Punjab provision shops to sell beer
Chandigarh (PTI): The Punjab government has decided to liberalise the sale of beer and wine in five cities of the state.
Departmental stores and provision shops will be allowed to market the liquor after obtaining licences from the excise department.
Chief minister Amarinder Singh said the decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting that approved the excise policy for 2003-04 allowing opening of 5,250 vends in the state. This will generate a revenue of Rs 1,470 crore, an increase of Rs 30 crore compared with the current fiscal year’s figure.
Amarinder said the “free sale” of beer and wine would be allowed in Amritsar (excluding the walled area of the Golden Temple), Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala and Bhatinda. If the experiment is successful, the scheme would be extended to other cities in 2004-05, he added.
The shops will have to pay a licence fee of Rs 50,000, should have an annual turnover of Rs 25 lakh and pay taxes above Rs 2 lakh annually, the chief minister added.
Gujarat Speaker rings cell alert
Gandhinagar (PTI): Ordering the confiscation of minister of state for home Amit Shah’s cellphone, Gujarat Assembly Speaker Mangaldas Patel warned members in the House against “disturbance” due to ringing of mobile phones during proceedings.
Patel, who had repeatedly warned members as well as others present in the House against such disturbances, said mobile phones would be taken out of the House if the incident is repeated.
While several Opposition Congress as well as treasury members scampered to switch off their mobile phones, rings interrupted discussion during zero hour. However, no action was taken.
The Speaker also warned BJP legislator Bharat Pandya to observe “silence” during the discussion after he was spotted whispering in the House.
Credit scamsters surrender
Kolhapur (PTI): Twelve directors of Bhudargad Pat Sanstha Credit Society in the district, allegedly involved in a scam of Rs 250 crore, surrendered before police near here.
Rejecting their appeal for anticipatory bail, Bombay High Court had asked them to surrender before February 28, the police said. Two others, including the main accused, are still absconding.
Mumbai (PTI): After holding a preliminary inquiry into the alleged disappearance of Ghatkopar blast accused Sayed Khwaja Yunus from police custody, a special court said it is unable to give a positive finding on his whereabouts and suggested that his relatives move Bombay High Court to seek appropriate relief, including a CBI probe. Yunus, booked under the anti-terror Act, was found missing from a police jeep, which had an accident near Ahmednagar on January 7.
Tremor in Valley
Srinagar (PTI): An earthquake of mild intensity shook Srinagar and adjoining areas on Friday, Met office sources said. No damage was reported due to the tremor that lasted a few seconds.
Minor raped, killed
Ahmedabad (PTI): A six-year-old girl was killed after being allegedly raped near the government polytechnic in the city, police said. The accused, 19-year-old Kishan Marwadi, has been arrested on the basis of a complaint by the girl’s uncle, they said. Marwadi also chopped off her legs with a sharp-edged weapon to remove her anklets, the police added.
Wife kills husband
Coimbatore (PTI): Unable to bear the beating and harassment by her drunkard husband, a woman allegedly clubbed him to death in their house on Thursday, police said. The 35-year-old woman surrendered at a city police station on Friday.
Two die in cave-in
Bulandshahar (PTI): A mother and her two-year-old son died after a wall in their house collapsed. Both were sleeping when the mishap occurred.
Police lobbed teargas shells and resorted to a lathicharge to disperse a mob that blocked Exhibition Road in Patna for several hours, protesting against non-availability of tickets for the India-Pakistan World Cup match being screened at a cinema hall.