L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Question paper packets found torn, unsealed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
Utter confusion prevailed at a question paper distribution centre of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) set up in Government Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar here, when torn and improperly sealed packets of question papers were brought to the centre this morning.

Controllers of examinations from 361 centres, who had come to collect the question papers, refused to accept the torn packets.

Brown covers in which the question papers were packed were torn on more than two sides and in some packets cloth lining was also not intact. Many question paper packets were open as these had not been properly sealed.

The controllers, who were principals or headmasters, reported the matter to the District Education Officer, Mr Avinash Chander Sethi. He came to the school with two Deputy DEOs. He then called the board officials who told him to close the packets with a cellotape, get the signatures of the board superintendent and a stamp of the board on each of the torn ends, before distributing those to the controllers.

Getting the information, the Deputy Commissioner sent Mr Prem Chand, SDM, East, on the spot. He collected a few samples of the torn and unsealed packets and stopped further distribution of the question papers. Thereafter, he held an hour-long meeting with the DEO, Deputy DEOs and the superintendent of Punjab School Education Board, Mr Manohar. He also held telephonic conversations with Dr Kehar Singh, Chairman, PSEB, and Ms Tejinder Kaur, Secretary, School Education.

Meanwhile, the controllers and members of Democratic Teachers’ Front raised slogans against the board authorities. They lambasted the board for its irresponsible ways in conducting the examinations. They said that they would not take the packets as they might be blamed for paper leakage later. They said that instead of being careful after the paper leakage case, the board had become even more careless.

After two hours of protests, confusion and meetings, the distribution of question papers was resumed at 3 pm. Several rolls of cellotapes were used by the Board officials for closing the torn ends of the packets. Each torn side was sealed and signed by the superintendent of the board. However, 17 private centres were not given question paper packets today as they were told that the sets would be handed over to them on the same day by the controllers of examination.

Many controllers, who had come from places as far as Khanna, Kila Raipur and Samrala, said that they had to spend almost the whole day standing in long queues because of the confusion that prevailed. 



Manish Tiwari is Congress candidate for Ludhiana
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 30
Even amidst reports that the Congress high command had almost finalised the candidature of former All-India Youth Congress president Manish Tiwari for the Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat, loyalists of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh made another attempt to persuade the leadership to opt for Mr Surinder Singla, a party legislator and Chairman of the Fiscal Reforms Committee.

Although the bid proved to be futile, sources revealed that about six party legislators, including a staunch supporter of the Chief Minister from the city, had rushed to the Capital to stop the formal announcement of the nomination of Mr Tiwari.

The delay by the Congress in announcing its candidate from Ludhiana was earlier being seen as weighing in the favour of former MP Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, with his supporters claiming that there was no other suitable person, other than him who could give the Shiromani Akali Dal a fight in the forthcoming elections.

While there was no denying the fact that Mr Ghalib had managed to trounce his Akali Dal opponents twice in 1992 and 1999, despite factionalism within the party and leg pulling by other contenders for the seat, it was also true that during his two terms he had made more foes than friends. The extent that even some of his closest supporters had turned against him this time and were lobbying against his renomination and seeking the party ticket either for themselves or someone else other than Mr Ghalib.

The anti-Ghalib faction of the Congress, including family members of late Chief Minister Beant Singh, were feeling elated over denial of party ticket to Mr Ghalib.



Abducted woman, daughter united with family
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
A police party, headed by SHO Rajinder Singh Sohal of the Sadar police station, has found Mira Devi, wife of Ram Kumar, who was allegedly abducted along with her daughter a few days back from her residence by Sunil Kumar, a migrant from Hardoi district in Uttar Pradesh.

According to SSP Narinderpal Singh, the accused was booked under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC on a complaint lodged by Mr Anant Ram on March 20.

The police had received information that Mira Devi and her daughter were being kept in the house of Jagan Nath, brother-in-law of the accused, in Bana village in Hardoi district. The police party raided the place and found the mother and daughter. They were brought to the city.

The SSP said Mira Devi was medically examined at the Civil Hospital and subsequently section 376 of the IPC was also added to the FIR registered against Sunil Kumar. Mira Devi and her daughter were handed over to their family members while search was on for Sunil Kumar. 



Ludhiana Calling

Photo by Pradeep TewariCOME summer and the sugarcane juice, too, is back. But year after year, no precaution is taken to ensure that the juice is free of flies and does not spread any disease. Even though it takes weeks to recover from diseases like typhoid and cholera, often spread through drinking sugarcane juice in unclean utensils, the sight of a sugarcane juice rehri and the thirst the juice quenches is to a much for anyone to resist. Next time you want to drink sugarcane juice, ensure that the utensils are cleaned properly. Happy drinking!

Cricket season

The cricket season always sees a spurt in the sale of television sets with cricket buffs investing in them to catch a glimpse of all the action. With cricket being played on the Pakistani soil, there is all the more interest in the game as many people want to watch their relatives in Pakistani cricket stadiums live on television. Whatever the reason, work in most areas comes to a virtual standstill whenever there is a cricket match. Even after the interest in the game had begun to decrease, after the one-day series the triple century by Sehwag in the first Test has put the game back into the limelight.

SMS and elections

The parliamentary elections will, for the first time, see the use of short messaging service (SMS) during campaigning. The polling date is still far away, but people with mobiles have already started receiving messages in favour of particular parties and candidates. The latest in the series have been messages purportedly sent by some Muslim organisation. One of the message reads, “Atal Bihari Vajpayee Himayat Committee, a Muslim platform to mobilise Muslims for the PM. Khwaja Iftekhar” and the sender is Mission 2004.

Men from Andhra

Ludhiana is full of men from Andhra. These men claim to be from some tribe in Wrangal district and say that they are experts in face reading. These dhoti-clad tribesmen have impressed a lot many in the city, but a careful examination of what they say reveals that their predictions are like the horoscopes in a magazine that please all and disappoint none. Next time someone walks up to you and starts describing your personality traits, it could be one of these men from the tribal areas of Andhra. The most positive thing about these people is that they do not mind if you pay them or not, but appreciate any voluntary donation.

Politics of expediency

With the city in the grip of a election fever for the Lok Sabha elections, it is time for politicians of all hues and colours to leave one party and join an other to settle old scores or express their grudges against the leadership. While the divergent paths taken by a duo of hardcore Akali father and son are still fresh in the minds of the people, yet another old-timer Congress activist has said good bye to his party and joined the SAD. While going public to denounce the Congress leadership, the political functionary failed to mention that he was upset over being dispossessed recently from a piece of land, grabbed under the name of a temple in the old city.

Good Samaritans

People are often heard complaining that the world has become materialistic and people have become selfish, but it has been noticed that whenever an appeal is made in newspapers to help destitute patients dying for want of money, many people come forward to give monetary help, so much so that sometimes money is in excess of what is required and doctors have to ask people not to send any more. —Sentinel



Workshop held on employees’ funds
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
A workshop was organised by SPMISSA in association with the Regional P.F. Commissioner, Ludhiana, to create healthy industrial relations.
Today’s workshop was inaugurated by Mr V.P. Chopra, Member, Central Board of Trustees, EPFO. Mr V.N. Sharma, Regional P.F. Commission (I) of SPMISSA, also addressed the employers. It was conducted in collaboration with Mr K.L. Goyal, Regional P.F. Commissioner, SRO, Ludhiana. A book of EPF and MP Act., 1952, along with other study material, was also provided to all participants. Mr N.N. Sharma, Regional PF Commissioner (I), Punjab, and Chandigarh also attended a panel discussion held at the workshop.

The new emerging trends and involvement of information and technology in EPFO were the core subjects in the workshop. Business process re-engineering and re-inviting EPFO were the subjects.

On completion of this process under the dynamic leadership of Mr Ajai Singh, Central Provident Fund Commissioner IRS, who had given this vision of EPFO, the claims would be settled within 3 days with the help of technology ie.. IVRS and other technology based services like call centers etc. would be part of the functioning of EPFO for its subscribers.

Mr Goyal further said that Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) was going to hold workshops for the first time on social security awareness on April 1 and 2 at the Satluj Club.

This two-day workshop would have 70 employers representatives, including Hero Cycles, Vardhman Spinning Mills, Nahar Group of Industries, Avon Cycles, Ralson Indian Ltd, Metro Tyres.



Extension sought for filing e-TDS returns
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
The District Taxation Bar Association (Direct Taxes) has pleaded for extending the date of filing e-TDS returns by corporate assessees beyond March 31.
Mr R.K. Mehta, president, and Mr Raman Goyal, secretary of the association, said in a joint statement here today that the programme for filing the returns had been released by the Income Tax Department in February 2004 and the last date for filing the returns was fixed as March 31, 2004. They said most of the members of the Bar were still not conversant with the technique of filing e-TDS returns and, on top of it, there was only one counter of the NSDL in the city where these returns could be filed.

The association had sent a detailed representation to the Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, demanding extension of the last date. It had further asked that the assessees who had already filed their TDS returns manually should not be forced to file their returns again on the computer.

The functionaries of the Bar pointed out that shortage of PAN forms was also a matter of concern for quite some time in the city. The matter had been taken up with Mr R.K. Bajaj, Commissioner (PAN), in New Delhi, who had given an assurance that remedial measures would be taken very soon.



Ambedkar Divas on April 17
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
Maharishi Valmiki Parbandhak Committee would observe birthday of Dr B.R. Ambedkar, at Bhattian Bet village near octroi post here on April 17.
Stating this, Mr Sohan Lal Sidhu, president of the committee, said that a Valmiki leader, Mr Kala Hans, would be felicitated at the function for his nomination to the Punjab State Labour Welfare Board by the Punjab Government. The district chief of the body, Mr Sudesh Gharu, would also be honoured at this occasion. In addition, a cultural programme would be organised featuring Punjabi singers Kaler Kanth and Romi Gill.

Meanwhile, the City Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, would inaugurate the annual ‘bhandara’ at Mahamai temple near Old Session Chowk here on March 31. According to Bhagat Charan Dass, mukh sewadar of the temple, Mr Kala Hans, member, Punjab State Labour Welfare Board and Mr Sudesh Gharu would be the guests of honour of the function. Among other Mr Roshan Lal Pala, president, Dr Ambedkar Ekta Mission, Mr Sohan Lal Sidhu, president, Valmiki Parbandhak Committee, Mr Paramjit Thapar, Mr Kishore Ghai, Mr Surinder Sethi, Mr Bachan Das Soni and Mr Ram Nath Sandhu would attend the function.



Ram Navami celebrated 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
Today was a grand day of celebrations in all temples here as the nine days of Navratras came to an end. The atmosphere in the temples was festive as these were decorated with the idols of the nine incarnations of Ma Durga .The gaily attired devotees, from all walks of life had started thronging the temples from early morning as they wanted to worship. Lord Rama whose birthday falls today and coincides 
with the end of the Navratras.

The priests were busy in all temples as there were long queues of people making offerings to goddesses and Lord Rama. Religious hymns were sung with fervour by devotees while others sat quietly inside the temples after the successful completion of their fasting, offering thanks.

Many devout believers in Goddess Durga observed ‘kanjaks’ today and performed puja of little girls. Throughout the day pujas were performed by devotees. Most of the temples of the city have been lit up. Beggars had a good day as people gave them food and money in plenty. A festive atmosphere prevailed outside the temples.



Prayer festival from today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
A prayer festival will be held on the Issa Nagari playground behind St Thomas School, Brown Road, from March 31 to April 3. Prayer meetings will be held on all four days from 6 pm to 9 pm and the main speaker will be Dr Thomas from Andhra Pradesh.
People from all communities can attend these meetings. Those with special problems like an illnesses, oppression and family problems, can ask for special prayers.



Swami Ramdev’s yoga camp from April 4
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
There is an unprecedented rush for the yog sadhna and medication camp, being conducted by Swami Ramdev, at Basant Avenue Dugri from April 4 to 11. The registration for the camp, which started a month back on February 23, is continuing and the number of people increasing by the day.

Swami Ramdev is famous for having combined the knowledge of Ayurveda, yoga and pranayama. Thousands of people attend his camps, which are being regularly organised across the country. Organisers of the camp are finding it difficult to handle the great rush.

However, Mr Vijay Kumar, Managing Director of the Basant Avenue, which is hosting the camp, said there was adequate space and nobody would be disappointed. He disclosed that thousands of people had already registered themselves for the camp which would be conducted in mornings and evenings.

Swami Ramdev is known to cure all major diseases like asthma, cholesterol, diabetes, migraine, acidity, allergy, depression and other such ailments without medicines, by only using yogic and pranayam kriyas.

Postures and kriyas demonstrated by Swami Ramdev are quite simple and can be performed by anyone irrespective of sex or age. He has also been conducting special camps for schoolchildren. 



Journalists to do impartial reporting
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 30
A meeting of the local Press Club was organised yesterday under the chairmanship of Iqbal Singh, president of the club, at Golden Grain Club, Khanna.
It was decided unanimously at the meeting that journalists should report impartially in the Lok Sabha elections. It was also decided that the club would raise a social welfare fund to help the poor sections of society.



Youth assaulted
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 30
A 17-year-old youth was assaulted by three youths at local Lalheri road on Monday night.
Jatinder Kumar resident of Nandi Colony, Khanna, was returning home on his scooter late evening on Monday. Three youths attacked him near the Gurdwara Guru Teg Bahadur. He received injuries on his arms. He was rushed to the Civil Hospital, Khanna.



Biz Briefs
Carlton London comes to city

Ludhiana, March 30
UK based hi-fashion international women footwear brand Carlton London has set up its first exclusive outlet in Ludhiana at Pavitra Complex, Mall Road. Carlton London is an international brand catering to the customers in London, USA, Germany, Holland, Greece, Spain and Turkey.

Mr Hari Kumar, Head India Operations, Carlton Overseas Pvt Ltd said, Ludhiana store is the first store of Carlton London in Punjab and third in India.

The range includes sleek sandals, stilettos, Roman tie-ups and an extraordinary variety of closed toed shoes. Ludhiana store will also offer footwear from Gola Premium and Guess-UK’s original and highly premium footwear brands for the first time in India. — TNS

‘Brown Bounty’: Yogindra Foods, a Hoshiarpur-based company, will launch its high-fibres wheat flour, “Brown Bounty,” here tomorrow. Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, will launch the product. This was stated by Mr Anil Gupta, the managing director of the company. — OC


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