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Two contract killers arrested
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, July 2
The Jagraon police today claimed to have solved a case of attempt to murder by arresting two contract killers hired to take revenge of another murder that took place around 16 years ago.

Addressing a press conference at Jagraon today, the SSP, Mr R.K. Jaiswal, said by arresting Chamkaur Singh, alias Kauri, and Kulbir Singh, who had accepted Rs 50,000 for a murder, the case of an attempt to murder on Makhan Singh, a resident of Kul Gehna village, and his brother Satnam Singh of Ranka village was solved.

The bid to murder took place in November near Aliwal village but Makhan Singh had survived.

The SSP said the attempt was allegedly made by Sukhdev Singh Laddu and Amandeep Singh of Aliwal village in connivance with Paaro Bai, mother of Binder Singh, who along with his brother Darshan Singh was murdered by Makhan Singh and his accomplices in 1990. Makhan Singh was convicted also.

But Sukhdev Singh and Amandeep Singh, who were relatives of the murder victims, wanted to revenge the killing and planned to murder Makhan Singh. They roped in Chamkaur Singh and Kulbir Singh who allegedly agreed to kill Makhan Singh for Rs 50,000. All four were related to one another also.

Makhan Singh was going with his brother on a motorcycle when he was shot at. He sustained injuries on his neck and chest. His brother escaped unhurt as he hid in the bushes.

A case under Sections 307, 148 and 149, IPC, and Sections 25, 54 and 59, Arms Act, had been registered.



Resentment over authorities’ indifference
Erosion of banks of Sirhind Canal
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 2
Residents of the area are resentful of the "indifferent" attitude of the canal authorities towards maintenance and repair of the banks of the Sirhind canal passing through this part of the district.

The residents have urged the higher authorities to conduct a survey and verify claims by the authorities regarding the condition of the banks.

Meanwhile, Dr Indu SDM Malerkotla, has directed the Duty Magistrate here to conduct a survey of the condition of the banks in the area falling under the subdivision.

In a communication to Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Irrigation Minister and the Deputy Commissioner, the residents of the town and the surrounding villages have accused the canal authorities of the dismal attitude towards the safety of life and property of lakhs of people living in villages and towns situated on the banks of the canal.

They alleged that the authorities had been misguiding the Civil Works Department with false claims regarding the condition of the banks of the Sirhind canal.

Though the banks of the canal are being continuously eroded, the canal management authorities are yet to wake up from slumber. Villagers of this area have sent SOS calls to the authorities concerned, but to no avail.

Interestingly, the Executive Engineer, Ropar Head Works, instead of initiating action against negligent officials had claimed that there was no risk to the lives of people living along the canal.

Responding to a letter written by SDM Malerkotla last year he had claimed that the condition of the bank near Jandali Kalan and Malikpur was not bad. He had based his claim on the inspection report of the SDO, Doraha.

"Even after one year of claim made by the authorities, the situation is grave in the area. Ignoring the completely eroded bank and the encroached metalled road, at many places the authorities have been trying to evade responsibility, claiming that no harm had been caused to human life in the past."

The complainants have urged the authorities to conduct an on-the-spot verification and take action against the erring officers.

Meanwhile Dr Indu SDM Malerkotla has directed Duty Magistrate Mukesh Sharma, to conduct a survey of the banks of canal and submit a report within stipulated period. "This time we will submit our report to the Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, who would take up matter with top authorities in canal department," said Dr Indu while talking to the Ludhiana Tribune.

Last year, Dr Indu had asked the canal authorities to make necessary arrangements in this regard. She had informed them that the roads lining the banks of the canals were being eroded by canal water. At some places like Jandali bridge area, the earth had caved in to the extent that the road had converted into a narrow trail where even cars could not pass.



Shiromani Akali Dal a divided house
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, July 2
As elections to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha are approaching near, the division among the leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal is getting intensified. The division is visible in the urban unit of the SAD and the Badal loyalist and Tohra loyalists are face to face.

Ludhiana district has 12 Vidhan Sabha seats and the SAD has only four at present, namely Raikot (Mr Ranjit Singh Talwandi), Jagraon (Mr Bhag Singh Malla), Kumkalan (Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal ) and Kilaraipur (Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha).

The scramble for Akali ticket among aspirants has started. Ludhiana town also has two urban seats where the SAD has always put up its candidate. Ludhiana West, at present, is being represented by Mr Harnam Das Johar, Education Minister. This seat was won by Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal, a Tohra loyalist in 1997.

This time again Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal is a serious contender for the Akali ticket and he has started working in the constituency.

Besides, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, local advocate and chairman, Punjab and Haryana Bar Council, and Mr Amarjit Singh Chawla — a member of the Punjab Public Service Commission.

Mr Dhanda has now been appointed chairman of the legal cell of the Shiromani Akali Dal by Mr Parkash Singh Badal. Mr Avtar Singh Makker, president, SGPC, had unsuccessfully contested from this seat in 2002. He is interested in putting up his son on this seat.

Ludhiana (Rural) seat, at present, is represented by Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi of the Congress who was till recently Chief Parliamentary Secretary in the Punjab cabinet. Mr Hira Singh Gabria, president of the city Akali Jatha who is a Tohra loyalist, is a hot candidate for the Akali ticket this time. Mr Gabria had won this seat in 1997.

There is another candidate for this seat — Mr Simarjit Singh Bains who has the support of Garcha-Dhillon combine.

Ludhiana unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal is divided into two main groups — the Garcha-Dhillon combine which consists of Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, an MLA, and Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, member of Parliament. This group also has the support of Mr Avtar Singh Makkar and Mr Amarjit Singh Chawla. This group is determined to thwart the efforts of Mr Gabria to get the Akali ticket. The other group which comprises Tohra loyalists include Mr Hira Singh Gabria, Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal and Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, who is the senior vice president of the Shiromani Akali Dal .

Mr Bhatia belongs to Badal faction and at one time Mr Avtar Singh Makkar and Mr Bhatia were at loggerheads and then they joined hands with Mr Gabria. Then they parted company.

Mr Gabria, who belongs to Ramgarhia community, has a strong support among urban Sikhs. He has the backing of the family of Jathedar Surjan Singh Thekedar and Mr Swaran Singh. Mr Kamalinder Singh, son of late Surjan Singh Thekedar is an elected member of the SGPC.

The BJP has been also contested from Ludhiana West in the past but since 1997, this seat has gone to the Akali Dal under an alliance between the two parties.

Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha is sure to get ticket from Kila Raipur for the third time. Mr Ranjit Singh Talwandi, son of Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, is also certain to be Akali candidate from Raikot segment.

Mr Jagjeevan Pal Singh is a candidate from Payal. He is being opposed by Mr Mann Singh Garcha, younger brother of Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha. Mr Jagjeevn Pal Singh is a protege of captain Kanwaljit Singh, former Finance Minister. He had lost from this seat in 2002.

Jagraon seat is going to witness a tie between the sitting Akali MLA Bhag Singh Malla and Mr Aliwal former MP.

Dakha (Reserve) will also have contest between Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, son of late Basant Singh Khalsa, and Mr Darshan Singh Shivalik.

Mr Bikramjit Singh had won from this seat in 1997 is a Tohra Loyalist while Mr Darshan Singh Shivalik is a follower of Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal. Mr Parkash Singh Badal is in a fix at present because if he ignores Tohra loyalists, he faces revolt in the party as is being witnessed in the case of Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta.

Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta and Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal are the two main architects of the Tohra-Badal rapprochement. But both of them have not been treated well by the party supremo.

Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta has been served with a show cause notice while Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal has been removed from the post of Additional Secretary of the Nankana Sahib Educational Trust which runs Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College.

Mr Badal will have to accommodate three Tohra loyalists — Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal, Mr Hira Singh Gabria and Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa to keep the party united in the ensuing Vidhan Sabha Elections.



BKU demands package for farmers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 2
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) has urged the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to announce a comprehensive relief package for farmers to revitalise the farm economy in this predominantly agricultural state and improve the consistently deteriorating financial condition of Punjabi farmers.

Talking to mediapersons here today, acting president of BKU Manjit Singh Kadian and general secretary Puran Singh Shahkot said while the relief announced by the Centre for farmers in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh was a welcome step, denial of similar relief package to Punjab farmers was unfortunate, as also discriminatory.

"Such step-motherly treatment to Punjabi farmers at the hands of Manmohan Singh is rather sad, particularly so when the government is well aware that the number of suicides committed by debt-ridden Punjabi farmers has already crossed 13,000."

The BKU functionaries maintained that the jat community in Punjab had earlier received a raw deal when the government had denied them the benefit of inclusion in the OBC category, as had been done in the adjoining states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

Kadian and Shahkot called upon the government to announce a package for Punjabi farmers without any further delay so that the farming could become an economically viable profession. At the same time, the government should also remit all previous loans of farmers, farm workers and the Dalits and cut the rate of interest on fresh loans to 4 per cent so that the beneficiaries were in a position to repay the loans.

The BKU leaders expressed confidence that better sense would prevail on the government and immediate steps would be initiated to offer a package to the farmers to put an end to brazen discrimination with Punjab and Punjabis.

"A substantial package, that too without much delay, alone can come to the rescue of farmers in this border state and sustain the farming at its present level. In the absence of the government coming to the assistance of the farmers, suicides by farmers will continue with far-reaching impact on foodgrain production in this region," Kadian and Shahkot added.



Rana installed Rotary governor
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 2
Mr Romesh Rana was installed District Governor of Rotary District 3070 for 2006-07 by Lt-Gen Daljeet Singh, GOC-in-Chief, Western Command, who was the chief guest at a function held here.

Past District Governor Gurcharan Singh Shingar welcomed the delegates.

In his address, the chief guest mentioned that he and his wife had been members of the Rotary for a long period. He said the concept of the Rotary were similar to those of the Army that had “service above self” as motto. The motto of Rotary was also the same.

He said the Army had taken up a project of providing artificial limbs to Army personnel and had solicited help from the Rotary.

Mr Rana lauded the work done by the past District Governor S.P. Sethi. He also assured Lt-Gen Daljeet Singh that the Rotary District would bear the expenses for the artificial limb project.



Ludhiana Calling

Recently, organisers of a function, keeping the convenience of the audience in mind, in the invites advised people to wear easy clothes as the seating arrangement was to be on floor. The gesture was appreciable.

Long speeches

Some people look for an opportunity to speak, no moment how much inconvenience it causes others. At a recent function, despite repeatedly being told to keep speeches short, industrialists took a long time. As a result the function lasted almost two hours more than the scheduled time. As if that was not enough, one of the industrialists even asked a member sitting on the dais to stop talking as his speech was important.

Power woes

As there seems to be no end to power cuts, residents are getting used to them. As a resident put it, earlier people complained of power shortage, but “these days we feel happy if there is power even for a short duration.” Wish regular power supply was on the government's priority list.

“Rainy” visit

As clouds gathered, the organiser of a function, while welcoming the chief guest, said even the weather had improved due to the chief guest's arrival in the city. Someone from the audience quipped, “Why don't you keep him here?” Much to the surprise and pleasure of participants, just as the chief guest began his speech, it started raining!


Seeing their names in newspapers gives happiness to many. However, for some people, it becomes an obsession. Recently an industrialist sent a press note of eight paragraphs even though the news had already appeared in newspapers and had been attributed to him. The reporter concerned was shocked to notice that all eight paragraphs started with the industrialist's name. Quite in love with himself it seems!

 — Sentinel



Buying passion with coins
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 2
His hobby to collect coins turned into passion when he was a teenager and now 24-year-old Sanjeev Bagga proudly possesses around 3,000 coins of different periods and countries.

He was 15 when he came across a collection of his friend’s and from that day possessing more and more coins became an obsession. Nine years after chasing his dream, this numismatist has in kitty a 3,000 year old Mauryan coin, besides a collection of different coins from 102 countries.

His collection has coins from Deeda Bai’s reign and Kashmiri coins, more than 1,500 years old. ‘Daams’ dating back to Sher Shah Suri’s time and those issued by Razia Sultana are also an attraction of his collection. His collection includes coins issued by Alexander, the great.

Spending his spare time in the hunt for coins, Sanjeev goes to Sarafa Bazar in the city and buys whatever is available. He often goes to Hardwar and Rishikesh for the same purpose. ‘‘My entire pocket money used to go in buying coins. My parents used to have problems at that time but now they understand. ’’ he says adding that he does not miss any exhibition related to the subject.

‘‘When I was in school I saw the collection of a boy. The period coins made in copper and bronze fascinated me so much that I kept on collecting them. Now I know that if you are a keen student of history, better be a numismatist. It helps you remember chronology. And even after a busy day’s work I squeeze in some time to look after my collection. ’’

Narrating a very interesting story about the smallest coins in his kitty, the “fanams”, that he claims were issued by a South Indian state, Sanjeev says that the coin was issued 550 years ago and it was so small that people carried it in their mouths so as not to lose it. He also possesses silver coins called “mohars” that were in circulation during Akbar’s regime. He cherishes the coin issued by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Similarly, Nanakshahi coins are unique.

He also possesses coins used in British-ruled India like takas, annas and paise. He has currency of many countries like Mexico, Australia, South Africa, UK , Burma, Hong-Kong, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Turkey, Japan, and Thailand.

“I want to exhibit my coins in USA as I have heard a lot many people are coin collectors there.” he adds with pride.



Interact with people, SDM tells officers
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 2
As a step towards boosting public confidence in administrative officers, Dr Indu, SDM, Malerkotla, urged administrative officials of the subdivision to interact with the people of their areas after formal duty hours. This would control, if not eradicate, many social evils also, claimed the administrator.

While talking to Ludhiana Tribune after convening a meeting of administrative officer, Dr Indu said she had encouraged the officers to put extra efforts to improve living standard of people of their areas.

Comparing administrative officers with doctors, she claimed that as patients felt secured in presence of their family doctors the residents considered themselves protected when they came to know that the authorities were available round the clock.

Citing examples from her own experience Dr Indu claimed that a large number of persons had mended their habits after she interacted with them at social and religious functions organised usually on Sundays and holidays recently. "With ever-swallowing number of religious preachers, people have started taking their teachings casually but they certainly appreciate and follow religious tips given by administrator officers of their area," maintained Dr Indu.



Talk on relaxation, laugh therapy
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 2
A seminar on ‘Art of Developing Brain Power’ was held by Laughing and Relaxation Therapy Department of Bharat Vikas Parishad Charitable Trust Punjab. Dr S.K. Sharma a renowned Acupuncturist and yoga specialist, delivered talk on techniques of developing brain power like development of mental alertness, alignment, observation, ability of learning, understanding, abstract thinking, reasoning, wisdom, imagination and improving of ones I.Q.

Dr Sharma said that like body muscle of brain also has the muscles if we will not exercise our brain muscles it will loose mental flexibility, strength, endurance etc Prominent educationists, doctors, businessmen and students attended the seminar and they appreciated the efforts of Dr Sharma and Bharat Vikas Parishad, Tagore Branch in making the seminar a useful event for the society.

Mr Punya Pal Jain, Convenor of Laughing and Relaxation Therapy Department thanked Dr Sharma for his excellent presentation and giving tips to improve one’s brain power. Mr Jain further said that the Department was conducting classes on laughing therapy on every Sunday from 9.00 to 11.00 a.m. at Viklang Sahayata Kender, C-Block, Rishi Nagar, Ludhiana, where patients suffering from severe diseases like depression, insomnia, (sleeplessness). migraine, abdominal disorder, stress, anxiety etc are treated by simple laughing exercise.

Mr Yash Pal Gupta, National Secretary, BVP, informed that next free artificial limb camp will be held on July 16 at Viklang Sahayata Kender, C-Block, Rishi Nagar, Ludhiana.



Dhindsa re-elected chief of upvaid union
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 2
Kuldip Singh Dhindsa of Patiala was renominated the president of the Government Ayurvedic and Unani Upvaid Union, Punjab, for another two years and the election of self-styled president Narinderpal Singh was unanimously rejected.

A general house of the union held here today adopted a resolution condemning the unconstitutional action of Narinderpal Singh, while demanding departmental action against certain employees of directorate for their alleged acts of hooliganism.

A press note issued by the union said Dhindsa continued to be the elected president of the union.

Among others, Kesar Singh Shanker, general secretary of the union, Madan Lal Sharma, Sat Pal Batish, Gurjant Singh Dard, Jagjiwan Kumar, Amar Lal, Harbans Singh, Sohan Singh Grewal, Charanjit Singh and Harjit Singh addressed the meeting, expressing their faith in the leadership of Dhindsa.



Anganwari workers to gherao Parliament
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 2
Irate anganwari workers have met in the local Atam Park to chalk out the future programme of protest against the government that has turned a deaf ear to their appeals, countless protests, etc. The president, Ms Subash Ghai, presided over the meeting and addressed the anganwari workers and helpers. The rally was organised by Anganwari Mulazam Union.

She said, "It is really sad that even after working for several years under the Integrated Child Development Scheme ( ICDS ), lakhs of anganwari workers and helpers had not been made government employees. Anganwari workers get paltry renumeration and the government should be ashamed of giving them such low stipends.

She said the government had not helped them and ignored their protests. Now they would take their protests at the national level. From July 25 to August 3, they would go on a fast in Jantar Mantar. Later on they planned to gherao Parliament, she said

Anganwari workers from all over India will participate in this struggle. From Ludhiana also 500 workers would sit for a fast.



Mahajan Juniors win
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 2
Abhinav Bhatia’s fine innings of 81 not out went in vain as Pankaj Club lost to Mahajan Juniors by 26 runs in a league match of the 10th Chaman Lal Malhotra Cricket Cup Tournament (u-14) being organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association at the Arya College for boys ground here today.

Batting first, Mahajan Juniors made 181 runs for the loss of eight wickets in the allotted 30 overs. Sahil and Sukhraj contributed 58 and 44 runs, respectively, while Arpit and Deepin Chitkara made 30 and 10 runs. For the Pankaj Club, Karana and Rishabh claimed two wickets each for 41 and 39 runs, respectively while Mohit Chopra took one for 38.

In reply, the Pankaj Club’s essay culminated at 155 runs after 23.4 overs. They failed to capitalise on Abhinav Bhatia’s innings of 81 n.o. Hemant and Mohit Chopra scored 29 and 8 runs, respectively. Arpit of Mahajan Juniors scored a hat-trick ( 3 for 19) while Subhodh clicked with the ball taking three wickets for 25 runs and Sukraj captured one for 14.



Fire in city engine shed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 2
A major tragedy was averted with the timely control of fire that broke out in an engine shed of Northern Railways here late last evening. Several fire engines were pressed into service. No loss of life was reported. Railway officials have reportedly ordered an inquiry but refused to divulge any details.

The fire broke out in some filters lying in the shed. Several fire engines were rushed to the spot. It took about two hours for the fire to be brought under control. The exact estimate of losses is yet to be made.

A number of engines remain parked in the shed for repair and servicing. The Ludhiana diesel engine shed is said to be one of the biggest in the North.

Senior railway officials also reached the spot to assess the situation.



Needy women given ration

Ludhiana, July 2
The Punjabi Nishkam Sewa Dal distributed ration to needy women here today under the supervision of Mr Sushil Prashar. Sixtyfive women were given ration.

The chief guests were Mr Pramod Kumar and Mr Amrit Pal Rekhi. They appreciated the work done by the Dal.

Mr Prashar said they were able to carry out this noble work with the assistance of generous people who contributed towards the cause. OC



Woman set afire, in-laws booked
Our Correspondent

Khanna, July 2
The Sadar police has booked Jagrup Singh, his brother Kamaljit Singh, father Maghar Singh and mother Bhinder Kaur of Saloudi village under Sections 307, 498-A and 34 of the IPC on the complaint of Jagrup’s wife Mandeep Kaur.

According to information, Mandeep (21) married Jagrup in 2002 and her in-laws started harassing her for a motorcycle. Since Jagrup wanted to go abroad, he demanded Rs 20,000 from her mother. He also sold Mandeep's ornaments.

She also alleged that she was beaten up on several occasions by her brother-in-law and mother-in-law after Jagrup left India. He returned in 2006 but there was no end to the demands on her and her family.

She received burns after kerosene was poured on her and she was set afire. She had been admitted to a hospital in Chandigarh.



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