Punjab limping back to normalcy
Several parts of Punjab which witnessed sporadic sectarian violence over the last few days were on Saturday limping back to normalcy amidst a tight security cover.
The sensitive areas, including Bathinda, Sangrur, Patiala and Ludhiana which form part of Malwa region of the state are under the close vigil of paramilitary forces and the state police, officials said in Chandigarh.
IG (Zonal), Patiala, N K Tiwari said in Chittagong that the situation in the state was "very peaceful."
Notwithstanding an appeal by major political parties, including ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), BJP and opposition Congress to the people of the state to maintain peace and communal harmony, the stand off between head of Dera Sacha Sauda and key religious and some fundamental Sikh organisations continued.
While Dera head Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh appears to be in no mood to render an apology for his alleged blasphemy, some Sikh organisations with extremist ideology, including Damdami Taksal had fixed Sunday's deadline for the state administration to arrest the Baba.
Sectarian violence erupted in the state on May 14 after newspapers carried an advertisement showing the Dera head allegedly imitating the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.
Clashes at some places left around 100 people injured and claimed the life of one person at Sunam in Sangrur district.
Meanwhile, an uneasy calm continued to prevail at the headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda at Sirsa in neighbouring Haryana.
Three more witnesses, including two policemen, were examined in the Gauri Lankesh murder trial at the special court for Karnataka Control of Organised Crime on Thursday. Trial Judge CM Joshi presided over the trial. Police inspector Shiva Reddy, who arrived at the murder scene was examined by the special public prosecutor and also questioned by the defence. The second witness who was examined on Thursday was Public Works Department, assistant engineer, VN Kalageri.
Compensation against land acquired for the Ambala ring road project will be disbursed to land owners from next week, officials of the district administration said on Thursday. “NHAI has already released ₹150 crore for land compensation. Further process for disbursement will be initiated by the district revenue officer,” said Kuldeep Chand, an official from the technical branch of NHAI's Ambala zone office.
While the first decade of 2000s began with the launch of several self-financed courses at Panjab University, envisaging them as money-spinners, not all courses have managed financial viability in the long run. University Institute of Applied Management Sciences and University Institute of Legal Studies are generating surplus revenue. Even in the next near, the income of ₹7.05 crore fell short of the expenditure of ₹20.55 crore.
Thieves broke into a house in Sector 8-C while the family was away at Shimla, and decamped with ₹3.5 lakh in cash and some gold jewellery. On returning home on August 10, they found the cupboards in their house ransacked and ₹3.5 lakh in cash, along with gold jewellery, missing. On The complainant, a retired bank officer's complaint, Jagdeep Singh, police lodged an FIR under Sections 380 (theft) and 457 (house-trespass) of the Indian Penal Code at the Sector-3 police station.
Cheaper booze in Punjab has left the liquor contractors in Chandigarh in red, as Bacchus lovers have turned to neighbouring Mohali for their liquor fix. After the recent cut in liquor prices in Punjab under its new excise policy, liquor vend contractors in Chandigarh claim their sales have declined by 40% to 50% within days and unless, the tax rate in Chandigarh is brought on par with Punjab, the slump in their sales will continue.