Chandigarh, June 12:Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann on Wednesday condemned the terror attacks on Kathua and Doda districts of Jammu and Kashmir in which one Jawan of CRPF attained martyrdom and two others were seriously injured.

Condemning the terror attack, the Chief Minister said that a befitting reply should be given to such anti-national activities. He said that any attack on unity and integrity of the nation is unwarranted and undesirable adding that it should be given an apt reply. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the sovereignty of the country must be upheld by protection of our borders by foiling any such attack.

The Chief Minister said that such incidents must be dealt with a heavy hand so as to avoid any threat to unity and integrity of the nation. He said that the perpetrators of this 'cowardly' and 'unpardonable' act must be given an exemplary punishment so that it acts as a deterrent for others in the future. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that it is unfortunate that a jawan had attained martyrdom while discharging duty to safeguard the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the country.

The Chief Minister said that it is an irreparable loss for the country in general and for the distressed family in particular. Extending his sympathies with the bereaved family of the brave martyr, he said that this martyr displayed utmost dedication to perform their duty valiantly for defending the country's unity. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the supreme sacrifice of this martyr and heroism of the injured jawans will inspire their fellow soldiers and youngsters to perform their duties with far more devotion and commitment.



Chandigarh, June 12:The Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker, S. Kultar Singh Sandhwan, expressed sorrow over the demise of Freedom Fighter Jagdish Prashad.

In a press communique issued here, Speaker Sandhwan said that freedom fighter Sh. Jagdish Prashad (104 years old) made a valuable contribution in the freedom struggle of the country. He said that Mr. Jagdish Prashad will always be remembered with respect for his valuable contribution in the freedom struggle of the country.

S. Sandhwan on Wednesday met the family of Sh. Jagdish Prashad at their residence at Kotakpura city and paid tributes to the freedom fighter.

The Speaker prayed for the eternal peace to the departed soul and strength to the bereaved family to bear this loss.



Pull up socks to increase area under DSR to save precious ground water, Gurmeet Singh Khudian directs Agri officials

Chandigarh, June 12:In a bid to wean away state farmers from water-guzzling paddy, Punjab Chief Minister S. Bhagwant Singh Mann led Punjab Government is all set to enhance the area under Basmati crop by around 67 per cent in the current sowing season, said Punjab Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister S. Gurmeet Singh Khudian here on Wednesday.

The Minister, who was chairing a review meeting with the department officials here at his office, said that around ten lakh hectares area will be brought under the aromatic crop in 2024-25, which was 5.96 lakh hectares last year.

Taking cognisance of favourable results of Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR) technique, S. Gurmeet Singh Khudian also directed the department officials to pull up their socks to increase the area under the DSR. “To encourage maximum farmers to adopt DSR technique, Punjab Government has been providing Rs 1500 per acre financial aid to them,” he said.

He further informed that the department has planned to bring 2 lakh hectares of paddy (non-basmati) under this technique during the ongoing sowing season, which was 1.70 lakh hectares last year.

The Agriculture Minister also reviewed the progress of Biofertilizer Testing Labs being set up at Gurdaspur, Bathinda and SAS Nagar (Mohali) to ensure the quality of biofertilizers.

Special Chief Secretary (Development) Mr KAP Sinha apprised the Cabinet Minister that Rs 80 lakh has already been earmarked for Gurdaspur lab and equipment would be purchased soon.

The Agriculture Minister also asked the department officials to ensure the good quality agri-inputs available to the farmers by taking samples of seeds, fertilisers, and pesticides frequently. Anyone found indulged in malpractice will not be spared, he warned.

Director Agriculture Jaswant Singh apprised the minister that this is for the first time that around Rs 2 crore has been earmarked to procure Pheromone Traps to save cotton crop from pests.

Joint Director (Statistics) Harpreet Kaur, Joint Director (E&T) Dilbagh Singh, Joint Director (Inputs) Gurjeet Singh Brar and other officials of the department were also present in the meeting.



Reviews enforcement activities of department during last two months

Excise Department seized 14011 litres of illicit liquor and 3450 litres ENA, destroyed 16.8 lakh litres of Lahan

Chandigarh, June 12-Punjab Finance, Planning, Excise and Taxation Minister Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema on Wednesday directed the Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Financial Commissioner (Taxation), Vikas Pratap, and Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Varun Roojam to take up the issue of creation of a robust framework for monitoring and regulating the interstate movement of methanol with the concerned departments of the Union Government to avert hooch tragedies due to misuse of this chemical.

While reviewing the enforcement activities of the Excise department for the months of April and May, Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema asked the department to formulate a strong enforcement mechanism in consultation with the Union Government to monitor the sale and movement of methanol, especially regulating the online sale of this chemical. “This initiative is pivotal in preventing the diversion of methanol for the production of illicit alcohol, which can lead to hooch tragedies”, he added.

Earlier, giving details of the enforcement activities of the department during April and May 2024, Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Financial Commissioner (Taxation), Vikas Pratap apprised the minister that during this period a well-executed plan of the Excise department has resulted into the registration of about 869 FIRs and 721 arrests have been made, 14011 litres of illicit liquor and 3450 litres of ENA detected, 1679907 litres of lahan recovered and destroyed, 96476 Bottles of PML/IMFL/Beer has been seized. He said that the Teams of officers have been carrying out intensive operations against the smuggling of liquor, smuggling of ENA and other excise-related crimes.

Minister Cheema commended the department's efforts and urged officials at the zonal and district levels to further intensify their activities. He said that Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann led Punjab Government has been ensuring that no stone should be left unturned in ruling out possibility of any illegal Liquor trade in the state.



· Arrests two police employees for taking Rs. 26,02,926 as bribes from 102 persons

· Court sends accused for two days police remand

Chandigarh, June 12, 2024 – The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB), during its ongoing drive against corruption in the state, has busted a fake recruitment scam in Punjab police and arrested two employees of the state police for accepting bribes totalling Rs. 26,02,926 from 102 persons in exchange for jobs of grade-4 employees in the police.

The arrested individuals have been identified as Tarlochan Pal (No. 207/S), posted in the 3rd IRB as a Cleaner (grade-4 worker), residing at Mohalla Begampur in Adampur, district Jalandhar, and co-accused Surinderpal (No. 3B), posted as a Barber (grade-4 worker) at the Punjab Police Academy in Phillaur, a resident of village of Sikri in Nilokheri, district Karnal, Haryana.

Disclosing this here today an official spokesperson of the VB said both the above mentioned accused were arrested following an investigation of a complaint lodged at the Chief Minister's Anti-Corruption Action Line portal by complainant Surinder Singh, a resident of the village of Nanglan, tehsil Garhshankar, district Hoshiarpur.

He informed that both the arrested accused have been produced in a Jalandhar court today on 12.06.2024 and obtained two days police remand. During their custody they would be interrogated in depth to get information on how many other innocent persons were deceived and the total money collected in this recruitment fraud.

The spokesperson further added that during the preliminary investigation of this complaint by the VB Jalandhar range, the charges made by the complainant were found to be accurate, leading to the registration of a fraud case against both the accused.

Providing more details, he added that the investigation revealed that the accused, Tarlochan Pal and his associate Surinderpal, had falsely assured the gullible persons that about 560 grade-4 vacancies were to be filled in the Punjab Police in the coming months. Acting in collusion, they demanded Rs. 25,000 per person to secure the jobs as grade-4 employees in the state police thereby collected huge money from numerous individuals across the state. Consequently, Tarlochanpal received a total of Rs. 18,09,100 as bribes, which were deposited into his various bank accounts. Out of this amount, Tarlochanpal had transferred Rs. 5,45,000 to Surinderpal's HDFC bank account. In addition to this, accused Surinderpal had received Rs. 7,93,826 in his bank account separately.

The spokesperson further informed that during the probe it was found that a total of Rs. 26,02,926 were collected as bribes by both the accused from about 102 persons on the pretext of getting them jobs. Consequently, a case under sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC, and under section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against both the accused at VB police station Jalandhar range.

He added that accused Surinderpal, during interrogation, has told the VB that he and Tarlochanpal took the said money from job aspirants and gave about Rs 9.00 lakh to two employees posted at Punjab Police Headquarters Chandigarh. He revealed that out of Rs 9.00 lakh, they had returned some money to him after they failed to get recruited the job seekers but the rest of the money was never returned.

He added that during the investigation, the statements of various victims of this fake recruitment scam are being recorded and more affected persons could appear before the Bureau to provide information in this regard.



4% Reservation for Persons with Disabilities in Recruitment and Promotion to be ensured: Dr.Baljit Kaur

Chandigarh June 12,In a significant move to promote inclusivity and provide equal opportunities, the Punjab Government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann will launch a special campaign to fill vacant posts reserved for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). Under Section 34 of the RPWD Act 2016 the government has fixed a 4% reservation for PWDs in both direct recruitment and promotion across various departments.

Social Security, Women and Child Minister Dr. Baljit Kaur explained that after a thorough verification of the Roster Register across all departments of Punjab, the backlog of posts reserved for Persons with Disabilities has been identified. According to the latest reports from various Departments, Corporations and Boards, there are 1721 posts available for direct recruitment and 536 posts available for promotion.

She added that the Social Security Department has reached out to all state departments to confirm and verify this backlog information. This data will then be forwarded to the Subordinate Services Selection Board for prompt action to recruit qualified individuals for these positions. She further said that 87 departments, corporations and boards have responded with their backlog information.

Dr. Kaur said that efforts are ongoing to collect and verify data from the remaining departments. The departments with the highest number of backlog posts include the Department of Health and Family Welfare, the Director Public Instruction (Elementary) and the Director Public Instruction (Secondary).

The Cabinet Minister has emphasized the importance of a timely verification process. The Social Security and Women and Child Development Department (Disability Cell) has been specifically tasked with ensuring that all verifications are completed promptly. This will facilitate swift action to fill these essential vacancies, enhancing employment opportunities for PWDs in the state of Punjab.

This initiative underscores the Punjab Government's commitment to fostering an inclusive work environment and supporting the rights of persons with disabilities. The minister said that by addressing these backlog vacancies, the state aims to set a benchmark in equal employment opportunities and comprehensive social welfare