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Ex-Akali minister Gurdev Singh Badal dies at DMC Ludhiana

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Ex-Akali minister Gurdev Singh Badal dies at DMC Ludhiana

Posted on 28 March 2017 by GGS News

Ludhiana : Former agriculture minister and senior Akali leader Gurdev Singh Badal died at DMC in Ludhiana on Tuesday . Badal was under treatment at DMC for the last many days.A three-time MLA from the Panjgrain Assembly constituency of Faridkot, Gurdev Badal was known as a close aide of former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.

He was the Akali party’s prominent leader as a Dalit face.

TNS |

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Rana Kanwar Pal Singh elected Speaker of Punjab Assembly

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Rana Kanwar Pal Singh elected Speaker of Punjab Assembly

Posted on 28 March 2017 by GGS News

Chandigarh : Rana Kanwar Pal Singh elected Speaker of Punjab Assembly: Congress’ Rana Kanwar Pal Singh was unanimously elected as the Speaker of the Punjab Assembly here on Monday.The name of the 59-year-old Anandpur Sahib MLA was proposed by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and it was seconded by state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohindra.

However, during the process of electing the Speaker, the MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party and its ally Lok Insaf Party started raising slogans and staged a walkout, demanding a debate on the Governor’s address.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD) deputy leader Ajit Singh Kohar and BJP MLA Dinesh Singh Babbu congratulated Rana KP Singh on becoming the Speaker of the Assembly.

In his address, Amarinder said the members of the ruling Congress party will extend “full support” to the newly-elected Speaker for a smooth conduct of the House proceedings.

The chief minister said he had full faith in the Anandpur Sahib MLA that he will be a successful Speaker.

Kohar said Rana KP Singh was well aware of the rules of the House.

BJP MLA Som Parkash extended support to the Speaker for the smooth functioning of the House.

State Finance Minister Manpreet Badal hailed the unanimous election of Rana KP Singh as the Speaker of the House.

Former Punjab Youth Congress president Rana K P Singh was elected from the Anandpur Sahib constituency for the third time in the just-concluded state Assembly polls. He defeated BJP’s Parminder Sharma with a margin of 23,881 votes.

Rana KP Singh is a law graduate from Dehradun University. He was practising law at the Rupnagar district courts before joining politics.

Previously, he had contested from the same constituency on a Congress ticket but lost to BJP’s Madan Mohan Mittal.

Meanwhile, former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son and ex-deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today took oath as MLAs in the chamber of the Speaker.

The father-son duo were conspicuous by their absence from the House on the second day of the current session.

They were also absent on the first day of the session on March 24.

PTI |

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Punjab cabinet amends rules to oust power corporation boss KD Chaudhary

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Punjab cabinet amends rules to oust power corporation boss KD Chaudhary

Posted on 28 March 2017 by GGS News

K.D.Chaudhary

CHANDIGARH : Punjab cabinet today paved way for the removal of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) PSPCL chairman cum Managing Director K.D.Chaudhary who was given extension till further orders by prebvious SAD-BJP government even after the Chairman crossed the age of 65.
The cabinet headed by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has decided to appoint a IAS officer with previous experience on the post.
As per the Cabinet decision, the PSPCL CMD would now be an IAS officer, in the rank of Principal Secretary or above, having prior experience of working in the Power sector. Concurrently, the Cabinet has also amended the terms and conditions with respect to qualifications and experience for the said post, adding the streams of civil engineering, electronics and communication engineering, instrumentation engineering and information technology to the existing basic qualifications. In addition, the experience of Central Electricity Authority (CEA) would also be considered for the post of CMD.
As part of the Captain Amarinder Singh government’s administrative reforms agenda, the Punjab Cabinet approved the introduction of a draft bill to streamline appointments and bring transparency into the functioning of the office of the Advocate General.
The ‘Punjab Law Officers (Engagement) Act, 2017’ Bill will be tabled for enactment in the current session of the Vidhan Sabha, an official spokesperson disclosed after the second meeting of the state cabinet, held at the CMO here at the Punjab Civil Secretariat.
Giving details of the proposed legislation, the spokesperson said it was aimed at putting in place an efficacious mechanism for the engagement of law officers in the Advocate General’s office purely on the merit, as per the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the High Court.
The enactment of the legislation will bring in greater transparency, fairness and objectivity in the appointments of senior additional advocate general, additional advocate general, senior deputy advocate general, deputy advocate general, assistant advocate general and advocate on record, the spokesperson added.
In another decision, the Cabinet decided to engage the services of Inspector General of Police (Retd.) Mr. Khubi Ram as Security Advisor to the Chief Minister in the rank of Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), with entitlement to equivalent status, pay, perks, privileges and allowances, as admissible in such case.

PIE |

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Pakistani man pardons Punjab youths who killed his son in UAE

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Pakistani man pardons Punjab youths who killed his son in UAE

Posted on 27 March 2017 by GGS News

Abu Dhabi : The family of a Pakistani man, allegedly murdered by 10 Indians in Abu Dhabi in 2015, has pardoned the convicts facing death sentence.

The father of the victim, Mohammad Farhan, appeared in the Al Ain Appeals Court and submitted a letter of consent to pardon the Indians, an Indian Embassy official told the Gulf News.On behalf of the accused, an Indian charity deposited the blood money in the court and the case has been adjourned for further hearing on April 12, said Dinesh Kumar, an official at the embassy in Abu Dhabi.

“It is expected that the court may commute the death sentence,” he said.

The Indian men, from Punjab, were convicted in October 2016 for killing Farhan during a brawl in 2015, said the report.

The blood money as compensation to the victim’s family was arranged by Dubai-based Indian businessman S.P.S. Oberoi, chairman of Sarbat Da Bhala Charitable Trust.

Oberoi said his Pakistani manager travelled to Peshawar and spoke to the family and their relatives to secure the pardon.

He said the victim’s father said he did not want 10 other Indian families to face the same tragic fate.

All the convicted young Indian men were from poor families and worked in the UAE’s Al Ain city as plumbers, electricians, carpenters and masons, said the report.

Most were in their 20s and had paid huge sums to recruitment agents in India to secure a visa to reach the United Arab Emirates.

IANS |

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Pakistani intruder shot dead by BSF along IB in Punjab’s Gurdaspur

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Pakistani intruder shot dead by BSF along IB in Punjab’s Gurdaspur

Posted on 27 March 2017 by GGS News

Gurdaspur : BSF today shot dead a Pakistani intruder ahead of the B S Fence in Punjab’s Gurdaspur, according to a report. BSF troops of border out post Paharipur thwarted a possible infiltration attempt this morning. The area has been cordoned off and search is on. Earlier in February BSF had shot dead a Pakistani intruder along the Indo-Pak International Border in Bamiyal sector, the same area from where terrorists had infiltrated last year to attack an IAF base.
Officials had said the Border Security Force observation post detected suspicious movements of an intruder at around 8:15 AM at about 50 metres from the IB fence. They said the troops challenged the intruder but seeing no response they fired, killing him on the spot. They said the body of the 21-year-old man, retrieved by the BSF after sometime, had no belongings, arms or ID card on it and the deceased wore a pathani suit.“We have handed over the body to local police,” BSF Inspector General (Punjab Frontier) Mukul Goyal said. Officials added the BSF also held a flag meeting with their counterparts Pak Rangers but they refused to accept the body saying the man did not belong to their country. The incident took place at the Simbal border post of the BSF in Bamiyal area of Pathankot.
In January last year, terrorists from across the border had infiltrated in the sector and went on to launch an audacious attack on the strategic Indian Air Force (IAF) base.
Last month, a female Pakistani intruder was shot dead and another was arrested by the BSF when they tried to infiltrate into Indian territory along the International Border (IB) in different sectors of Jammu division. The female intruder was killed in the Pargwal sector of Akhnoor tehsil, a senior BSF officer said. He said the BSF men deployed on the IB challenged her to stop but when she did not pay heed to the warning, she was shot dead by the jawans. A meeting was also held with the Pakistan Rangers where they were shown the pictures of the deceased woman and they agreed to accept the body, the officer said. The body would be handed over to the Rangers. In the second incident, a Pakistani national moving in a suspicious manner near the border fence was arrested by the BSF in Kathua sector.

(With agency inputs)

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Amarinder orders crackdown on over-speeding vehicles

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Amarinder orders crackdown on over-speeding vehicles

Posted on 26 March 2017 by GGS News

Chandigarh : Taking serious note of the deaths of eight people in two major road accidents in less than 24 hours, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today directed state traffic authorities to crack down on over-speeding and violation of traffic rules by vehicles, especially buses.
The Chief Minister further asked the transport department to examine the feasibility of installing speed governors in public transport.
Amarinder has ordered the transport department and traffic police to launch a statewide drive to prevent such avoidable mishaps, an official release quoting him said here.
The chief minister condoled the deaths and expressed his heartfelt sympathies to the grief-stricken families of the deceased.
Notably, four persons were killed yesterday when the car in which they were travelling was involved in a collision with a private bus in Barnala district. In another mishap today, four persons including two women were killed and eleven others injured in an accident involving three vehicles in Bathinda districts Talwandi Sabo town. Among other measures, the chief minister has directed the traffic police to check over-speeding and overcrowding, as well as plying of vehicles converted into public transport through unauthorised modification, across the state.
He has also asked the transport department to check out the possibility of installation of speed governors in public transport, especially buses and trucks, “which are found to be the main culprits in majority of the road accidents in Punjab”. Instructions have also been issued to the Public Works Department (PWD) to ensure that precisely engineered and properly marked speed breakers are in place on all state highways and roads, including link roads, along with other necessary measures to minimise accidents. Warning that no laxity on these issues would be tolerated, the chief minister has asked the concerned officials to expedite the process of review of bus permits and take all illegally plying buses off the roads at the earliest. “The review process, which covers former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badals Orbit buses that have been in the news for a long time for their brazen violation of road safety rules, has already commenced,” the release said. The chief minister also assured that work on setting up a road safety authority to study the causes of frequent accidents on the states roads, as decided by his cabinet at its maiden meeting, had already been initiated.
The recommendations of the authority, which would be the first-of-its-kind in region, would be taken up on priority to make the states roads accident-free and safe, it said.

PTI |

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Teenage nurse raped in Ludhiana

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Teenage nurse raped in Ludhiana

Posted on 26 March 2017 by GGS News

LUDHIANA : An 18-year-old girl, working as a nurse at a private nursing home here, was allegedly raped by two persons, who were also accused of raping her in another case three years back but were given a “clean chit” by the police.

According to the complaint lodged by the girl’s father, she was raped on Wednesday evening by two persons whose names had cropped up during investigations of the previous case, police said.
However, the accused were given a clean chit in that case, the complaint alleged, they said.

Police said that last evening the girl was admitted to the local Civil Hospital following a suicide attempt by her.

Ludhiana DCP (Investigations) Bhupinder Singh today said that the two accused kidnapped the victim near Atam Nagar area here while she was going home from the nursing home.

They then took her to the parking lot of a cinema hall and allegedly raped her, he said.

Singh said a case under relevant provisions of the law has been registered against the duo.

Police said the case was registered after the victim’s father’s complaint.

No arrest has been made so far in this connection, however, a hunt is on to nab the accused.

PTI |

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Gunshots fired in Gurdaspur jail, as staff, prisoners clash

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Gunshots fired in Gurdaspur jail, as staff, prisoners clash

Posted on 25 March 2017 by GGS News

Gurdaspur : Rioting prison inmates in the Gurdaspur central jail fought pitched battles with security forces till wee hours of Saturday, but were thwarted in their attempted jailbreak by heavy tear gas shelling.

Punjab Police’s elite SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) commandos, armed police as well as police personnel from neighbouring Amritsar, Pathankot and Tarn Taran districts were rushed to the Gurdaspur jail to control the violence.

Police sources said on Saturday the situation has been brought under control and a high-level probe is being instituted to find what went wrong in the jail.

The district police have booked 30 inmates for attempt to murder and various other charges. The jail authorities have also shifted 21 inmates, identified as troublemakers, to other prisons in the state.
How events unfolded

Tensions started in the jail on Friday morning after five gangsters attacked two warders. As the inmates went on a rampage, the jail staff had to fire at least 20 rounds of gunfire.

After brief calm, fresh violence erupted after a rumour spread that the jail staff had killed the five inmates responsible for the morning violence. They in fact had been shifted to other jails.

As the agitated inmates set furniture, quilts and other material ablaze, the police kept firing into the air.

Tension escalated when some inmates moved towards the boundary wall on the rear side of the jail and succeeded in breaking a portion of the wall in an attempt to flee. Cops had to resort to heavy tear gas shelling to bring the situation under control.

Sources said some prisoners even recorded the violence on mobile phones.Top cops camp in jail

Security forces had cordoned off the entire area, and cops were deployed outside the boundary wall to scuttle any attempt of jailbreak.

Police top brass, including director general of police (DGP, law and order) Hardeep Singh Dillon, additional director general of police (ADGP, jails) Rohit Chaudhary, inspector general, border range, Naunihal Singh and Gurdaspur senior superintendent of police (SSP) Bhupinder Singh camped inside the jail till wee hours of Saturday.

Sources said apart from allegations of rude attitude by the jail authorities, the inmates were also frustrated with intensive checking being carried out to curb drug menace and smuggling of other materials, including mobiles, into the jail. The jail, which has a capacity of 650, has 1,350 inmates lodged in it.

The 30 accused inmates have been booked under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 224 (resistance or obstruction by a person to his lawful apprehension), 186, 332, 353 (obstructing, assaulting, hurting public servant), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance), 148, 149 (armed rioting, unlawful assembly) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

(with agency inputs)

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Govt running away from debate by cancelling motion of thanks: AAP

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Govt running away from debate by cancelling motion of thanks: AAP

Posted on 25 March 2017 by GGS News

Chandigarh : On the opening day of the first session of the 15th Vidhan Sabha, leader of opposition and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA from Dakha HS Phoolka said his party and the coalition partner Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) should be given a separate office in the assembly.

“What we have got now is not as per our strength,” he said while entering the Vidhan Sabha before taking oath as an MLA. Chief whip Sukhpal Singh Khaira suggested that the AAP be allotted the office currently in possession of the Congress which was allotted to it in the previous term when it was in the opposition.

“The AAP-LIP alliance has won 22 seats in the assembly elections and we have four MLAs more than Akali-BJP (18) alliance,” said Khaira, adding the matter was brought to the notice of pro tem speaker who assured to do the needful.

Khaira said according the current plan, LIP MLAs Simarjeet Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains have been allotted seats across to that allotted to Akali MLAs. They should be given seats in front ahead of the Akali and BJP legislators. “In case our demands are not met, we will be forced to stage a protest,” he said.

AAP legislators also announced that they would not surrender their privileges. “The Constitution gives MLAs privileges and perks to serve the people which could not be refused, we would take what we are entitled to,” said AAP MLA Kanwar Sandhu, adding his party supports austerity.

Phoolka said his party would continuously watch the functioning of the Congress. “We would keep a track of the promises made and the timeframe given by the Congress in their elections manifesto, particularly on the issues of checking drugs menace,” said Phoolka.

In the business advisory committee meeting of the Vidhan Sabha, Phoolka objected to shifting of debate on the governor address to the next session to be held in May. The pro tem speaker said it was the precedence and he wanted to give three days for debate on the governor address which was not possible in the current session.

HT |

 

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Need to defend universities as free spaces: Vice-President

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Need to defend universities as free spaces: Vice-President

Posted on 25 March 2017 by GGS News

CHANDIGARH : The freedom of our Universities has been challenged by “narrow considerations” and there is need to defend them as “free spaces” and as sources of renewal of liberal values, Vice President M Hamid Ansari said today.
“In a period of rampant distrust of matters intellectual there is an imperative need to defend the universities as free spaces, as independent, critical repositories of knowledge, and as sources of renewal of liberal values that provide avenues of social mobility and equality to people,” Ansari said.
Delivering the 66th convocation address at the Panjab University here, the Vice President said that recent events in our country have shown that “there is much confusion about what a university should or should not be”.
The freedom of our universities has been challenged by “narrow considerations of what is perceived to be public good”, Ansari said.
The rights to dissent and agitation are ingrained in the fundamental rights under our Constitution, which sets out a plural framework and refuses any scope to define the country in narrow sectarian, ideological or religious terms, he said.
“Except in cases of illegal conduct or violence, a University should never seek to silence or influence faculty members or students to adopt or renounce any particular position.
“Indeed, universities should take all legal action necessary to defend their academic integrity and freedom,” he emphasised.
The strong words from the Vice President come in the backdrop of a raging debate about incidents in educational institutions including a recent clash at Delhi University’s north campus between students belonging to the the RSS-backed ABVP and the Left-affiliated AISA.A university must foster an environment that prizes intellectual freedom, Ansari said.
“Intellectual dissent has the power to clarify differences and elucidate competing assumptions. It enables each of us to recognise the strengths and weaknesses in our thinking,” Ansari said.The Vice President said a university has the responsibility of speaking out without the fear of intimidation or giving offence, even at the cost of inviting protests.
“Not doing so would be to deviate from the path of rational enquiry and undermine our curiosity about the world by embracing ill-defined orthodoxies, which would impoverish our pursuit of knowledge,” he said.

PTI  |

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