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R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


PUNJAB

AMRITSAR
Campaign launched
: The Sikh Students Federation (Grewal) on Thursday launched a campaign to encourage use of Punjabi in the state and the country. Gurcharan Singh Grewal, president of the federation said since the language was used by revered Gurus to produce the Guru Granth Sahib and it was their duty to spread the language.

Bathinda
Farmers defer rail roko
: After having received written assurance over the smooth purchase of cotton, five groups of protesting farmers have announced that their 24-hour rail roko protest, slated for Friday, has been deferred. Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, general secretary, BKU Ekta (ugrahan) said: “The agitating unions have decided to accept the request of the state government.”

Jalandhar
Training
: The district sainik welfare office (DSWO) will conduct a pre-recruitment training for entry of males into the Army from January 15. Candidates clearing thescreening test will be put through the medical test on January 16. Candidates found medically fit would be enrolled for the coaching classes. DSWO deputy director Lt-Col Manmohan Singh said during the course, the wards of ex-servicemen, serving defence personnel and SC/ST candidates would be given free food.

PATIALA
Preneet backs Centre
: MP Preneet Kaur on Thursday said the Centre has given more financial aid to the Badal government as compared to the previous government. Speaking at a press conference, she said Badal’s allegations of discrimination were unfortunate and politically motivated and stated that she would contest parliamentary election if nominated by the party high command. Earlier, the 318th birthday of Maharaja Ala Singh, founder of Patiala, was celebrated with religious fervour in Quila Mubarak.

SANGRUR
Trade unions
: Various trade unions, representing bank and insurance employees has asked the government to initiate effective steps to compel the industrial and financial institutions to stop retrenchment and wage cuts of their employees and workers on the pretext of financial crisis. The panel has also asked the government not to hand over the provident fund accumulations to private fund managers. The committee also sought revision in the minimum wages of urban and agriculture workers, besides implementation of labour laws in letter and spirit in the states.

TARN TARAN
JE held on graft charge
: The Vigilance Bureau (VB) on Thursday nabbed a junior engineer (JE) of the Irrigation Department while he was taking a bribe of Rs 5,000 from a farmer. DSP Ashok Kumar said the accused took the bribe for shifting irrigation channel for supplying canal water to the farmer’s fields. The JE had been demanding Rs 8,000 when the farmer agreed to give Rs 5,000 and the same time he brought the matter to the notice of the VB officials. A case has been registered.



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CHANDIGARH

Mohali
Labourer dies
: A labourer died after falling from the first floor of an under construction house in Sector 91 here. The victim, Mohinder Patel, was declared brought dead at GMSH, Sector 16, Chandigarh. A police official said the victim fell after he slipped while doing labour work at the house.

Panchkula
Man hangs himself
: A labourer has reportedly ended his life by hanging himself at an under construction housing society building here today. The deceased has been identified as Ishdhar. The police said the labourer was working at the site. His body was found hanging at the 8th floor of the building, said the police. The police has sent the body for post-mortem.


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HARYANA

Ambala
One found dead
: Malkit Singh, a resident of Dahiya Majra village, was found dead near Basant Pura railway crossing in Rajkheri village this morning. According to his family members, he had left last evening to water his fields near Rajkheri village. The police is investigating the cause of death.


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JAMMU & KASHMIR

Jammu
Fire in Jammu heritage fort
: A fire broke out in the heritage Sheesh Mahal fort in Poonch district, official sources said here on Thursday. The fire broke out on Wednesday night when some labourers, who were staying in the fort for repair work, were cooking food. Fire tenders were pressed into service. Carvings done on doors and windows in a portion of the fort were damaged. The fort was damaged during the 2004 earthquake and was being repaired when the incident occurred.

Landmine defused: The BSF on Thursday averted a major tragedy when it recovered and defused a live mine near the border in Samba district. As per official sources, on the information that some suspicious item was laying in a field in Suchetpur village in the district, jawans of the 112 Battalion of the BSF rushed to the field and recovered the landmine. It was defused by the jawans.

Srinagar
5 houses gutted in fire
: Five houses were gutted in fire in the Kashmir valley during the past 24 hours, official sources said on Thursday. They said fire broke out in a house at Reddi Chokibal in Kupwara district on Wednesday night. The two-storey house was reduced to ashes before the fire tenders could reach there. Three houses were also gutted at Tulail Gurez in Bandipora, while one house was reduced to ashes at Kangi Gund in south Kashmir. The cause of the fire was not known and no one was injured.


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