P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Councillor planned Jalandhar kidnapping
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 16
Local Congress leader Sukhmeet Singh, alias Deputy, reportedly close to Jalandhar MP Rana Gurjit Singh, is the kingpin behind the kidnapping of city youth Gagan Mickey who was released for a ransom of Rs 1 crore.

Stating this, DIG, Jalandhar range, Narinder Pal Singh said Sukhmeet, along with seven accomplices, had hatched a conspiracy to kidnap Gagan for getting a huge ransom.

The DIG said four of the eight accused surrendered before the police today. They included a Congress councillor from Ward No. 26 Sukhmeet Singh, Varinder Singh, alias Kinda, Jasbir Singh, alias Jassi, and Jatinder Singh Sabhi (all residents of Jalandhar district).

Attempts were being made to nab the four absconding accused, including Prabhjit Singh, Manga, Harpreet Singh, alias Happy, and Harpal Singh, he said, adding that the ransom amount could not be recovered.

The DIG said the police had enough scientific evidence against them and the entire story would be told before the media after nabbing the four absconders. He denied the police had already arrested some of them.

The DIG said the entire operation to solve the kidnapping case was handled in a professional way and SSPs of Jalandhar and Kapurthala Arpit Shukla and Rakesh Agarwal, respectively, did a commendable job.

Narinder Pal Singh said several teams had been formed to catch the accused after zeroing in on at the gang of eight members. They were left with no option but to surrender before the police, he added.

Deputy and his seven accomplices committed the crime in a Bollywood style. Son of a city-based developer and film distributor Subash Nanda, Gagan, had been kidnapped from a nearby Jandiala village by several masked persons at gunpoint on Wednesday morning.

The kidnappers called up his family demanding a ransom of Rs 5 crore. Later, the deal was struck for Rs 1 crore.

Acting on the directions of the kidnappers, members of Gagan’s family boarded a Delhi-bound train and threw a bag containing the ransom amount out of it near a Rajpura bridge, they said, adding that after getting the ransom money the kidnappers released the youth who reached at his house on Thursday night.

The police had suo motu registered an FIR of kidnapping under Sections 364 A, 34 IPC and 25, 27, 54, 59 of the Arms Act at the Nurmahal police station, the DIG added.


Grant for Anandpur Sahib yet to get Cabinet nod: Soni
Tribune Reporters

Ropar, January 16
The claim of the Punjab government that a grant of Rs 200 crore has been released by the Centre for development projects at Anandpur Sahib and Talwandi Sabo notwithstanding, union minister for tourism and culture Ambika Soni has said the grant still needs the approval of the union Cabinet.

Talking to The Tribune here today, Soni said she had cleared the proposal as submitted by the Punjab government. A few suggestions put forward by Congress MLA from Nangal K.P.S. Rana, including the strengthening of road leading to the Naina Devi temple, were also acknowledged, she added.

She said the Ministry of Culture had sanctioned a project worth Rs 1,500 crore for the development of Nanded Sahib in Maharashtra. The grant included the upgradation of road from Anandpur Sahib to Nanded that would be named after Guru Gobind Singh.

Former minister and PPCC spokesperson Jagmohan Singh Kang was accompanying the union minister.

‘Give Ram Setu panel more time’

HOSHIARPUR: Ambika Soni said here on Wednesday that she had recently received the report on the relevance of Ram Setu from a committee of eminent persons and experts and after going through it she would submit her findings to the union Cabinet.

Talking to mediapersons, Soni admitted that the ministry headed by her had wrongly filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court regarding the relevance of Ram Setu which was later withdrawn and on the instructions of the court a committee consisting eminent persons and scholars on the subject had been constituted to find out its relevance. The committee had to submit its report within the three months of its formation which ended today.

Some more time should be given to the committee to ascertain whether Ram Setu was a man-made structure or natural one in the sea, she asserted, adding that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) should thoroughly make investigations in this regard to bring out the facts. No political party should exploit this issue for gaining political mileage, she appealed.

Later, she addressed a big party workers rally here. Later in the evening, Soni held a review meeting of tourism and culture projects pertaining to Punjab. Minister for Tourism, Punjab, Hira Singh Gabria, senior officers of the union and state governments were present at the meeting.

For the development of Hoshiarpur as a tourism destination in the year 2007-08, Rs 4 crore has been sanctioned for environmental upgradation of Bajwara Fort, tourism development of Sadu Ashram, Sham Churasi, Research Institute and others.

To promote Punjab as an international tourism destination, the Ministry of Tourism has provided the consultancy through the Asian Development Bank and facilitated preparation of the Tourism Master Plan of the state through United Nations World Tourism Organisation.


Bird Flu
State not taking any chances, says Chawla
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 16
Prof Laxmi Kanta Chawla, health and family welfare minister, Punjab, held a high-level meeting of the Department of Health and Family Welfare to gear up medical facilities in the wake of reports of bird flu cases in West Bengal.

Professor Chawla said in view of the reported outbreak of bird flu symptomatic cases in West Bengal, where culling of birds had been ordered due to impending disease symptoms, stress was being laid on surveillance and preparedness to deal with any possible outbreak in the state. She said control rooms at the state HQ as well as district HQ had been established. Rapid Response Teams (RRT) were on an alert to immediately tackle and investigate any averse situation.

She further directed civil surgeons to ensure that medical and paramedical staff should be sensitised about the disease and symptoms and ensure availability of sufficient quantity of symptoms medicines, antibiotics, anti-pyretic and IV fluids in an emergency to tackle any bird flu patients.

She said although there was no reason to panic, however, if any case was reported in the future it would be treated free of cost at government hospitals.

Tilak R. Sarangal, secretary, Health, said the district health authorities had been asked to review and report any early warning signals (increased number of cases / deaths). The National Contingency Plan for avian flu, circulated by director-general of health services, New Delhi, had been forwarded to all civil surgeons in the state for necessary action.

Dr Roshan Sunkaria, secretary, health-cum-managing director, PHSC, said the Government of India through the National Institute of Communicable Diseases had been requested by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, to arrange the supply of tami flu as precautionary measure as the drug is presently not available in India.

He said civil surgeons should also coordinate with the Department of Animal Husbandry and this should be carried out at the district-level also in case of a possible outbreak. 


‘Bhattal should stay as PPCC head’
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Former Congress minister Lal Singh today said president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee Rajinder Kaur Bhattal should continue to hold office of the leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) till the Lok Sabha elections.

Denying that he was aspiring to displace her, Lal Singh said there was no truth in reports that he had met the party high command in this regard. “I did not meet any leader of the party high command to lobby for becoming leader of the CLP,” he said. There appears to be motive behind spreading such rumours, he added. “I am not in the race to become leader of the CLP,” said Lal Singh on the phone.

Lal Singh said he wanted Bhattal to continue as president of the PPCC and also leader of the CLP in the Punjab Assembly. He said such an arrangement would be in the interest of the party.

During her visit to Chandigarh a few days ago, Margaret Alva, general-secretary of the All-India Congress Committee, had stated the one-leader, one-post formula would also be applicable in case of Punjab. She is in charge of the party affairs of Punjab, Haryana and union territory of Chandigarh. At present Bhattal holds the office of the president of the PPCC and also of the leader of the CLP.


CM: Board chiefs’ nomination under old formula
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, January 16
There was no difference between the SAD and its alliance partner BJP over the issue of nominations of chairmen of boards and corporations and their nominations would be done shortly on the basis of old formula.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal stated this soon after inaugurating ultra modern Dr B.R. Ambedkar Bus Terminal here. It has been built at a cost of Rs 3.22 crore on a build-operate-transfer basis.

He ruled out any possibility of imposition of fresh taxes or octroi in the state in the near future. He announced a grant of Rs 25 lakh for a community centre at Phagwara.


Sikh diaspora seeks representation at United Nations 
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 16
Various Sikh organisations based in the countries across the world have joined hands to seek representation for the Sikh diaspora in the United Nations.

Serious efforts are afoot to float an international gurdwara parbandhak committee so that burning issues relating to the Sikh community, including ban on turban in France, could be taken up at the world platform.

The American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and the UK-based Sikh leaders like Avtar Singh Sanghera and Manmohan Singh Bajaj have discussed the issue with other Sikh leaders based in other countries. More Sikh organisations have come forward to support the cause.

President of Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Southall Middlesex, UK, Himmat Singh Sohi has called upon the world Sikh leadership to get united on a single platform to get the common problems of the Sikhs resolved. Sohi emphasised the need for a mature leadership at the world level, which could be possible by floating an international gurdwara parbandhak committee or a similar association. UK-based Sikh scholar Jasdev Singh has endorsed the views of Mohi.

Sikh leaders based in different countries are likely to meet the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, for his approval for the proposed committee.

“I think there is a need for Sikhs to share their experiences and address their issues through international institutions as well as in the countries where they are based. Perhaps the time has come to establish an international association of gurdwaras. Such an organisation could seek NGO consultative status at the United Nations similar to that given to major bodies of other religions. Sri Guru Singh Sabha will be willing to work with any gurdwara-based organisation towards this goal,” he said.

Earlier, SGPC’s ambitious plan of incorporating 10 NRI Sikhs in its general House ran into rough weather with the American diaspora rejecting it.

American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Yadvinder Singh is of the opinion that the need of the time for Sikhs was an international body of gurdwaras rather than NRI co-options to the SGPC.

The AGPC chief said the body should get membership at the United Nations as there was no representative body of the Sikhs at the UN. All other religions have representative bodies at the UN.


Freedom for 3 Pak nationals 
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Attari, January 16
Three Pakistani nationals, including two terrorists, were handed over to the Pakistan Rangers by BSF officials at the Attari-Wagah joint check-post here today.

Jamil Ahmed, a terrorist, arrested by the Army in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir in 1993, said he had crossed the border along with 14 other men. He said after an encounter with security forces in Poonch 10 members of his gang returned to Pakistan while three were killed and two arrested. He said later 10 members, who had returned to Pakistan, killed the informer along with his family, who had tipped off the Indian security forces about their plan. He said he was sentenced for 10 years and after spending 15 years was finally returning to his native country.

Another terrorist Jassar Ali said he was anxious to meet his family members, including his three sisters and two brothers. He said he had crossed the border from Kupwara in July 1994 with a mission to kill one of the officers in Jammu. He said he was immediately arrested in Jammu after his arrival and sentenced to 10-year rigorous imprisonment.

However, Mohammad Riyaz, a resident of Bakshiwal in Pakistan, said he wanted to go to Canada and find a job there as his friends were already there. Not being able to get visa from Pakistan, his friends asked him to enter India and contact an agent in Chandigarh who would help him get relevant documents. He then entered India from Ferozepur in 2000 and reached Chandigarh where the agent got him a passport in the name of Vikrant. He then proceeded to New Delhi where he was to board a flight for Canada. However, immigration officials arrested him.


Treat drug menace as national challenge: Ashwani
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Drug addiction is killing Punjab’s future, said Dr Ashwani Kumar, union minister of state for industries and commerce here today. Issuing a strong warning, the minister said, “It is time for us to treat the malaise of addiction as a national challenge. Future generations would not forgive us if the political class collectively does not rise to meet it.”

“The solution lies in gainfully employing our youth. It is clear to anyone that traditional agriculture can no longer satisfy the rising aspirations of Punjab’s youth. Industrial development on a large scale alone will help to create blue-collared jobs as an answer to chronic unemployment in Punjab,” he said.

Stating that chairmen of some of the biggest companies in India had offered to employ skilled and well-trained Indian youth in thousands, Ashwani Kumar pointed out that there was an unhappy dichotomy between huge unemployed and pressing need for employable people.

He stressed that the need of the hour was to train youth in job-oriented vocational courses. The minister added that he had written to the union minister for human resource development Arjun Singh for the establishment of a major centre of vocational studies in Gurdaspur.

“Skill upgradation leading to gainful employment alone can give Punjab’s youth dignity and hope in the future. If we can achieve this, we would have eliminated the breeding ground for alcoholism and drug abuse,” he said.

Dr Ashwani Kumar has also asked the union railways minister to introduce a day train from New Delhi to Pathankot via Amritsar-Gurdaspur. Gurdaspur is the only district of the state that does not have a single day train to connect its residents and business establishments to New Delhi. The Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab added that he had also made a strong case for the revival of the Batala foundry. He added he had got Rs 80 crore sanctioned for the upgradation of industrial infrastructure in Batala. “The Punjab government has to give about 10 to 15 crore of its share so that the grant can reach Punjab.”


A ‘doped’ Malwa region losing its martial sheen
Bhanu P. Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 16
The Malwa region has always been an area from where the Army recruits in bulk, but drug addiction here is taking its toll and the youth of the area are losing out to their counterparts from the rest of the state due to poor physique and low educational standards.

Brig D.P.Singh, deputy director-general, Recruitments (Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir), who was here in connection with an Army recruitment rally, admitted that the physical and educational standards of youth in the region were not compatible with those of other areas like Patiala, Jalandhar and Ludhiana where a large number of tall, well-built and educated youth appear at the Army recruitment rally. When asked if drug addiction was telling upon physical and mental health of the youth in the Malwa region, Brigadier Singh said it was indeed a cause for alarm.

The low educational standard was affecting the performance of candidates who had to undergo strenuous physical and mental tests to qualify for recruitment. The literacy rate in Punjab as per the 2001 census was 69.95 per cent while the literacy rate of Muktsar, Mansa, Sangrur and Bathinda districts was 50.67, 52.50-60.04 and 61.34 per cent, respectively, he said.

Candidates meeting the laid down standards and found fit in the medical examination will appear for the Common Entrance Examination (CEE) to be held at the Government Rajindra College in Bathinda on January 27 for all categories except Sol Clk /SKT for which the test will be held at Ludhiana under the aegis of the ARO (Army Recruitment Officer), Ludhiana, on February 24.

The written test is conducted in five subjects- English, Hindi, general knowledge, science and mathematics. He said over 20,000 candidates came for the recruitment rally and 5,500 were issued tokens after height measurement and scrutiny of documents. These candidates were undergoing physical fitness test and medical examination by a team of doctors.

The response of the youths from six districts of Bathinda, Mansa, Muktsar, Faridkot, Moga and Ferozepur had been overwhelming.


Payment to Farmers
Arhtiyas urge Badal to withdraw notification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
The Federation of Arhtiya Association, Punjab, today urged the Punjab government to cancel the notification issued in regard to the direct payment to farmers through cheques for foodgrains brought by them to mandis for marketing. 

A deputation of representatives from the federation today met Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and finance minister Manpreet Badal.

Federation leaders said arhtiyas had been giving money in advance to farmers, who returned the same at the time of marketing of their produce. However, with the introduction of the system of direct payment, commission agents will not be in a position to give money in advance to farmers.

The federation has urged Badal to include its president Vijay Kalra and some other members in the Cabinet sub-committee set up to deal with this issue.

Bassi Pathana: The Punjab Federation of Arhtiya Association has given a Punjab bandh call on January 19 in protest against the decision of the government to make direct payments through cheques to farmers. All commission agents would organise a massive rally at Moga on that day, said press secretary of the association Rajesh Singla after a meeting of commission agents here today. 


Isher: Punjab needs harsh steps on free power
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Punjab should follow Tamil Nadu model for industrial growth, said Isher Judge Ahluwalia here today. “Cluster-based small-scale industries would work for Punjab just the way these have worked in Tamil Nadu,” said Ahluwalia, adding that Punjab has an enormous potential for industrial growth.

Ahluwalia, chairperson, Board of Governor Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, was talking to media persons after delivering the convocation address at the 57th convocation of the Panjab University here today.

She said Punjab government would have to take harsh decision regarding giving free power for agriculture. “Free electricity has encouraged excessive use of pump sets for accessing ground water and there is little incentive to conserve either water or electricity,” she said, adding that out of the 141 development blocks in Punjab over 85 per cent had now been classified as “overexploited”. “The heavy bias towards subsidising urea has created major problems of imbalance in the use of fertilisers. Inadequate application of potassium and phosphate fertilisers has had an adverse effect on soil quality and yields,” she said.

She pointed out that, ironically, Punjab’s slowdown in economic growth in the 1990s coincided with the period when the Indian economy was thrown open. “Punjab failed to take advantage of the new industrial opportunities that were opening up,” she said adding that industrial growth can turnaround the state. “Agro-based industrial growth should be the natural course to follow,” she suggested.

Unhappy over the state of health and education delivery systems in the state, Ahluwalia said Punjab was much better than other states when compared on the basis of infrastructure for schools and health centers. “But the delivery systems have failed,” she said.


Subsidise power to farm sector: Dept
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
The SAD-BJP government has been considering to give power at subsidised rate in place of free of cost to farm sector. Sources said the Finance Department of the government was working on a proposal to give power to farm sector at 50 per cent tariff.

The department had to give subsidy of Rs 1,988 crore to the PSEB. However, in case the power is supplied at 50 per cent tariff to the farm sector, the Finance Deparment’s subsidy burden will come down by Rs 1,000 crore, it is learnt.

The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission has calculated the subsidy to be provided by the department to the PSEB in lieu of free power to farm sector at tariff of Rs 2.40 paise per unit. Sources said would discuss the issue soon with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.


Baba Santa Singh in hospital
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 16
Veteran Nihang leader Baba Santa Singh, head of the Buddha Dal, has been admitted to the local Rajindera Hospital in a serious condition.

Baba Santa Singh had shot to the limelight in 1984 when he was entrusted with the job of doing kar sewa of the Golden Temple complex after Operation Bluestar. Baba Santa Singh, it is learnt, had been lying in an almost unconscious state for the past couple of months. At the time of his shifting to the hospital, he was suffering from a 103 degree fever.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal not only called up the Patiala deputy commissioner D.S. Grewal to know the condition of the ailing Nihang leader, but he also instructed him to provide him the best of treatment facilities. 


Army dedicates first-ever war memorial for UN soldiers
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
In a soldierly gesture transcending nationalities, the Indian Army has constructed a war memorial dedicated to all soldiers who have laid down their lives while serving under the United Nations flag in Lebanon.

The memorial was inaugurated at the headquarters of the Indian contingent based in southern Lebanon yesterday, which also coincided with the Army Day celebrations to commemorate the first Indian Commander-in-Chief, Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa taking over the reins of the Indian Army post-Independence.

Ever since the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon was inducted in the strife-torn country in 1978, as many as 262 peacekeepers have lost their lives while preserving peace. Their names are etched on the granite stones which adorn the memorial.

Over 30 contingents from across the globe have served in UNIFIL on a rotational basis. Several contingents have constructed cenotaphs for fallen soldiers of their respective countries, but this is the first war memorial which has been constructed in collective honour of all martyrs of UNIFIL, according to sources in the Army Headquarters.

The project was conceived when Colonel of the Punjab Regiment, Major-Gen K.J.S. Oberoi visited 15 Punjab Infantry Battalion Group (INDBATT-9), presently deployed in Lebanon, in June 2007. The construction was undertaken by Capt Rajesh Unnikrishnan and sappers of the battalion’s Engineers detachment.

At the inaugural function, wreaths were laid at the memorial by the UNIFIL Commander, Major-Gen Claudio Graziano and INDBATT-9 Commanding Officer, Col Advitya Madan, General Claudio, an Italian officer, appreciated the Indian Army’s gesture and also complimented the battalion for its operational and humanitarian achievements.


Grant sought to keep state green
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
The Punjab government will seek one-time special Central grant to meet the target of 15 per cent forest cover in the state by 2017.

Forests and wildlife minister Tikshan Sud has said in the coming conference of forest ministers at New Delhi on February 14, the Punjab will present a strong case for the Central grant for this project as increase in forest cover to 15 per cent was necessary to protect the fragile eco system in the area located on the foothills of Shivaliks.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, along with Sud, had gone to New Delhi and had forcefully raised these issues at Forest Ministers’ Conference in Chandigarh two months ago.


High Court
Decision on Virk’s plea for CBI probe today 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Punjab's former director-general of police Sarbdeep Singh Virk's petition for transferring the investigations of cases against him to the CBI will come up for orders on Thursday. 

As the mater came up before the high court for final hearing, Justice H.S.Bhalla quizzed state counsel Reeta Kohli on the repealing of the Vigilance Act, 2006, and on the action initiated by vigilance director in light of the allegations levelled against SSP Surinder Pal Singh. He is allegedly the complainant and also a member of the investigating team.

Kohli said the probe against the petitioner could not be handed over to the CBI without the state's consent. Referring to an FIR registered at Kharar regarding the alleged grabbing of land belonging to a war widow, Kohli informed the court that the petitioner has not been named as an accused in the case so far. Following this, the plea filed by Virk for quashing the FIR was dismissed as withdrawn.

On the other hand, Virk's counsel-cum-Punjab's former Advocate-General Rajinder Singh Cheema argued there was mala fide and a clear attempt at character assassination of the petitioner by instituting this case.


The union government has appointed Punjab's Additional Advocate-General Anoop Inder Singh Grewal as Additional Standing Counsel at the Punjab and Haryana High Court here. Grewal has been a law officer for over a decade now and an Additional AG for three years.

Notice of motion

Taking up a petition for directions to the home secretaries of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh Administration for ensuring the protection of witnesses in cases involving police officers accused of serious offences, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued notice of motion.

In the petition before a Division Bench of the high court, comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia, directions have also been sought to place police officers, against whom charges have been framed, under suspension during the trial.

The petitioner, Paramjit Singh of Malout in Muktsar district, has also prayed for directions to the trial courts to expedite the trial of cases involving police officers and where serious charges have been framed. These cases should be conducted on a day-to-day basis in the interest of justice, the petitioner further stated.

Martyr’s memorials

In a reply to a petition for maintaining the memorials of martyr Udham Singh at Fatehgarh Sahib and Sunam, Fatehgarh Sahib's deputy commissioner Alaknanda Dyal today stated that the land on which the memorial was situated was not the state government's property.

He claimed that it belonged to a minority Muslim organisation. The DC also enclosed a copy of the land's Jamabdani for 2001-2002. He further submitted that the district administration, under these circumstances, had no authority to interfere in the day-to-day administration of the memorial.

Advocate H.C.Arora had earlier sought directions to the State of Punjab, and others to maintain the memorials.April 23 was today fixed for further hearing in the case.


Class XII exam from March 1
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 16
The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has released the date sheet for Class XII (Senior Secondary) annual examination in government, aided and affiliated schools across the state.

Giving this information here today, board’s chairman Dalbir Singh Dhillon said the Class XII (Senior Secondary) annual examinations for humanities, science, commerce, agriculture, technical, home science and engineering groups to be conducted by the board would commence on March 1. Releasing the date sheet for the examinations, he listed the schedule of the written examinations that would end by April 1.

He said the all theory papers would be held between 2 pm and 5.15 pm daily. The geometrical perspective and architectural drawing paper would be held between 2 pm and 6.15 pm. The papers of environment education, elements of building construction, electronics engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and engineering drawing would be held between 2 pm and 4.15 pm.

Dr Dhillon said from this year on 15 minutes additional time would be given to the students to read the paper carefully before the start of the examination. The question papers would be distributed to the students at 2 pm but the answer sheets would be given to them at 2.15 am. These would be collected at 5.15 pm at the end of the examination. The blind and physically handicapped students would be given one hour more time for a paper.

Dr Dhillon clarified that the centre superintendents concerned would display the date sheet for practical examinations at their respective centres.


3 booked for firing at Sukhbir’s cavalcade
Tribune News Service

Moga, January 16
Panjgranhi police station apprehended three persons and registered a case for reportedly firing at a cavalcade of Sukhbir Singh Badal, working president, SAD. 

The accused are Narinder Singh, son of famous Punjabi lyricist Makhan Brar, resident of Mallke village, Jaspal Singh of Panjgranhi Kalan and Jaswinder Singh of Panjgranhi Khurd.

As per the police version, the three tried to fire at Sukhbir’s cavalcade when he was going to Takhtupura village (Moga) to address a rally on January 14 from Faridkot. The police also seized a .12-gun and cartridges of .315 and .32-bore guns.

However, families of the three accused claimed that there was no reason for them to fire at the convoy and added that they had been firing in the air in a nearby village unaware of the passing cavalcade.


Warder suspended for attacking jail official
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 16
District jail warder Ajit Singh has been placed under suspension on the charge of attacking deputy superintendent Balkar Singh with immediate effect. However, the warder, who sustained injuries, alleged that he was “beaten up” by the authorities.

However, jail superintendent S.P. Singh claimed that the warder was a psychic and had undergone treatment for that. He further alleged that the warder had not reported for work since Lohri.

According to sources, when Ajit joined duty today Balkar asked him to explain his absence for the past few days. During this conversation Balkar got into a heated exchange with the warder which led to the unpleasant situation.


Shingaar Blast
RDX supplier nabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
A special investigation team of the city police has nabbed an alleged international RDX smuggler from near Sardayu village along Indo-Pak border in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. He had allegedly supplied 22 kg RDX to Shingaar bomb blast accused Gurpreet Singh.

SSP R. K. Jaiswal told a press conference this evening that the smuggler identified as Mohammed Ali, alias Aliya, was nabbed by a team of the Ludhiana police led by SP (Detective) Gurpreet Singh and CIA in charge Arvind Puri.

The team travelled for over 40 hours at a stretch along with Gurpreet, taken on a transit remand, to specify the place from where the explosives reached India via the Pakistan border.


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