L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Tribune Impact
Sambhu case: DGP seeks report
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
The Director General of Police, Punjab, Mr S.S Virk, has sought a detailed report from the city police about the alleged criminal activities of a migrant, Sambhu Kumar Singh and the details of the cases registered against him.

Meanwhile, the DIG Ludhiana Range, Mr Parag Jain, also said he would inquire as to how the alleged criminal, having several FIRs against him, had got the ‘No Objection Report’ required for seeking an arms licence from the cops.

Though the police had later recommended the cancellation of the arms licence, the core issue of recommending the licence in the first place on the basis of false information to the district administration is yet to be explained.

Sources revealed that the DGP was quite upset over the presence of Sambhu Kumar in the VIP box of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s function in Guru Nanak Stadium recently. Sources said the DGP has sought report on how he managed to get an arms licence.

The Tribune had in its columns on September 30, exposed how some officials of the city police, posted with the Focal Point Police station had recommended the issuance of an arms licence to him claiming that there was no criminal record against Sambhu even as three FIRs were registered at that time against him.

Though the police had, later, through inquiries, recommended cancellation of the cases but they were still pending in court.



Hunger strike by Juvenile Reform Home inmates
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
Inmates of the Juvenile Reform Home, Shimla Puri, went on a flash hunger strike this morning allegedly in protest against being treated ‘inhumanly’, beaten, regularly underfed or given bad quality food, besides being allegedly forced to pay money in order to meet visitors.

The inmates have alleged that they were beaten last night too after they complained about the inhuman conditions to the District and Sessions Judge, Ludhiana, early yesterday.

The district administration had to send SDM M S Jaggi to the jail for sorting out the matter when the inmates refused to budge from their stand for several hours after starting their strike at 6 a m.

Mr Jaggi told Ludhiana Tribune that the inmates had several complaints. ‘‘I have fulfilled some of their demands. I would be reporting to the District Magistrate for further action.’’ he said.

The controversy was simmering for the last several days. The immediate provocation took place when all the 36 inmates, incarcerated under various offences, complained to the visiting District and Sessions Judge yesterday that the officials, of all ranks, were giving them very bad quality food and forcing their parents or relatives to dish out money in order to meet them.

The Sessions Judge had reportedly told the officials to give a list of the facilities to be provided to the inmates, specifications regarding the food among other things. However, the inmates were allegedly taken to task by some of the officials last night.

Sources said this morning, the already irritated inmates rose together when they were not provided the list. Further, the quality of food had also not improved. The students started raising slogans and beating of the utensils against the walls and the dining table.

The inmates alleged that as per the specifications, the officials have to serve them eggs and grams in the morning but they were being served only four set vegetables and dals that too of low quality. Further, the vegetables or dals given to them were coooked with very less quantity of tomatoes and onions.

SDM Jaggi said a committee of three inmates have been formed for supervising the food preparation work and for monitoring other facilities.

The inmates reportedly told the SDM that the officials were also forcing their parents to pay money. The district administration is looking into the charges.



Bathinda Kisan Mela proves a big draw
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan today thronged the one-day Kisan Mela, organised by Punjab Agricultural University at the Regional Station, Bathinda. The theme of the Mela was, “Save Water – Save Punjab”.

PAU Member Board of Management Supinder Kaur Cheema, exhorted the farmers to observe austerity at social functions and avoid wasteful expenditure. She called for launching a strong movement against the increasing cult of drug abuse in the state. Ms Cheema also expressed concern about the skewed sex ratio due to “son fixation” syndrome among the rural masses. If the growing menace of social evils is not curbed effectively, the youth of Punjab will face a dark future.

Presiding over the mela, Mr Sant Singh Brar, another member, Board of Management of the university, appreciated the farmers who delayed paddy transplantation till June 15. This has yielded dividends and helped in saving water, power and protected ecology.

The Director of Extension Education, Dr S.S. Gill, stated that agricultural diversification requires careful planning and implementation. Unless there is assured price and market for alternative crop rotations, diversification cannot be successful. He suggested the farmers to adopt the concept of kitchen gardening and earmark at least 2 kanals for raising vegetables, pulses etc. for family use. He exhorted the farmers to grow at least five different species of fruit trees and an assortment of five other trees to make the countryside greener and provide the much-needed nutrition from fruits to the farming families.

The Additional Director of Research, Dr G.S. Hira, highlighted the research accomplishments of the university. Several crop varieties like PBR-210, PBR-97 of Raya, PBR-37 of Toria, PBM-1 and PBM-2 of moong, PBM-1 of lettuce, Beauty Seedless of grapes, POW-1 and Punjab Naroya of onion have been developed and released by the Regional Station, Bathinda.

The farmers evinced keen interest in the field demonstrations and exhibitions put up by different departments of the university, KVKs and private entrepreneurs. Seed sale counters witnessed a huge rush of farmers.

Varieties of wheat PBW-343, PBW-502, PBW-373. Barley-PL-426 and VJM-201, Raya PBR-91 etc. were on sale during the mela. The rush of the farmers to the stalls of farm literature published by the Centre for Communication, Languages and Culture, was unprecedented.

Professor and Extension Specialist, Michigan State University, USA, Dr Lee Jacob, appreciated the spirit of Punjabi farmers for acquiring new information and technology.

Earlier, Director, Regional Station, Dr Dulcha Singh Brar, welcomed the chief guest and the farmers to the mela. The Additional Director Extension Education, Dr Sat Paul Mehra, proposed the vote of thanks.

During the technical session, experts from several departments apprised the farmers of latest advances in production and protection technologies of various crops and also answered their queries.



City stock exchange to resume trading through NSE
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 30
The Ludhiana Stock Exchange (LSE) will soon resume trading in shares through the National Stock Exchange (NSE). A memorandum of understanding in this regard was signed last week, which after being approved by SEBI, will provide access to a trading platform under Section 13 of Securities Contracts (Regulations) Act, 1956.

Announcing this at the 24th annual general meeting of LSE here, Mr H.S. Sidhu, Executive Director of LSE, expressed confidence that the tie up with NSE will go a long way the LSE would achieve new heights in the coming period. He indicated that discussions with BSE for a similar arrangement were in progress and it might be finalised soon.

The meeting, convened on the Stock Exchange premises, was presided over by Mr Ravinder Kumar Bansal, broker director and Mr Sanjeev Kumar Gupta, director of LSE, were also present on the occasion.

Mr Sidhu provided a brief account of the financial performance of the exchange. He said the LSE had launched a certification programme in capital market, in association with Panjab University, Chandigarh, from February 2006. With the commencement of this programme, the LSE had become the first regional stock exchange in the country to have embarked upon such a programme. Till now, three batches of the certification programme in capital market have been successfully completed and the fourth batch had started.

According to Mr Sidhu, during the year, the LSE had facilitated the formation of an Investor Association under the name ‘‘Ludhiana Retail Investors Association’’ which had been registered under the Societies Registration Act. At the same time, the LSE had organised more than 50 investor awareness workshops under the aegis of securities market awareness campaign in various parts of Punjab, H.P and the union territory of Chandigarh during the financial year 2005-06.

In the course of deliberations on agenda items, the general house unanimously adopted the directors’ report, audited balance sheet and profit and loss account, along with auditors’ report for the year that ended on March 31, 2006. Thereafter, item relating to the appointment of directors was taken up. There being a single vacancy on the Board of Directors and only one nomination left for the same, Mr Dharam Pal Gandhi was declared elected unopposed as broker director to the LSE. The general house also approved the appointment of M/s S.C. Vasudeva and Company as auditors for the next financial year.

The proceedings of the meeting were conducted by Ms Pooja M. Kohli, company secretary while Mr J.S. Arneja, senior executive proposed a vote of thanks to the members for participating in the AGM.



Wax moths threaten honeybee colonies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
Beekeepers of Punjab are a worried lot. Their honeybee colonies have been attacked by wax moths that are considered to be "serious enemy" of honeybees. These moths usually infest honeybee colonies between July and October. This is the time when these colonies are weak, relative humidity is high and there are excess empty combs.

PAU Head of the Department of Entomology, Dr. N.S. Bhutter, has received a large number of complaints of this attack. PAU entomologists, who surveyed the honey bee colonies in the state, have also reported increased incidence of wax moth in the current season, particularly of the ‘lesser wax moth species’. The female of this species enters the beehives and lays eggs on various hive parts and the tiny larvae of the pest ultimately overtake the complete combs.

According to Dr. Bhutter, one of the reasons for this is that bee- keepers were disappointed because of large scale mortality in the bee colonies that are dumped. The empty beehives and combs fall easy prey to the lesser wax moth.

He advised the farmers to fumigate the excess empty combs to get rid of the menace. Apiary management steps include removal of empty combs from the colonies and keep them in sun before storage after fumigation. Beekeepers should also mud-plaster extra cracks in the hive body to check entry of gravid female wax moths.

If the wax moth attack spreads to live honey bee colonies, shift it to one side, then place a new clean pre-fumigated hive without frames at the original place of previous hive. Fumigation should be done in air tight conditions in a room or under cover of tarpaulin or polyethylene. The beekeepers are advised to be careful with fumigants, as all these except sulfur, are very toxic. There is no antidote of phosphene gas emitted by sulpfur.



Skewed sex ratio has impact on Ashtami
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
The skewed sex ratio in the state today showed its effects on Ashtami — the festival of ‘kanjaks’ — with a number of womenfolk complaining that there were not many girls in that age group who could be invited today.

The girls, who are considered embodiment of Durga, are worshiped on the final day of Navratras. Unfortunately, most of the women complained that it was getting harder every year to find girls for their worship.

This holds true, especially for Punjabi girls, although there is no shortage of girls belonging to migrants families. The trend has left a number of sociologists worried as many of them are considering to conduct seminars specially in light of growing shortage of “kanjaks”.

“I went around the entire I-block of Sarabha Nagar looking for around seven girls whom I could invite. Much to my shock I could not find more than three girls in the neighbourhood. Then I went to temple and distributed some dishes and trinkets to some girls there. Our family had been inviting 11 and 21 girls during the last decade. There was no problem. But now finding seven girls is a task,” said Ms Richa Rawat, a resident who took around two hours to find girls.

Similarly, Ms Parwinder Kaur Chhabra, a resident of Model Town, said there were not many girls in the neighbourhood.

“I could not find any. And if there were any they were invited to other houses. So finally I gave the goodies to beggar girls only,” she said.

Many women said today was a pointer towards a trend that the number of girls was going down.

“It is shocking and an eye opener that the sex ratio was really affected against girls. Today’s festival only made us realise how was the shortage going to affect us in future. If we do not open our eyes now it is going to affect our sociological balance. Where would our sons get their wives from?” asked Ms Pritam Kaur.

The Health and Family Welfare Department had inserted advertisements in various newspapers asking the citizens not to kill girl child in womb.



Procurement arrangements reviewed
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 30
Reacting to reports published in Ludhiana Tribune regarding providing false information by the secretary of the Market Committee, Kilaraipur, about the completion of arrangements for handling of paddy and providing basic amenities to farmers at procurement centres, Mr Shakti Sharma, DMO, Ludhiana, inspected arrangements at various centres and sought explanation from officials today. In case of default stern action would be taken against the erring officials, claimed the officer.

While talking to this correspondent at a procurement centre at Gopalpur, Mr Sharma stated that he had sought explanation from the Secretary, Market Committee, about the allegations leveled by directors of the committee.

“Though the officer had submitted certificate about competition of arrangements at all procurement centres in the area, the work is still in progress at some of the centres today. We will take stern action against the officials concerned in case the claim was found false and misleading,” said Mr Sharma.

On the issue of misappropriation of funds on the pretext of getting the yards cleaned, Mr Sharma asserted that workers of commission agents had been seen working in some yards even today.

“As we have seen men of commission agents working at some yards we will now allow any payment to the contractors,” said the DMO. Payments made during previous years would also be verified, he added.

However, Mr Sharma said the availability of amenities would be physically verified only after farmers start coming to these centres.



Johar listens to residents’ grievances
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
A delegation of Rishi Nagar F-Block Welfare Association submitted a charter of demands to Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Minister for Public Health, Water, Sewerage and Sanitation, at his residence here yesterday.

Mr Balkar Singh Sandhu, area councillor, ward no. 45, made the minister abreast of the problems faced by area residents.

Dr S.K. Thaman, an office-bearer of the association, in a press note, said that Mr Johar gave them a patient hearing and acted promptly by giving directions to officials of the Improvement Trust, electricity board, police administration and municipal corporation.

Later he even visited the area and saw various pending development projects. He called up on the officers of above departments and directed them to complete various development works within next month.

The charter of demands of the residents included transfer of Rishi Nagar from the jurisdiction of the Improvement Trust to Municipal Corporation to enable the area councillor to carry out various development works, as the transfer of the area is already due considering that the Rishi Nagar was bifurcated in 1978.

The utilisation of vacant 1.34 acres in F-Block for the purpose of community Centre, leisure valley, development of incomplete parks of the area, metalling of incomplete roads, deployment of police persons and more patrolling staff to check the activities of anti-social elements, proper maintenance of sewerage and removal of congress grass and removal of garbage were the other demands.



Drug addiction leads them to crime
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
The life of a diploma holder in textile processing went so awfully wrong due to the addiction to drugs that he found himself behind bars after caught stealing vehicles with three other drug addicts, including a teenager.

Sukhwinder Singh, alias Sukha, son of a retired civil engineer, got addicted to smack and other drugs during his course and allegedly took to stealing vehicles in order to arrange money for his increasing needs.

The DSP, Sarabha Nagar, Mr R.K. Bakshi, stated in a press conference this afternoon that Sukhi and others, including Deepak and Wilson, were arrested on September 26. They were sent to police remand till today.

The DSP said a police team led by SI Kuldip Singh had arrested the four accused at a nakka.

He said the police had recovered two cars, two motor cycles, a scooter, a computer, a laptop, CD players, TV and several other electronic goods from the possession of the accused.

The accused have no previous criminal record. The DSP said addiction to drugs seems to be the main factor behind their criminal activities.

He said the parents of Sukhi were quite shocked when they learnt about his crime. The parents of the other accused, however, knew about their activities and had already disowned them.



Dasehra celebrations

Ludhiana, September 30
The Urban Estate Ram Lila Dasehra Committee (regd) Dugri Ludhiana will celebrate the Dasehra mela on October 2, in Urban Estate Dugri Phase-I, Dasehra Ground. The function wil be presided over by the Mayor of Ludhiana, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, and Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, MP, Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, will be the chief guest. — OC



Revolver recovered
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 30
The Raikot police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC against Sukhvir Singh of Selooni on the charge of stealing a .32 bore revolver of Narinder Singh of Heran. The accused was later apprehended by the Jagraon police during a naka Bandi at Bhammipura Khurd village and recovered the revolver from his possession. A case has been registered under Sections 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act. The accused has been sent to judicial custody till October 13.



8 booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 30
In two separate cases of assault, eight persons have been booked by the Sidhwan Bet and Raikot police. In the first case, the Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Sections 324 and 34 of the IPC against Raghuvir Singh and Parkash Kaur of Gidderwindi on the charge of assaulting Jaswinder Kaur, who is the wife of Raghuvir Singh. The injured has been admitted to Civil Hospital , Jagraon.

In another incident, the Raikot police has booked Sonu, Mana Singh, Soni, Deepa and Satpal of Bassian, Navjot Singh of Sherpur Kalan on the charge of assaulting Zorawar Singh and his son Gagandeep Singh of Bassian with an iron pipe. A case has been registered under Sections 323, 341, 506, 148, 149 of the IPC. Some dispute over money was said to be the reason behind the incident. No arrest has been made so far in both cases.

1 booked

The Dehlon police has registered a case under Section 283 of the IPC against Mithu Singh of Kila Hakiman District Sangrur on the charge of causing obstruction on a public way by an overloaded tractor-trolley in Lehra village. The accused was later released on bail.



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