R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


Panel penalises Railways:
The Punjab Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has ordered the Northern Railways to pay Rs 25,000 to an Amritsar resident and his son for denying them seats in a train on confirmed booking in December 2009. As a result, they had to undergo harassment, said the complainant, Om Prakash, who has multiple disabilities and was travelling to Chandigarh. He later was forced to travel in the general compartment.

Health staff found absent:
Four doctors and one auxiliary medical staff were found absent from their duty in a surprise inspection of nine primary health centres (PHCs) in Faridkot by Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Neelama on Saturday. Two health centres were found locked during the working hours, said the ADC.

AIDS awareness awards:
Four officials from Punjab have been conferred with a national award for spreading awareness on HIV/AIDS through the Red Ribbon Express. Among the officials are Dr NM Sharma, Dr Sukhwinder Singh, Ravinder Kumar and Dr Sooch. During its 18-day programme, the Red Ribbon Express halted at eight stations in the state.

Free livestock insurance:
The state government would soon formulate a policy to undertake free insurance of livestock in the state. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has also asked the Animal Husbandry Department to prepare a directory of elite cattle/animals, which won prizes in national championships with complete information relating to the breed and address. "This initiative will help the state in having complete record of the best quality animals or cattle in the state," he said at a function here.

NDMA holds mock drill:
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) organised a mock drill at three different places in the city on Saturday to apprise people about steps to be taken during a natural calamity. A large number of students, officials and residents took part in the drill held at the Government Mohindra College, Qila Chowk and Sheran Wala Gate. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force, Civil Defence, Red Cross and Fire Brigade took part in the drill.

Woman hit by truck dies:
A woman, Gulab Kaur (45), was killed while her daughter sustained injuries after being hit by an unidentified mini truck in Dirba on Saturday. The duo were hit by the speeding vehicle while they were walking on a roadside. The police has registered a case following a complaint by the deceased’s husband, Pala Singh.

Prisoner dies: Nikka Singh (32), a resident of Kularan village (Samana in Patiala district), who had been undergoing 10 years' imprisonment at the District Jail here in an NDPS case, died on Friday evening. Jail Superintendent Jagwant Kumar Sharma said he probably died of a heart attack. He said a judicial officer would conduct an inquiry into the death.

@@Lohri for girls @@The local Jallianwala Bagh Memorial Civil Hospital celebrated the Lohri festival of the newborn girl children at the hospital today. The 12 girl children born today and yesterday were provided gifts by senior medical officer Dr Balbir Singh Dhillon and other staff of the hospital. 
Þ page 2@@@@Scheduled Tribe status@@A delegation of the All-India Vimukat Jatis (de-notified tribes) Sewak Sangh (AIVJSS) returned from Delhi after submitting a memorandum to Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. @@The delegation apprised the Union Minister of their long-pending demands including Scheduled Tribe status for 193 tribes. 
Þ page 2



Policemen forcibly intercept agitating employees of the Roadways Department from going to the Chief Minister’s residence in Rohtak on Saturday
Policemen forcibly intercept agitating employees of the Roadways Department from going to the Chief Minister’s residence in Rohtak on Saturday. Photo: Manoj Dhaka

Foreigner among 7 injured;
Seven persons, including a foreigner, were injured in a collision between two cars near Khara Kheri village in Fatehabad on Saturday. Vincent, a French national, was on the way to Bathinda from Delhi when his taxi collided with a Maruti Swift car.

Former sarpanch booked:
On a complaint lodged by Baljeet Singh, sarpanch of Jhinwarheri village under the Jhansa Police Station in the district, a case was registered against a former sarpanch for alleged misuse of Rs 3.84 lakh funds between 2005 and 2010.



‘Border Chalo’ rally:
The local unit of the BJP on Saturday decided to organise a “Border Chalo” rally tomorrow to show their solidarity and boost the morale of the soldiers deployed along the borders.

Arms, ammunition seized:
Security forces on Saturday seized a cache of arms and ammunition during search operations in the Sopore area of Baramulla district, the police said. The police and the Rashtriya Rifles seized a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, two under-barrel grenade launchers, an AK-47 short-barrel rifle and three AK-47 magazines with 96 rounds, a police spokesman said.

Gunmen kill contractor: A contractor was kidnapped and later killed by unidentified gunmen in Pulwama district, the police said on Saturday. “Muhammad Shafi Wani of Aglar village in Pulwama was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen on Friday evening. His body was found near the village around midnight. We have registered a case and the investigations are on,” a senior police officer said.

3 drug peddlers held: Three suspected drug peddlers were arrested along with 4 kg dry cannabis leaves and 30 gm cannabis powder in Budgam district of central Kashmir on Saturday, the police said. They have been identified as Younis Ahmad Yattoo, Imtiyaz Ahmad Dar and Fazil Ahmad Raina.



Govt drivers threaten stir:
The state government’s drivers have threatened to go on strike from January 22 if their demand for pay fixation is not met. The drivers’ association of government vehicles has sent a memorandum to the Chief Minister demanding realisation of their demand. “If our demand is not addressed properly, our association will go for strike from January 22, and if the government does not take us seriously, we will spread our strike to essential services as well,” said Kailash Chandra Bhatt, association spokesman.

Eve teasing:
Eve teasers will be dealt with severely in the Uttarayani fair of Bageshwar this year. Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna is scheduled to inaugurate the fair on January 13. “We have instructed the police in charge of the fair to deal with eve teasers strictly and have police patrolling round the clock,” said Nivedita Kukreti, SP, Bageshwar.

Alert against poaching:
The Forest Department has sounded an alert against poaching after carcasses of two leopards were found in Bhimtal and Ranikhet forest divisions of the region. “Poaching attempts cannot be ruled out as the carcass of a leopard found near Bhimtal was bullet-ridden, while the one found near Tarikhet in Almora district has a deep wound in its head,” said Forest Officer Hari Singh Rawat in Ranikhet.

Polio campaign:
A total of 43,712 children below 5 will be given polio drops on January 20 in Champawat district as the preparations for the campaign have been completed in the district. “We have made 269 polio booths in the district to run the campaign on the day, which will be covered by a 438-member team of medical workers,” said KK Joshi, Deputy CMO of the district.

School holidays extended:
District Magistrate, Dehradun, BVRC Purshottam has ordered the closure of all schools in the district till January 15 in view of the intense cold conditions. Earlier the schools were closed till January 12. The school will now reopen on January 16.

Rehabilitate landslide victims: Irrigation, Revenue and Rehabilitation Minister Yashpal Arya has directed officials to speed up rehabilitation of 104 families which were affected by landslides and land cave ins due to the filling up of the Tehri Dam reservoir up to 835 metre. He said no laxity would be tolerated in the immediate rehabilitation of the affected families. He was chairing a meeting to finalise the draft policy for the rehabilitation of the affected families of such projects.

Leopard found dead: The carcass of a leopard was recovered from the Shergarh area of Doiwala in Dehradun. The leopard was around five years’ old. The reason behind the animal’s death was not yet known. A post-mortem was being conducted on the carcass.

Republic Day parade: A total of 100 NCC cadets will be participating in the forthcoming Republic Day parade in New Delhi. The NCC Republic Day is held in New Delhi every year and some of best NCC cadets from different states take part in it.

Tax concession sought: Member of Dehradun District Panchayat Subhash Bhatt has asserted that the inclusion of Nathanpur, Badripur and Raipur in the Dehradun Municipal Area will lead to the all round development of these areas. He, however, sought concession in tax for these areas.

4 soil testing centres: Uttarakhand will have four new soil testing centres. According to sources in the Agriculture Department, four new soil testing centres have been proposed for the state for the benefit of farmers. 

Vivekananda remembered:
The 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda began in Pithoragarh on Saturday. A committee formed in this connection took out a colourful procession through the town, depicting portraits and teachings of the Swami. The procession included schoolchildren and volunteers from various organisations. “We have formed an office under the guidance of Swami Gurukulanand in the town and the year-long celebration of the programmes will be conducted,” said Dharam Singh Rawat, one of the organisers of the procession.

Rudrapur coldest:
The town of Rudrapur broke 39 years’ record of cold on Friday as the mercury dipped to -0.8 degree Celsius, making the headquarters town of US Nagar coldest of the region. “It was in the year 1974 when the temperature had gone below zero degrees Celsius, which was repeated this year as the temperature was -0.8 degree Celsius,” said HS Kushwaha, Weather Department head of Pant Nagar University.

Tomato crop damaged:
About 80 per cent of tomato crops have been damaged due to frost this winter as the weather witnessed prolonged frost conditions in the district. “We have inspected tomato crop in more than 5,000 hectares in the Terai region and found the crop affected by diseases, which occur due to frost and dew,” said PV Kandpal, District Agriculture Protection Officer in Nainital district. The news of damage to tomato crop has also come from Tanakpur and Khatima areas of the Champawat and US Nagar districts.

(Compiled by BD Kasniyal)


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