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5-month-old girl’s death sparks protest
Main accused arrested
Ajnala, March 18
The death of the five-month-old daughter of a “bonded labourer” a few days after the mysterious killing of her father, for want of medical care, today triggered a massive protest by the joint action committee in the main chowk here today.

Selling spurious seeds outside kisan mela
300 bags seized, 7 rounded upAn old farmer carries seeds from the kisan mela at Bathinda on Tuesday.
Bathinda, March 18
Coming down heavily on the dealers selling spurious seeds of different crops at a parallel market outside a kisan mela organised here today by Punjab Agricultural University, the Agriculture Department today confiscated more than 300 bags of seeds from five dealers.

An old farmer carries seeds from the kisan mela at Bathinda on Tuesday. — Tribune photo by Kulbir Beera

Return of natives
Ludhiana, March 18
The worrying phenomenon of brain drain that sucked trained talent out of India in the past two decades has gone reverse. Love for the motherland and zeal to pay back in some way to their alma maters has prevailed over the temptation of dollars and better standard of living abroad, moving many to return to the country.



Hola Mohalla begins
Anandpur Sahib, March 18
Annual five-day Hola Mohalla marking the birth of the Khalsa has started in the historic towns of Kiratpur Sahib and Anandpur Sahib. Nealy five lakh pilgrims from across the country are expected to converge here in three days. Pilgrims have already started arriving in trucks and tractor trailers carrying food items, tents and even scooters for local mobility. Rural masses have started occupying vacant lands and deras to set up tents and langars for pilgrims.



Poll will be fair, CM assures House
Chandigarh, March 18
Leader of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has assured the Assembly of free and fair elections to gram panchayats, block samitis and zila parishads. His assurance came when the Opposition feared subversion of the election process on the grounds that the voter lists had not been released till date and the nominations were to be filed by March 24.

SAD(Panch Pardhani) secy gen held, freed
Amritsar, March 18
The Ajnala police today arrested Baldev Singh Sirsa, special secretary-general, Shiromani Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani), as preventive measure and freed him on bail in the evening.


Sarabjit: Family prays for release
Bhikhiwind (Tarn Taran), March 18
The picture of her father holding her in arms and gleefully pointing a finger at the camera is still etched in her memory. But for this sole reminder of their happy days, she has virtually no other memory of her beloved father, Sarabjit Singh, who she says, accidentally crossed over to Pakistan and now faces death penalty.

    PM assures Badal

Mann for law on death sentence
Chandigarh, March 18
The SAD (A) has asked Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to bring in a resolution in the Vidhan Sabha condemning capital punishment. Party president Simranjit Singh Mann has said his party was against all death sentences and has held rallies in this regard.

‘Those freed should use restrain’
Amritsar, March 18
The Central and the state governments should restrain Indian prisoners from making any statement before seeking the release of other prisoners in various Pakistani jails.

Question Hour
10,000 teachers to be recruited on contract
Chandigarh, March 18
Education minister Upinderjit Kaur today said in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha that “teaching fellows and education service providers are being recruited in the government upper primary and high schools on contract. They will be given Rs 4,550 per month and Rs 5,400 per month, respectively”.

Value system in e-governance stressed
Chandigarh, March 18
“E-governance is not enough to provide good governance to the people. There is much more to provide good governance. That includes value system of society and quality of political system,” said Ramesh Inder Singh, chief secretary, Punjab, while speaking at a seminar on “E-governance for good governance” held at Chandigarh Business School here on Saturday.

Tibetan march enters state
Ropar, March 18
The march of Tibetan protestors today entered Punjab at Nangal from Himachal. The 48 protestors, including 10 women, carrying Tibetan flags and photos of the Dalai Lama demanded the immediate halt to violence against peaceful protestors demanding the Tibetan Autonomous Region in China-controlled regions.


Abduction, rape of wife from child marriage
High Court dismisses ex-husband’s appeal
Chandigarh, March 18
You would have dismissed it as just another story fit for a soap opera: A husband, infuriated by the “second marriage” of the girl he tied the knot with in childhood, abducts and rapes her for taking revenge. And, then pleads innocence on the ground that she was his legally wedded wife.

Notice to Punjab on plea against Bholath DSP
Chandigarh, March 18
Acting on a petition for directions to Punjab and others to initiate proceedings against Bholath’s DSP for allegedly harassing Congress supporters and other residents by registering or threatening to register false FIRs, the High Court on Tuesday issued notice of motion to Punjab.

Graft cases against Badals shifted to Mohali
Ropar, March 18
The corruption cases against the Badals and other SAD leaders have been shifted from Ropar to Mohali. The notification in this regard was pasted outside the court of special judge Ropar today.

Bittu, Gamma discharged in TADA case
Ludhiana, March 18 Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar, Panch Pardhani) chairman Daljit Singh Bittu and Gursharan Singh have been discharged in a 21-year-old TADA and attempt to murder case by Special Judge M.S. Virdi here today.


3-year-old living the horror of rape
Ludhiana, March 18
More than 30 hours after this three-year-old girl was raped by an unidentified "maniac", she is living the horror of the ghastliest act of crime every minute.


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