L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Racy start to Kila Raipur Rural Olympics
Young, old add colour to fest
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Kila Raipur, February 3
Veterans as well as young ‘bullock cart’ jockeys who declared open the 75th Kila Raipur Sports Festival, also known as the Rural Olympic Games, were seen in high spirits here today.

Organised under the aegis of the Grewal Sports Association, the four-day rural sports is a much awaited event in the Gill constituency, as was evident from the response by people of all age groups, who were present on the occasion.

The weather was just apt for the people who shouted for their preferred jockeys and bulls.

Punjabi dialect, the attire of the jockeys and the ceremonial dresses of ‘bulls’ added to the uniqueness of the occasion.

People from villages, including Sangrur, Bathinda, Ludhiana, Patiala, Barnala and Jalandhar were eagerly waiting for rural sports like kabaddi, trolley race, gatka, loading unloading of trucks and acrobatic acts.

NRIs are all set to take the VIP seats in the next three days as Dildar Singh from Phillaur said his nephew and niece, living in Canada, have planned their visit as per the schedule of the games.

Some bulls acting as spoilt brats strayed out of the sight of the finishing line thereby disappointing their owners. Yet, the treat to a bottle of rum was something that they were not deprived of.

The organisers were all over the ground giving finishing touches to the preparations for tomorrow’s inauguration by Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon, the Cabinet Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, Punjab.


A winner all the way
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Kila Raipur, February 3
White humped bull, synonymous with the bullock cart race during the Kila Raipur sports festival, is a prized possession of Harchand Singh’s family. Avtar Singh and Gurbhachan Singh, kin of Harchand Singh, a resident of Dhandari village, bought this bull three years ago from Himmat Singh of Kalakh village for Rs 7 lakh.

Bawanpreet, son of Gurbachan Singh, said: “This bull has already won heats today. We are sure that it will win the final round as well.”

Bawanpreet said this bull had won bullock cart races at Dhandari, Mundian, Ballowal, Budhewal, Ramgarh and Hakimpur in 2010.

“We were given a motorbike in every race it won. We returned the motorbikes to the companies for Rs 1,000 less than their actual price. These motorbikes were prized between Rs 4,5000,” he added.

The bull gets tired after continuous four to five hours of practice in the field. Thus, it is pampered with almonds, cashews, raisins and pure ghee mixed with grams, milk and yogurt. Sometimes, the bull is even treated with a bottle of rum.

The bull is also pampered with a good bath and massage. An attendant is stationed round-the-clock to monitor behavioral changes of the animal. A veterinary doctor is on a call with an emergence of slight sign of sickness.

Bull worth

There is no price tag attached for a hobby like this. The family of Harchand Singh is indulging in it for generations. The family has recently bought a bull for Rs 10 lakh from Roda Singh and Binder Singh of Kainor village in Ropar district. This bull, being a winner and of superior breed, takes part only in solo races. Hence the family has not brought it for the Kila Raipur games in which multiple carts run in the final show. “We don’t want it to get injured,” said Bawanpreet.



690 yards in just 19.12 seconds
Rurka pair fastest in bullock cart race
Mahesh Sharma

Kila Raipur, February 3
Covering a distance of 690 yards in just 19.12 seconds, bullocks owned by Nahar Singh of Rurka village emerged as the fastest pair at the Platinum Edition of Kila Raipur Rural Sports that began at the Grewal Stadium near here today.

The pair owned by Jit Singh of Ghudani village finished second by covering the same distance in 19.21 seconds.

The sports meet was inaugurated by Captain Harbans Singh Sayan, chairman of the Market Committee, Kila Raipur, and Sukhvir Singh Grewal, chief organiser, presided over the inaugural session.

The Kila Raipur Games, better known as the Rural Olympics, started today with bullock cart time trial races at Kila Raipur village, near here.

Though the formal inauguration would take place tomorrow, the games attracted a large number of participants and spectators from Punjab and its surrounding states on the first day. Around 100 villagers took part in bullock cart time trial races today.

Ajit Singh of Ghudani ( 19.28), Ajaib Singh of Shehbazpur (19.30), Teja Singh Maan of Jalaldiwal (19.53), Harpreet Singh of Lohgarh ( 19.56), Harmanjot Singh of Phallewal (19.56), Jagdev Singh of Himanyunpur (19.56), Nirmal Singh of Gujjarwal (19.64), Jasnoor Singh of Barban (19.75 ), Mane Khan of Bhoodan ( 19.75) and Jagbir Singh of Narangwal (19.75 ) were other leaders in the trial races.

Paramjit Singh Grewal, secretary of the association, said participants from Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana had confirmed their participation in this event. The games will feature the Bhagwant Memorial Gold Cup Tournament in which top hockey teams of the country will take part.

Grewal said competitions would also be held in athletics, cycling, air pistol shooting and equestrian events, besides traditional rural sporting events like camel race, bullock cart race, dog race, kabaddi, tug-of-war, tent pegging, horse riding and aero-modelling.

Boys of Sudhar Hockey Team, Malwa Academy and Bathinda defeated teams of Jarkhar, Kila Raipur and Sudhar, respectively, in six-a-side hockey matches played today.

Passion has no age
Anshu Seth/TNS

Kila Raipur, February 3
As rightly said that there is a thin line that differentiates ‘passion’ from ‘obsession’ and it’s true for people living in the villages adjoining Kila Raipur who grow up with this passion to be a part of the Rural Sports Festival and gradually become obsessed for taking part in the events. From ages, families in Kila Raipur have been taking part in the bullock cart races. From veterans to younger lot, the bullock cart race is the most awaited event of the year.

Old vs New

Gurdev SinghFormer panch of Kila Raipur Gurdev Singh (75) grew up watching the bullock cart races from the age of seven. “At a very young age I started playing the jockey and have won a lot of races. Looking back at the 60s, my heart swells with pride as I can still see myself driving the pair of bulls on the wooden cart. It’s fun to see young boys going crazy to get the best and light weight cart in order to win the race, but I think the real essence of the game is in the wooden bullock carts.

Lakha Singh23-year-old Lakha Singh of Pakhowal village, is busy preparing for the games the whole year, irrespective of the resources. It’s a passion imbibed with a business venture as Lakha Singh ventured into the sport a few years ago and bought his first bull for Rs 20,000. “I nurtured the bull for two years and took part in a few races, thereafter I sold the bull for Rs 4.5 lakh. The amount was a good return to buy another bull, but I plan to keep it for one more year.”



National status eludes Kila Raipur games
Mahesh Sharma

Kila Raipur, February 3
Eleven years after the Union Ministry of Tourism featured Kila Raipur rural games, popularly knows as the “Rural Olympics” in its calendar as a place of tourist interest, the successive state and Centre governments have failed to recognise the event as a national festival.

What to talk of bringing in matching grant for the event by contributing their share of Rs 2.5 lakh, the state government has failed to perpetuate Congress government’s announcement to felicitate pioneer sportspersons in various fields.

Residents and sports enthusiasts of the area have urged leaders of their respective parties to impress upon the authorities in the state sports department to take up the issue with the Centre.

Though Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had assured last year to revive a national festival status for the Kila Raipur Rural Sports Festival, the status of the event remains unchanged. Feigning ignorance about the Chief Minister’s announcement, Sukhbir had maintained that the Centre had been putting off the demand.

Sports enthusiasts alleged that politicisation of the event had resulted in a situation wherein organisers had failed to claim facilities and privileges for the event.

The Punjab government had decided to introduce five awards of Rs 1 lakh each for outstanding performers of the Kila Raipur Rural Olympics around six years ago. The then Finance and Planning Minister Suirnder Kumar Singla had announced to introduce Rs 1 lakh award each for the best bullock cart racer, best all-round rural sportsperson, best kabaddi team, best wrestler and the best team in loading-unloading of tractor-trailers at each edition of the Kila Raipur festival. Each prize was to be accompanied with a Chief Minister’s citation highlighting the outstanding performance of the awardee.

The Directorate-General of Tourism, Union Government, had already included Kila Raipur in its calendar of national festivals. It was also decided to introduce a special award for veteran rural sportsperson of the year.

Sukhvir Singh Grewal, chief organiser of the event, said the Union Government had almost withdrawn the “national festival status” of the Kila Raipur rural games after the successive state governments failed to contribute their share of matching grant.

Though the organisers had been receiving grants for development of infrastructure at the stadium, specially announced awards were never received, regretted Grewal.



3 women teachers among 5 booked for fraud
Had submitted fake experience certificates to education dept
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
The lure of a government job and secure future has landed three women and two male teachers in trouble as two years after investigation, the city police today booked them for committing fraud with the education department.

These teacher had already been blacklisted by the department.

Giving details about the case, reliable sources in the department said the five teachers committed fraud in 2009, when the department hired over 4,000 teachers across the state.

"To get the job, they reportedly prepared fake experience certificates and submitted these to the education department," said a source.

During the time of selection of teaching fellows, the rejected candidates had reportedly levelled an allegation that some teachers had prepared fake experience certificates to get government job.

Following the allegation, a panel was constituted by the then district education officer (DEO) to probe the matter.

In its finding, the panel found fault in the documents submitted by the candidates and asked the teachers to produce the original documents.

The department also counter-checked with the schools from where the teachers had prepared their experience certificates.

It was found that the teachers had never taught in those schools and prepared fake documents from somewhere else.

Following a thorough probe by sub-inspector Naveen Kumar, the teachers, identified as Renu Bala, Balwant Rai, Ranjit Kaur, Rajinder Singh and Navjot Kaur.

According to the investigating officer, the police received a complaint from the DEO office on August 23, 2010, stating that the five teachers had submitted fake document and applied for government job.

The accused have been booked under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 of the IPC for committing fraud.

It is learnt that the accused have even served the department for three months, before they were blacklisted by the education department and were facing investigation.



Another robbery in city
Man shot at, loses Rs 1 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
In yet another daring broad daylight robbery, armed assailants fired two shots at a man and fled with Rs 1 lakh from Randhir Singh Nagar here this afternoon. The incident took place right in front of the Lodhi Club, when the victim, identified as Pramod Sharma (38), a resident of the Dugri Dhandra road who works as manager at a timber store located in Thrike village, was approaching his office on a scooter.

According to eyewitnesses, two armed assailants, who were travelling on a motorcycle, intercepted Pramod and told him to stop the vehicle at gunpoint.

As soon as Pramod applied brakes, the youth sitting pillion on the motorcycle, fired two shots from a point-blank range.

The accused then snatched the bag and fled from the scene. The shots spread panic in the area. Soon residents reached the spot and rushed him to hospital.

Sunita Rani, wife of the victim, claimed that Pramod was carrying ` 1 lakh in the bag.

Meanwhile, the Sarabha Nagar police reached the spot and started investigation. Till the time of filling this report, the victim was being operated upon. According to information, the bullets hit him on the abdomen.

The victim had not yet given his statement to the police. However, cops have not ruled out the personal enmity angle.



Students ‘thrashed’ by teacher
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
Allegations and counter-allegations flew high at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Cemetery Road, this afternoon after two students of Class XI levelled allegations of thrashing against their DP discipline in charge) teacher.

Sanju and Saurav, both students of Class XI, today alleged that their DP teacher Ajit Pal Singh thrashed them badly in the school today for whistling on the premises.

"The boys were standing outside the class in a group after the school got over and some of them were whistling when DP Teacher Ajit Pal Singh passed by. He thought the boys were whistling at him and poking fun and without thinking, he grabbed Sanju and Saurav by their arms and started beating them," alleged Sanju's father Ashok Kumar.

"Ajit Pal Singh twisted Sanju's arm and hit him with his elbow. He then beat up the boys blue and black, following which Sanju's nose started bleeding," Kumar said.

Both the boys even showed injury marks on their backs, shoulders and arms, alleging that the same were inflicted upon them by Ajit Pal Singh.

On the other hand, school principal Karamjit Kaur alleged that the boys were whistling in the class in front of girl students following which the DP teacher scolded them and even smacked them lightly.

"The boys had been whistling in the class with girl students sitting around them. This is totally uncalled for behaviour in any school," said Kaur.

"When Ajit Pal Singh entered the class, he saw the boys' behaviour and finding it to be unacceptable, he scolded Sanju and Saurav and even slapped them lightly. As incharge of discipline in the school, it was Ajit Pal Singh's duty to prevent indecent behaviour in the school," said the principal. She revealed that after the school got over, Sanju and Saurav called their fathers.

"Both the fathers talked to me and when I explained that the boys were punished for indulging in unacceptable behaviour on school premises, they understood and even made the boys apologise," Karamjit Kaur said.

She, however, alleged that it was later that an outsider named Sunny came in and started instigating Sanju and Saurav. "He started shouting at the top of his voice and threatened me that he would complain to the deputy commissioner against the DP teacher and me. He also provoked Sanju to complaint against us," said the principal, adding that it was Sunny who called media persons and created a ruckus.

Were teasing girls: Principal

School principal Karamjit Kaur alleged that the boys were whistling in the class in front of the girl students following which the DP (discipline in charge) teacher scolded them and even smacked them lightly. "The boys had been whistling in the class with girl students sitting around them. This is totally uncalled for.”



Love birds in search of the perfect gift
Cards with voice recorders, love cheque books latest this season
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Penning it down: Valentine’s Day love letters adorn stores across Ludhiana
Penning it down:
Valentine’s Day love letters adorn stores across Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, February 3
With Valentine's Day around the corner, love is in the air. As expected, lovers are going all out to make the day special and memorable for their beloved. In fact, majority of them have already decided to make the entire week, starting February 7 to 14, special for their Valentine.

Lavish preparations, planning, shopping is high on the list love birds. Traders, too, are cashing in on the craze by attracting youngsters with myriad options. There is a deluge of sorts of attractive gift items across the shelves of all major and small gift stores in the city.

Red is the colour of the season and hearts have become the most popular embellishment in city stores.

Red roses, V-Day cards, teddies, heart-shaped chocolate packs, printed love letters are selling like hot cakes.

“When it comes to gifts, the list is endless. Starting from teddies, flowers, crystal roses and chocolates there are plethora of gifts available for V-Day,” says Jatin of Jatin's Gallery, Cemetery road.

“Musical cards and teddies with voice recorders are the latest attraction this year. Another interesting and innovative gift item is a love cheque book, which includes cheques of hugs, kisses, etc and it goes well with the concept of Valentine's Week, Jatin adds.

Chocolates, too, are in huge demand. “The best gift for Valentine's Day is a pack of chocolates and red roses. Every year I gift these to my husband. There is nothing better than red roses,” says Raminder.

“My favourite V-Day gift is a bunch of red roses. And since it’s the choice of most lovers, the demand rises tremendously on the day. To avoid last-minute rush, I have already booked my flowers in advance,” says Varsha, a college student.

For Harpreet Singh Chahal, celebration of love begins a week ahead of V-Day. “I have planned an entire week full of fun and love for my girlfriend. I will treat her to a special surprise the entire week. I am sure she will love it and fall in love with me all over again after seven years,” says a youngster.



Recession helped fraudsters to make moolah
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
While recession taught the world the significance of saving, it taught the con quartet of Ashwani Kumar of Kharar, Ajay Kumar Khurana of Ludhiana, Amit Sacchar of Jalandhar and Narinder Kumar of Mohali how to make moolah out of a crisis situation.

As needy people are eager to spend their entire saving to avail a hassle-free loan, the high turnover and less risk opened the floodgates of opportunities for the four fraudsters, who became the face of white-collar criminals in the state.

Currently in the custody of the Khanna police for duping over 50 persons to the tune of the nearly ` 2 crore, Ashwani Kumar (35), a school dropout and the kingpin of the gang, said he leant the trick of the trade while he was working with a private bank in Jalandhar.

Following recession in 2007-08, the private bank closed its branches and sacked employees, Ashwani told the police.

However, he Ashwani found the finance business profitable and ventured into it and soon moved to Chandigarh and kept on changing offices. He used to dupe people on the pretext to providing them easy loans.

Soon, he hired Narinder Kumar as his executive. Narinder had also been working in the banking sector and had an extensive experience in this field. Both of them floated a company and started duping people.

Amit Sacchar of Jalandhar, who is said to be the childhood friend of Ashwani Kumar, also joined the finance business. Ajay Kumar Khurana, a close associate of Sacchar, was the last one to join the company.

According to Khanna SSP Dinesh Partap Singh, the accused used to spend lavishly. They used to travel by air and live in five star hotels.

They also took offices on rent in posh localities in Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala Andhra Pradesh (AP), West Bengal, Rajasthan and Gujarat and used to employ good-looking girls as receptionists.

All this was done to lure the client. After charging the processing fee, the accused used to issue a fake sanction letter and used to take 10 per cent of margin money in advance on the sum assured. Soon after receiving the money, they used to flee, leaving good-looking receptionists high and dry.

It is learnt that Ashwani owns a flat in Sunny Enclave near Jyoti Chowk in Kharar, while Narinder brought a property in Mohali. ` 40,000 have been recovered from the other two accused.

Loan Scam

3 more complaints

A day after their arrest in connection with the Rs 2-crore fraud case, the police has received three more complaints through email, claiming that the accused had also conned them on the pretext of providing them easy loan.

The Khanna police on Thursday raided their residences and found fake documents and bogus accreditation certificates issued by the Reserve Bank of India.

The police has also seized fake PAN cards and driving licenses, including authorisation letters of government agencies. The accused were having 18 bogus bank accounts across the country out of which 15 were in Panchkula, Mohali and Khanna.

More trouble

The Khanna police has said that following the arrest of four fraudsters, police of other states have established contact with it and the accused may be taken to Gujarat and West Bengal on production warrants.



Powercom fritters away funds in overpaying staff
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 3
Even though Punjab State Power Corp Ltd (PSPCL) is not exactly flush with funds and lack of financial resources has always been an excuse for poor capital maintenance and slow expansion of distribution network in the city, yet some its branches have been squarely blamed for squandering funds and, on top of it, getting away with it.

Information obtained by an NGO, the Anti-Corruption & Crime Investigation Cell under the Right to Information Act revealed PSPCL’s protection division here had made an excess payment of Rs 129.41 lakh during fiscal 2008-09 and 2009-10 by making adjustment of employees with higher payscales against sanctioned posts of lower scales and employing an additional ‘sewadar’ during the period.

During the same period excess/unauthorized payment of double overtime was made to employees posted at various substations in violation of the regulations and even those employees were paid overtime who were not entitled to it. The irregularities cost PSPCL a total of Rs 99,149.

The audit report for the period obtained by the NGO’s activists, Arvind Sharma and Rohit Sabharwal, from the office of the senior executive engineer, grid maintenance division here points out that 47 posts of RTMs in the protection division were vacant while 57 assistant linemen were deployed against these posts, which was against PSPCL’s stipulated policy.

"Not only ten additional employees have been deployed over and above the sanctioned posts, but employees drawing higher payscales have been adjusted against the posts for lower payscales, thereby causing financial loss to the corporation. The excess deployed staff is shown to be working in other divisions while they are drawing salary from the protection division," the audit report pointed out.

Another irregularity mentioned in the audit report said that as against two sanctioned posts of ‘sewadars’ (class IV), three people were deployed in the divisional office. According to the report, the divisional office was charged with making excess payment of Rs 129.41 lakh during the period under review.

Seeking an explanation from supervisory officials, audit wing of PSPCL has also issued directions for recovery of excess payment made by way of overtime, reverting those employees who were posted against nonsanctioned posts and making up the financial.



Creativity holds no bar
Jail inmates pitch in for hosiery industry
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
To keep them busy and in an attempt to forget the bitter memories of their past, the inmates of Women Jail, Tajpur road, contribute to the Ludhiana's hosiery industry. About 200 jail inmates, pass their time by doing embroidery work on bed-covers and shawls which the authorities provide them.

By involving themselves in such constructive work, these inmates also get some money, which they prefer to “save” for the families. Snehjot Kaur, Deputy Superintendent, Women Jail, said these inmates make bed-covers by doing traditional embroidery work like phulkari, kantha-work, baagh, crochet etc.

The price of bed-covers is between Rs 500 and 700.

On asking who buys these products, Snehjot said several visitors show keen interest such products.

“Hosiery owners send shawls on which the inmates do highlighting-work. And they are paid about Rs 16 for each shawl. As per rules, half of the money is deposited with government authorities, while half is given to the inmates,” said the Deputy Superintendent. Kanta (name changed), one of the inmates, said: “This is a good time pass. By involving ourselves in this work, the time passes quickly. Besides, we also get some money, which we save for our families.” The inmates also make beautiful hand-made embroided paintings. “These are a kind of wall-hangings. The embroidery is beautifully highlighted with motifs, mirror work etc,” said an attendant in the jail.



Non-fulfillment of demands
FCI workers rally against mgmt
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, February 3
The FCI Workers’ Union held a rally in front of the FCI depot today in support of their long pending demands. The rally was presided over by Nahar Singh, president of the depot. Members of the union raised slogans against the FCI management and the government on the occasion.

Union leaders criticised the management for not accepting the demands of workers like increasing their salary, release of the bonus, medical cover and regularising the entire staff working under various FCI depots.

Amar Singh Bhattian, general secretary of the union, said the union had been constantly pressing the Management to accept their demands but nothing concrete has been done so far in this regard.

The union had decided to observe strike on February 3 in support of their demands. It was, later, called off as the management had assured the union to look into their demands. The union has now given a months time to the management for accepting their demands else it intensify the struggle.

Bhattian further stated that the management had regularised only one third of the FCI workers. Others were working on temporary basis.



Banker Scheme
Get quick I-Tax refunds now
Manav Mander/TNS

Ludhiana, February 3
Under the Refund Banker Scheme, the income tax refunds are now issued directly from Mumbai. Processing of returns filed till August 31, 2010, has been done locally. Till December 31, 2010, refund cheques for Rs 101 crore have been issued.

All the returns filed after August 31 are filed under the Refund Banker Scheme. While the processing of all the returns has been done locally, those coming under the Refund Banker Scheme have been processed at Bangalore and refunds are being issued from Mumbai.

"There has been 84 per cent increase in the percentage of refunds issued this year," said GS Randhawa, Chief Income Tax Commissioner. Refunds of all the returns falling under the scheme are issued speedily since they are issued directly from Mumbai, he added. If there is any correction it has to be sent to the Bangalore office.

JK Khurana, a tax professional, said though it was a positive step taken by the department, but in case of mistakes, the case would be sent for correction to the Bangalore office. “I had filed the return online and to my surprise, my refund came within three months. Filing under the Refund Banker Scheme is a positive step as assesses are getting their refunds on time," said Gagandeep Singh, a taxpayer.



BKU’s Rajewal lambasts govt
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
Coming to the rescue of striking students of Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), president of the Bharti Kisan Union (Rajewal) Balbir Singh Rajewal today lambasted the state government for not paying attention towards the demands of students.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Rajewal said all those present in the Agriculture Department, Punjab, were corrupt and inefficient. "If the state government is really committed to uplift the farmers and agriculture in the state, fresh blood with greater vision has to be appointed in the department. Otherwise, the department will continue to rot," said Rajewal.

The morale of students received a boost when Rajewal addressed the students at Gate No. 2 , PAU, this morning. He said agriculture in the state remains neglected. "Over 15 lakh agricultural families in Punjab were suffering due to wrong policies of the Punjab Government. Sore over the apathetic attitude of government agencies, about 2 lakh farmers had committed suicides in the past few years," said Rajewal.

He told students that a committee of Chief Ministers from Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh was trying hard to privatise the agriculture system. "The negligence of ministers in controlling the suicides was a conspiracy for minting money. The agriculture department is being run by inefficient persons who need to be replaced at the earliest if we need to dave agriculture." Rajewal said the department was reeling under staff shortage, but the government was in no mood to fill vacancies.

Saddened by the plight of students, Rajewal said this was the age of studies not agitation but students were helpless. The work which government had to do was being done by students. Dr PS Aulakh, who joined as new Director, Students Welfare, yesterday, said he would take up the cause of students with the authorities concerned and said no teacher in the world would like to see his students sitting on strike.

The students pledged that they would continue with the strike till their demands were met.

Minister cancels visit

Punjab Agriculture Minister Sucha Singh Langah, who was to come to address a meeting of farmers at Kairon Kisan Ghar in PAU, today cancelled his visit. The students, who are protesting against the government for not being able to fill the vacant posts in agriculture department, termed the cancellation as “deliberate”, claiming that the minister could not face them. “During his previous visit, he had given us assurances but nothing was done for the welfare of students by him. Though we were to sit on a peaceful protest, still a large number of policemen were called to scare the us,” said a student.



From Colleges

Career counselling

LUDHIANA: Placement cell of Government College for Women, Ludhiana, organised a career counselling session for students by a team from University of Sakatchawan, Canada.

The team members were Lisa Shepard, manager of admissions, and Dr Baljit Singh Gill, associate dean, research and adviser for teaching at University of Saskatchawan.

Students of BSc showed keen interest. Students were advised to apply online directly rather than taking help from mediators.

Placement cell convener Dr Mohinder Kaur Grewal proposed the vote of thanks. College principal Gurminder Kaur advised the students to opt for suitable career after graduation.

Wetlands Day celebrated

Botany and environment education departments of Government College for Women celebrated International Wetlands Day. Posters regarding wet lands of Punjab like Harike Pattan, Ropar and Kanjali were displayed.

A documentary film was also shown to the students imparting knowledge about biodiversity in wet lands.

BSc students wrote essays on wet lands. Information about importance of International Wetlands Day was given by Dr Mohinder Kaur Grewal, head of botany department.

Principal Gurminder Kaur stressed upon the need to preserve wet land biodiversity. Various teachers were present on the occasion.

Session on mathematics

KCW organised a powerpoint presentation session on mathematics here today.

The powerpoint presentation contest was organised by the Maths Society of Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, Ludhiana.

Students of all classes participated and gave presentations on topics like Vedic maths, magic squares, babylonian maths, use of maths in controlling traffic jam, problem solving methods etc.

Harpreet Kaur of BSc (II) bagged 1st prize. Sneha of BCA (I) and Niti Sethi of BCA (III) got 2nd and 3rd prizes for presentations on “babylonian maths” and “graph theory”, respectively.

Though mathematics is considered difficult, but presentation on various topics made it interesting and easier to understand various concepts.

Science exhibition

Department of biotechnology, zoology and botany of Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, Ludhiana, organised a science exhibition here today.

The theme of the exhibition was “Applied aspects of Life Sciences.” Principal Dr Varinder Kaur Thind graced the occasion. She expressed her interest and curiosity in all the models, charts and cultivation technique of mushrooms displayed by the students. She encouraged and motivated the faculty members to organise such events in future also.

She explained how such events help in development.

The charts displayed how the defence mechanism of human body was acting. Mushroom production was a good source of self-employment scheme. Information was spread among people about bioinformatics through charts. A cactus show was also organised.

Baljinder Kaur HoD (botany), Devinder Pal Kaur HoD (zoology) and Dr Monica Mahajan HoD (biotechnology) jointly organised the exhibition. — TNS



Story-telling contest at KVM school

Ludhiana, February 3
The sub-junior humanities forum of the primary section of Kundan Vidya Mandir (KVM) school organised an English paper-reading contest for classes I and II and English story-telling contest for classes III to V here today.

The students of classes I and II expressed their views on informative topics like “value of books”, “my grandparents”, “junk food”, “my school- my second home” etc and won great applause from the audience.

Students of classes III to V, too, had a great time as participants narrated wonderful stories in an expressive manner.

Students of classes IV gave song and dance presentations. Puri appreciated the participants and congratulated the winners. She gave away prizes and encouraged students to read books. — TNS



NCC cadets honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
NCC cadets of No. 4 Punjab Air Squadron NCC, Ludhiana, who returned to the city after attending the Republic Day Camp-2011 in New Delhi, were honoured here today by Commanding Officer Wing Cdr HS Gulati.

These cadets created history as for the first time junior wing Cdt Guman Raj of Ludhiana Air NCC Unit attended this national-level camp. The cadets include Cdt Under Officer Karan Narula, who represented the directorate contingent in the guard of honour to the Prime Minister; Cdt Warrant Officer Mayank (senior division), who participated in the Prime Minister's rally and para sailing; Cdt Chandan Dhanda (senior division), who was in the Rajpath parade and Cdt Gurman Raj, who was the junior cadet in drill in the Prime Minister's rally.

These cadets represented Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh Directorate at the national level. Prior to the camp, these cadets underwent three-month training and extensive preparations for various competitions.

Wing Cdr Gulati organised a welcome tea party to honour NCC air wing cadets. Parents of these cadets were also felicitated.



Issuance of certificates
Physically challanged feel cheated

Phillaur, February 3
More than 30 physically challaned persons, who had gone to a local civil hospital to get “disabled certificates” as advised by a BDPO at a camp organised on January 21, felt cheated.

Sucheta, one of the physically challaned persons, said the BDPO had assured them that they would be given certificates for getting benefits from the government if they get their names registered at the civil hospital on February 2. But, nobody was available at the hospital to get them registered. — OC



Three days on, no trace of girl
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
It has been three days since a girl was abducted by her fiance 10 days ahead of their scheduled wedding, but 70 hours after the incident, there has been no trace of the girl from the Shimlapuri area of the city.

The girl’s family fears that no kidnapping has put the future wedding plans of the girl in a limbo. The police cracked the whip and nabbed three persons, including the brother prime accused Mandeep Singh Gill, in this connection yesterday.

It was on Tuesday afternoon that Mandeep Singh Gill, fiance, along with his friends and family members, had kidnapped the girl from her house situated in the Shimlapuri area of the city. Besides, abducting the girl, the boy and his accomplices attacked the girl's family members, who were trying to foil the abduction bid.

The girl's family was asking Mandeep's family to postpone the wedding scheduled for February 11 as the girl's brother, who lives in Australia, expressed his inability to reach on the schedule date.



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