L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Girl power reigns supreme in CBSE X
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 29
In the CBSE X results declared here today, girls showed their mettle once again. The top four scorers in the district are girls, who feel that there was a need to change the mindset of people who believed boys were superior to girls. They felt that girls should be motivated and encouraged as they were excelling in every field.

Scoring 98.4 per cent marks, a student of Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, Saumya Jain has done proud to the city, his school and her parents. She said though she took tuition in maths, science and social science self study was the key to her success. She believed one had to be determined to achieve one’s goal in life. Saumya wanted to pursue her career in software engineering and management.

Sharing her views with Ludhiana Tribune, Saumya said she felt on the top of the world today. “It is the most memorable moment in my life. My phone has been ringing since morning. I can feel the happiness of my parents. I feel people must understand girls can also excel. They are now the forerunners in every field and they should be given their due right”, said Saumya.

Gunika Singh of the same school stood second scoring 97.4 per cent marks. She owed her success to God, her parents and teachers. She said dedication and hard work paid for her. One should be sincere and target-oriented in studies, she added.

Ramneek Kaur of DAV Public School here stood third in the district scoring 97 per cent marks. She said five-hour self study was the secret behind her success. Ravneet never took any tuition. She said, “I want to be a computer engineer. Thorough revision and concentration are must to be successful in life. Parents should realise the value of girls and provide them enough facilities to prove their worth”. A student of BCM, Shastri Nagar, here, Namita stood fourth scoring 96.4 per cent marks. She said, “I want to be an engineer. After dedicated studies I used to de-stress myself by listening to light music”.



Unfair Deal
Farmers feel dwarfed by corporate giants
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 29
Opening up of modern airconditioned fruit and vegetable stores owned by corporate chains like the Reliance, Bhartis and others may be a welcome news for the consumers, but the farmers producing these feel that they have been placed in unfair competition.

The farmers have been maintaining that it would certainly have been a good news if these corporates procured fruits and vegetables from them. But instead, these corporates have bought huge farms spread over hundreds of acres where they produce their own products and sell these in the open market.

Resentment is brewing among the farming community in the state over this. The farmers maintain that while the retail sector was not much hit by the entry of big players, but the agricultural sector will certainly suffer an adverse impact. Once the big corporate houses join the fruit and vegetable business they will do it on a large scale thus rendering the small farmers virtually jobless.

The farmers fear that ultimately they might be forced to part with their land and sell it off to the corporates only. According to Darshan Singh Kuli, the district president of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan), given the scale at which the corporates operate they can afford to work on small margins and make the competition most unfair for the small farmers. He pointed out, a person cultivating a few acres and an industrial house cultivating hundreds of acres can never be compared.

In some states like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka the farmers' resistance has become more pronounced. In fact Reliance fruit and vegetable stores were damaged and ransacked by the farmers and vendors. Similar resistance might build up in other parts of the country, including Punjab, which is predominantly an agriculture driven state.

Hardev Singh Sandhu, vice-president of the All-India Kisan Mazdoor Union pointed out, small vendors, who are usually the farmers themselves can not even think of competing with the big corporate houses. A small vendor has to sell his fruits and vegetables as fast as he can because he cannot afford refrigerated storage. Against this the stores owed by the corporates have all the storage facilities which increase the shelf life of their products.

Even farmers with bigger land holdings are feeling apprehensive. Jaswinder Singh of Bajra village in Ludhiana suburbs said, “for the time being fruits and vegetables are considered to be a possible alternative to the traditional crops. Now even that option is closed with the entry of big corporate houses”.

Centre for Agricultural Research and Rural Development (CARRD), a newly set up NGO by the retired PAU scientists, also insists on revising the farming policy. According to CARRD, "the farmers’ organisations should study the market behaviour of such perishable products, particularly in terms of consumers’ pocket and taste and resort to proper grading packing, processing and other value addition accordingly so that they can compete with such big traders".

However, farmers on their own can hardly compete with the corporates with budgets running in hundreds of crores.



Two assaulted in courts complex
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, May 29
Questions arose over the security of litigants and lawyers at the District Courts complex in the afternoon today when two litigants were attacked and one was seriously wounded by a group of armed persons. The victim, Ravinder Pal Singh of Phagla village, suffered serious injuries inflicted by multiple strikes of swords and rods and was left for the dead.

The assaulters mainly targeted his head.

For about 10 to 15 minutes no one came to his aid. The victim lost a lot of blood.

Then a group of young lawyers came forward and took him to Satluj Hospital.

The doctors said the condition of patient was very critical. Amanpreet Singh, a resident of Phullanwal village and a Class XII student, was also admitted to DMC hospital after the incident.

Later, SP (D)-Gurpreet Singh Toor reached on the spot. Lawyers have shown strong resentment over this incident. A requisition was today moved by G S Bal and number of lawyers to the president of District Bar Association for taking necessary steps. The requisition stated that it was a complete failure of the security system in the District Courts complex.

Following the requisition, the District Bar Association president Hemant Kalia, secretary Ravinder Singh Garewal, vice-president S S Mangat and other office-bearers resolved to convene an emergent meeting of general house in the Bar Room at 11.30 am on Wednesday.

Many senior lawyers condemned the incident. They urged deputy commissioner and SSP Ludhiana to review the security arrangements at the complex.



Mann defends his ‘Beant’ act
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 29
Detained leader of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Simranjit Singh Mann has defended his “democratic” protest in front of the statue of late Beant Singh in Jalandhar. In a statement issued from Central Jail, Ludhiana, Mann said, he along with other SAD (A) supporters had the right to protest against the installation of the statue of Beant Singh.

Reacting to the demand of Beant Singh's son, Tej Parkash, seeking strong action against him, Mann said, he had nothing personal against Beant Singh. But, he alleged, Beant Singh had resorted to killing innocent youths in Punjab.

He listed several cases for which he blamed Beant Singh. "As such, for Beant Singh's son to get agitated and accuse me of attempts to breed terrorism will hold no water...he must as a person learn to live with the black deeds of his late father Beant Singh," he said.

Mann said, like he had to live with the "opprobrium" of his grandfather having honoured Gen Dyer, the butcher of Jallianwala Bagh, Beant Singh's sons and descendants will have to live with the "crimes Beant Singh and the Congress party committed against the Sikh people".

He said, "I, as the grandson of Sir Aroor Singh, who gave a saropa to Gen Dyer after the Jallianwala massacre, have to live with this opprobrium. I can't defend my grandfather and go about saying that the people Gen Dyer slew that day were terrorists as the British government called them."

Mann said, he did not hate Beant Singh, but his deeds. He pointed out, he and his supporters did not damage the statue but only registered their protest in a democratic manner.



BJP sticks to its Dy CM demand
Our Correspondent

Khamano, May 29
Bharatiya Janata Party is still firm on its demand for the post of deputy chief minister in Punjab and now it is the turn of the Chief Minister to respond. BJP’s Punjab president Rajinder Bhandari stated this while talking to mediapersons at Lily Palace, Jatana, near Khamano.

He was honoured here by Khamano Unit of BJP under the leadership of BJP’s district general secretary Kuldeep Madras. He said the BJP had demanded what was its right and now it was the turn of Shiromani Akali Dal to take action. He also said they will not repeat their demand after this.

About his statement against the Punjab Bandh, he said CM had done well to maintain law and order during the bandh and termed Parkash Singh Badal the best CM.

He said BJP had no differences with SAD on any matter. He appealed to all involved to find an amicable solution to Dera Sacha Sauda issue. He said BJP will demand its share in the coming elections of Nagar Nigam chairpersons and chairman of Market Committees.

He said his first aim is to strengthen the party at the grassroots. He said Punjab government is not ruling the state but is serving the people. “BJP is committed to the welfare of all sections and is fighting to end poverty,” said Bhandari.

District general secretary Kuldeep Madras welcomed the chief guest and other people gathered during the function. The function was also addressed by BJP’s district president Dharmpal among others.



City won’t be ‘powerless’ this paddy season
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 29
While the farmers sweat it out in the fields during the paddy season, city residents have also been made to share in this perspiration over the last few years. This has been happening because power shortage causes the agricultural electricity requirements to eat into urban allocation.

But now city residents can expect better power situation this paddy season as the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) is taking measures to ensure regular supply. Officials sources said that demand supply gap so far is well under control and is expected to continue the same way in the coming days too.

"Weather conditions this time are not so bad and purchase agreements with other states are also helping. From June 10 till the end of September we would give 8 hours of regular power supply to agricultural consumers. Our effort would be to maintain the present situation and not impose cuts on residential as well as industrial consumers," an official said.

This could come as a major relief for residential and industrial consumers. Industry in particular has to face major losses due to the poor power situation.

The board would set up a control room with direct supply circles with a view to monitor power supply in paddy season.

Apart from additional purchases, upgradation of infrastructure is being done so as to reduce transmission and distribution losses and also thefts.

System upgradation, which involves increasing the length of 11 kv cables and reducing the length of low tension (LT) cables, is being done. The official said most of the system was being put on High Voltage Distribution System (HVDS). PSEB also intends to get tough on power theft.

While demand in the coming days is bound to rise on account of weather changes, the PSEB would also announce schedule of supply withdrawal for different categories.

Residents, who generally face water supply problems due to power cuts can expect betterment on this front too. For the purpose, the city has been divided into three categories and power supply for shorter durations would result in lesser cuts and also mean that tube wells do not stop for very long, officials said.



His crores lie buried in a revenue dept file
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 29
When it comes to red-tapism all men are born equal. Be it a millionaire or a pauper. Or someone who is a milllionaire and a pauper at the same time. Like Bhajan Singh is. This 73-year-old ‘millionaire’ has been visiting the office of the local revenue department for the past 10 years to stake his claim for the ownership of a piece of land worth Rs 2 crore which he inherited. In the absence of this he is forced to live the life of a pauper. The reason for the delay has been the department not giving him the copy of the ‘farad’ showing the possession in his name.

Forced to live in penury, Bhajan Singh today presented his case before the deputy commissioner in a weekly Sangat Darshan programme of the administration. The DC directed an SDM to look into the matter and redress his grievance as soon as possible.

“I have made several rounds of the department. Every time I come back after submitting my complaint, it is thrown in a dustbin. This time I am hopeful that things would go my way as the DC showed keen interest in my case,” said Bhajan Singh after submitting his complaint.

He is seen in the mini-secretariat almost everyday meeting one official or the another but he is not given the document required by him. Despite his various applications, copies of which are always in his bag, the officials have failed to give him what he needs.

Claiming that the copy of revenue record in his possession was a part of major scam in the revenue department, Bhajan Singh says that if there was a probe in the role of area patwari, names of many employees would figure in the scam.

“The land actually belongs to me but I cannot prove this unless I have a copy of ‘farad’. My mother-in-law, who died some years ago had bequeathed the land to my wife. I have knocked at several doors to get a copy of the farad from the patwari concerned but even after a decade-long struggle I am not able to get them,” said Bhajan Singh.

In an affidavit, Bhajan Singh claimed that as per the revenue records, while intakaal no. 219 of agricultural land in Dhandra village is actually in the name of Jaswant Kaur, Angrez Kaur, Naginder Kaur, Ram Singh and Chhinder Kaur, the officials claim that the land was in the name of Ram Singh and Gurvinder Singh. 



Dera issue: Don’t take political mileage
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 29
Apprehending danger to peace and economic stability in the border state, leaders of various social and religious groups have urged the political parties including SAD and Congress to stop trying to get political mileage from the ongoing conflict between Sikh organisations and Dera Sacha Sauda.

Well-known educationist Amarjit Singh Sidhu, OSD to leader of opposition in the Punjab and Congress leader Paramjit Singh Ghabadi and Former MLA and state secretary of CPI (ML) Liberation, Tarsem Jodhan gave the statements.



Licence form racket outside DTO office
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 29
Unauthorised persons have been allegedly issuing applications for driving licences and registration certificates of vehicles outside the DTO’s office, leading to a several persons being harassed.

The unauthorised activity of such persons came to light after DTO Balbir Singh carried out a checking, here yesterday. Some of the persons allegedly fled the spot when the DTO went to check the area where typists, lawyers and others sit for work in a shed opposite the administrative complex in Phase I. However, some documents related to the office of the DTO were recovered from two persons.

According to information available, the DTO has brought to the notice of the deputy commissioner that some persons were allegedly indulging in illegal activities and not working according to the terms of the licences issued to them.

Certain residents had complained that they were not getting their driving licences and registration copies of their vehicles even when the applications for the same had been deposited many months ago.

The DTO took the slips from the complainants and enquired from his staff why so much delay was being done. It was then that the staff pointed out that they had not issued these slips. 



Three held with opium
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 29
Raikot police arrested Hanuman Singh of Ajmer, Dataram of Fatehpur and Satnam Singh of Satta, during patrolling, for possessing 1.5 kg of opium. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered.

1 held with poppy husk

Isro Bai and Manjit Kaur of Kulgahina was arrested by the local police from Agwar Gujjran area during patrolling. The police allegedly recovered 12.5 kg of poppy husk from their possession.

One held with illicit liquor

Deepo Bai of Salempura was arrested by Sidhwan Bet police from her village for having 5430 ml of illicit liquor in her possession. A case under Excise Act has been registered.

Harassment: One booked

Humbran police has booked Gurmit Singh of Ranke on the charge of harassment. He allegedly entered the house of Swaranjit Kaur of the village and threatened and sexually harassed her. The police has registered a case under sections 452, 354, 309, 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).



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