R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


Office-bearers elected
: The following have been elected as office-bearers of the Kisan Mazdoor Mulajim Talmel Sangharsh Committee for the year beginning on Monday: Jaimal Ram as chairman; Balwinder Singh Jhurarkhera as president, Lakhmir Singh as senior vice-president; Sarabjit Singh as vice-president; Balwinder Singh Sandhu as secretary; Ram Partap as joint secretary; Avtar Singh as press secretary; Suba Ram as office secretary; Puran Ram as cashier; and Jagtar Singh as joint cashier. 

Poet honoured:
The Chheharta Vikas Sabha and the Lekhak Pathak Manch on Sunday honoured Dr Sohinder Bir Singh, poet and professor, Department of School of Punjabi Studies, GND University here, for his book “Inqlaab Da Bani: Shaheed Bhagat Singh” at a function dedicated to the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. Prof Jagmohan Singh and Manjit Singh Canada, nephews of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, and Joginder Kaur, his niece, were also honoured. Pavitar Pal Kaur, secretary, Punjab School Education Board, released “Ambar Di Phulkari,” a book by Charanjit Singh Pannu, a descendent of Bhagat Singh’s family. 

Degrees conferred
: Around 250 students were awarded degrees at the 6th annual convocation of Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology on the college campus on Monday. Students of 2003 batch received their degrees from Chowdhary Swarna Ram, Punjab minister for technical education and industrial training, who was the chief guest on the occasion. 

Health check-up camp:
Scores of residents attended a free health check-up and treatment camp organised to observe the World Health Day at Gadhrian village, near here, on Monday. Civil surgeon R.S. Rana highlighted the importance of "Protecting health from climate change", theme of the day, to a gathering of sarpanches, panches, members of the Red Cross Society, representatives of NGOs and community leaders at the occasion. Puneet Kaur, chairperson, Hospital Welfare Sections, Gurdasrpur, inaugurated the camp.

Budhlada Bar elects its president:
Surinder Singh Mansahia was on Monday elected the president of the Bar Association, Budhlada. He defeated his rival candidate Surjeet Singh Grewal by 21 votes. Informing this, advocate Swaranjeet Singh Dailo said there were a total of 42 votes out of which Surinder Mansahia got 30 while Grewal got only 9. Three members abstained from voting.

Journalists association: Barjinder Sharma, editor of a local daily, was elected as the president of District Journalists Association of Mansa. In this connection, a meeting was held at Bal Bhawan, where journalists from the district had participated. Sharma was chosen unanimously.

: School bags and water bottles were distributed among 150 needy students of Samana by Punjab Youth Congress president Vijayinder Singh at Samana on Monday on the third death anniversary of his father and former MP Sant Ram Singla. A ‘Langar’ was also organised. Senior leaders including Samana MC president Yashpal Singla, zila parishad member Jagwinder Dhillon, panches and sarpanches of the area also paid homage to Singla.

Exhibition: Students of Gian Sagar College of Nursing exhibited their creative best at an exhibition of posters and models on Monday to mark World Health Day. It was a splash of colors in the auditorium of the college where the students had prepared rangolis. Over 20 models were on display to focus public attention on the need for preserving neat and clean environs by judicious disposal of waste materials. 

New course: Dharminder Singh Ubha, principal of the Khalsa College here, on Monday informed that the college is launching Functional English course from the 2008-09 session. He said the University Grants Commission has granted permission to start the course and to set up a library and well-equipped language lab with latest audio-visual aids.

Decision welcomed: The government ayurvedic teachers association has welcomed the move of the state government for fixing the dates of Punjab MPET examination and counselling for various medical, dental and ayurvedic courses in the month of June. 

Industrial visit: The Aryans Business School organised an industrial visit for around 60 MBA students to the Rajpura plant of US-based company Cargill India (P) Ltd. on Monday. Students visited various departments of the company including manufacturing, marketing, human resources, research and development and finance. 

Awareness rally:
By taking out an awareness rally and holding a seminar on the topic “Protecting health from climate changes,” the district health authorities celebrated the World Health Day here on Monday. The rally was flagged off by SDM Amandeep Bansal at the Civil Hospital here. In the rally which culminated at the local War Heroes Stadium, many students took part. The seminar was addressed by district health officer Dr K.C. Goyal, district coordinator, National Rural Health Mission, Lakhbir Singh and district mass media officer of the Health Department Raghbir Singh.

Support for Tiwana: The Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha (Sekhon) has extended support to Dr Dalip Kaur Tiwana for the post of president in the elections to the Punjabi Sahit Akademi to be held on April 13. General secretary of the sabha Tejwant Mann said here on Monday that he and sabha’s president Jaswant Singh Kanwal had appealed to Punjabi writers to vote for Tiwana.



INAUGURATED: Amartex Industries opened its 69th store in Ludhiana on Ferozepore Road today. The store will stock groceries,home furnishings, textiles, ready-made garments and fashion accessories. 

Batteries stolen
: Batteries of some vehicles parked near the PTL Chowk in Phase V were stolen during the wee hours of Monday. Bhag Singh, president of the mini truck union, said around 10 persons fled in two cars after the alarm was raised. In another case, the window pane of a car parked in phase V market was broken by a child with an intention to commit a theft. He was handed over to the police.

Cheques distributed: Around 13 NGOs from various parts of Punjab, working as project partners of Help Age India, were distributed cheques to the tune of Rs 12 lakh by Help Age India at a special workshop cum function organised at WWICS’ Asian headquarters here today. 



Hunger strike
: The staff of ITI, Ambala City, observed a hunger strike on Monday in protest against the decision of the department to adjust the staff of vocational education in ITI cadre. President of Haryana ITI Technical Employees Welfare Association Mukesh Bhardwaj demanded that a common seniority list of ITI and vocational education staff should be prepared so that the promotion are not overlooked. 

Minister hails Rahul:
Haryana finance minister Birender Singh termed the decision of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi to not to join the union cabinet as historic and in accordance with the principles of the Nehru-Gandhi family. The minister said in spite of requests by party chief Sonia Gandhi, Rahul refrained from joining the union cabinet and preferred to serve the party. He said by his activities, Rahul had given the message that the Congress would like to improve the socio-economic conditions of the poor.

Health check-up: Health check-up of all schoolgirls below the age of 18 years in Sirsa district would be conducted. Stating this on Monday, an official spokesman said a campaign would be launched to make people aware about diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria and protein-energy malnutrition. Global climatic changes were adversely affecting the public health and there was a need to make people aware, he added.

Fire destroys goods:
Domestic goods and cash were allegedly destroyed in a fire that broke out in Attar Singh’s house in Chhawwa village near Kosli on Monday. The fire broke out when the all members of the family had gone for harvesting. Attar Singh, whose daughter’s marriage was to take place next month, has sought relief from the district administration.

Checks on burning straw:
Surprise checks would be carried out in the state to check the burning of wheat and paddy straw that kills farmer friendly insects and destroys land fertility besides causing pollution, said Dr Krishna Pandit, local MLA and parliamentary secretary, while addressing a public gathering here on Monday. She cautioned people against global warming and said if it was not checked there would be rise in natural disasters. 

Anti-malaria drive: The malaria department has advanced its anti-malaria and anti-dengue activities by two months. More than 600 cases of malaria have been reported in the district in the past three summer seasons. Besides taking preventive steps like destroying mosquito nests, the department will also start an awareness drive. An official said villagers would be involved in creating awareness about malaria and dengue. Fogging to check the mosquitoes would also be started soon, he added. 



Electronics shop gutted
: Electronics goods worth Rs 6 lakh were reduced to ashes as fire broke out in Nahar Electronic shop near Civil Hospital in Paonta on Sunday evening. As per information, the fire suddenly broke out in the shop and within few minutes it engulfed the whole showroom causing big loss to shopkeeper Inder Pal Singh, a local resident. Flames were brought under control by the fire fighters and further loss to adjoining market could be averted. Paonta SDM Sandeep Kumar visited the spot and sanctioned Rs 5,000 as immediate relief to the shopkeeper. The Paonta police has registered a case. The cause of fire could not be known immediately.

Khair wood, vehicle seized: Divisional forest officer Sushil Kumar of the Paonta forest division said the forest staff with the assistance of the Paonta police had succeeded in seizing 15 quintal of khair wood and a pick up vehicle owned by a resident of Kolar village. It was used for transporting the illicit timber cut from the government forest along the Yamuna river on Saturday. He said the department had received a tip off that nearly eight persons had cut five khair trees on the bank of the river during night hours. The market cost of the wood recovered is over Rs 40,000, the DFO said. 

3 fined for illegal mining: DSP Paonta V.S. Thakur disclosed that during a campaign launched by the Paonta police against the illegal mining in the area, it nabbed three tractors at Bangran village on Sunday loaded with limestone extracted illegally from the Bhatrog and other areas. He said the three tractors were owned by Raghubir Singh of Salwala and Jeewan Singh and Sunil Kumar of Poka village. The tractors were challaned and impounded under the Mining Act and a fine of Rs 30,000 was recovered from them, Thakur added. 



Lalu, Rabri visit Vaishno Devi
: Railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav along with wife and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi paid obeisance at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi on Sunday. Yadav was here to flag off the first “Garib Rath” train from Jammu to Kathgodam and later flew to Katra along with his family, sources said. “After offering prayers at the shrine, Yadav along with his wife and two children returned to Jammu and later left for Srinagar by air,” sources said.

Pilgrim dies: A pilgrim who was on his way to Vaishno Devi shrine, died on Monday, official sources said. Mohini Devi, a resident of Agra, on her way to Vaishno Devi, collapsed at Charan Paduka area in Katra. She was shifted to a hospital where doctors declared her brought dead.

1 held with charas: The police on Monday arrested a drug peddler and recovered 5.5 kg of charas from his possession in Udhampur district, official sources said. The police intercepted a vehicle at Karal Nallah on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and on searching recovered 5.5 kg of charas. The driver has been arrested.

Anganwari workers 
: The process to engage 13,422 anganwari workers and helpers in the Kashmir valley was launched on Monday by social welfare minister Abdul Gani Vakil. “Application forms for these posts would be issued and received from today up to 10 days,” he said. He also distributed Rs 20 lakh among 200 beneficiaries of Rafiabad and Sopore tehsils under the National Family Welfare Scheme. He also laid the foundation stones for twin parks at Mazbug and Nowpora villages.

2 held for bribe: The State Vigilance Organisation on Monday caught red-handed two officials, while demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 4,000 from a contractor for releasing a pending bill of Rs 1 lakh, pertaining to some construction work in Pulwama district. The arrested were identified as Sami ullah Naik, assistant engineer (rural engineering wing), block development office, Kakpora, Pulwama and Mohammad Yousuf Bhat. 

Parliamentary board: The PDP on Monday announced that the party’s political affairs committee (PAC) would also serve as the party’s parliamentary board for the upcoming Assembly elections. The parliamentary board has been entrusted with the job of selecting candidates for the Assembly elections, a PDP spokesman said.


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