Sunday, October 18, 2009

Satyam allowed to finalise accounts for 2008-09

The Company Law Board today allowed Satyam Computer (now Mahindra Satyam) to finalise accounts for 2008-2009 and also adjust past irregularities. The CLB chairman S Balasubramanian has permitted Satyam Computer\'s request to allow it to adjust \"errors, omissions, misstatement and other irregularities\" prior to 2008-2009 as \"prior period adjustment\".

Earlier in January this year, Satyam founder B Ramalinga Raju had confessed to cooking company\'s account books for several years leading to an accounting scam of multi-crore rupees.

The CLB also allowed Satyam Computer to present the combined annual account for 2008-09 and 2009-2010 in an Annual General Meeting of its shareholders.

At the same time, the CLB directed Satyam Computer to convene its AGM within three months of finalisation of its accounts. \"AGM for 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 are permitted to be held within three months of finalisation of the accounts for those years together,\"said CLB chairman in its order.

However, the CLB declined to grant further immunity to the Satyam CEO and CFO from any civil and criminal punitive action for any matter related to period prior to January 2009.

The CLB chairman said that it would be dealt later. Satyam Computer had filed an application seeking relief on presenting restated accounts from the CLB.�

News From:

Cotton purchase suspended over fire threat

Taking preventive measures against any incident of fire during Diwali celebrations, the authorities concerned have ordered to keep the cotton purchase suspended across the state for two days beginning today.

Though the orders have been passed for the suspension of only two days� purchase, farmers will have to wait for three days as Sunday is an official holiday and mandis remain close and no auction takes place on that day. The orders have been issued in view of requests of arhtiyas.

President of the Arhtiya Association, Bathinda, Satish Kumar said, �The crop is highly inflammable and during the festival, people play with crackers in an unrestrained manner. We had urged the officials concerned to suspend the purchase as a preventive measure against any untoward incident during Diwali celebration. In the past, we had witnessed some incidents of fire which caused loss to all, including farmers, arhtiyas and even purchasers.�

Confirming the details, state cotton officer Narender Singh said, �The suspension is on the request of arhtiyas, that too, as a preventive measure.�

According to details gathered, till Wednesday, in all 41 cotton mandis of the state, about 9.5 lakh quintals of cotton had arrived, of which the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), which is at present procuring the crop in 22 mandis, purchased about 2.72 lakh quintals and the rest was purchased by private buyers.

It has also been reported that the CCI was planning to enter Bhikhi, Moga, Bariwala, Jalalabad, Ahmedgarh, Dhuri, Boha and Killianwali mandis after Diwali. However, it could not be confirmed from CCI officials.

News From:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

U.S. International Trade Commission confirms ruling in favor of Nokia

New York, NY, United States - Nokia announced today that the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has reviewed the Administrative Law Judge's (ALJ) Initial Determination in favor of Nokia, in the action brought by InterDigital. Following the review, the Commission has affirmed the ALJ's Initial Determination and terminated the investigation.
Nokia is delighted with this outcome. Not only did the Commission conclude that Nokia products do not infringe InterDigital's patents, but it also withdrew the portion of the ALJ's Initial Determination that had found the patents valid.
The case, filed by InterDigital, alleged that Nokia infringed four patents that InterDigital asserted as essential for the UMTS (3G) mobile standard. Today's result is consistent with a previous judgement in the United Kingdom that found several InterDigital patents not to be essential to the UMTS mobile standard.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

48 pc turnout in M’rashtra

Polling was largely peaceful in Maharashtra with around 45 per cent turnout provisionally reported shortly after 5 pm when the voting closed.

The Election Commission officials estimate that the actual polling would be in the region of 48-50 per cent. The voting was held at 84,136 polling stations. There are 3,559 contenders, including 211 women, for the 288 Assembly seats in the state. The counting of votes will take place on October 22.

The turnout was uneven with Naxalite-affected Gadchiroli reporting 55-60 per cent turnout, while most of the Mumbai voters chose to stay away. By 3 pm, just around 25 per cent of the voters bothered to show up, though the long queues outside the polling stations, an hour before the closing time, indicated that the turnout would touch around 35-40 per cent.

The turnout was high in slum areas as political workers fanned out late in the afternoon to get people out to vote. However, the middle-classvoters were fewer in numbers at the polling stations even after the administration forced closure of shopping malls and restaurants. Tour operators reported a large number of bookings from Mumbai as people combined the weekend and a day-off (Monday) to take a long break outside the city. Among the early voters, who showed up to exercise their franchise , included Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt, Amitabh Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Shabana Azmi and her husband Javed Akhtar, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, industrialist Anil Ambani and others. Bal Thackeray and his nephew Raj Thackeray also queued up to cast theirvotes. According to the EC officials polling was largely peaceful except for a major clash between paramilitary forces and the Naxalites in Gadchiroli. In the communally sensitive town of Malegaon clashes broke out between activists of the Shiv Sena and the NCP and some cars were set on fire. Police said 17 people have been arrested so far.

Meanwhile, the police filed a complaint against the Congress MLA Janardhan Chandurkar, contesting from Bandra East in Mumbai, for allegedly distributing money to voters. The police said Rs 15,000 were recovered from his car. However, Chandurkar said the money was his driver\'s personal cash.In Ghatkopar, the police booked some activists of the MaharashtraNavnirman Sena after they got into a scuffle with the police. In thesame constituency, Ram Kadam, an Independent candidate, was booked forallegedly trying to mislead voters. Meanwhile, Maoists attempted to disrupt polls in the Gadchiroli district. According to the police, the rebels opened fire on the security personnel guarding the Aheri and Armori polling booths. Though no one was hurt, voters, mainly tribals, stayed away.

Polling was scheduled between 9 am and 3 pm due to the Naxal trouble here. However, no voter had turned up at these stations till 2 pm, according to the reports. Meanwhile, at the remote Bonde polling station in Korchi Taluka in the same district there were reports of the rebels surrounding the area.

According to the police, around 30 polling staff and police have beensurrounded by Maoists and heavy exchange of fire was on till late afternoon.

News From:

Cancer-hit village a victim of govt apathy

This village, noted for its high cotton yield, is a typical instance of the desperate poverty amid the ostentatious wealth in one of the country�s most prosperous states. Plagued by teeming squalor, lack of sanitation, contaminated water, endemic diseases and - above all - official apathy, residents still manage to eke out a living here.

Though the political leadership had pledged to combat the epidemic form of cancer prevalent in the area during the previous polls, it has failed to take any effective steps to contain the disease. In the face of government apathy and their lack of means, many villagers are now taking recourse to �black magic� in the hope it would help in ridding the village of the disease.

During a visit to the village, residents told this reporter dozens of villagers had fallen prey to various forms of cancer in the past, with six people having succumbed to the disease during the past four months. They rued the state health authorities had not rendered any medical assistance whatsoever. Initially hesitant in talking about the issue, a group of elderly villagers said: �The state government is so heartless that even after it had received several applications from residents for medical aid it did not respond. The result was that six villagers died of cancer�.

Later, recounting the deaths that had lately occurred, the villagers said a 60-year-old resident, Gurcharan Singh, died of stomach cancer about a month back.

�After a struggle lasting seven months Kaur Singh died four months ago at the age of 63 due to mouth cancer. 40-year-old Gurdeep Kaur, who died on July 1 this year, had been suffering from throat cancer. Another woman, Jaswinder Kaur, who was in the same age group, lost her life on August 5 due to breast cancer. 52-year-old Golo Kaur, who had uterine cancer, died the following month�, they added.

�The list of deaths due to cancer is very long. The disease has even become an impediment in the villagers� wedding plans as outsiders are reluctant to allow their children to marry anyone in this village,� said Baldev Singh. An educated woman, requesting anonymity, said, �It is high time the government swings into action. Even though a reverse osmosis water purification plant has been installed here, health officials must render prompt treatment to those residents who have been afflicted with cancer�.

News From:

Friday, October 9, 2009

ਕਾਬੁਲ : ਭਾਰਤੀ ਸਫ਼ਾਰਤਖਾਨੇ ਨੇੜੇ ਧਮਾਕਾ, 12 ਮੌਤਾਂ

ਅਫ਼ਗਾਨਿਸਤਾਨ ਦੀ ਰਾਜਧਾਨੀ ਕਾਬੁਲ �ਚ ਭਾਰਤੀ ਸਫ਼ਾਰਤਖਾਨੇ ਨੇੜੇ ਅੱਜ ਸਵੇਰੇ ਹੋਏ ਇਕ ਆਤਮਘਾਤੀ ਹਮਲੇ �ਚ 12 ਵਿਅਕਤੀ ਮਾਰੇ ਗਏ ਅਤੇ 83 ਹੋਰ ਜ਼ਖ਼ਮੀ ਹੋ ਗਏ। ਜ਼ਖ਼ਮੀਆਂ �ਚ ਭਾਰਤ -ਤਿੱਬਤ ਸੀਮਾ ਪੁਲਿਸ ਬਲ ਦੇ ਤਿੰਨ ਜਵਾਨ ਵੀ ਸ਼ਾਮਲ ਹਨ। ਭਾਰਤੀ ਰਾਜਦੂਤ ਜੈਯੰਤ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦ ਨੇ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਭਾਰਤੀ ਸਫ਼ਾਰਤਖਾਨਾ ਇਸ ਹਮਲੇ ਦਾ ਮੁੱਖ ਨਿਸ਼ਾਨਾ ਸੀ।

ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਧਮਾਕਾ ਇੰਨਾ ਜ਼ਬਰਦਸਤ ਸੀ ਕਿ ਉਸ ਨਾਲ ਸਫ਼ਾਰਤਖਾਨੇ ਦਾ ਨਿਗਰਾਨੀ ਟਾਵਰ ਉਡ ਗਿਆ, ਵਾਹਨ ਨਸ਼ਟ ਹੋ ਗਏ ਅਤੇ ਸੜਕਾਂ �ਤੇ ਲਾਸ਼ਾਂ ਵਿਛ ਗਈਆਂ। ਉਧਰ ਅਫ਼ਗਾਨਿਸਤਾਨ ਦੇ ਗ੍ਰਹਿ ਮੰਤਰਾਲੇ ਦੇ ਬੁਲਾਰੇ ਜਮਰਾਲ ਬਾਸ਼ਰੀ ਨੇ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਇਕ ਆਤਮਘਾਤੀ ਕਾਰ ਧਮਾਕਾ ਭਾਰਤੀ ਸਫ਼ਾਰਤਖਾਨੇ ਦੇ ਨਜ਼ਦੀਕ ਹੋਇਆ, ਜਿਸ �ਚ 12 ਲੋਕਾਂ ਦੀ ਮੌਤ ਹੋ ਗਈ ਅਤੇ 83 ਜ਼ਖ਼ਮੀ ਹੋ ਗਏ।

ਭਾਰਤੀ ਰਾਜਦੂਤ ਨੇ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਸਾਡੇ ਪਾਸ 9 ਲੋਕਾਂ ਦੇ ਮਾਰੇ ਜਾਣ ਅਤੇ 4 ਦੇ ਗੰਭੀਰ ਰੂਪ �ਚ ਜ਼ਖ਼ਮੀ ਹੋਣ ਅਤੇ 12 ਹੋਰਾਂ ਦੇ ਸੱਟਾਂ ਲੱਗਣ ਦੀ ਸੂਚਨਾ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤ ਹੋਈ ਹੈ। ਮ੍ਰਿਤਕਾਂ ਦੀ ਗਿਣਤੀ ਵਧਣ ਦੀ ਸੰਭਾਵਨਾ ਹੈ। ਜ਼ਿਕਰਯੋਗ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਆਤਮਘਾਤੀ ਹਮਲਾਵਰ ਸਫ਼ਾਰਤਖਾਨੇ ਦੀ ਸੁਰੱਖਿਆ ਦੀਵਾਰ ਨੂੰ ਤੋੜਨ �ਚ ਕਾਮਯਾਬ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੋ ਸਕੇ।

ਸ੍ਰੀ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦ ਨੇ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਹਮਲੇ �ਚ ਸਫ਼ਾਰਤਖਾਨੇ ਦਾ ਕੋਈ ਕਰਮਚਾਰੀ ਜਾਂ ਭਾਰਤੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਗਿਆ। ਇਸੇ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਵਿਦੇਸ਼ ਸਕੱਤਰ ਨਿਰੁਪਮਾ ਰਾਓ ਨੇ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਇਹ ਹਮਲਾ ਸਵੇਰੇ 8.27 ਮਿੰਟ �ਤੇ ਹੋਇਆ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਉਹ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਹੀ ਕਾਬੁਲ �ਚ ਭਾਰਤੀ ਰਾਜਦੂਤ ਜੈਯੰਤ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦ ਨਾਲ ਗੱਲਬਾਤ ਕਰ ਚੁੱਕੇ ਹਨ, ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੇ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਸਫ਼ਾਰਤਖਾਨੇ ਦੇ ਸਾਰੇ ਕਰਮਚਾਰੀ ਸੁਰੱਖਿਅਤ ਹਨ। ਸ੍ਰੀਮਤੀ ਰਾਓ ਨੇ ਇਸ ਗੱਲ �ਤੇ ਜ਼ੋਰ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਕਿ ਭਾਰਤ ਅਫ਼ਗਾਨਿਸਤਾਨ �ਚ ਆਪਣੇ ਕਰਮਚਾਰੀਆਂ ਅਤੇ ਹਿੱਤਾਂ ਦੀ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਲਈ ਹਰ ਸੰਭਵ ਕੋਸ਼ਿਸ ਕਰੇਗਾ।

ਇਸੇ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਦਹਿਸ਼ਤਗਰਦੀ ਜਥੇਬੰਦੀ ਤਾਲਿਬਾਨ ਨੇ ਅੱਜ ਇੱਥੇ ਹੋਏ ਆਤਮਘਾਤੀ ਹਮਲੇ ਦੀ ਜ਼ਿੰਮੇਵਾਰੀ ਲੈਂਦਿਆਂ ਦਾਅਵਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਕਿ ਇਸ ਹਮਲੇ ਵਿਚ 17 ਵਿਅਕਤੀ ਮਾਰੇ ਗਏ ਹਨ। ਅਲਜਜ਼ੀਰਾ ਚੈਨਲ ਨੇ ਤਾਲਿਬਾਨ ਦੀ ਵੈਬਸਾਈਟ ਦੇ ਹਵਾਲੇ ਨਾਲ ਇਸ ਹਮਲਾਵਰ ਦੀ ਪਹਿਚਾਣ ਖਾਲਿਦ ਦੇ ਤੌਰ �ਤੇ ਕੀਤੀ ਹੈ।

ਇਸੇ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਅਫਗਾਨਿਸਤਾਨ ਦੇ ਰਾਸ਼ਟਰਪਤੀ ਹਾਮਿਦ ਕਰਜ਼ਈ ਨੇ ਭਾਰਤੀ ਸਫ਼ਾਰਤਖਾਨੇ ਨੇੜੇ ਹੋਏ ਹਮਲੇ ਦੀ ਸਖਤ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਰਦਿਆਂ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਇਹ ਬੇਕਸੂਰ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਦੀ ਜਾਨ ਲੈਣ ਲਈ ਅਤਿ ਦੀ ਮਾੜੀ ਘਟਨਾ ਹੈ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਹਮਲਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਸ਼ਿਕਾਰ ਪਰਿਵਾਰਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਹਮਦਰਦੀ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਾਵਾ ਕੀਤਾ।

ਵਿਦੇਸ਼ ਸਕੱਤਰ ਨਿਰੁਪਮਾ ਰਾਓ ਨੇ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਧਮਾਕੇ ਦੀ ਗਤੀ ਕੁੱਲ ਮਿਲਾ ਕੇ ਜੁਲਾਈ 2008 �ਚ ਸਫ਼ਾਰਤਖਾਨੇ �ਚ ਹੋਏ ਹਮਲੇ ਜਿਹੀ ਸੀ, ਜਿਸ ਵਿਚ ਭਾਰਤੀ ਵਿਦੇਸ਼ ਸੇਵਾ ਦੇ ਇਕ ਸੀਨੀਅਰ ਅਧਿਕਾਰੀ ਸਮੇਤ 4 ਭਾਰਤੀ ਮਾਰੇ ਗਏ ਸਨ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ 2008 ਦੇ ਹਮਲੇ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਮੁਲਾਜ਼ਮਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਸਫ਼ਾਰਤਖਾਨੇ ਦੀ ਸੁਰੱਖਿਆ ਲਈ ਕੀਤੇ ਗਏ ਯਤਨਾਂ ਨੇ ਪ੍ਰਭਾਵੀ ਤਰੀਕੇ ਨਾਲ ਕੰਮ ਕੀਤਾ ਅਤੇ ਅਜਿਹੇ ਹਾਦਸੇ ਦੀ ਗਤੀ ਘੱਟ ਕਰਨ �ਚ ਮਦਦ ਕੀਤੀ। ਜ਼ਕਰਯੋਗ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਭਾਰਤ ਨੇ ਸਫ਼ਾਰਤਖਾਨੇ ਦੇ ਮੁਲਾਜ਼ਮਾਂ ਲਈ ਕਈ ਬੂਲਟ ਪਰੂਫ਼ ਵਾਹਨ ਵੀ ਖ਼ਰੀਦੇ ਸਨ।

News From:

ਜੇ ਦਿਲ ਵਿੱਚ ਕੁਝ ਕਰਣ ਦੀ ਚਾਹ ਹੋਵੇ , ਕੰਮ ਕੋਈ ਵੀ ਛੋਟਾ ਨਹੀ ਹੁੰਦਾ ।

ਲੁਧਿਆਣਾ 9 ਅਕਤੂਬਰ (ਧਵਨ ਬਿਊਰੋ) ਜੇ ਕੁਝ ਕਰਣ ਦੀ ਚਾਹ ਹੋਵੇ ਤਾ ਕੰਮ ਕੋਈ ਵੀ ਛੋਟਾ ਵੱਡਾ ਨਹੀ ਹੁੰਦਾ ।

ਅਜਿਹਾ ਕੁਝ ਕਰ ਦਿਖਾਇਆ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਕਾਲਜ ਆਫ ਟੈਕਨਕਿਲ ਐਜੂਕੇਸਨ ਦੇ ਐਮ ਬੀ ਏ ਫਸਟ ਈਅਰ ਦੇ

ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀਆ ਨੇ । ਐਮ ਬੀ ਏ ਦੇ ਕਮਨੀਕੈਸਨ ਦੇ ਅਧਿਆਪਕ ਹਰਪ੍ਰੀਤ ਕੌਰ ਕੰਗ ਦੇ ਵੱਲੋ ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀਆ ਨੂੰ ਇੱਕ

ਪ੍ਰੌਜਕਟ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਗਿਆ ਸੀ । ਜਿਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀਆ ਨੂੰ ਦੋ ਦਿਨਾ ਦੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਪੰਜ ਸੋ ਰੁਪਏ ਕਮਾਉਣੇ ਸਨ । ਇਸ ਵਿੱਚ

ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀ ਜਾ ਤਾ ਗੁਰੱਪ ਵਿੱਚ ਕੰਮ ਕਰ ਸਕਦੇ ਸਨ ਜਾ ਤਾ ਇਕੱਲੇ । ਕਲਾਸ ਦੇ ਤਿੰਨ ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀਿ ਮਨਦੀਪ ਕੌਰ

, ਪ੍ਰਨੀਤ ਕੌਰ ਤੇ ਤਨਪ੍ਰੀਤ ਕੌਰ ਨੇ ਇੱਕ ਗੁਰੱਪ ਬਨਾ ਕੇ ਕਾਲਜ ਦੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਪਾਉ ਭਾਜੀ ਦਾ ਸਟਾਲ ਲਗਾਇਆ । ਕਲਾਸ ਦੇ

ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀਆ ਨੇ ਕਿਹਾ ਇਹ ਉਹਨਾ ਲਈ ਇਹ ਇੱਕ ਬਹੁਤ ਹੀ ਵਧੀਆ ਅਨੁਭਵ ਰਿਹਾ । ਕਲਾਸ ਦੇ ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀਆ

ਨੇ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਮੈਡਮ ਹਰਪ੍ਰੀਤ ਕੌਰ ਕੰਗ ਅਪਣੇ ਕੰਮ ਨੂੰ ਬਹੁਤ ਹੀ ਵਧੀਆ ਤਰੀਕੇ ਨਾਲ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ ਤੇ ਉਹਨਾ ਵੱਲੋ

ਦਿੱਤਾ ਹਰ ਕੰਮ ਇੱਕ ਅਲੱਗ ਅਨੁਭਵ ਦਿੰਦਾਂ ਹੈ ।

News From:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cops accused of extortion through ‘rape’ cases

Chandigarh, October 8 (Doaba News Service)- After the Moga sex scam, another 'flesh trade' racket allegedly involving over 10 Punjab Police personnel has surfaced. If the allegations in a writ petition filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court are to be believed, the cops were using two women for blackmailing innocents with implication in rape cases.

In the petition against the state of Punjab, the director-general of police, and Ferozepur senior superintendent of police, Raj Rani asserted former station house officer of Guru Harsahai police station Iqbal Singh was carrying out the entire operation in connivance with 10 other cops.

Taking up the petition, Justice Mahesh Grover issued notice of motion to the state and other respondents for November 11. Seeking probe by an independent agency, the petitioner alleged Iqbal Singh lured her "to extract easy money and made her a tool to collect huge amounts from rich, influential and young men" after threatening them with implication in false cases of rape or under the prevention of immoral trafficking Act.

The cops would carry out raids in their houses and threaten them with the revelation of their names to the media. Giving details of the modus operandi, the petitioner said Iqbal Singh told her that the numbers of some young boys would be provided to her. After they were called to some isolated place, raids would be carried out and money extracted.

She added Iqbal Singh used come with a photographer. Posing as a journalist from some news channel, he along with the cop, would pressurise the youngsters to marry the girls, lest criminal cases were registered and their photographs handed over to the newspapers for publication.

Two of the victims belonging to Motiwala village even mortgaged their house for handing over the amount to Iqbal Singh. In an apparent attempt to substantiate her contentions, the petitioner has even named at least seven persons, who were made to pay huge amounts.

Referring to the Moga sex scam, the petitioner through counsel CM Munjal said in similar circumstance a Division Bench of the high court (headed by Justice Mehtab Singh Gill) handed over the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation vide order dated December 11, 2007.
News From:

Sarabjit’s daughter gets police protection

Chandigarh, October 8 (Doaba News Service)- The Punjab and Haryana High Court today granted police protection to daughter of Sarabjit Singh in view of her apprehensions of threats to life and liberty in the wake of her inter-caste marriage. Even as her family is fighting a virtual battle to secure pardon for Sarabjit and his repatriation to India, Swapandeep had sought protection from her family after her marriage. Taking up her petition this morning, Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain directed the state of Punjab, and in particular, the Tarn Taran senior superintendent of police to ensure that the lives and liberty of Swapandeep Kaur and her husband were protected.

In the petition, Swapandeep Kaur had asserted that she was born in 1988, while her husband Sanjay was born in 1979; and they had married in accordance with Sikh rites. In an attempt to substantiate the contentions, a marriage certificate was also annexed along with the petition. Justice Jain observed the couple had married against the wishes of Swapandeep's family and apprehending danger to their lives and liberty had submitted an application to the Tarn Taran SSP.

He added counsel appearing on behalf of the girl's relatives asserted they would not interfere in the couple's married life. But their counsel was still insisting on direction to the SSP to provide adequate security. He, while passing the protection orders, added both petitioners were major.
News From:

Harassment by cops alleged

Bathinda, October 8 (DNS)- Activists of the SAD (Amritsar, Panch Pardhani), a political outfit floated and headed by Sikh hardliner Daljit Singh Bittu, have alleged that their party cadres are being harassed by the police at the behest of the state government. The party said its followers were being harassed and 'mentally tortured' by the cops without any provocation.

Addressing a press conference, Baljinder Kaur, a lecturer in BR Mohindra College, Rama Mandi, claimed that her father Darshan Singh, who is also general secretary of the party, was picked up by the cops from their native village in Jaggaramtirath (Talwandi Sabo) last night without any reason. She added the cops relented when she told them that they would get the 'police action' highlighted in the media.

Baljinder believed that one probable reason of harassing the cadres was that her party had decided to fight the SGPC elections. Sensing this, the state government's intelligence agencies were unduly bullying the party cadres. She also claimed that earlier her grandmother Malkit Kaur, an SGPC member from Maur Mandi, was picked up by the police and was subjected to harassment.

Baljinder added the police forcibly took away her pen drive, her fathers ATM card, mobile phone and Rs 1,100 when it raided their residence at Jaggaramtirath village. She pointed an accusing finger at the Mansa SSP who planned the raid through Bathinda CIA staff inspector Rajinder Kumar.

She urged the Deputy Commissioner to provide her father with security as she feared that he would be implicated in a false criminal case.
News From:

SGPC starts course on Sikhism in Hindi

Amritsar, October 8 (Doaba News Service)- In a bid to propogate the message enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib and the principles of the Sikhism among people other than Sikhs, the SGPC-run "Dharam Parchar Committee" has initiated a two-year correspondence course on the Sikhism.

Interestingly, the course has evoked a huge response from Non-Sikhs as more than 800 aspirants have sought admission in it from states like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, UP, Maharasthra, Gujarat, Orissa, and Assam. The course has already drawn more than 3,000 applications and 28 of applicants and prospective students hailed from countries like the UK, the USA, Canada, and Germany.

It was for the first time that the SGPC has started a course on Sikhism in Hindi even as the similar course was going on in the Punjabi language for the past two years.

"More and more people want to know about the Sikhism, its history and works of the Sikh gurus. It is evident from the response we have got from the ongoing correspondence course in Punjabi and from the number of applications for the course in Hindi, which we are going to start from this session," said SGPC chief Avtaar Singh after releasing a book in Hindi, "Sikh Dharam Addhiyyan: Prarambhak Jaankaari," authored by Dr Jasbir Singh Sabar, director, correspondence wing, Dharam Prachar Committee.

"The seats in the Hindi stream are unlimited. We are flooded with queries from all states and from abroad also. My book informs the reader about the gyst of teachings of Guru Granth Sahib and life of the Sikh gurus. We are planning to start such a course in English also," said Dr Sabar. He said no student was charged anything for the course and the material was being shipped to student's home free of cost by the SGPC.
News From:

Amritsar all set for celebrations

Amritsar, October 8 (Doaba News Service)- The Holy City of Amritsar is all set to witness the gala celebrations to mark the "Parkash Divas" (birth anniversary of the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Dass). The SGPC is busy giving final touches to a host of events, including the famed 'attishbaazi' inside the Golden Temple Complex , "Alaukik Kirtan Darbar" and the "Nagar Kirtan".

The historic city has already been spruced up for the grand-scale celebrations, which will formally begin with the "Nagar Kirtan" on Thursday. After starting from the Akal Takht at around 11 am, the procession will pass through the earmarked route of Sri Guru Ram Dass Niwas, Chowk Ghanta Ghar, Bazaar Mai Sewa, Bazaar Papdaan, Chowk Chhatti Khuhi, Dal Mandi, Chawal Mandi and will end at Sri Guru Ram Dass Niwas in the evening.

Later, devotees visiting from all over the world would be able to listen to celestial music in an "Alaukik Raag Darbar" at Gurudwara Diwan hall Manji Sahib from 7 pm onwards. The world famous 'Raagis', including Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa, Bhai Harjinder Singh (Sri Nagar Wale), Bhai Balbir Singh, Bhai Sarbjit Sing and Dr Gurnam Singh (Patiala Wale), would be rendering classical-music laden "Kirtan" in the tradition style, said SGPC secretary Joginder Singh Adliwal.

Early in the morning on October 9, the birthday of the guru, the devotees would be able to participate in 'parbhat pheris', to be organised from a number of historical gurdwaras including, Gurdwara Attari Sahib, Sultanwind, Gurdwara Pipli Sahib, etc.. Amidst the usual religious fervours, the devotees participating in the 'parbhat pheris' would be led by "Panj Piaras" and would lead to the Chowk Ghanta Ghar at the Golden Temple Complex where an "Amrit Sanchar" programme would be held around 12 noon. A "Kavi Darbar" would be held at Gurudwara Diwan Hall Manji Sahib from 8 pm onwards followed by the traditional "Jalao" programme at the Sanctum Sanctorum.

The world famous 'aatishbazi' would be held in the complex in the night. An exhibition on books on the Sikh history has already been going on at the entrance of the Golden Temple and it would be there till October 9.
News From:

Women prisoners observe fast on Karva Chauth

Ludhiana, October 8 (DNS)- Being lodged n a jail did not dampen the spirits of 31 women inmates, who observed a fast and prayed for the long life and well-being of their husbands on the occasion of Karva Chauth here last night.

The inmates, with several of them facing charges of murder, dowry and lodged under the NTPC Act, applied henna on their palms last evening. They woke up early in the morning and savoured food and sweets.

Their family members kept visiting them throughout. In the evening, the jail authorities organised a pooja for them at the jail temple.

They were allowed to dress up in a colourful attire and even wear bangles that are otherwise not allowed due to safety concerns. Several inmates, who had learnt beauty enhancement techniques, preened up the inmates as brides.

Snehjot Dhawan, Deputy Superintendent, Women Jail, said jail authorities had made special arrangements for the inmates who wanted to observe fast. She said they relaxed the meeting rules for a day today so that the inmates could pray for their husbands.

Dhawan said the authorities allowed the family members of inmates to bring sweets, fuits and other eatables to the premises. "We allowed the stuff inside only after a thorough check up so that nobody could smuggle a contraband in the jail. It was unlike an ordinary day for the inmates. The premises was taken over by the festival spirit. For a day it did not look like a prison," she said.
News From:

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rs 300-crore loan for development schemes

Chandigarh, October 5 (Doaba News Service)- The Punjab government in consultation with Reserve Bank of India floated Rs 300 crore (nominal) loan to finance part of capital expenditure of plan schemes and other development schemes under execution.

The government notified the sale of Punjab government stock (securities) of 10-year tenure for an aggregate amount of Rs 300 crore (nominal), an official spokesman said. Consent of the Centre has already been obtained in this regard.

He said the government stock would be sold through RBI by auction on October 6.

The application form duly filled in with the bids should be submitted to the RBI on October 6 by 12.30 pm. The result would be displayed on the same day and successful bidders would make payment the next day.
News From:

Punjab police launches ‘Employee of month’ scheme

Chandigarh, October 5 (Doaba News Service)- The Punjab police will launch a scheme to identify and honour officials working in the state police headquarters demonstrating excellence in their work areas and showing commitment and sincerity to their job.

Such employees would be declared employees of the month and would be awarded with the certificate by the DGP himself. An official spokesman said here today this scheme is the brainchild of DGP PS Gill, as he felt that it would increase motivation level of the "performer" and recognise their contribution, besides inspiring others to follow the role model.
News From:

BSc maths paper a shocker for students

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 5 (Doaba News Service)- Students of BSc I of Punjab University, who were appearing under the mercy chance, were in for a shock when they found question paper of mathematics entirely different from that prescribed in the syllabus.

The Algebra part that comprised the third paper of the subject was included in paper I held on Saturday.

Depending only on the university website for any clarification, students are now confused about next two papers scheduled to take place on Wednesday and Thursday.

Parents of affected students have urged the authorities to clarify syllabus for next papers and allow grace marks in the first paper.

Students availing special mercy chance for clearing compartment in Mathematics paper of BSc I alleged that the authorities had failed to set the question papers according to prescribed syllabus.

"We were shocked when we found that questions from Algebra part had been included in first paper of mathematics where these were to be asked in paper III according to the current syllabus.

We brought the anomaly to the notice of invigilators in the examination, who showed their helplessness in the matter and advised us to solve the paper," said a student of Government College, Karamsar. Apprehending complications in next two papers the students regretted there was nobody to guide them on the issue.

"What worried us most is that at least eight chapters are different in case of current and old syllabus for second paper.

With only one day at our hand we can not prepare these chapters according to old syllabus now," grieved the students.

The Panjab University had granted one special chance to students of all the courses, against the payment of Rs 6,000 for one paper and Rs 800 for each extra paper.
News From:

Mayors seek Badal’s intervention

Patiala, October 5 (DNS)- Perturbed with the recent orders issued by the Department of Local Self Government, Punjab, of taking away the powers of the Mayor's to clear cases pertaining to the change of land use, Mayor's of all the five corporations of Punjab have decided to take up the matter with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal.

Strongly criticising the decision, Mayor of Patiala, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Bathinda said that it was extremely sad that rather than empowering the Mayor's with more powers, the government is doing otherwise.

Notably, earlier cases of the land use change were tabled in the Change of Land Use (CLU) Committee headed by Mayor's. But last week, Department of Local Self Government issued orders authorising commissioners of the respective Municipal Corporations to deal with the land use change cases. The said move of the state government has lead to great resentment among the Mayor's.

"Though Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal has categorically said he is in favour of decentralisation of powers, but it is a harsh reality that as per the orders, Mayors had been stripped of the powers," rued Bathinda Mayor Baljit Singh, while speaking to The Tribune. He further said the CLU committees comprises of Mayor, Municipal Town Planner, senior officials and elected representatives.

"After the approval of the general house of MC, the cases cleared by the committee were sent to the Punjab government for necessary approval. It is beyond my understanding, why this system has been discontinued," he asserted.

Expressing similar views, Jalandhar Mayor Rakesh Rathour said it was really disheartening that instead of giving more powers to Mayors, the government has withdrawn the power by abolishing CLU committees. "The said decision is not acceptable to us, but we will take up the matter in a proper manner with party leadership and the CM," he disclosed.

Patiala Mayor Ajit Pal Singh Kohli said, "Being elected representatives, we are answerable to the masses. The said decision will lead to unnecessary delay in clearance of the land use cases and hence, there is immediate need to review this decision."

Ludhiana Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura and Amritsar Mayor Shwait Malik also expressed similar views. Now, all five Mayors' have decided to meet both senior and junior Badal to convey their sentiment to them.
News From:

Amarinder’s book on history to be out soon

Jalandhar, October 5 (DNS)- Former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has sent the draft of his new book, 'The Last Sunset', to the publisher. The book deals with the period between 1839 and 1849 of the state's history.

His earlier two books - Lest We Forget and A Ridge too Far - were well received.

"The draft of the new book has been sent to the publisher. I am hopeful that the book will be released in the first week of December", said Amarinder.

"I have worked very hard on this book. It is a result of my 10 years of research on a particular period of history of this region", said he.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who has a prominent place in Sikh history, died in 1839. The sprawling kingdom he painstakingly built collapsed in a few years after his death. Many of close relations of Maharaja Ranjit Singh were assassinated. The British annexed Punjab in 1849 and made it a part of their Indian territories. However, there were some glaring missing links in events happened between 1839 and 1849.

The former Chief Minister had visited Nepal where Maharani Jinda, wife Ranjit Singh, was kept in jail. "I have gone through huge stacks of documents available in various archives, libraries and other places as part of my research to write the book", he said.
News From:

Lankan airlines pilot cremated

Jalandhar, October 5 (DNS)- The mortal remains of Sri Lankan Airlines pilot Raman Joshi, who was brutally murdered in house in Colombo last week, were consigned to flames after a fresh autopsy at the local civil hospital, here today.

The body that was airlifted to Delhi Airport from Colombo and was received by his father Jagan Nath Joshi, last night. The family members brought the body to his hometown by road, today.

After obtaining formal permission from the Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner, the body was straightway taken to the local civil hospital and a autopsy was conducted.

The body was taken to his home in Basti Nau locality and last rites were performed. Raman's wife Ranjna, daughter Kosa and other members of the family were present. The traumatized father of the pilot, Joshi, lit the pyre and saluted him at the last post.

"Raman was receiving frequent threatening calls from his Sri Lankan pilot colleagues, including women, on his mobile and landline phones for the past over five months. Last we talked on the phone was on September 24 evening when he failed to get his air ticket confirmed for Canada at Colombo airport," claimed Ranjna. Raman was on leave from September 24 till October 1 and was to be with his family in Canada.

She said that she would write to President of India to take up the issue with the Sri Lankan government for providing her justice. Varinder Parbhakar, a maternal uncle of the deceased, said the Srilankan police had destroyed the evidence by cleaning his blood-stained accommodation without informing the Indian High Commissioner at Sri Lanka so that the family could not proceed for further investigations in the case.

Moreover, the Srilankan government after packing up his household belongings has deposited it with the Indian High Commissioner at Sri Lanka without informing his family members, he claimed.
News From:

PIMS deal in public interest, says Badal

Jalandhar, October 5 (DNS)- The Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences' (PIMS) issue seems to have struck a raw nerve with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at pains to explain that there was no irregularity in clearing the project.

Former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had briefed the media here yesterday on the loss to the exchequer in case the deal with a private consortium was not cancelled.

Badal, who was in the city to attend a function on the eve of Ramnaumi Shoba Yatra, told mediapersons that the govt had gone by the book and the deal would be in the interests of the people of the state.

Reacting to the resolve of Amrinder to move court in this context, he said let him do so if he desired. It seems that the latter is just raking up a controversy unnecessarily, he added.

The CM, who has not been giving much time to the media in his past few visits to the city, stopped his cavalcade twice and walked back to the waiting reporters to settle the dust on this issue.

He was at great pains to explain that only certain changes had been made in the expression of interest while signing the deal but it was not a cause of worry. What is wrong if certain changes have been made so long as they were in the interests of the state, he questioned.

Taking a dig at the former Chief Minister, Badal said Amarinder conveniently forgotten that they had only struck the deal at the terms settled by his predecessor. Moreover, we had talked to top experts in this field who had given the go ahead.

He also rubbished claims that the bureaucrats had misled him into clearing the deal. No one can pull the wool over my eyes, he asserted.

Commenting on the poor procurement and distress sale of paddy across the state, he said he had instructed the DCs to monitor the situation on a day-to-day basis and ensure that the procurement and transportation of the crop is smooth.

On the ongoing strike by rice shellers, he said the Food and Supplies Minster was on the job and the matter would be resolved soon.

Others present on the occasion included MLA SS Makkar, parliamentary secretary Sarwan Singh Phillaur and Paramjit Singh Raipur.
News From:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Property as gift to be taxed from today

If you are receiving property as gift this Diwali, be known that you will have to pay tax on it.

The Income Tax Act has been amended with effect from October 1, 2009, to provide that any gift-in-kind - being an immovable property or any other property - the value of which exceeds Rs 50,000, will become taxable in the hands of the donee.

The tax would have to paid by the recipient by including the amount in his taxable income, said a notification issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) about three weeks ahead of the Diwali.

Gifts received from local authorities, trusts or entities registered as charitable institutions would not attract the provisions of the new tax norms, it said.

Therefore, any one who receives a gift of any such property on or after October 1, 2009, must pay income tax on the value of the gift. Besides, he will have to disclose the taxable value of such property in the income tax return for assessment year 2010-11 and subsequent years.

But the good news is that if the immovable property or property is received from a relative or received under a will as inheritance will not be taxed. Such a gift received on the occasion of marriage of the individual is also exempt from tax. Prior to this change in the Income Tax Act, cash gifts exceeding Rs 25,000 were subject to tax. Then the Act was amended with effect from April 1, 2006, to tax all cash gifts having aggregate value exceeding Rs 50,000. However, cash gifts continue to enjoy exemptions as is available for gifts-in-kind.

News From:

Bharti-MTN deal called off

Telecom giant Bharti Airtel today called off discussions with MTN for the $23-billion merger deal saying the South African government has rejected the proposed structure.

This is the second time in just over a year when Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel has been forced to abandon talks for amalgamation of the two organisations in a complex deal that also required the Indian government\'s clearance for dual listing.

�The structure needed an approval from the government of South Africa, which has expressed its inability to accept it in the current form,� Bharti said in a statement while applauding the support given to the proposed deal by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and others.

The broad structure being discussed by the two companies had taken into account the sensibilities and sensitivities of both firms and their countries.

�This transaction would have been the single largest FDI into South Africa and one of the largest outbound FDIs from India,� Bharti statement said, adding: �We hope the South African government will review its position in the future and allow both companies an opportunity to re-engage.�

Senior management of Bharti, including Sunil Mittal, could not be reached immediately for comments as they are on a annual off-site, most likely in Pataya, Thailand.

The decision to call off the negotiations has come just a day after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee\'s remarks that the government has a positive approach towards the deal.

�Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and myself have said we are taking a positive approach and outlook towards it,\" Mukherjee had said.

Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid today said the discussions between the two has not reached at a stage to get regulatory clearances as the two firms were still discussing the structure of the deal.

As per the proposed structure, Bharti would have acquired 49 per cent shareholding in MTN and in turn MTN and its shareholders would acquire about 36 per cent economic interest in Bharti.

The South African government had demanded dual listing of MTN in order to protect the character of MTN as South African entity. � PTI

News From:

JP Atray Tournament , Title win for Reliance

In the final of the 16th All India J.P. Atray Cricket Tournament for Pearls Trophy between Reliance-I and Indian Oil Corporation, being played under lights at the PCA Stadium, Mohali, Reliance-I overhauled a massive 303 to take the title away from the defending champions, IOC.

Reliance�s chase was powered by a sensational 119 by Shikhar Dhawan (16x4, 1x6). Dhawan had two good partnerships with Sunny Singh, and skipper Parthiv Patel.

Earlier, IOC started with Mirtyunjay Yadav and Pinal Shah and the two put on 59 runs for the first wicket before Shah was trapped lbw by Ali Murtaza for 37 off 32 balls studded with 6x4s. Yadav was then joined by skipper Ravi Kant Shukla and the duo put on 70 runs for the 2nd wicket, before off spinner Yogesh Nagar dismissed Shukla for 31 off 49 balls.

Yadav was the next to go when he lobbed a shot at square leg in the safe hands of Parthiv Patel off the bowling of Murtaza. Yadav made 64 off 105 balls with 5x4s. Then an enterprising partnership of 119 runs ensued between Aditya Tare and Mandar Phadke off 13.3 overs, which took the team�s total to 279 when Mandar Phadke was caught by Shikhar Dhawan off the bowling of Pritam Das.

Soon after Anshul Kapoor (0) and Amit Dani (3) fell in quick succession. Aditya Tare went on to clobber an unbeaten 107 off 72 balls. Finally, IOC, the defending champions ended their innings at 303 for 6 in 50 overs.

News From:

Pak lose, India lose out

Defending champions Australia pulled off a dramatic last-ball victory over Pakistan in a low-scoring thriller to romp into the semifinals of the Champions Trophy and bring a pre-mature end to India�s listless campaign here today.

The Australians had to rely on their tail-enders to achieve the two-wicket victory in the very last ball in a nail-biting contest which saw fortune fluctuating from one team to the other till the very end. In a must-win encounter, Australia first restricted Pakistan to a modest 205 for six and then just about manage to scamper home on a spongy SuperSport Park track to knock India out of the tournament.

The Aussies were cruising along comfortably at 157 for three at one stage before five wickets fell in quick secession to completely change the complexion of the game. Needing four runs to win from the last five balls, Brett Lee and Nathan Hauritz took the team home much to the relief of a tensed Australian dressing room.

The Aussies completed their Group-A engagement with five points and moved into the semifinals as the top team from their group. They had earlier defeated the West Indies while their match against India was washed out. � PTI



Kamran b Watson 44 (63)

Afridi c Hopes b Johnson 15 (18)

Younis c Johnson b Hopes 18 (49)

Malik c Ponting b Johnson 27 (37)

Yousuf c White b Lee 45 (69)

Misbah-ul-Haq hit wicket b Watson 41 (53)

Umar not out 2(8)

Naved-ul-Hasan not out 7(3)

Extras (w-6) 6

Total (6 wickets; 50 overs) 205

FoWs: 1-30, 2-75, 3-89, 4-123, 5-186, 6-198.

Bowling: Brett Lee 10-0-30-1, Siddle 5-0-24-0, Johnson 10-0-45-2, Watson 8-0-32-2, Hopes 10-0-50-1, Hauritz 7-1-24-0.


Watson c Kamran b Gul 24 (22)

Paine lbw b Afridi 29 (40)

Ponting c Gul b Shoaib 32 (64)

Hussey b Rana Naved 64 (87)

Ferguson b Ajmal 7 (18)

White b Asif 5 (16)

Hopes c Younus b Asif 1(3)

Johnson b Ajmal 9 (18)

Lee not out 12 (15)

Hauritz not out 9 (18)

Extras: (b-1, w-12, nb-1) 14

Total: (for 8 wkts in 50 overs) 206

FoWs: 1-44, 2-59, 3-140, 4-157, 6-175, 7-176, 8-187.

Bowling: Gul 9-1-38-1, Asif 8-0-34-2, Afridi 10-0-47-1, Naved 9-2-39-1, Ajmal 10-1-31-2, Shoaib 4-0-16-1.

News From:

Don’t embarrass top brass: Jagan to loyalists

In the eye of a storm over the succession row, the young MP YS Jagan Mohan Reddy today appealed to his supporters to maintain restraint and leave the decision of choosing successor to his father late YS Rajasekhar Reddy to the Congress high command.

In the backdrop of his vocal loyalists indulging in vandalism to press their demand for anointing him as the Chief Minister, Jagan was forced to go into a damage-control mode and issued an appeal for calm.Under attack from certain quarters within the party for encouraging blackmail tactics, the 36-year-old MP pledged loyalty to the high command and made it clear that all Congressmen must be �faithful and loyal to the AICC chairperson Sonia Gandhi.�

Expressing shock over reports of some ministers and legislators threatening to resign if he was not made the CM, he said, �the high command has full knowledge about the conditions prevailing in the state. The decision taken with all wisdom by the high command is binding on all of us. We all have a responsibility to strengthen the leadership of Sonia Gandhi.

�He asked his party leaders not to resort to �irresponsible activities� that would cause embarrassment to the high command.

�Please do not forget that any action that is detrimental to Congress will not bring peace to my father�s soul. We, the Congressmen, must be faithful and loyal to the party as well as to the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and observe utmost restraint. We all should behave like disciplined Congress workers and adhere to the decision of Sonia Gandhi,� Jagan said.

Disturbed over reports of his followers disrupting the party�s membership drive in several districts, he appealed to them to actively participate in the programme. �In order to strengthen the party at grassroots level, let us treat membership drive as a sacred programme and make it a big success,� he said.

News From:

Akal Takht edict on Jhinda, others today

While Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (ad hoc) chief Jagdish Singh Jhinda has slammed political parties for trying to get political mileage out of the �most emotional� issue of a separate SGPC for Haryana Sikhs, Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbachan Singh and the four other Sikh high priests will pronounce their edict on Jhinda and his four associates after their crucial meeting tomorrow.

Giani Gurbachan Singh and the other Sikh high priests had deferred their judgement regarding Jhinda and his associates on September 19. Jhinda and his associates-Avtaar Singh Chakku, Hazoor Singh Nambardar, Kanwaljit Singh, Joga Singh and Bibi Ravinder Kaur-were summoned to appear before Akal Takht to explain their conduct in the light of the Kurukshetra gurdwara row.

While Bibi Ravinder Kaur was exonerated by the Sikh clergy on the basis of her plea that she was not present at the Kurukshetra gurudwara on September 13, Jhinda and his other associates had pleaded not guilty on the grounds that they had just resorted to a �symbolic protest� by taking over �sewa sambhal� of the gurdwara to highlight their grievances against the SGPC management.

This apparently had some impact on the Sikh clergy which decided to hold an enquiry into the incident as had been demanded by Jhinda and his associates before the pronouncement of any verdict by it.

There is speculation that Jhinda and his supporters may not be let off easily and may get punishment just short of excommunication. A group of �pro-SGPC� Haryana Sikhs had recently approached Akal Takht and urged the Sikh clergy to take stern action and excommunicate Jhinda and his supporters as they had �indulged in violence and tried to tarnish the image of the Sikhs apart from violating maryada�.

On the other hand, Jhinda said Akal Takht was supreme for him and for other Sikhs of Haryana and expressed his resolve to accept any punishment given by the Takht to them. �For us, Akal Takht commands the greatest respect and has the utmost importance and this will remain so in future also irrespective of the edict,� said Jhinda and his associates, who reached the Golden Temple complex this evening.

He trained his guns on Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, SGPC chief Avtar Singh and at the same time did not spare the Haryana Congress either which has included the issue of a separate Sikh body for the Haryana Sikhs in its election manifesto. �Badal is opposing a separate SGPC for Haryana merely due to political compulsions. Similarly, the Congress and other parties are trying to get mileage from the issue which carries huge emotional value for Haryana Sikhs,� said Jhinda and his associates, who are likely to appear before Akal Takht around 12 noon on Thursday.

News From:

Factory boiler explodes, 12 injured

Hundreds of residents got a shock of their life as they were forced to wake up to a powerful blast of a boiler in a milk processing unit, that not only rocked the entire the Guru Ram Das Avenue area on the Rajasansi Airport road but also left more than 12 persons injured.

The blast which occurred in one of the boilers of the Healthaid Milk Factory was so powerful that its impact was felt by people in a radious of about one km. Window panes of a number of houses and other buildings got smashed. Fortunately, no loss of life was reported.

Enraged over the blast, many residents came out of their houses and blocked the traffic on the Amritsar-Ajnala road to lodge their protest.

They were angry at the district administration�s inability to get the hazardous industrial units out from residential areas. They alleged that the authorities had been acting as a mute spectator to their plight and it had failed to take any action despite their long struggle to get the factory shifted out of the area.

� The administration, it seems, has never responded in a responsible way on the issue. Even today, the blast could have claimed so many precious lives,� said a group of women sitting on dharna. They alleged that it was not that the factory was a threat to their lives but it has also been polluting the area.

�We are fed up of registering our protests with the administration as we have had to resort to blocking of traffic a couple of times but, without any tangible results. All the administration officials and politicians have done so far in this case is that they have made numerous promises but have never fulfilled them.�

The area municipal councilor Harbhajan Kaur threatened to launch an agitation in case the factory was not shifted out of the area immediately.

The landing of fireballs from the explosion even led to breaking of fire in another cloth factory where, three fire brigade engines managed to douse fire after a lot of efforts.

Four workers of the factory also sustained burn injuries and Karmjit Kaur, a housewife also got injured in the fire.

SDM Sandip Rishi, who, reached the spot tried to pacify the agitated residents and said the incident would be subjected to a magestrial probe. He indicated that the entire factory could be sealed if it was established in the probe that the factory management had acted in an irresponsible manner DC KS Pannu said the area SDM had been asked to conduct an enquiry and submit his report within 15 days.

News From:

Don’t expect India to sign NPT in present form: IAEA chief

India today found an unexpected supporter from Mohammed ElBaradei chief of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its opposition to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).

In an interview to a private television channel, he said he did not expect India to sign the NPT but felt the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty could be more acceptable to New Delhi.

�I don�t expect India to sign the NPT in its present form. Maybe, the CTBT would be more acceptable,� said ElBaradei, who was presented with the prestigious Indira Gandhi award for peace, disarmament and development for 2008 by President Pratibha Patil earlier in the day.

His remarks assume significance in the wake of the United Nations Security Council adopting a resolution asking all non-NPT states, including India, to sign the NPT. India has made it clear that it will not sign the pact as a non-weapon state as atomic arsenals are integral to its security.

The chief of the IAEA said India has to lead efforts for complete nuclear disarmament, an idea it first mooted back in 1948.

ElBaradei said the world was looking at India for the future of nuclear energy research and development, according to a press release issued by the news channel.

Reacting to the reports saying that Iran was developing a secret uranium enrichment plant, he said Tehran was �on the wrong side of the law� by not declaring its plans when construction began.

Meanwhile, seeking international cooperation in its efforts for a major expansion in the nuclear programme, India today said benefits of atomic energy should not remain confined to a \"privileged few\" as it was vital to meet power requirements of developing countries.

\"We need the concerted and collective efforts of the international community to promote peaceful uses of nuclear energy as widely as possible,\" Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at a function where ElBaradei was conferred the coveted Indira Gandhi Peace Prize.

News From: