stumbled upon 25 properties of DGP Virk, Pradeep Virk offered if there was any such property which is not on government record and was benami, the same be taken over by the government or the VB.

On the claim of bank accounts Pardeep Virk has rebutted the theory of 25 bank accounts of DGP Virk saying he VB to increase the number of bank accounts, has also added accounts of cousins, uncles and the closed and dormant accounts. He clarified as far as bank accounts were concerned, there were four adult members in Virk’s immediate family and all of them were income tax payers.

According to the Vigilance Bureau, the immediate family of Virk had 13 bank accounts in HDFC Bank, Sector 8, Chandigarh.Of these 13 accounts, three accounts h were closed since 2001-02. Of the remaining 10 accounts, four are dormant accounts -not operated since 2002, while one account is a loan account and another one is an overdraft account and only four accounts are operative.

On the VB claim of the construction at Chimney Heights, Pardeep Virk said the VB was concealing the fact that the sheds and godowns existed at the time of purchase of property and these structures were only repaired and even now, no RCC roofing had been done on any shed and only tin sheets had been replaced and flooring redone. The maps of structures as they existed prior to the purchase were available with us and also with the government departments concerned.

Meanwhile the family members of Virk said the VB did not take the permission of the Vigilance Department or the Vigilance Committee before arresting Virk. The procedure is the Vigilance Committee which has the chief secretary, the administrative secretary concerned ( in this case the home secretary) and the chief director of VB. The committee has to give permission. Also how did the VB arrest a Maharashtra cadre officer? said the family.


Chemists urged to refrain from illegal activities
Our Correspondent

Nabha, October 7
Punjab Chemist Association (PCA) president Surjit Mehta has called upon chemists to refrain from nefarious activities. He was addressing a state-level function of the association organised by the Nabha Chemist and Druggist Association here last night. He said the PCA membership was only for those who refrained from illegal activities like sale of habit-forming drugs without prescription and warned that the PCA would not come to the rescue of such persons.

Lambasting the media for tarnishing the image of the chemists of the state, he said usually only those persons were found indulging in such activities who did not have any valid licence to sell medicine. "You can not term any Tom, Dick and Harry a chemist," he said.

Mehta urged the chemists to install air-conditioners in their premises for better shelf life and efficacy of the drugs. He said a majority of the drugs needed storage below room temperature, which was not feasible without air-conditioners.

To compete with pharmacy chains like Subhiksha and Reliance, he said the All-India Organisation of Chemist and Druggist (AIOCD) had been converted into a limited company.

He hoped that with in two or three years these chains would meet their end.

He thanked Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal for his instructions to the police regarding undue harassment of chemists.

The association chief hailed the crusade of the Nabha unit against social evils like femicide and drug addiction.

He announced a grant of Rs 21,000 for the local unit along with Rs 51,000 for the construction of a cemist bhawan in the town. V.P. Dogra, general secretary, and other office-bearers accompanied him in the function.


Doctors flay political meddling in their work
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 7
The Senate meeting of the PCMS Specialist Doctors Association today came in support of Dr Satya Kiran Kapoor, senior medical officer (SMO), Jallianwala Bagh Memorial Civil Hospital, and condemned the political interference in the functioning of health services, especially related to medico-legal work and referral services.

In a press statement issued today, the association claimed that Tilak Raj, who used to provide private rooms after the recommendation of the attending specialist, gave air-conditioned room to an accused in an attempt-to-murder case, Bikramjit Singh, without the recommendation of any attending specialist or Dr Kapoor, in charge of the hospital at that time.

Appreciating the stand taken by Dr Kapoor, president of the association, Dr Sham Lal Mahajan, alleged that every ruling party in Punjab puts pressure on government officials to get wrong works done.

The association hailed the stand of health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla for not yielding to any pressure.

It may be recalled that Dr Kapoor had named information and public relations minister Bikram Singh Majithia for calling them to provide an AC room to the accused, a charge denied by the minister.

The association has threatened that if the politicians do not resist from putting pressure on doctors, they will be forced to take stern action. They demanded strict action against the prisoner for levelling “false” allegations against the SMO.


Pathankot awaits regular SDM
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, October 7
The office of the SDM has become a defunct body in the absence of a regular SDM. The most important subdivision of Gurdaspur district, Pathankot, has been running its administration without any administrative head since the last incumbent, Surinder Mohan Sharma, was transferred to pave way for Puneet Goyal.

The latter’s transfer order was cancelled before he joined his duty following a poaching case registered against him.

The government has though made alternative arrangements by giving dual charge to Munasvi Kumar, SDM, Dhar, who also looks after the administrative work of the subdivision. But he has a busy schedule in Dhar subdivision. He is hardly available to discuss matters with the revenue officials regarding government land disputes.

For this reason the revenue work has also suffered alot.

Most of the time the people visiting the SDM’s office for official work have to return disappointed.

Pathankot is an important subdivision, having a civil airport, military hospital, Army cantonment, Indian Oil Corporation dump and many other important state and Central government offices, besides being a central point for long-distance mail and express trains, which halt and leave for Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Amritsar.


27th Mohammad Rafi Awards
Kavita enthrals audience
Tribune News Service

Bollywood playback singer Kavita Krishnamurthy receives the best female singer award at the 27th Mohammad Rafi Award-2007 function in Amritsar
Bollywood playback singer Kavita Krishnamurthy receives the best female singer award at the 27th Mohammad Rafi Award-2007 function in Amritsar on Sunday. — Photo by Rajiv Sharma

Amritsar, October 7
Well-known Bollywood playback singer Kavita Krishnamurthy enthralled the audience at the 27th Rafi Awards organised here today by the Mohammad Rafi Memorial Society to commemorate the death anniversary of the legendary singer.

The society organises a function on this day every year to give away awards to promising Hindi and Punjabi singers.

This year Punjabi singer Sarabjit was given the life-time achievement award, while Kavita was honoured with the Rafi Award for the best playback singer. Stage artiste and film producer K. Deep was also given the life-time achievement award and Jasmine Bhatti was given the best anchor award. Inderjit Nikku received the Rafi Award as the best Punjabi singer and Harmanpreet Singh, editor, Sangeet Darpan magazine, was awarded for his efforts to promote the culture. Kapil Sharma was named the best comedian.

The evening started with a shabad sung by Tarlochan Singh, president of the society.

Information and public relations minister Bikram Singh Majithia was the chief guest for the occasion. District transport officer Vimal Setia released the souvenier of the society.


‘Punjab Jagao March’ on Oct 31
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, October 7
To mark the 41st anniversary of Punjab Day, the Dal Khalsa has decided to organise a two-day “Punjab jagao march on October 31 from Amritsar, which will culminate at Hoshiarpur on Punjab Day i.e. November 1.

Addressing a press conference here today, leaders of the organisation Satnam Singh Paonta Sahib, Harcharnjit Singh Dhami and Kanwar Pal Singh said the march would begin after performing ardas at Akal Takht to commemorate the 23rd death anniversary of Beant Singh Maloya on October 31.

The objective of the march is to highlight issues confronting the people of the state. To tackle the current situation, we decided to intensify our public programmes, they added.

Earlier at a function held at a local gurdwara, Ranbir Singh was nominated as district president of the organisation.

Dhami asked the youth not to shun politics but join it as it was a relevant path to serve the community and mankind. The leaders were of the opinion that the emergence of new and small socio-cultural groups within the Sikh polity was a positive trend. They attributed the emergence of such groups to the failure of the Akali politics in addressing new challenges being faced by the Sikh Panth.


Wean youths off drugs, Rotarians told
Our Correspondent

Abohar, October 7
SDM N.S. Brar has regretted that Abohar is emerging as the hub of smack and poppy husk smuggling, besides gambling.

Addressing an inter-city meet of Rotary International District-3090 here this afternoon as chief guest, Brar regretted that youths were losing direction in life. He asked Rotarians to explore avenues to lead them towards the right direction. He said that youngsters need to be involved more and more in sports and other useful activities to save them from drugs and other bad habits.

R.L. Narang, president, Rotary Club, Abohar, Mid-town, and intercity chairman, Dr Sushil Rattan Miglani, welcomed the delegates.

Harpreet Singh Ubha, secretary general of the Rotary district, said globalisation had pushed the youth towards materialism, which was alarming for our cultural heritage that was based on ethics and values.

District governor Bhupinder Singh Jaggi said banners would be displayed on the Solan-Chandigarh road route to bring awareness on AIDS. He asked Rotarians to emerge as a role model for young generation. Scholar D.R. Vij and Prof A.C. Sharma spoke on the role of Rotary in youth awareness and empowerment.

Dr Ramesh Sidana, former club president, was awarded certificate of appreciation by the India National Polio Plus Committee.


Bandh threatened over move to shift bus stand
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 7
The proposed shifting of the city bus stand continues to create a controversy here. Shopkeepers and residents living in the vicinity do not want it to be shifted.

Members of the Bus Stand Save Action Committee at a meeting held today planned to call a Bathinda bandh on October 12 from 9 am till noon. The committee also plans to submit a memorandum to the deputy commissioner listing their grievances. The committee alleged that a leading functionary of a political party would benefit from the move to shift the bus stand.

Recently, SAD district in charge Sarup Chand Singla had alleged that some anti-social elements were presenting the picture in a wrong way to benefit from the situation. Taking a serious note of the allegation, the committee members had asked him to attend today’s meeting to disclose the names of those anti-social elements.

Chiman Lal, president of the committee, said, “Despite our requests, Singla did not attend the meeting.” Members of the committee said Bathinda was not the only city in the state “where the bus stand is inside the city. So, why is this bus stand being shifted out?” they asked.

Meanwhile, Singla was not available for his comments.


Gymkhana club set for a makeover
Attar Singh
Tribune News Service

Justice Vijendera Jain, Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, being honoured by Vinod Dhundia, secretary of the Gymkhana Club, on his recent visit to the club in Patiala
Justice Vijendera Jain, Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, being honoured by Vinod Dhundia, secretary of the Gymkhana Club, on his recent visit to the club in Patiala.
— A Tribune photograph

Patiala, October 7
The Gymkhana and Mahendra Club of Patiala is all set for a makeover with a series of projects planned to sustain its lost glory.

Vinod Dhundia, honorary secretary of the club, said a number of projects are in the pipeline to give the club a major facelift. The landscaping of the main lawn in the foreyard of the imposing royal building of the club has already been completed, he said adding that the management has spent Rs 75 lakh on its renovation in phases.

The projects, planned to restore the lost glory of the club, include provision of a state-of-the-art gymnasium, six five-star VIP suites and a modern tennis court. In addition, Rs 25 lakh is proposed to be spent on the six guest rooms which would match the standards of a five-star hotel. The club has also earmarked a sum of Rs 5 lakh for the upgradation of the existing lawn tennis courts.

The Club has attracted film makers due to its historic building set in sylvan surroundings, which catches the fancy of the film makers. The unit of `Shaurya’, a Hindi movie starring Manisha Lamba and Rahul Bose, recently shot for a couple of days in the club premises. Vinod Dhundia said the club has been in the limelight for the past sometime.


Visa issue Bias by dept alleged
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 7
In a letter to the chairman of the Minorities Commission Balwinder Singh Chhabal, the general secretary of the Khalra Mission Committee has alleged that the Foreign Affairs Department, dealing with Pakistan, was following discriminatory policies while allotting visas.

He said he was not given nod to travel to Pakistan in connection with the birth anniversary celebrations of Gur Ramdas despite repeated requests, but a delegation of 300 members, headed by Paramjit Saran, president, DGPC, had been allowed to cross over to Pakistan yesterday.


28 cylinders seized
Tribune News Service

LPG cylinders seized during a raid by district food supplies controller in Kharar
LPG cylinders seized during a raid by district food supplies controller in Kharar on Sunday.
— A Tribune photograph

Kharar, October 7
The district food supplies controller (DFSC) recovered 28 cylinders after conducting a raid in Balongi area today. One person was arrested. DFSC Rupinderpal Kaur, along with a team, followed a tempo carrying the cylinders and traced them to a residential area being used as a godown to store LPG cylinders. The Balongi police arrested Nirmal Singh, a resident of village Daun, who drove the tempo having cylinders, while Dinesh Kumar, the shop owner is still at large. The duo has been booked under section 7 of essential commodities act.


Suit filed to seek service road
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 7
Eminent citizens of the holy city have filed a suit in a local court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division) against the Union government, Gammon India Ltd, Amritsar Municipal Corporation and others for seeking mandatory injunction for providing service road along the prestigious elevated road project.

The petitioners said Gammon India Ltd was allotted the work of constructing the elevated road from the Maqboolpura Chowk to the Golden Temple with the condition that it would provide service road before starting the project for the smooth movement of traffic on the GT Road. They said, however, the company failed to provide the service road, thus violating the tender agreement.

They said the act and the conduct of the defendants had been of great carelessness and negligence. They were not taking care of the facilities of the public at large, as they had uprooted electricity poles, foot-paths and dividers and totally damaged the road.

They said due to the equipment plant and machinery of the company lying scattered at the site, there were frequent traffic jams for hours together.

They have urged the court to pass a decree for mandatory injunction, directing the defendants to lay down service road along with elevated road project being undertaken by the defendants on the GT Road towards the Golden Temple to control and regulate the growing rush of pilgrims and traffic coming from outside the city. The next date of hearing has been fixed for October 10.


Justice Aggarwal is chairman of Punjab consumer panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
Justice S.N. Aggarwal, who recently retired from the Punjab and Haryana High Court, will be the new chairman of the Punjab State Consumers Disputes Redressal Commission.

His appointment has been made by the Punjab government in consultation with the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr Justice Vijendra Jain, for a term of five years.

Justice Aggarwal, who was elevated to the bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2004, had earlier worked as District and Sessions Judge at Jalandhar and Patiala.

He also went on deputation to serve the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as law secretary.

During his deputation, he also authored a book on “Heroes of Cellular Jail” which documented story of sacrifices made by revolutionaries during the country’s freedom struggle.


CPI demands agricultural loans at 4 per cent
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 7
The Communist Party of India (CPI) yesterday asked the Union government to advance agriculture loans to farmers at 4 per cent rate of interest per annum and to agriculture workers without any interest.

A member of the national executive of the CPI, Dr Joginder Dayal, said the Union government should enact a comprehensive law for agriculture workers to protect their rights. He asked the Punjab government to strengthen the public distribution system (PDS), so that poor persons could get essential commodities at cheap rates easily.

Dr Dayal said the Punjab unit of the CPI would take out “jatha marches” in all districts of the state from October 15 to 30 on various issues, including rising prices of essential commodities, proposed unbundling of the Punjab State Electricity Board, remunerative prices of crops for the farmers, withdrawal of hike in electricity tariff and 33 per cent reservation for women in assemblies and Parliament.

Dr Dayal further said the CPI would organise a dharna on October 16 in front of the office of the deputy commissioner here in connection with the above said demands. He said the farmers, associated with the CPI, would also stage a massive dharna in front of Parliament on October 30 to press their demands.


Ex-Army man shoots himself, family dead
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, October 7
Struck by depression, a 42-year-old ex-serviceman shot four members of his family dead while one managed to survive with serious injuries at Dubali Khurd village, near here, late last night.

Kirpal Singh, who retired from the Army in 2003, fired at his wife Paramjit Kaur (38), daughter Harpreet Kaur (17) and sons Omkar Singh (15) and Gurpreet Singh (13) at 2.30 am with a double barrel gun and then killed himself.

Kirpal Singh, who was working as a security guard in a nationalised bank in Sector 17, Chandigarh, left a suicide note in which he admitted that he was under depression and no member of his family should be held responsible for the extreme step being taken by him.

Kirpal’s father Harbans Singh and younger brother Sahib Singh stated that the former had slept out in the open last night, but at 2.30 am they heard gunshots that were fired in quick succession coming from the room in which his family lived. They said that they rushed towards the room and found it locked from inside. After breaking it open, they saw Kirpal and his family in a pool of blood.

Sahib Singh said they took the victims to A. P. Jain Civil Hospital at Rajpura. There the doctors declared Kirpal, Harpreet and Gurpreet brought dead. The other two victims were referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, where Paramjit succumbed to her injures this afternoon. Omkar Singh was the only survivor.

According to sadar SHO K. K. Panthey, the police recovered one .12-bore double-barrel gun, two cartridges and five cartridge shells from the room. The police later recorded the statement of Omkar, who said he was unaware as to what made his father take the extreme step.

The SHO said that the matter was still being investigated. Meanwhile, the post-mortem examination of the three was conducted at the civil hospital.


One arrested for woman’s murder
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 7
Jagsir Singh, one of the accused in connection with the murder of a woman of Raaiya village under Phul police station, was arrested today. The victim, Baljit Kaur, wife of Darshan Singh, was allegedly killed by two brothers, namely Gurjant Singh and Jagsir Singh, on Friday night. The deceased’s husband had lodged a complaint in this connection with the Phul police station.

According to sources, following the incident, one of the accused, Jagsir Singh, had tried to commit suicide by consuming poison. Jagsir was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Rampur, in a critical condition. The police arrested Jagsir as soon as he was released from the hospital.

Investigation officer and officer-in-charge, Phul police station, Sukhdev Singh, while confirming the arrest of Jagsir, said another accused, Gurjant Singh, would also be arrested soon. Besides a case of murder, a case of attempted suicide, had also been registered against Jagsir, he added.


Three of family booked for dowry harassment
Tribune News Service

Moga, October 7
A case of dowry harassment against three members of a family has been registered.

Neelam Rani, a local resident, alleged in her complaint that she was harassed by her in-laws and husband. A case against her husband Gurpreet Singh,his father Resham Singh and mother Manjit Kaur, all residents of Mahesari Sandhwan village, has been registered against them.

Neelam said she got married to Gurpreet on November 5 last year.However, after some months they started pestering her for more dowry.She claimed that on her refusal, they turned her out of house. Following her appeal to the police authorities, an inquiry was ordered and a case registered.


In-laws booked in suicide case
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 7
Darbari Lal, former Deputy Speaker, along with Congress workers and members of the family of Parveen Kapoor, who committed suicide a couple of days back, were today booked by the Kotwali police for allegedly obstructing traffic, raising slogans against the police and government and violating Section 144.

Others who were booked included Madhu Khanna, Sanjiv Arora and Raman Talwar, along with members of the family of Parveen Harish Kapoor, father, Hargoind Kapoor and Rajesh Kapoor, brothers, and their relatives Sanjay, Rahul, Rohit Bopa and 20 otherts. They blocked the road for over four hours and also burnt posters of BJP leaders. After the protest a case was registered against Parveen’s in-laws on the basis of a suicide note.


Suicide case
Cop’s daughter dies
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 7
Beant Kaur, 26-year-old daughter of Gurjant Singh, a dismissed cop of Behman Jassa Singh village in Bathinda district, who died on Friday night after setting himself and four of his family members on fire last week, succumbed to her burn injuries at the PGI, Chandigarh, last night. Her cremation will be held tomorrow morning at their village.

Two of her sisters, Hardip Kaur (28) and Birpal Kaur (24), are still fighting for their life at the PGI.


10 kg heroin seized by BSF
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, October 7
The BSF today foiled an attempt by Pakistani agencies to smuggle narcotics inside the Indian border and seized 10 kg of heroin worth over Rs 10 crore in the international market.

According to BSF sources, in the wee hours today, the BSF troops, manning a border outpost, spotted some movement near a fencing close to the border.

The jawans took positions and saw some smugglers negotiating a deal near the fencing.

They challenged the smugglers and opened fire at them. As the BSF men started firing, the Pakistani smugglers crawled back inside their territory, whereas their Indian associates, who had come to collect the consignment, also ran away under the cover of darkness.

The BSF men recovered 10 packets of heroin, weighing 1 kg each from, and a mobile phone from the spot.


Pirated CDs: Two booked

Bathinda, October 7
The cantonment police booked two brothers for making pirated compact discs (CDs), from MES Colony, here today.

According to sources, an executive of a cassette company had complained to the police piracy business was being run from a quarter in the colony. The police raided the quarter and recovered 432 pirated CDs, 2,550 blank CDs, wrappers and two writer machines.

The police booked Kuldeep Kumar and his brother Sandeep Kumar. Kuldeep, whom the police arrested on the spot, was produced before the duty magistrate. — TNS


Patiala to have civil aviation university
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 7
The acting president of the SAD (Badal) and Member Parliament, Sukhbir Singh Badal today announced the setting up of a civil aviation university in the city.

Sukhbir made this announcement at a rally organised by the Kamboj Organisation of India held at Udham Singh Nagar, near Urban Estate, today and claimed that the proposed university will be the first of its kind in the country. The university will be set up in the compound of the Patiala aviation club, located on the Patiala Sangrur road, he said.

Speaking on the Punjabi University’s vice chancellor’s (VC) ongoing tussle with the government, Sukhbir Badal said the university was an autonomous body and also said the VC had used derogatory language in his recent letter addressed to the Governor.

Sukhbir also claimed that the recent hike in the power tariff rates by the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission was not a contentious issue as was being claimed by the state BJP leadership. He added that the SAD alliance with the BJP was rock solid and whatever differences both parties had were at the superficial level and were being sorted out in an amicable manner.

He said Bhattal had recently met the Governor seeking an increase in the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy. He termed her visit as a ‘sham’ and said if the Congress leaders were really so much interested in getting the paddy MSP hiked they should meet the central leaders, including the union agricultural minister and the finance minister.

Speaking about the dharna being staged by the PSEB employees in front of the PSEB head office for the last two years, Sukhbir said he will take up the matter with the local Akali leadership on this issue soon.


Anmol Hospital chairman honoured
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 7
Dr N.R Purohit, chairman of Anmol Hospital has been honoured with the “Chikitsa Shiromani Award-2007” and national award by National Council of Accupressure Yoga, Gopalganj, in a national workshop of acupressure, held at Hamdard University, New Delhi.

The award has been given for his excellent contributions in the field of acupressure yoga.

These awards were presented by Sant (Bhikshu) Gyaneshawar, head of Budhism Sansthan situated at Mamyyar.

While presenting the award, he applauded the work of Dr Purohit in the field of alternative medicines for curing chronical diseases and for the selfless services to the people.


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