R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


Geeta Chaudhary, former municipal councillor, has been nominated as the president of the newly-formed Abohar south unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party. District vice-president of the party Om Parkash Kataria informed on Monday that at a recent meeting of the district unit, presided over by Mohinder Partap Dhingra, it was decided that the Abohar unit of the party should be bifurcated. This necessitated the formation of another organisational unit to give a befitting reply to the Congress in the upcoming municipal elections, he said. The party, by appointing Chaudhary as the first president of the new unit, had scored a point over its arch-rival Congress in spreading a positive message among the women, he added. 

Dang, Bitta against entry fee:
Communist leader Satya Pal Dang and All-India Anti-Terrorist Front president M.S. Bitta opposed the entry fee for visitors to the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial here on Friday. Both leaders said it would be out of context to have entry fees from tourists visiting the site for paying tributes to the martyrs.

Ambedkar Jayanti: The district unit of the RSS pledged to spread the message of Baba Saheb B.R. Ambedkar on his birth anniversary here on Sunday. Dr Lehmbar Singh, Dr Karunesh Gupta and RSS workers and BJP leaders were also present.

Interim relief: The state government has backtracked on its earlier clarification by not allowing interim relief to pensioners on basic pension payable as travel concession. General secretary, Punjab Employees Rights Protection and Welfare Union, B.R. Preenja said the government had said in March, 2007, that the interim relief was an integral part of pay/pension, which meant that basic pension due as travel concession to pensioners was payable with interim relief.

No sangat darshan today:
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will not hold sangat darshan at his residence on April 15 due to his prescheduled engagements. This was disclosed here on Sunday by Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, advisor to Chief Minister.

Century Plyboards: Century Plyboards will set up a state-of-the-art plywood factory in Punjab and proposes to start manufacturing medium density fibre boards. An official release said the company had planned to invest Rs 600 crore for the expansion plans.

Procurement starts:
Irrigation minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon on Monday started the procurement process at the grain market near Jhoke Harihar, around 20 kms from district headquarters here to mark the Baisakhi celebrations. Sekhon was accompanied by deputy commissioner Megh Raj, SDM M. P. Singh and officials from various procurement agencies. He assured the farmers that the entire produce would be lifted instantly as soon as it arrives in the market. In his message to the procurement officials, the minister said anyone found indulging in corrupt or unethical practice during the procurement drive would not be spared and stringent action would be initiated against him. He told farmers not to pay any commission or bribe to procurement agencies and assured them of timely payments. He instructed the officials that all basic amenities like drinking water, shelter, toilets should be provided to the farmers.

Bikers hurt:
Two motorcyclists were seriously injured when a private bus hit their vehicle near Gurala on Sunday. The injured, Satpal and Malkiat Ram, were on their way to Tanda when the accident took place. They have been admitted to the Tanda civil hospital.

Studio gutted:
A digital photo studio at Milap Chowk here got damaged in an early morning fire today. Two fire extinguishers were pressed into service and the fire officials claimed that the incident could have occurred due to short-circuiting. The owners of India Color Lab said they had suffered a loss to the tune of Rs 70 lakh.

Baisakhi gaiety: Kirtan darbars, kavishri programmes and seminars on the teachings of Guru Gobind Singh marked the Baisakhi celebrations at all gurdwaras here on Monday.

3 jhuggis gutted:
Three jhuggis were consumed in a fire that broke out near Jhujhar Nagar, Balongi area, on Monday. The incident took place at 5 pm, when the jhuggis belonging to Gurdeep Singh, Sukhdev Singh and Maha Singh caught fire. The flames were doused after 45 minutes.

Man drowned:
Mandeep Singh (22) of Balachaur got drowned in the lake near Gurdwara Patalpuri on Sunday. Mandeep had come here to take part in the ongoing Baisakhi celebrations. While taking bath his foot slipped and he got drowned.

Rally against inflation:
To protest against the rising prices of the essential commodities, workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party staged a rally near the Barahata chowk here on Monday. On the occasion, district president Sooraj Kumar Chhabra blamed the Central government for the inflation and demanded that the government should take appropriate steps to keep it under control. The workers raised slogans against the Central government and burnt the effigies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister P. Chidambram. Others who addressed the rally were Sukdev Singh Farmahi, state executive members of BJP Amarjit Katodian and Atma Singh, district vice-presidents Hardev Singh Ubha, BJP’s district press secretary, and Vinod Kali.

New school branch:
A new branch of Shivalik Public School, at Sewa Singh Thikriwala Nagar on Rajpura road, was inaugurated by the director of Shivalik institutions D.S. Bedi on Monday. Spread in an area of two acres, the school will shortly be affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi. At present, the school caters to students from Nursery up to class Seventh.



Coffee Day Xpress: Coffee Day Xpress plans to rapidly expand its presence in the city in the next few months. The group proposes to set up new kiosks in malls, corporate offices, high street locations, besides the airport and railway station. An official release said the group would also introduce a new multi-cuisine menu at its outlets in the tricity.

Low pressure:
There will be no supply of water at noon on Tuesday in residential phases I to VII and industrial phases I to V due to maintenance work being carried out at the Kajauli waterworks. A press release of the department concerned stated that the afternoon supply of water would be at low pressure.

Teachers’ visit: The Gurukul, Sector 20, Panchkula, played host to a team of around 80 newly inducted teachers from 60 government schools of Chandigarh on Monday. The visit was a part of a special training programme as per instructions of S.K. Setia, DPI, Schools, Chandigarh.



One killed:
A youngster, Hussain Ahmed, was killed after he fell off a running train on the Ambala-Saharanpur section on Sunday night. The incident occurred on the Chuha Bridge between Ambala Cantonment and Dukheri railway stations. Ahmed, a resident of Saharanpur, was returning to his native town from Rajpura, where he is employed.

Punjabi dharamshala:
Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) supremo and former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala inaugurated Punjabi Dharamshala constructed at a cost of Rs 3 crore by the Shaheed Madan Lal Dhingra Samarak Samiti on the southern bank of Sannihit Sarover here on Sunday. Chautala said the Punjabi community had contributed a lot to the development of Haryana.

One held for rape:
Balbir Singh, the alleged abductor of a girl (19), was arrested by the Kosli police from the Uttam Nagar area of Delhi on Saturday. The girl, who went missing from Naya Gaon village, near Kosli, on March 26, was also recovered by the police from there. The girl was medically examined and a case of rape had now been added to the FIR. 

Arrested on murder charge: With the arrest of Ajay Singh (26), the Rampura police claimed to has solved the murder of his father Lal Singh (55), whose body was recovered with marks of strangulation on his neck from a field at Jadra village, 8 km from here, on February 7. A case of murder under Section 302, IPC, was registered in this regard. The accused was remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.

Missing child’s body found:
The body of missing boy, Ravi (6), of Nattar village was found from a pit filled with water from the same village here on Monday. He went missing on April 11 from his village. The father of the deceased, Balbir Ram, stated in his police complaint that his family had gone for reaping crops, when the incident happened. Since then, the boy could not be located even after long search. 



Two held with 15 kg charas:
The police on Sunday said it had arrested two people and seized about 15 kg charas from their possession in the Churah area of Chamba district. It had set up a check post at the Talota area of Churah subdivision and seized the charas from a truck, which was driven by a Hemant Prakash. He was accompanied by Dharam Chand. The police said it was, however, not clear immediately where the consignment was headed to and from where it originated and added that the two are being interrogated.

Himachal Day function:
The district administration has made arrangements for holding the Himachal Day function at the Government College Tarkwari on Tuesday. Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal would be the chief guest. Hamirpur DC Nandita Gupta said the Chief Minister would unfurl the national flag and take salute at the march past at 11 am. She said 10 contingents from the police, home guards, NCC and school students would participate in the parade. Cultural troupes from Kinnuar, Shimla, Mandi, Sirmaur, and Hamirpur, besides folk singer Karnail Rana would present their cultural programmes on this occasion. The Himachal Police would also display a special programme dealing with the emergencies on this occasion.

Office-bearers: The B.Ed College Welfare Association elected its office-bearers in a meeting held at Hamirpur. President N.K. Sharma; vice-presidents Shiam Singh, Veena Raju, Brij Mohan Soni and Chand Saini; general-secretaries F.C. Dhiman, Lalit Pathak, Mukesh Kumar, Purshotam Sharma, and Virender Chaudhary; press-secretary Ved Sharma and finance-secretary Jai Chand.

Student commits suicide:
Krishna Negi (20), a first-year student of the Himalayan Institute of Dental Sciences, Paonta, committed suicide by hanging herself from ceiling fan on Monday. Krishna hailed from Shimla. Members of her family arrived at Paonta in the afternoon. The body was handed over to the family after a post-mortem examination. A suicide note cited “not pursuing studies as per the expectations of the family” as the reason for taking the extreme step.

Phone connectivity hit:
BSNL’s Internet, mobile and other services remained disrupted in Nurpur and Jawali subdivisions for over four hours on Monday. The connectivity was hit on the Nurpur-Dharamsala line via Shahpur around 1pm after OFC got damaged near Kotla during road construction work. Incidentally, the alternative Nurpur-Dharamsala line through Pathankot-Dunera also went non-functional due to a similar reason. The connectivity on this route could be restored at around 5.30 pm while efforts were on to restore the Nurpur-Dharamsala link. 

Red Cross fair from May 8:
The state-level Red Cross fair to be organised here from May 8 to 12 on the Ridge will give an opportunity to educate unemployed youth to appear in walk-in-interview to be conducted by the Industries Department. Deputy commissioner J.S. Rana said Governor V.S. Kokje would inaugurate the fair. Various activities, including magic show, roller skating, baby show, fancy dress, painting competition and cultural activities would be held during the fair. Efforts are being made to invite various companies to hold walk-in-interviews for degree and diploma holders. A blood donation camp will also be organised on May 8 at the Rotary Town Hall. 



Couple drugged, looted:
An elderly couple from Jaipur was looted by “Zahar Khurani” gang on their way to Mata Vaishno Devi at Katra on Monday, police sources said. The victims were identified as Ram Lal (65) and his wife Ganpati Devi (55), residents of Jaipur. The couple was on their way to the holy cave shrine on Trikuta hills of Katra when some unidentified youths befriended them on Saturday night and the couple was offered tea by the boys. After consuming it, both fell unconscious and the boys decamped with their belongings, including cash and gold ornaments. A case has been registered. 

8 horses electrocuted: Eight horses were electrocuted and a villager was injured this morning when a high-tension wire fell on them in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said. Gulam Hyder and Gulam Hassan were taking their horses to the fields when a high- tension wire fell on the horses at Raykeeba village. 

Sonu Nigam enthralls: The ongoing fortnight-long Jammu festival saw a high with celebrity singer Sonu Nigam giving a live performance at “first of its kind” musical concert. An unprecedented crowd of over 10,000 persons gathered at Gulshan Grounds on Sunday night to witness the concert. There was tight security around the venue. The concert was organised by the state tourism department as part of the Jammu Festival that commenced on April 1.

LeT ultra killed:
A top militant of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit was killed in an encounter with the security forces in Harwan area on Sunday night. Acting on a specific information about the presence of LeT militants trying to establish a base in the area, the police assisted by the Army and the CRPF launched an operation in Theed Harwan. Srinagar, SSP, S.A. Mujtaba said the militant fired on the police party and the gun fire was retaliated in which the militant was killed. The militant was identified as Abu Nasai, alias Zakira, and was functioning as the district commander of the LeT.

One injured: Ashiq Hussain, a resident of Pahloo, was seriously injured when a live fuse was blasted, which was lying near a cow shed in Achabal area of Anantnag district on Monday. This is in continuation to the fire incident in the Army depot, at Khundroo in Anantnag, which caused havoc leading to the death of at least 17 persons and damaged property in August, 2007.


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