P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Low-key polling in Amritsar (South)
Varinder Walia/Sunjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 22
Barring few skirmishes and one bid of rigging , polling for the Amritsar (South) byelection passed off peacefully with paramilitary force jawans and Punjab Police commandos keping an eye on miscreants . All booths in the urban Assembly constituency were declared sensitive.

However, the low- key polling indicates voters’ indifference towards parties though Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal , his son Sukhbir Singh Badal , the PPCC chief , Simranjit Singh Mann ,president, Shiromani Akali Dal and senior leadership of all three political parties camping in the city for several days . Deputy commissioner-cum-district electoral officer Tejveer Singh said percentage of voting was between 50 per cent and 55 per cent. The low voting percentage will decrease the margin of victory.

It is perhaps the lowest ever polling in Amritsar (South) Assembly constituency after the February 1992 elections when the mainstream Shiromani Akali Dal had boycotted the elections. Normally, the percentage of bypoll cross the 80 per cent mark , especially in urban areas .

Earlier Raminder Singh Bularia whose death necessitated the byelection had defeated his Congress rival Harjinder Singh Thekedar with more than 24,00 votes during the previous Assembly election . Now, Bularia’s son Inderbeer Singh Bularia was pitted against Congress candidate Navdeep Singh Goldi and Bhai Ram Singh , general secretary of the SAD (Amritsar).

The scenes of money distribution and purchasing of photo identity cards at the fag end of the polling were noticed . SDM Sandeep Rishi had to intervene when SAD (Amritsar) candidate Bhai Ram Singh spotted a number of women who had sold their photo identity cards .

A large section of Congress voters stayed away from polling following the expulsion of former party MLA Harjinder Singh Thekedar for six years. Most of the loyalists of Amarinder Singh , a former Chief Minister did not campaign properly . The PPCC chief spent most of her time containing rebellion in the party . Many senior Congress were annoyed with the party leadership for giving ticket to Goldi , a greenhorn in politics.The sulking workers of the BJP also showed indifference in the polling despite the fact the senior SAD leadership including its president Sukhbir Singh Badal visited Anil Joshi, a BJP MLA, as ‘damage control exercise’. Joshi along with his supporters was attacked in Daburji ( Tarn Taran) during Zila Parishad polling by Akali MLA Harmit Singh Sandhu . It is learnt more than 10 per cent BJP voters stayed away from voting. The polling was at snail’s pace due to rain in region in the morning. However, it picked up as the day advanced.

Rajwant Kaur (34) a voter rued she was not allowed to vote at the polling booth no 125 in Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar after standing in rain for half an hour as the serial no of her voter card did not tally with the voter list. There were many such cases and the polling was stopped for one hour. However, the polling resumed as the voters started protesting against the polling officers.

At polling booth no 41 the police picked up Congress polling agent Santokh Singh allegedly for distributing money among voters. However, he refuted the allegations saying that he had only Rs 253 in his pocket. Later he was released only to be picked up again by the police. Vice- president, PPCC, M.M. Cheema even complained to the central poll observer M. Malik who took the matter up with the DIG Border Range and Santokh Singh was released at 4.30 pm.

Goldi and Ram Singh, Congress and SAD (Amritsar) candidates, respectively, alleged the SAD-BJP alliance indulged in bogus voting besides purchasing of votes.

A cross section of voters while talking to The Tribune said that the intensive campaign launched by the Chief Minister and his opponent, PPCC president failed to mobilize them because the successive governments had done great injustice to the constituency in the past . More than 2,000 fan units in Amritsar, which was once famous for centre of fan industry, have already been closed down due to "ill-conceived" industrial policies, framed by the state government from time to time.

Panchayat Polls

EC puts off polling for 6 panchayats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
The state Election Commission today postponed the general elections to six panchayats in four districts, which were scheduled to be held on May 26 in the state. Disclosing this here today a spokesman for the commission said the polling for gram panchayat Nidhanwala and Lopon in Moga district, Bappiana in Mansa district, Dharonki in Patiala district, Chaura Bajwa and Nikka The-Therke, both in Gurdaspur district, had been postponed. 

Panchayat  elected unanimously
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
Kalipur village, near Budhlada, has elected its panchayat unanimously. Balam Singh, who has been elected Sarpanch, said he had been given the opportunity again to serve the village. His wife Jarnail Kaur has been Sarpanch of the village. Balam said Gurdev Singh, Balkar Singh, Darshan Singh, Beant Kaur, Raj Kaur, Pritam Singh, Lakha Singh and Raj Kaur, wife of Nikka Singh, have been unanimously elected panches. 


Use of Copter by CM for Campaigning
Charges not part of poll expenses: CEC
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 22
The Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today got a reprieve even as Chief Election Commission (CEC), N Gopalaswami announced that the expenditure incurred on using the helicopter by him (Badal) during campaigning for the Amritsar (South) bypoll wont be included in the expenditure of the Akali candidate Inderbeer Singh Bularia, as demanded by the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee.

Talking to The Tribune after the completion of the polling, Gopalaswami said that being the star campaigner, the expenditure of the Chief Minister would be borne by his party the Shiromani Akali Dal. To a question, CEC said that the Akali candidate , Inderbeer Singh Bularia could not be disqualified on such flimsy grounds that his party leader ( Badal) had used a helicopter for electioneering .

He, however, expressed his satisfaction that the election had passed off peacefully. He said the jawans of the paramilitary force were instrumental in raising the morale of voters.

It may be mentioned here that in a complaint to CEC, Bir Devinder Singh the chief spokesman of the PPPC had sought the disqualification of Bularia for exceeding the limit of expenditure, fixed by the Election Commission.

The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee had sought action against the Akali candidate for allegedly violating a Section of the Representation of the People Act.

With this, the CEC has agreed in principle to allow the Chief Minister to deposit Rs 19 lakh incurred on the helicopter during the election campaign of Amritsar bypoll .

However, the CEC had already pulled up the recently removed DC Amritsar, K.S. Pannu, for submitting wrong information to the Commission regarding use of a helicopter by the Chief Minister.


Badal writes to Centre
Corridor to Dera Sahib 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today urged the union external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee to take up the issue of allowing a religious corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district to Kartarpur on the Pakistan side immediately with the government of the neighbouring country.

In a letter to Mukherjee, the Chief Minister has pointed out that he had discussed the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who had asked him to take it up formally with the ministry of external affairs. He mentioned that Kartarpur Sahib was one of the most religious places for Sikhs, as the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak Dev, had spent major part of his life at this place. It is around 3 km from Dera Baba Nanak. Badal said it is the desire of every Sikh to pay obeisance at this holy shrine at least once in the lifetime.


No action against hotel built on public land
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
The Punjab government continues to be hospitable towards a Ludhiana hotel constructed illegally on public land. Though the Punjab and Haryana High Court had, on August 8, 2006, observed that the hotel had been set up on public land belonging to the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, action has not been initiated till date.

The illegality first came to the notice of a High Court Division Bench while hearing a civil writ petition filed in public interest in 2003.

The Bench was informed that a regular second appeal (RSA) regarding the same property was pending. As such, the RSA and the petition were ordered to be tagged together.

At that time, the Bench, comprising justices H.S. Bedi and Ranjit Singh, had taken note of the allegations that Hotel Marriott had been constructed on 700 sq yd belonging to the Trust at the instance of the state and other respondents.

The Bench had observed: “When the dereliction on the part of the officials, indicating their connivance to help the private respondents, started receiving our attention, an affidavit was filed by Dyal Chand Garg, executive officer, disclosing the follow up action taken by the Trust against its employees for not properly acting in the case. The actual involvement of the employees and the action of the private respondents then clearly dawned on us”.

Going into the background, the Bench had added the respondents applied to the Trust for the allotment of 700 sq yd. “Strangely, the Trust consented to the use of this land by the petitioners’ society as caretaker…. This proved to be the first step in the effort of the private respondents to grab this valuable land”.

Before admitting the matters, the Bench had observed that the consent was withdrawn by the Trust after it learnt of an attempt to sell illegal plots carved out of the land. But the possession was not handed over.

The matter again came to the notice of justice Ranjit Singh for the second time on May 16, while hearing arguments on a petition filed by BVM Builders and Promoters Pvt Ltd.

Taking up the petition, justice Ranjit Singh observed: “The petitioner had filed a suit against the Punjab State Electricity Board for the recovery of Rs 4 lakh on account of damage caused to them by disconnecting electricity connection that was standing in the petitioner’s name”.

He further observed: “The facts of the case as disclosed by the petitioner are that it is running a hotel…. It has come to the notice of this court while dealing with RSA number 1266 of 2005 filed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust that the hotel has been constructed on public land”.

“It was then noticed that the hotel was illegally constructed on the land belonging to the government/Trust. Connivance on the part of the Trust was also seen”.

Fixing May 28 as the next date of hearing, justice Ranjit Singh called for the record of the RSA for passing proper and appropriate orders. 


Panchayat poll violence not peculiar to state: Sukhbir
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 22
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal today stated that violence during civic body elections was common feature across the country and not unique to Punjab. “In Punjab, out of the 2,700 block samitis for which elections were held, violence was reported from only six or seven blocks,” he said.

Responding to a question regarding SAD image having taken a beating due to the violence in these elections, Sukhbir said: “It was a clean sweep for the SAD. How can our image go down? Even in the Amritsar bypoll, it would be a SAD victory. Bibi Bhattal would, however, like to blame the violence for her party’s defeat.”

When asked if the coming panchayat elections were also expected to witness similar violence, the SAD president said the DGP had been asked to ensure no violence. The panchayat elections were being fought neither on party issues nor on party symbols.

When asked why the SAD had not been able to find even a single Akali leader with a clean image to head the Youth Akali Dal and had chosen Kiranbir Singh Kang, who is facing serious criminal charges, Sukhbir defended the party’s choice. “Kang has been acquitted in half of the criminal cases against him. We all have been booked in false cases during the Congress regime. I have been booked for stealing a camera. Do you think I would steal a camera?” he said.

When pointed out that some cases had been registered against Kang during the last Akali regime, Sukhbir retorted: “Kang is the choice of the party and your personal opinion about a person need not be our party’s view.”

On the reported resignation of MLA Manjinder Singh Kang from Vidhan Sabha, Sukhbir said he had not received any official information regarding the resignation.

Sukhbir was talking to The Tribune at the local court where he had come to get his passport released for his visit to the US next week. “The visit is purely for party related works. I have been invited by a host of Punjabi bodies and would be visiting different places,” he said.

In response to a question if the behaviour of the Punjab police had hit a new low following the incident in Moga where an alleged rape victim had to strip naked to get a case registered against her rapists, Sukhbir said an inquiry had already been ordered into the case.

Repeating the grand plans the government had for the state, Sukhbir said Sector 62 in SAS Nagar would be developed as the central business district (CBD) and would be the hub of major commercial activity in the state.


Disqualification stares Bularia in the face
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
As polling for the Amritsar (South) byelection ended peacefully, serious doubts are being cast over the validity of the polling with the threat of disqualification of SAD-BJP nominee Inderbir Singh Bularia looming large. Since the byelection was held only in Amritsar (South) legal experts feel any money spent on the poll has to be considered part of election expense by the candidate.

Even though the Chief Election Commissioner has tried to give a clean chit to Badal on the election expenditure issue, but legal experts on this issue assert the Representation of the people Act has been violated and Bularia is certain to face the consequences in this regard. The Congress is now expected to take a legal recourse.

Te admission by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal using official machinery and subsequently depositing Rs 19 lakh to reimburse the government has become the biggest argument to his political detractors to get the SAD-BJP candidate disqualified. The legislation clearly puts the limit of the poll expense at Rs 10 lakh in some big states and Rs 6 lakh in smaller states.

Going by the logic that since the poll is being held only in one Assembly segment and Badal visited Amritsar for electioneering as has been admitted by him, the Rs 19 lakh would normally be included towards poll expense of the candidate. Since the EC has expressed displeasure with Badal for using the state helicopter and bullet- proof cars six times prior to polling, it is likely he may take the decision to disqualify the SAD-BJP nominee.

This is not the end of trouble for the SAD-BJP nominee, “under Section 10A of the RP Act, 1951, if the commission is satisfied that a person has failed to lodge an account of election expenses with the time and in the manner required by or under that Act and he has no good reason or justification for the failure, it has the power to disqualify him for three years for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament or the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council of a State”.

Meanwhile, taking cue for the report published in The Tribune the Congress has written to the commission asking to disqualify Bularia for violating Section 77 of RP Act and to take action against those persons who are gazetted officers and canvassed in favour of the SAD Candidate. Bir Devinder Singh wrote a letter to effect to the Election Commission today quoting The Tribune report.

Bir Devinder Singh added “as to our knowledge the SAD (B), a recognized political party did not have such huge amount (Rs 19 lakh) in its Account Books. It is a matter to be probed as from where this amount came from. As per our information this money in fact belongs to the SAD (B) Candidate and the SAD (B) has made this payment to the Government on his authorization”.

This expenditure of Rs.19 lakh, Bir Devinder Singh has said is beyond the prescribed limit -allegedly deposited by the SAD (B) Party in Government treasury is deemed to be the expenditure in connection with the election incurred or authorized by the SAD (B) Candidate himself. So he may be held guilty of having committing the corrupt practice as defined in the Section 123(6) of the R.P. Act 1951”.

Congress legislator from Qila Raipur, Jassi Khangura said Badal admitting to misuse of official machinery and subsequently paying back the money only amounts to utter disregard for the democratic process. The Congress stand on the “unfair” poll process now clearly stands vindicated, Khangura said.


Water pollution: Panel seeks report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
Taking cognisance of a news report on polluted water, the Punjab Human Rights Commission has asked the Punjab State Pollution Control Board, Patiala, to give a report on what steps have been taken to tackle the health hazard.

A national English daily had carried a news report on toxins present in the effluents discharged from units of Jalandhar Leather Complex, and sewer flow into East Bein or Chitti Bein, which merges into the Sutlej in Malwa and Kala Sanghia drain in the Doaba region.

It was reported that various studies conducted by the board showed that the main source of pollution in East Bein is the untreated waste water of Jalandhar and Phagwara, besides the industrial waste. Even the groundwater contains dissolved solids.

Percentage of chromium, nickel, zinc, and pesticides was high in the sediment of East Bein, while their traces were also found in soil samples of the fields being irrigated by rainwater drains.

The studies further point out that in the villages along Kala Sanghia drain, calcium, magnesium, fluoride, mercury and beta-endosulphan were found more than the permissible limit in the groundwater and water supply. In this area the incidence of skin, eye, stomach and liver ailments is also high.

The case has been adjourned till July 17.


‘Set up forces Tribunal’s bench at Chandigarh’
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 22
In the light of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act-2007, passed by Parliament, the ex-servicemen wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today urged the Union government to set up a bench of the tribunal at Chandigarh for the convenience of the ex-servicemen of the Army, Navy and Air Force of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Chandigarh areas.

District president of the ex-servicemen wing of the SAD Lt Col (retd) Surjit Singh Cheema, said today as per the information the central government was going to set up benches of the tribunal in Southern, Eastern, Central, and South-West Command areas of the Army whereas about 10 lakh servicemen and ex-servicemen of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal would be made dependent on the main Delhi bench of the tribunal to get pension and other service related matters resolved.

Col Cheema added a bench of the tribunal at Chandigarh would benefit ex-servicemen of north India as the said Act had barred civil courts to entertain cases of ex-servicemen. 


Moga Stripping
Rights panel  seeks report
Woman detained illegally for 6 hours;  scribes provoked Paramjit to strip, says police
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Moga, May 22
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has taken cognisance of stripping on the road by Paramjit Kaur, a Dalit woman, against the alleged police inaction in arresting the persons who allegedly raped and thrashed her.

The chairperson of the commission, Justice R.S. Mongia, and member K.K. Bhatnagar have asked the district magistrate of Moga Satwant Singh Johal to send a report of the incident along with a copy of the report of the magisterial inquiry to the commission.

Meanwhile, sub-divisional magistrate of Moga Lakhmir Singh, as part of a probe, recorded the statement of the woman in his office this evening. He said the woman had stated that “no one provoked or forced her to remove her clothes and it was her unilateral decision to do so”.

Later, talking to The Tribune, she said she had stated before the SDM that the local police was trying to forcibly get her thumb impressions on some papers in a bid to implicate certain people, including mediapersons, for provoking and instigating her to lodge a protest against the police by removing her clothes. In fact, mediapersons had helped me get justice, she said with tears in her eyes.

The woman alleged that the police tried to prevent her from going to the SDM’s office to record her statement. She was called in the police station (rural) in the morning and kept in the illegal detention for more than six hours. Ultimately she ran away from the police station and reached the SDM’s office.

Meanwhile, SSP of Moga Ashok Bath told The Tribune that a couple of mediapersons provoked the woman to strip in protest. The SSP claimed that during the preliminary inquiry it had come out that a couple of mediapersons talked to her even in the late hours and also just before she lodged the protest on Monday. 


Holiday on May 26
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
The Punjab government has declared holiday on May 26 in its all offices, all offices of corporations, boards and all educational institutions in the state and in Chandigarh on account of the gram panchayat elections. An official spokesman said today it would be a holiday within the meaning of Section 25 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, in the state.


Singing contest for Rafi awards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
The Yaadgar-e-Rafi Society, Chandigarh is holding the first round of singing competition for Rafi awards on June 15, at Randhawa auditorium in Sector 16 here.

There will be three rounds of this competition for seniors and juniors in male and female categories. The three rounds will be held on June 15, June 29 and the final round on the death anniversary of Mohd Rafi on July 27. The male contestants will sing only Mohd Rafi’s songs and female contestants will Lata’s

The winners will be honoured with Best Singer Award and the first and second runners up with trophies in both categories. The awards will be given away by a renowned film personality in Rafi nite in December this year. Last year these awards were given away by popular playback singer Suman Kalyanpur.

For more details contact B.D. Sharma 98147-31112.


High Court
National-level boxer fears threat to life
Notice of motion to Punjab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
A national-level boxer, Jagtar Singh, today expressed apprehension of elimination in fake encounter due to differences with the SSP of Amritsar.

In his petition placed before Justice Nawab Singh, Jagtar Singh, alias Boxer, said he had earned the SSP’s wrath following altercation between them during his stay in Amritsar jail in 2005.

Elaborating, Jagtar Singh claimed that the SSP, in charge of the jail, had felt humiliated and threatened him with elimination.

The petitioner claimed that several cases had been registered against him, as the cops were not happy with him. This was because he had been leading a mass movement to generate awareness against the use of drugs.

Jagtar Singh said on December 3, last year, two groups clashed at a court complex. Though he was at Gurdaspur at the time of the incident, he was apprehended on return. Two cops asked him escape. But sensing a foul play, he refused to run.

Seeking probe by an officer not below the rank of deputy inspector-general of police, Boxer through counsel Atul Lakhanpal added that a day after a case was registered against him, his posters were glued all over the city for enabling the SSP to achieve the objective of eliminating him. Taking up the petition, Justice Nawan Singh has issued notice of motion to Punjab.

Issue appointment letters: HC

A High Court Division Bench of Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice H.S. Bhalla today allowed a bunch of appeals filed by 65 physically challenged class four Punjab government employees. They were summarily sacked in 2002 without assigning any reason, and had filed the appeal against the Single Bench verdict upholding the termination orders.

Pronouncing the orders, the Bench directed the state government to issue letters of appointments to these 65 petitioners within a week. As per government’s own admission, they had been found eligible for the posts.

The Bench also directed the state to consider afresh on merit the cases of remaining 43 similarly placed employees earlier rated ineligible by the authorities.

All these petitioners were appointed to posts like peons, beldars, mali-cum-chowkidar, water carrier, boatman in 2001. The services of the petitioners were done away with on August 2, 2002.

Notice against state Home Secretary

A High Court Division Bench of Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice H.S. Bhalla today issued notice for September 26 on a petition seeking directions to protect the followers of the Dera Saccha Sauda for holding religious congregations “naam charcha.”

The petition has been filed by Mansa-based advocates Gurpreet Singh and Rahul Rupal against the state Home Secretary, state police chief and others.

The petitioners have also prayed that no restrictions should be placed on the visit to Mansa of Dera Chief Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.


Class VIII School Board Exams
Here too girls outshine boys
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 22
Girl students once again outshone boys in the class VIII Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) results declared here today.

Majority of the top 50 positions in the merit list went to girls. The first top eight slots in the state are with girl students: Navneet Kaur (Ropar), Ankita Bansal (Barnala), Inderjit Kaur (Malout), Diksha (Mansa), Richa (Mansa), Amanjot Kaur (Ropar), Priyanka (Sangrur) and Komal Jindal (Mansa). Anshu Gupta (Muktsar) and Kapil Dev (Mansa) are the two boys in the top 10.

Students of Chetan Sarvhitkari Senior Secondary School Mansa have won the maximum number of positions in the top 100 taking their district to the top position in the state. Students from this school earlier produced state toppers Anmol Deep Singh and Pooja Goyal. Students of Sangrur, Barnala, Muktsar and Bathinda have also made their mark in the merit list.

According to board chairman Dr D.S. Dhillon, 66.86 per cent of the regular candidates and 60.91 per cent of the private candidates who appeared in the examination have passed. He added pass percentage had substantially improved from last year when the pass percentage n these categories was 55.38 and 52.48 respectively.

The detailed results would be available from May 23 midnight on websites www.indiaresult.com, www.iflsets.com and also through SMS services of various mobile telephone service operators. As many as 4,37,497 regular candidates and 105041 private candidates appeared in the middle examination of the PSEB.

While the result gazette will be available for the public at the board’s textbook sales depots at various district and tehsil headquarters from 4 pm tomorrow, booksellers can collect the gazettes from textbook sales depots at the various district headquarters only. The school principals or their authorised representatives can collect cuttings of the their respective institutions from the textbook sales depots from where they collected the roll numbers from 10am on May 24. 


Mealy bug menace in cotton belt
PAU experts’ remedies 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
Mealy bug attack on cotton,last year, caused 5 per cent to 7 per cent loss of cotton seed . A recent survey by a Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) team of 223 cotton-belt villages reports mealy bug attack on weeds in waste land, around cotton fields and stacked cotton sticks in 150 villages.

According to Dr A.K.Dhawan, who led the team, in Mansa district alone 27 per cent villages were found infested with mealy bug. In Bathinda, mealy bug was observed in almost all villages. The pest has already migrated to cotton in a few fields, informed Dr Dhawan.

Dr N.S.Malhi, director extension education ,PAU, said the varsity was creating awareness amongst cotton growers about timely intervention. He said emphasis had been to reduce the carry-over of the pest by removing alternative host of mealy bug and disposal of infested cotton sticks by regular monitoring. Dr Malhi said the cultivation of recommended hybrids/varieties, regular eradication of weeds and monitoring were the key factors for management.

He advised farmers to adopt PAU's strategy. The survey indicated the build-up of pests on weeds so proper steps should be taken to prevent its spread to the crop. The farmers should dispose of the weeds properly and not throw these in irrigation sources (canals/channels). He cautioned once the pests migrated to cotton, eradication will not be possible and use of insecticide early in the season might result in build-up of new pests.

“Farmers must remove all weeds in and around cotton fields, waste land and in the vicinity of cotton stacks. The weeds should be disposed of by burying.


Sarpanch killed during campaigning

Gurdaspur, May 22
The sarpanch of Matwa village in the district was killed by a group of Congress supporters while campaigning for his wife late last night in the Gram Panchayat elections scheduled to be held on May 26.

Police reports today said five Congress supporters led by Harpal Singh attacked sarpanch Jaspal Singh while he was campaigning for his wife, Kuljit Kaur in the elections. The sarpanch did not stand for the elections as the post of sarpanch had been reserved for women in the general category.

The sarpanch, a supporter of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), died in hospital today.

The police has registered a case against Harpal Singh and his supporters — Varpal Singh, Maluka, Sukhdev Singh, Gurdev Singh and Piara Singh. — UNI


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