L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


GNEC professor suspended, probe ordered
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Taking a serious view of the strike by Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College students, the SGPC Acting President has suspended Prof J.N. Jha and ordered an inquiry into the entire episode. A three-member committee constituted by him will examine the whole episode besides the inaction on the part of the Principal for letting the situation go out of hand.

In his order, Mr Alwinderpal Singh Pakhoke said that the Prof Jha had been suspended for slapping Akaljot Singh, a third year student, without any valid reason. The order says that he was pushed into the computer room by the teacher and slapped following which his turban came off. The order also mentions that the suspended teacher violated Sikh norms by smoking and chewing gutkha on the college campus.

The role of Principal R.P. Singh for not handling the situation properly will also be examined by a three-member committee comprising SGPC members Gurmel Singh Sangowal, Harsurinder Singh Gill and Sukhvinder Singh Jhabal.

A clash between some students and a teacher started a row four days ago leading to paralysis of teaching work. Three days of negotiations failed to end the strike forcing the students to approach Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti, who was on a visit to Alamgir Sahib Gurdwara yesterday.

The college management yesterday ordered the closure of the institute for an indefinite period and all hostels were got vacated.

Differences between some students and teachers had been simmering for some time at the institution which is run by the Nankana Sahib Educational Trust of which the SGPC chief is the Chairperson. On Monday, last the college had scheduled house tests from which some students were barred from appearing due to their previous result. A group of students protested and in the process a teacher, Professor J.N Jha tried to slap a student whose turban came off. Ever since the students have protesting against the behaviour of the teacher, some even giving it a religious colour, striking classes and burning the effigy of the college principal and a teacher.

Several rounds of negotiations were held between the committee formed by the college principal Dr R.P Singh and the students, mainly from the fifth semester to iron out differences, but no amicable solution was reached.

According to the students, their main complaint is against the high-handedness of the college authorities. They have accused the principal of indulging in derogatory remarks, abusing the students and imposing heavy fine ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 for minor cases of indiscipline. They also say that the principal summons the parents of the students and insults them. The students have also objection to the smoking of Dr Jha on the campus.

Principal, Dr R.P. Singh, while denying the charges maintained that the situation on campus has been caused by some student of fifth semester from GNE and other colleges under the Punjab Technical University (PTU) have been on strike since mid-August due to their failure in university exams. This has prevented them from studying in the fifth semester as per university rules. With the prolonging of the strike, it began to fizzle out thereby frustrating the leaders who resorted to bullying tactics.



DMC crisis resolved
Vimal Sumbly

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
The two-week long strike of the Hero DMC Heart Institute is likely to be called off following an agreement reached between the agitating employees and the managing committee. SDM (W), Mr M.S. Jaggi, mediated the agreement. The management reportedly agreed to the main union demand that it would directly recruit employees in the hospital even if they are taken on a contract basis only.

The main demand of the employees was the abolition of the contract system of appointments. The management earlier appointed employees through some contractor. Although the employees will continue to be appointed on a contract for a fixed period, which would be renewable, now it would be a direct contract between an employee and the DMC management. The union also agreed to this proposal of the management.

On the second demand of the striking employees to suspend Ms Rajwant Kaur, claiming herself to be the president of a separate union, for allegedly slapping a security guard, the management has agreed to institute a probe into the matter. While the employees were insisting on direct action against Ms Rajwant Kaur, the committee maintained that it would not be proper and possible to take action against her without conducting an inquiry into the matter since she had denied that she had slapped the security guard.

Two other issues regarding compassionate appointments and no-work-no-pay rule took a little longer to be resolved. Initially, the management appeared to be reluctant to concede the demand of the employees that compassionate appointments be made in case of the death of an employee. However, the management agreed to the demand with certain modifications which would be notified later.

The employees had been claiming that they were doing “two hour duty” daily. Ultimately the management also agreed to pay salary to the staff for the strike period also.

It took about a week of hectic parleys conducted by Mr Jaggi, who was assisted by SP City, Mr R.K. Jaiswal and Assistant Labour Commissioner, Mr Netar Singh Dhaliwal. Yesterday the meeting lasted for six hours while today it took a little more.

Expressing confidence that the issue was likely to be resolved today only, Mr Jaggi said both union and the management had reached an agreement in principle. The final shape to the agreement was being given at the time of the filing of this report. Mr Jaggi said, during the negotiations he had found both the managing committee members and the union members very positive and quite cooperative.



Hostelers spend night in gurdwaras
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 18
Students of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College have resented the orders of its Principal, Dr R.P. Singh, asking all hostelers to vacate hostel accommodation.
As the college has been closed, the hostelers hailing from far-off places were flummoxed yesterday when they read a notice of the Principal in this connection. They had to seek shelter in nearby gurdwaras. Girl hostelers managed to find shelter in the houses of their friends.

Today the college wore a desolate look. On the fourth day of the strike yesterday, the students wrote a letter in blood seeking dismissal of the Dean, Academics, Dr J.N. Jha, and the Principal and sent it to Mr Alwinder Pal Singh Pakhoke, acting president, SGPC . The students have requested him to form a committee to look into the matter.

Surinder Pal and Vikram Singh president and secretary, respectively, of the Punjab Students Technical College Committee, with senior students Gurpreet Singh Mann , Amrinder Grewal, Gurcharan Singh Grewal, president, Sikh Students Federation (Mehta), supported the agitating students of GNEC.

The students claimed that the students of ITI situated on Gill Road had also joined the strike. From Monday, the students of Baba Banda Bhadur Engineering College would also be joining the agitation, they said.



Rs 85 lakh ICAR grant for PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
A sum of Rs 85 lakh has been sanctioned by the Education Division of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for the PAU for civil works, library, UG and PG teaching facilities in various departments of the university.

In a communique to the Vice Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, the ICAR has intimated that the grant has been sanctioned under a scheme called Development and Strengthening of State Agricultural Universities of the ICAR.

Dr Darshan Singh, Dean, Postgraduate Studies, said the grant was an interim one and was released for the first half of 2004-05. Additional grant is also expected for the second half of the current financial year. The need for the timely release of the grant was emphasised by Dr Aulakh during the visit of a high-powered team of the ICAR to PAU recently. 



Errors in names

Errors in names inadvertently crept into the items ‘Factionalism in Cong mars ministers’ visit’, ‘Industry decries unscheduled power cuts’ and ‘Lok Adalat at Samrala today’ published in the Ludhiana Tribune dated September 18. The errors are regretted.



CM should come to mela by road, say locals
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 18
Residents of the area wish that the caravan of the Punjab Chief Minister should reach the site of Mela Chhapar by road instead of a helicopter so that the condition of all approach roads may come to the notice of the Chief Minister. They say a decade ago, these roads used to be repaired at least once a year as dignitaries, including Chief Ministers, used to visit this place by road.

A ride to this town from Ludhiana via Khanna, Malerkotla, Mulan Pur, Sandaur, and Raekote revealed that none of the roads was motorable. The condition of the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road is the worst of all. The road, which was once used for local traffic only, is lately being used as a short route for heavy vehicles bound for New Delhi and a part of Haryana. Toll barriers on the national highway have added to the traffic here. The zig-zag driving by drivers to avoid potholes has caused many accidents resulting in a few deaths also.

The road along the bank of the Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal is also in a bad condition. The reconstruction work between Payal and Jagera Bridge has been going on for more than a year and the road has been out of use. Only the local residents know how to reach their destination by using some link roads.

The journey on the approach roads from Mulanpur, Sandaur and Raekote is also bumpy. The situation becomes worse during the rainy season.

While Mela Chhapar, which has been witnessing huge gatherings of devotees from all corners of Punjab and the surrounding states for decades, commences on September 26, the authorities have taken no notice of the bad condition of the roads. The residents say that since the VIPs have started coming to the mela by air, nobody bothers about the woes of a common man. 



Govt ignoring us, says Beant’s grandson 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 18
Family members of the late Chief Minister Beant Singh feel that the state government has ignored the sacrifices of all those who raised their voice against terrorism in the state.

While talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Harkeerat Singh Kotli, a Youth Congress leader and grandson of Beant Singh, alleged that the state government had been ignoring the sacrifices of all those who raised their voice against terrorism.

Referring to the treatment meted out to his family he said,"withdrawal of berth from Mr Tej Parkash Singh and subsequent behaviour on the part of the Chief Minister reflects the extent of respect the party gives to the family of Beant Singh, who sacrificed his life to restore normalcy in the state."

Mr Kotli further accused the government for allegedly booking Baba Ajit Singh Puhla under false cases because he dared to raise his voice against terrorism at the time when even the security forces feared to face the hardcore terrorists.



Inquiry stumbles upon cop-smuggler nexus
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Bribery charges levelled by an ASI against senior police officials of the city , including the pocketing of the monthly and weekly shares of lower rank officials have fallen flat in an inquiry conducted by an IG-rank official.

The inquiry has instead stumbled upon a police-smuggler nexus and indicted a former SHO and suspended an ASI along with a constable and a SPO of SalemTabri police station for taking lakhs of rupees from the two smugglers to let them off, extorting Rs 40,000 from an innocent youth and then plotting false charges against senior officials who had taken action against the ASI.

The outcome of the inquiry conducted by Mr S.K.Sharma, IG border range, on a complaint of suspended ASI Malkiat Singh was awaited as the cop had levelled serious corruption charges against the SP and other officials. Mr Sharma, however, found that the ASI of Salem Tabri police station in league with the SHO was minting money. On being caught, the ASI levelled charges against his seniors.

The SHO whose name figured during the inquiry had instead of taking action against the ASI shielded him and taken his share.

Mr Sharma told Ludhiana Tribune that the charges against senior officials were found to be baseless and motivated. He said he had recommended to the DGP to take stringent action against SI Buland Singh, ASI Malkiat Singh, a constable and an SPO.

Sources revealed that the ASI and two lower rank cops had caught two narcotic smugglers, one of whom was identified as Rajja. The inquiry report states that the ASI had seperately caught the two narcotic smugglers but had let them off after taking more than lakhs of rupees as bribe. The SHO came to know about this activity an instead of taking action against him and the other cops, took his share.

The team then caught a city resident Rajesh Kumar with a girl. Though the couple claimed they were related, the cops demanded Rs 40,000 and threatened to put them behind bars if they refused.

The role of the SHO had remained hidden till the inquiry report exposed him.



Missing girl traced
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
A student of BA Final year in Khalsa College for Women, Ghumar Mandi was traced in as mysterious circumstances as she had disappeared three days ago today evening. But not before an intense drama took place at the college today where a number of students boycotted a supplementary examination in protest against her disappearance and in the evening a strong posse of city police reached the college with a dog squad to trace the girl.

There were different versions about the disappearance of the girl. Her parents and some other students claimed that the girl was harassed by some other students and had not got any help form the authorities. The college principal, Dr V K Thind denied this claiming that the girl had gone on her own. She said only some sports students missed the examination.

She said she did not report the matter to the police on request of the girl’s parents did not want to bring any disrepute to the family. The police however claimed that the girl’s parents had called them to the police station. The police went there with a dog squad at which rumours spread that the girl’s body has been found.



Woman assaulted out of enmity

Jagraon, September 18
Kulwant Singh and Hakam Singh of Agwar Khawaja Baju, Jagraon, today allegedly assaulted Karamjit Kaur of the same locality after entering her house. Karamjit Kaur is the wife of the present president of Gurdwara Khawaja Baju.

It is learnt that Baljit Singh was the granthi of Gurdwara Khawaja Baju. Since he allegedly showed disrespect to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, he was removed as the granthi sometime back and a case was registered against him. A day before Baljit Singh was to be married, he went to pay obeisance at the gurdwara but he was not allowed to do so. After the marriage party returned, Nirmal Singh showered abuses on Mukand Singh for not allowing Baljit Singh to enter the gurdwara.

Today, Kulwant Singh and Hakam Singh, who sided with Baljit Singh, assaulted Karamjit Kaur, wife of Mukand Singh. The injured has been admitted to the local Civil Hospital.



LMA annual function today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
The Ludhiana Management Association will organise its 26th annual function at Hotel Gulmor here tomorrow. Justice O. P. Verma, Governor, Punjab, will be the chief guest on the occasion. This was stated by Mr M. C. Munjal, president, and Mr V.K.Goyal, general secretary, LMA, here today.

Mr Goyal said Mr H.K.Dua, Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune, and Dr Surinder Kapur, chairman and managing director, Sona Koyo Steering Systems, will be the key speakers.

He said this year also, three awards, LMA-Vardhman Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2003, LMA-Dayanand Munjal Manager of the Year 2003 and LMA-Trident Young Innovative Entrepreneur of the Year 2003, sponsored by Vardhman, Hero and Trident group, will be presented by the Governor. The names of the winners will be announced tomorrow during the function.



Girl posing as Canadian dupes youth of Rs 10 lakh
Tribune News Service

Khanna, September 18
Yet another Punjabi youth has fallen prey to a girl posing as a Canadian citizen, who duped the youth of Rs 10 lakh in connivance with her mother and six other associates.

The girl got married with Gurjant Singh of Randhir Khosa village, under the Kot Ise Khan police station. After the marriage the girl stayed with her in-laws for a few days and then went missing, only to be discovered later that she had married yet another youth of the area.

Gurjant Singh discovered that the girl was no Canadian citizen, but was a habitual offender. The police has registered a case under Section 420, 494 and 120B of the IPC against the girl. She has absconded.

Palwinder Kaur, a widow and mother of the “fake” Canadian citizen, Hardip Kaur, approached the father of Gurjant Singh. She told them that her daughter was a Canadian citizen who would take the groom to Canada after marriage. She demanded Rs 20 lakh and the whole expenditure of the marriage to be borne by the father of Gurjant Singh.

However after bargaining the amount was settled at Rs 10 lakh. As per the programme, the marriage was performed on October 17, 1999, at a marriage palace at Ahmedgarh. The whole expenditure of the marriage was borne by the father of the victim.

The father of the groom borrowed Rs 4 lakh from Sher Singh, son of Sadhu Singh of Rojina village, Rs 3.5 lakh from a commission agent, Rs 3.5 lakh from Harbhajan Singh of Mari Mustafa village and Rs 1 lakh from Balbir Singh of Badowal village. This entire amount was handed over to Hardip Kaur.

The girl stayed for some days in the house of Gurjant Singh and then left saying that she was going to Canada and would return soon with a visa for Gurjant Singh. But she never contacted Gurjant Singh after that.

When members of Gurjant Singh’s family made inquiries, they came to know that the girl had never gone to Canada and had got married with Palwinder Singh and residing with him.

A complaint was lodged with the police against Hardip Kaur, Palwinder Kaur, Rajinder Singh, Kulbir Kaur, Manjit Kaur, Palwinder Singh, Harchand Singh, nambardar, Rajbir Singh and Gurdial Singh.



Four hurt in group clash

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 18
At least four persons were injured in group clash that took place near a mill situated on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road near here yesterday. The Sadar police has not registered a case in this regard. The injured have been identified as two employees of the mill. Sources revealed that the clash took place on the issue of returning a compact disc purchased from one of the injured two days ago.

Taj Khan, a resident of Akbarpur Chhanna village, runs a shop in front of GIS Ltd located on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road. He had sold a compact disc to Ajay Kumar, an employee of the mill, three days ago. Yesterday, Ajay complained to Taj Khan that the CD was not working properly. Ajay allegedly turned hostile when Taj Khan refused to return the CD.This triggered a dispute that led to a violence leaving at least four persons injured.

While the shopkeeper alleged that Ajay and his associates had attacked him after forcibly entering the shop but Ajay alleged that he was beaten up by Taj Khan when he went to get the defective CD exchanged. He said Taj had called his men and attacked him when he (Ajay) was going to get his wounds dressed up. OC



Cash, valuables stolen
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, September 18
A resident of village Sohian, falling under the jurisdiction of Payal, has alleged that his relatives took away his cash and valuables from the house.
Nirmal Singh of village Sohian complained to the Payal police today that one of his relatives Jagvir Singh came to their house and stole Rs 2500 and also gold ornaments.

He took away Nirmal Singh’s daughter Charanjit Kaur by luring her for better marriage prospects. Nirmal Singh said that a month had passed but his daughter had not returned.

A case has been registered at Payal police station. 



Singapore flight to benefit city industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Come October and the city will be linked with the rest of the world. After a two-hour drive to Amritsar, anyone will be able to go to any part of the world via Singapore by boarding the thrice- weekly flight scheduled to start next month from the Raja Sansi Airport in Amritsar.

This will boost the trade and industry in the city as the flight from Amritsar would cut the travel time and money by connecting the city with various destinations across the globe from Changi Airport, Singapore.

A large number of Singapore Airline personnel arrived in the city for a tie up with local business and industry, besides individuals to update themselves about various opportunities that would open up in the tourism and business sectors with Amritsar being converted into an international airport. "We have received good response from all quarters. About 65 per cent seats on the inaugural flight have already been booked", Mr Manjit Grewal, North India Manager of Singapore Airline told Ludhiana Tribune.

Linking Singapore with Punjab through Amritsar will open up a world of opportunities in the fields of trade, commerce, travel and tourism in Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and other South-East Asian countries. Those who would particularly benefit include the Sikh diaspora, pilgrims to Golden Temple and other places in the region.

Besides Singapore Airlines, the Singapore Tourism Board, Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Macau Government Tourist Office and Star Cruises Travel Services are currently hosting a 'travel mela' at the Sutlej Club.

Personnel of the National Tourism Organisation gave a detailed presentation during the mela to over 60 travel agents and tour operators from the city and adjoining areas on business and other related opportunities that will open up after the launch of the flight on October 1.

The three direct flights between Amritsar and Singapore will be designated as SQ 471 (Amritsar-Singapore) / SQ 472 (Singapore -Amritsar) and will operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Boeing B777-200 with the sitting capacity of 323 seats will have two classes- 30 seats in raffles (business) class and 293 seats in the economy class. 


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