L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

College leaves pupils in lurch
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, September 20
The future of over 16 students of Guru Nanak College of Law, Malerkotla road, Gopalpur (near Dehlon), hangs in the balance as the college management today asked all its students to leave the institute, saying that the affiliation process had not been completed and the ongoing session had to be discontinued.

The students feel cheated as they will not be able to get admission anywhere else at this stage. Talking about their plight, the students said about three months back, they got admission in the college in LLB and BA, LL.B, respectively. The college management took a draft of Rs 10,000 from each student at the time of admission.

The students contacted the college about commencing of classes as the new sessions had started. After much dilly-dallying, they were told to attend lectures from September 15. The students attended classes conducted by Prof Vikram, Prof Shweta Dhand and Prof R.Sharma.

"Today, all of a sudden, Dr Balwinder Singh Walia, President, Guru Nanak Educational Society, Gopalpur, came and told us that the college had failed to get the state government's notification (NOC). So studies had to be discontinued this session and they could get back their money", said one of the students.

"Where should we go now? The management has played a fraud on us. Dr Walia should be held responsible for ruining our careers. If the formalities had not been completed, then why did Dr Walia admit us," asked another student.

Meanwhile, Dr Balwinder Singh Walia, when contacted, refused to have admitted any student in his college. He said: "They have not attended the classes. Some private teacher must have taken their lectures in the college about which I do not know anything". But at the same time, Dr Walia admitted to have returned the drafts to the students today.

Any law college cannot admit students unless it has an NOC by the state government, affiliation by the university concerned and recognition by the Bar Council of India.



Minor girl raped, murdered
Body found near Sidhwan canal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
The body of an 11-year-old girl, who was missing since yesterday, was found near Barrewal bridge over the Sidhwan Canal here this afternoon.

The naked body of the girl was found from the bushes near the canal bank, about 200 meters from the Raghunath police post.

The victim was the daughter of a migrant labourer who were staying in Barrewal.

According to the police, the girl was a student of a government school in Barrewal. She did not return from school yesterday. Her parents had lodged a report in the Raghunath police post late last evening. The police is investigating if the girl was raped and murdered at the same place or her body was dumped near the canal.

SHO Arvind Puri told Ludhiana Tribune that the girl usually walked down to her home with a female classmate. They would part ways near the police post. The victim was seen crossing the post yesterday evening but did not reach home.

He said the perpetrators could be more than one. The girl seems to have been strangulated. Mr Puri said though the post-mortem examination report was awaited, the marks on the neck suggest that the girl was strangulated during rape.

This is the second incident in the area. Few months ago, a minor girl was kidnapped and an attempt was made to rape her. The girl was found near the bushes on the canal bank.



Despite court orders, man not paid dues since 8 years
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
Despite various attempts, a Baddowal man has not been able to get his dues from two leading transport companies for the past many years. He has not been given a single penny although a Labour Court had directed the district administration for recovery of payment.

Two transport companies owe Rs 21,000 each to Mr Harbhajan Singh, a 53-year old former employee with the companies, but the owners continue to look the other way.

The Labour Court, in February 1998, had ordered both companies to clear the dues of Mr Harbhajan Singh within two months, but he was yet to receive the money. Assistant Labour Commissioner, Patiala, in his letter to the SDM, Fatehgarh Sahib (dated May 30, 2005) had asked the latter to get the recovery of his dues done under the Land Revenue Act, 1887, but to no avail.

Not only this whenever he goes to the offices of the company, he is misbehaved with and threatened with dire consequences. A father of five daughters, Harbhajan Singh does not have the resources to fight another case in court.

He had been working as a booking clerk with Kalgidhar Transport Company which got trifurcated into Patiala Bus Service , Libra Bus Service Private Limited and New Fatehgarh Sahib Sirhind Bus Private Limited many years ago. His services were terminated by his employers and he had moved the Labour Court. While Libra Transport Company paid his amount, the rest of the two companies are yet to comply with the orders of the Labour Court.

‘‘Whenever I go to the offices of Patiala Bus Service at Sirhind, I am not allowed to meet the owners. His workers tell me to go away. It is the same in case of New Fatehgarh Sahib Sirhind Bus Service. The Chairman has passed away and his two sons Amarjit Singh and Karamjit Singh now owe me the money,’’ says Mr Harbhajan Singh.

Sick of moving from pillar to post, this man is resigned to fate and has started looking for a job. ‘‘My daughters are studying. I do not want to stop their studies. This year, their teachers pooled in money and bought books for them. But this cannot happen every year,’’ he says, while narrating his tale of woe.



Flouting rules, officer moves office to home?
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
Call it "unfailing dedication" to his job or unwillingness to relieve charge when he is not able to attend office because of a fracture, the Regional Officer of the Punjab Pollution Control Board here has moved office to his house in Raj Guru Nagar area. He claims that he has done this with the permission of his superiors.

The officer, Mr Naazar Singh, suffered a fracture in August. He also underwent a surgery. Since then he is bedridden. He is not able to move. But official records say he has not availed of any leave as he has been "performing duty" despite the fracture.

According to official sources, an officer cannot move his official files to his residence, except under exceptional circumstances. Mr Singh had earlier been suspended reportedly for the taking his official files home and issuing the "no-objection certificate" to industrial houses from there.

The officer claimed that he had applied for leave but had been refused. However, not many officials are prepared to buy the argument .

It is learnt that Mr Singh did not want to hand over the charge of issuing NOC to any colleague. Hence, he decided to work from home . Files for issuing the NOC are taken to his home every day.

When contacted, Mr Singh refused to talk on the issue. "You better talk to my officers", he shouted, alleging that his rivals were deliberately raking up the issue. Mr Singh reportedly has the patronage of some of his officers, much to the chagrin of his colleagues.



Cop steals power, held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
A team of the Punjab State Electricity Board today caught an Inspector stealing power at his residence in Bishan Enclave, Habowal, with the help of a ‘kundi’ connection.

The SDO, PSEB, Mr Kanwarpreet Singh, said the police official was accessing power directly from the mainline . It was a serious offence, the Haibowal police has been asked to register an FIR against the official.

The PSEB would also impose a penalty on the accused.



CPM threatens protest during PM's visit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
The district unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) today threatened to stage a protest and wave black flags at the Prime Minister during his visit to Ludhiana on September 27 if the government did not stop forcible eviction of people from Ladowal.

In a statement issued here today, the district secretary of the CPM, Mr Sukhminder Singh Sekhon, alleged that the administration was trying to forcibly evict the people from Ladowal. He said the CPM could go to any extent to safeguard the interests of the common people.



Ailing mother’s appeal to NGOs
Take care of her kids’ studies
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 20
Having lost all hope of recovering from a mysterious chest disease and having exhausted all means on treatment, Meena Srivastava, an employee of a spinning mill, near here, has urged NGOs of the area to save the future of her schoolgoing children.

At the same time she has requested the ESIC authorities to recommend some job for her at the hospital so that she could pay for her treatment.

Meena Srivsatva (36), a resident of Kalyanpur village in Bahraich district of UP, had been working as a permanent employee with GIS Limited, now known as Gillards, for more than nine years, but the organisation responsible for treatment of employees failed to do so, according to the employees welfare department.

"What to talk of ensuring treatment for tuberculosis and subsequent chest ailment and screening of members of my family, the corporation failed to recommend light duty for me," alleges Meena.

The local branch of the corporation had referred her case to the ESIC Hospital at BNC, Ludhiana, about two years ago. Initially, doctors diagnosed the disorder as pulmonary tuberculosis but later referred her to the PGI at Chandigarh, There the doctors sent her to Safdarjang Hospital at Delhi. Besides receiving treatment from private doctors, Meena got herself treated at the local Civil Hospital but without any significant improvement in health. Doctors at Safdarjang Hospital advised major surgery.

Meena is more worried about Adarsh (12) and Upman (10) whose education is sure to be interrupted. She has urged NGOs of the area to take care of their education in case she did not survive.

"As I have already wasted thousands of rupees on miscellaneous expenses going from one hospital to the other, I want to ensure that the ESIC authorities either allow me sickness benefit or recommend some light duty for me so that I can nurture my children and take care of my ailing husband," says Meena.

Mr Harbans Singh Jawanda, personnel manager of the mill, says he has taken up the matter with the corporation authorities. "As a goodwill gesture we have been contributing generously towards miscellaneous expenses had incurred by her on travelling and certain clinical tests ," he said.



BJP activists form chain around City Centre
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
Hundreds of Bharatiya Janata Party activists today formed a human chain around the Ludhiana City Centre, which is in the thick of a controversy allegedly regarding a multicrore scandal. They demanded a CBI probe into the whole affair, besides cancellation of the project.

The party activists were led by the state president, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, senior leaders Lala Lajpat Rai, Balramji Dass Tandon, Manoranjan Kalia, Master Mohan Lal, Satpal Gosain, Laxmi Kanta Chawla and others.

Akali leaders, including Mr Jagdish Garcha, Mr Mann Singh Garcha and Mr Jiwan Dhawan were also present .

Hundreds of party workers had gathered near the City Centre in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Naga . They raised slogans against the government, alleging that the state had been cheated of hundreds of crores by the ruling Congress.

Mr Navjot Sidhu, who remained the main attraction at the protest rally, challenged the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, for any open debate- whether in public or on any television channel-on the issue of the Ludhiana City Centre and corruption prevailing in the state.

He said if Capt Amarinder was able to convince him and the public he (Mr Sidhu) would quit politics.

Mr Sidhu also asked the Chief Minister, if nothing was found amiss then why was the Ludhiana Improvement Trust dissolved and why had a high-level Vigilance inquiry been instituted. He alleged that the government was now attempting a cover-up.

Earlier, the state BJP president, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, announced that the party would carry out a major public awareness campaign against the "corrupt" practices of the government.

While the BJP was able to put up a reasonably good show today to make a point on corruption, the schism in the leadership was wide and obvious.

After a brief rally when the workers and leaders spread out to form a human chain, stalwarts Balramji Dass Tandon, Master Mohan Lal, Manoranjan Kalia and Satpal Gosain tried to hold a separate show.

However, most of the workers and photographers preferred Mr Sidhu, who was accompanying Mr Avinash Rai. The four senior stalwarts of the party appeared to be raising slogans on their own. Mr Tandon also addressed a separate press conference. 



Locals help couple tie nuptial knot
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 20
What this couple could not dare to do for the past three years, residents of this town made it possible today by getting them married at a temple. Leaders of various social organisations blessed the couple in the presence of the police that was first approached by the councillor of the area to book them for their alleged immoral act of staying together in a room.

Gurcharan Singh and Paramjit Kaur, both residents of Simla Puri, Ludhiana, were married off at Shri Ram Mandir by the leaders of various social organisations, who had earlier approached the local police to book them for allegedly staying together at a rented room in Ward Number 4. Some residents of the area, led by Mr Harpal Singh Fauzi, councillor of the ward, had informed the police that two girls had been staying with a tea vendor in a room for some days.

The couple when brought to the police station revealed that they were in love for the past three years. Gurcharan, who runs a teashop near the police station, said he had decided to adopt Paramjit Kaur as her parents had died last year. “Though I had promised to marry Paramjit long time ago, we could not do so as she was a minor then. Later we could not marry as her parents died about six months ago,” explained Gurcharan.

Appreciating the role of the leaders of various social organisations, the couple vowed to live together for the whole life.

Though Gurcharan had not taken the approval of his parents, he is sure that they would accept Paramjit as their daughter-in-law. “My marriage will also end the ordeal of my ailing mother who will not be required to work in kitchen now,” argued Gurcharan.

Mr Gurdeep Singh, SHO City, Mr Jatinder Bhola, president, Municipal Council, Mr Ravinder Kumar, president, City Congress, and Mr Harpal Fauzi, councillor, blessed the newlywed.



National awardee honoured
Our Correspondent

Amloh, September 20
Several functions to honour Mr Roshan Lal Sood, former Principal of Government Secondary School, Naryangarh, who was bestowed the Teachers National Award by the President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam early this month, were organised by various institutions here.

Gram panchayats of four villages organised a joint function at Naryangarh school while the Punjab Sabhyacharak Club honoured him at a function in Amloh.

The Government Teacher Union of Fatehgarh Sahib held a function at Amloh school while residents of Master Colony felicitated him at Ward No. 2, Amloh and Desh Bhagat group of Institutes organised a function at its campus in Mandi Gobindgarh.

Naryangarh school was adopted by the Desh Bhagat group for free medical check-up and free computer education.

Mr Sood was praised by various speakers at these functions. Among others the General Secretary, Punjab Sabhyachark club, Major Singh, District Chief, Government Teacher Union Balvir Singh Ghuman, President and General Secretary of Master Colony, Amloh, Anokh Singh Arora and Raj Paheri, Sarpanch Balvir Singh, Professor Mukhtiar Singh of Government College, Nabha spoke about the achievements of Mr Sood.



Unemployed vets stage protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
Unemployed veterinary doctors today staged a protest demonstration against the government for not filling vacancies in various departments. One of the unemployed doctors, Abdul Majid, also started an indefinite fast, saying there could be no discussion on the issue.

The unemployed doctors alleged that when Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) was inaugurated by the Chief Minister, advertisements for appointments had been issued. Later these was postponed several times.

At the time of inauguration of GADVASU, the unemployed doctors had also staged a demonstration in front of the Chief Minister. They were chased away by the police after a mild lathi charge.

With the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, likely to inaugurate Kisan Mela here tomorrow, the unemployed veterinary doctors plan another demonstration.



Bank celebrates Hindi Divas

Ludhiana, September 20
Punjab and Sind Bank, zonal office, celebrated Hindi Divas here today. Mr Narinder Singh, senior manager of the bank, highlighted the importance of the day and exhorted staff members to do maximum work in Hindi. The bank also organised an essay competition. The first prize went to Mr Surjit Singh Sachdeva, senior manager, inspection department, the second prize went to Mr Satbir Singh and the third to Mr Jagdish Singh. Consolation prizes were given to Mr Anoop Singh Chawla, Mr Shyam Lal Gupta and Mr Gurdip Singh. — TNS



Burglary attempt at bank
Tribune News Service

Mullanpur Dakha, September 20
Unidentified burglars broke into the Indian Overseas Bank at Mullanpur Dakha but could not succeed in opening the strong room.

The burglars searched the almirahs and drawers but could not get anything valuable from there.

They tried to break open the strong room door and the wall with the help of a chisel and hammer. On hearing the sound of the hammer, the guard of nearby Guru Nanak Girls College got suspicious and informed the president of the college, who in turn informed the police.

The bank is situated inside the college premises at the Humbran road. The police has registered a case.



Banks disbursed Rs 904 cr to priority sector
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
Banks in the district have disbursed loans to the tune of Rs 904 crore under priority sector schemes in the first quarter of current financial year, said Mr Priyank Bharti, Additional Deputy Commissioner, while presiding over the quarterly meeting of the District Consultative Committee here today.

He said an annual credit plan of Rs 4,439 crore for 2006-07 had been approved for the district.

Giving details of the credit plan, the ADC informed that the plan had been prepared keeping in view Potential Linked Plan prepared by Nabard and Lead Bank Office as per the guidelines of the Government of India.

A major share of the plan, Rs 3,614 crore which is 81 per cent of the total, has been earmarked for the priority sector of which Rs 1,628 core will be given to the agriculture sector, Rs 1,176 crore to the small-scale industrial sector and Rs 810 crore to the other priority sectors, he added.

Under the credit plan, loans amounting to Rs 825 crore would be given to the non-priority sector. Mr Bharti said in all sectors provision for loans had been substantially enhanced.

Regarding disbursements, he said loans amounting to Rs 1,518 crore would be disbursed through banks to the agricultural sector, which was 120 per cent of loans given to this sector last year. For the small-scale industry sector, the provision had been increased from Rs 1,001 to Rs 1,176 crore and for the agriculture allied sector loans of Rs 110 crore would be released against Rs 80 crore disbursed last year.

Mr Jeet Singh, District Manager, Punjab and Sind Bank (Lead Bank), while giving details about the first quarter, said till June 30 loans to the tune of Rs 483 crore were given to the agricultural sector, Rs 254 crore to SSI schemes and Rs 166 crore to the priority sector.

Among others who addressed the meeting were Mr S.P. Dudeja, AGM, Reserve Bank of India, Mr Gurmit Singh, Senior Manager, Punjab and Sind Bank, and Mr Harmesh Kumar, District Development Manager, Nabard.



Plan to promote heritage tourism
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
Punjab Tourism Minister Jagmohan Singh Kang has stated that the government has chalked out a comprehensive programme for the promotion of heritage tourism, culture and craft under which annual state festivals will be organised in the different parts of the state.

He was addressing a meeting of officers at Punjab Agriculture University here today to give the final touches to the arrangements for the organisation of the first such mela to show case rich historical culture and heritage of Punjab from September 21 to 28 at the PAU campus.

Mr Kang said the state had a tremendous potential of religious and heritage tourism to attract NRI and foreign tourists. The Tourism Department had chalked out a comprehensive plan to develop 90 sites declared as heritage sites in the state and preserve old historical havelis as tourist resorts.

He informed that every year around 40 lakh tourists visit Amritsar, out of them two lakh arrived by air.

The minister claimed that with people particularly the farmers from all parts of the state would get an opportunity to witness craft and culture performances of the artists from various states.

Mr Kang during the eight-day long mela artists of different sates would also get familiar with the crafts of various states, including Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir.

He added that an exhibition-cum-sale of handicraft products was also being organised as part of the festivities.

The minister said Capt Amarinder Singh would inaugurate the mela along with the Kisan Mela of the PAU tomorrow morning. Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, would be the chief guest of the cultural programme in the evening at the PAU.

Later, Mr Kang along with the officers took a round of the stalls at the venue of the mela and exhibitions.

Mr Jagjit Puri, Secretary, Tourism, said this would be the first such event in the state for which five separate stages would be set up at the PAU campus where artists would present different items relating to the heritage culture and traditional folk of the state. Punjab Tourism Development Corporation, Verka Milk and Institute of Hotel Management, Gurdaspur, would set up a number of eating joints.

Others present on the occasion included Mr. J.K. Jain, Executive Magistrate, Dr S.S. Gill, Direction Extension, PAU, and Mr PPS Gill, Additional Director, Communication, PAU.



Broadband Internet services
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, September 20
To compete with private companies, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited is preparing to provide prepaid facility to landline phone users .

This was stated by Mr S K Nigam, General Manager, BSNL, Ludhiana, who was here to listen to the grievances of the people pertaining to phone facilities.

Mr Nigam inaugurated the broadband Internet services here. He said that only 30 connections would be given in the beginning and the scope of the services was likely to be expanded on demand.

On being asked about any other developments, Mr Nigam said apart from providing prepaid facility on domestic landline phones, a single- window system had been started for the convenience of BSNL consumers at three places in Ludhiana and at Jagraon and Samrala.

Mr Tejinder Singh DET (Marketing) explained in detail about the facilities being provided by BSNL. Mr Ujjagar Singh Benipal, president, Nagar Council, Machhhiwara, and state vice- president of the Youth Congress, Mr K. L. Mintu, welcomed Mr Nigam.

Among others who graced the occasion were Deputy GM Suresh Garg, DET Samrala S S Dhami, SDO Mukhtiar Singh and JTOs Mohan Lal and Rampaul Singh. 



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