Punjab Jails and Cooperation Minister Mr Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa today informed that in a bid to provide employment to the unemployed youth of the state, the Punjab government would be hiring 500 youth in the jails department. He said that the state government has already given its approval and the new staff would be employed soon. Mr Randhawa said this while attending a function organised to celebrate the 74th birth anniversary function of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi organised by senior Congress leader Mr KK Bawa in association with Desh Bhagat Memorial Society and Terrorism Affected Association, here today. Member of Parliament Mr Ravneet Singh Bittu, Cabinet Minister Mr Bharat Bhushan Ashu, MLA’s Mr Surinder Dawar, Mr Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Mr Lakhvir Singh Lakha, Ludhiana Mayor Mr Balkar Singh Sandhu, former minister Mr Malkit Singh Dakha, besides several others were also present during the function. While speaking on the occasion, Mr Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa informed that to check shortage of jail staff, 650 persons were recruited in the Jails Department recently. He informed that there is still shortage of 600 persons, out of which the file related to the recruitment of 500 persons has been cleared by the state government. He informed that once the new staff is recruited, the department would write to the Punjab Police to train them before they join duties. He stated that there is zero tolerance for unlawful activities in his department and warned that recovery of any mobile phone or drugs inside the state’s prisons would invite immediate suspension of the official indicted, besides leading to stern action against the jail superintendent too. While addressing the gathering, Mr Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said that it was during the tenure of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi that the country progressed. He said that computerisation was introduced in the country during Mr Gandhi’s tenure besides the telecommunications revolution. He said that Congress party is a party of martyrs as thousands of people laid down their lives for the country. He said that during the dark days of militancy in Punjab, several congressmen sacrificed their lives for the sake of peace and communal harmony. On this occasion, first Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Award was given to Sam Pitroda and this award was received on his behalf by Indian Overseas Congress USA chapter president Mr Gurmeet Singh Gill. Beant Singh Memorial Award was given to Khanna MLA Mr Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Radhe Shyam Malhotra Memorial Award to Senior Deputy Mayor Mr Sham Sunder Malhotra, Dr Kalicharan Memorial Award to his son Mr Sukhnandan, Atma Ram Arya Memorial Award to his son Mr Vicky Arya, Freedom Fighter Om Parkash Bector Memorial Award to Mr Arun Bector and Bhagat Ram Memorial Award to his daughter Mrs Dharma Devi. Prominent among those present on the occasion included District Congress Committee (Urban) President Mr Gurpreet Singh Gogi, DCC (Rural) President Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, former Additional Advocate General Mr Harpreet Sandhu, Mr Gurinderpal Singh Billa, Mr Nirmal Kaira, besides several others.