R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


Govt thanked:
Sita Ram Sharma, state secretary of the Rashtriya Suraksha Samiti, which had been founded during the period of militancy in Punjab by former Health Minister Baldev Raj Chawla and others, has expressed gratitude to the chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and health minister Laxmi Kant Chawla for increasing the monthly pension of the terrorism-hit families from Rs 2,500 to 5,000. He hoped that other demands for which the families had been fighting since 1984 would also be accepted soon. The dependants of those killed by the militants should also be given government job at the earliest, Sharma said. 

Bid to steal trees foiled: The railway police foiled a bid by four persons to steal green trees from the railway campus near here, sources said. A patrolling party led by ASI Partap Singh reportedly noticed a tractor-trailer loaded with 5 keekar trees near the track in between village Balluana and Pakki. Four persons who were about to take away the trees which they had cut down fled on seeing the police. The vehicle bearing registration number RJ-13 R 1352 has been taken into custody, the sources said. Assistance from the GRP posts in neighbouring area of Rajasthan has been sought to establish the identity of the owner of the vehicle.

MoU with US varsity:
To facilitate and develop mutually beneficial study programmes, research relationship and exchange programmes, Guru Nanak Dev University here on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (USA). Vice-chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev university Jai Rup Singh said both universities, under this agreement, would set up joint programmes beneficial to their educational institutions. 

Guv mourns temple deaths:
Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala has expressed shock at the tragic stampede incident in which many devotees from Punjab lost their lives on pilgrimage to the Naina Devi shrine. He also sympathised with the bereaved families and wished speedy recovery to the injured.

Watershed project:
A plantation drive was launched by the Shubh Karman Society by organising vanamahotsav under the bio-industrial watershed project of the MS Swaminathan Foundation and Punjab Agricultural University at micro watershed, Bhadiar. Principal investigator of the project Dr K.L. Khera shared the objectives of the watershed project with a large number of farmers, including women, on the occasion. Highlighting the project, he said it would act as role model for the integrated development of the villages. 

College goes Wi-Fi:
The campus of Sri Sukhmani is now Wi-Fi enabled. With the bandwidth of 5 mbps, global information and data is just a click away from students. The college authorities of Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology have also made laptops compulsory for students to foster an interest in acquisition of knowledge and to furnish a vibrant forum for quality education. 

Seminar on breast feeding:
“There is no substitute of a mother’s milk and there is an urgent need to abolish the myths prevailing in the society about breastfeeding,” said Tajinder Kaur, vice-chairperson, Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, at a seminar organised by Desh Bhagat Ayurvedic College & Hospital, Mandi Gobindgarh, to mark the World Breastfeeding Week. The institute also organised a breast cancer screening test. About 55 women were examined.

Zila parishad poll:
Gurbax Singh Kapure and Master Atma Singh Rode were unanimously elected chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the Moga Zila Parishad here on Wednesday. Of the total of 15 elected members of the zila parishad and five chairmen of the block samitis, 18 members were present during the election process.

10-year jail for one: Balwant Rai son of Babu Ram was sentenced to 10-year imprisonment for smuggling of drugs the sessions court here on Wednesday. The conviction was under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act. A fine of Rs 1 lakh has also been imposed on him. 

More sugar mills:
Punjab cooperation minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh said on Tuesday efforts were on to restart six sugar mills in the state. He said the government had set up a committee of experts from Sugarfed, to advise it on the feasibility of starting the mills. He added Rs 1,400 crore would be spent to upgrade the mills. He also said due to the government’s efforts, milk yield had increased by 30 per cent.

Dera chief’s arrest sought:
Demanding immediate arrest of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Baba Ram Rahim Singh, the Sikh Students Federation (SSF) would gherao Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda at Chandigarh on August 11.Addressing mediapersons here today, SSF president Gurnam Singh Garewal alleged that the UPA government in the Centre and the Congress government in Haryana were politically sheltering Baba Ram Rahim. He said the government had a “soft corner” for him and demanded withdrawal of the security  of the baba. 

MP visits bereaved families: MP Preneet Kaur visited various places in the district the families of those killed in the Naina Devi shrine stampede. The MP visited a family of Todarpur under the Samana sub-division, which lost three members. She also visited Kulbhushan, Waraichan and Dera Gazi Salar villages, from where one person each was killed. Later she visited seven bereaved families of Patran. She has also written to the central government demanding Rs 5 lakh for the families of those killed. 

Cases against rural docs:
The district unit of the Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) on Tuesday flayed the government for registering cases against president of the Rural Medical Services Association Aslam Parvez and general secretary Rishi Bhardwaj by the Jalandhar police. District president of the LBP Sardar Ali said though rural doctors and para-medical staff had staged a peaceful dharna some days ago at Jalandhar to get their services regularised, the police registered cases against the association leaders even after the end of the dharna. 



The following have been elected office-bearers of Shivalik Market Association, Phase - VI: patron- Dalbinder Singh; president-Devinder Singh; vice-president- Kanwaljit Singh; general secretary- Suresh Kumar Goyal; joint secretary- Ranjit Singh; cashier- Raj Kumar Goyal; PRO- Jagdish Kumar; and adviser- Kishore Kumar Gupta. 

Economist dead: Dr Kharak Singh (86), a prominent intellectual, economist and religious leader, died here on Wednesday. Jatinder Singh Virk, his son-in-law, said Dr Singh suffered from prostrate cancer and died at the Ivy Hospital in the afternoon. He was a resident of Phase IV. Virk said the deceased was the founder member of the Institute of Sikh Studies, secretary of the International Sikh Confederation and also remained a member of the Dharam Prachar Committee of the SGPC earlier.

300 patients examined:
More than 300 patients were examined by medical experts on Wednesday at free medical camp organised by the Ivy Hospital. According to Gurtej Singh, CEO, Ivy Hospital, “Over 300 patients attended the camps held at a private bank, Sector 10, Panchkula and Punjab Tractors Limited premises, Mohali. The patients got specialised consultation free of cost. Apart from that, the patients got their ECG, blood sugar and blood pressure checked.” 



JE, asst lineman held:
A team of the state vigilance bureau arrested a junior engineer (JE) and an assistant lineman (ALM) of the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam while accepting a bribe of Rs 5,000 from a farmer for replacing his transformer on Wednesday. Sukhdeep Singh, a farmer of Jakhandadi village here, had complained that JE Ashok Sharma had demanded Rs 5,000 for replacing his burnt transformer. The team caught the duo red-handed when Sukhdeep Singh paid the money to ALM Baldev Singh, who was sitting along with the JE. The SVB has booked the duo under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Session begins:
The journalism and mass communication departments must respond to the fast changing needs of the media industry by amending their courses. R.K. Sehgal, registrar of Chaudhary Devi Lal University, Sirsa, said this while addressing students and teachers of mass communication on the first day of the new academic session on Wednesday. Sehgal said the department had already adopted a strategy to inculcate maximum practical training to journalism students. For this, a news portal and an LED-based news display system had been installed and the same were being managed and run by students.

Govt ‘befooling’ people: The All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) on Wednesday alleged that the UPA government had misled people on the nuclear issue by stating that it would solve power crisis in the country. Inaugurating a tehsil convention of the AIKS at Nathusari Chopta here, Krishan Swaroop Gorakhpuria, state vice-president of the sabha, alleged that the government was only trying to befool power-starved people on the issue. He announced that the state unit of the AIKS would soon launch an agitation against the government on the issues of scarcity of power and irrigation water.

Villagers block traffic: Residents of Jamal village blocked traffic for almost four hours here on Tuesday. They were protesting against erratic supply of potable water, poor condition of roads and non-supply of irrigation water to farmers, whose lands fell at the tail end of channels. They blocked traffic on all four roads leading to Sirsa, Chopta, Nohar and Goga Mehri. They alleged that despite several representations to the authorities concerned, the situation had not improved.



Donation given:
Roop Lal Dhiman, a former gram panchayat president, Kotla in Kot-Kehloor constituency, has donated an amount of Rs 21,000 to the Chief Minister’s Relief fund, for helping victims of August 3 Naina Devi tragedy. He, accompanied by former MLA Krishan Kumar Kaushal and former Kot-Kehloor gram panchayat president Babu Ram Bhadole, presented a cheque to Dr. Rakesh Kapoor, assistant commissioner to the deputy commissioner.

DPEs’ promotion:
The HP School DPE Association has demanded that DPEs working in senior secondary schools be promoted on seniority basis as block physical education officers (BPEOs), filling 117 posts in the department. Dr Dinesh Jhagta, president of the association, stated that the state government should prepare the seniority list of the DPEs in all schools and recruit them as the BPEOs in schools. Besides, all DPEs in senior secondary schools should be given designation of a lecturer in physical education and long pending demands be implemented, he added. 

Narcotics seized: The police has seized 237 kg of chura post, a derivative of opium, at Daina Park under the Paddar police station, but failed to arrest the courier involved in the smuggling. Efforts are reportedly on to arrest the peddler, who has been identified as Safaudin of Paddar.

ID function:
Pushpender Rajput, Deputy Commissioner, Sirmour said here on Wednesday that on the occasion of the 62nd Independence Day, the state-level function would be organized at Paonta municipal ground which would be presided over by Chief Minister P. K. Dhumal. He said that eight contingents of the police, Home Guards, the NCC and Scouts would participate in the parade. 

Last chance:
The Himachal Pradesh University has decided to give a special third chance in the supplementary examinations to students of undergraduate students of B.A, B.Sc and B.Com who have not been able to clear their compartment earlier. An official spokesperson said here on Wednesday that students who had not been able to clear their supplementary in the previous two chances will have to submit their examination form with a fee of Rs 500 before August 25. 



‘Kashmiri leaders communal’:
Accusing the Kashmiri leaders of being ‘communal’, the Jammu State Front (JSF), a conglomerate of various social and political outfits, has said that the Amarnath land row had completely exposed the parties like the National Conference, the PDP and the Hurriyat Conference. In a statement released here, the JSF leaders said, “It is interesting that people like Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and M.Y.Tarigami, who are fanning communalism and misleading the people in Kashmir, are appealing the people of Jammu for maintaining communal harmony and brotherhood. 

Two killed, 6 hurt in mishaps:
Two persons were killed and seven were injured in separate road accidents in the Kashmir valley on Wednesday. Official sources said a three-wheeler hit and injured Ghulam Hassan Para at Dab Ganderbal. He was admitted to the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) at Soura, where he succumbed to his injuries. Meanwhile, one Mushtaq Ahmad Ganie, who was injured in a road accident on July 28 at Kanthbagh, Baramulla, died at SKIMS on Wednesday. In another incident, five persons were injured when their vehicle turned turtle near Repora in Budgam district. An Army vehicle, on its way to Srinagar from Sonamarg, also turned turtle at Margund Kangan in Ganderbal, resulting in injuries to Jawan Pataf Singh. He was admitted to the base hospital.

Eight shops gutted: Eight shops were gutted in a devastating fire in a market in north Kashmir on Wednesday. Official sources said the fire broke out as a stove burst at the main market in Baramulla district. However, before the fire could be controlled, the leaping flames engulfed eight shops, damaging property worth lakhs of rupees. However, no one was injured.

Lodhi disqualified: The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) today disqualified its former leader Bilal Lodhi from the membership of the Legislative Council in Jammu and Kashmir for defecting to the rival National Conference recently. PDP Legislature Party Leader in the Legislative Council Nizamudin Bhat disqualified Lodhi from the membership of the Legislative Council, a statement issued by the party said.

‘Gujjars be given security’: Senior National Conference leader and Gujjar leader Mian Altaf Ahmed today alleged that the government had failed to provide adequate security and safety to Gujjars in the Jammu region and that the state was passing through a phase of chaos and lawlessness. In a statement issued here today, Mian Altaf said certain forces in Jammu were trying to communalise the situation. He said in some areas, Muslim Gujjars were in danger.


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