L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Vote for Taj Mahal
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana youths have started an awareness campaign for the online poll for selecting the Taj Mahal among new Seven Wonders of the world.
Ludhiana youths have started an awareness campaign for the online poll for selecting the Taj Mahal among new Seven Wonders of the world. —Tribune photo by Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, June 3
Taking a lead after reading a story in The Tribune about the stiff competition being faced by the Taj Mahal to remain in the list of Seven Wonders of the world, four Ludhiana youths - Zuben Chanakya Bhambi, Surinder Sharma, Puneet Dhawan and Mohit Arora - have started campaigning to make people vote for the Taj.

They launched the campaign today from the city where they distributed posters, pamphlets and banners calling people to vote for the Taj.

Zuben Bhambi said it was surprising that despite such a huge population Indians did not vote. Voting, he pointed out, was too simple.

“You can log on to www.new7wonders.com or simply type your sms Taj to 4567 and increase Taj ranking,” he remarked while hoping that once people learn about it they will do it.

Online voting has now emerged to be the popular and accepted mode of ranking. Since the government of India has not raised any objection to the idea of competition, the Indians have no option but to vote to ensure that the Taj remains in the new Seven Wonders of the world.

The “Vote for Taj” campaign launched here today will go to different places in the state.

The youths said they hoped that once the issue comes in the public limelight and is picked up by the media there would be no going back.

They said since they were closely monitoring ranking they had learnt after story appeared in The Tribune the voting had increased substantially.

They said they were quite confident that the Taj may not only make it to the final list of seven but might even top the list.

They said besides the beauty and attraction of the “wonder” the public support, which determines its popularity, was important to maintain the lead.

They have got thousands of posters, pamphlets and banners printed and these would be distributed all over the state.



Gujjars burn Raje’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 3
To express solidarity with their brethren in Rajasthan, the Gujjars, settled in the city, today staged a protest here on the Rahon Road and burnt an effigy of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje.

They held a dharna and raised slogans against the Rajasthan Government. They also claimed that the demand of reservation by Gujjars was justified.

They rued that 25 persons of their community were killed in the recent violence. Even the elderly and children were not spared. Hundreds of Gujjars were arrested by the state government.

They demanded imposition of President’s rule in the state if the Centre wanted to restore peace in Rajasthan.

‘‘We also support the demand made by members of our community in Rajasthan. Besides the government should pay Rs 25 lakh each to the families of those who lost their lives. A member of their families should be given employment on sympathetic grounds, ’’ said Joginder Singh, a leader of Gujjars. 



He killed people to buy liquor
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, June 3
The Ludhiana (rural) police has finally arrested an alleged serial killer, who had spread terror in the region by killing at least four persons and injuring two.

The accused, whose acts forced people to stay indoors in early morning and late evening hours, has turned out be an alcoholic daily-wager of Hansa Kalan village, near here. Even his family members have narrated horrifying tales of suffering cruelty at his hands for the past several years. (see box)

SSP Ludhiana (urban) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said the accused used to kill people only to arrange money for buying liquor. Bhullar had earlier nabbed Darbara Singh, another alleged serial killer of children, from Jalandhar.

Though the police was initially suspecting him of killing six persons, it claimed yesterday that the police had evidence of his involvement in four murders and two attempt to murder cases.

The accused, however, claimed that he had committed six murders.

“Yes, I feel remorseful today,” said the accused to reporters.

“I don’t know what happened to me when I killed a person. I wanted liquor at any cost,” he said.

The SSP described him as a habitual criminal. He was booked for murder in 1983 but later acquitted.

“He is bad tempered man who has no love or emotional feelings even for his family members. He is an alcoholic and in desperation for alcohol he can commit any crime,” the SSP said.

The SSP said special investigating teams headed by SP (Detective) Ashok Baath and SP (Headquarters) G.S. Romana had arrested him.

During interrogation, the accused confessed killing a labourer Gayadin on October 21, Charrat Singh on October 31, Sohan Singh on March 6 and Amarjit Singh on April 19.

Keep him behind bars forever, says family

Mewa Singh“Please ensure that he remains behind bars throughout his life,” pleads Binder Kaur, wife of the serial killer. She was at the police station along with her married daughter and son.

“We are living in hell due to his alcohol addiction and bad temperament,” she said.

Binder Kaur even accused her husband of the untimely death of her mother-in-law.

“He used to beat us all demanding money. He forced us to work extra and used to beat his mother. She eventually left the house and died at a relative’s place due to injuries,” she said. Mewa Singh had turned alcoholic after the death of his first son, who died at the age of five.



AC Nielsen- ORG MARG India Today Survey
CMC 14th among top medical colleges
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 3
The Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, has been ranked as the 14th best medical college out of the 400 such colleges in the country. Last year CMC was 15th in these rankings.

The survey carried out by India Today magazine in association with AC Nielsen- ORG MARG also puts the college at top rank in the areas north of Delhi.

This survey used extensive research tools to check out all educational streams including medicine on various parameters like reputation, curriculum, quality of academic input, student care, admission process, infrastructure and job prospects.

Christian Medical College has been functioning for more than the last hundred years.

Expressing his happiness and satisfaction, officiating principal and acting director Dr John Abraham, said, "This has strengthened our resolve to take CMC to even greater heights. The CMC family is very proud of the recognition which is a testimony to the rich tradition of excellence our institute has established."

Director CMC Dr John Pramod, who is away to the USA, in a message congratulating the faculty and staff said, "We are the only medical college in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh to be reckoned as a college of national repute. The result of this survey speaks a lot about the excellent learning and research opportunities at CMC Ludhiana. It also speaks volume of the dedication of its faculty."

Medical superintendent Dr Rajesh Paul, in his congratulatory message said, "CMC and its entire team fully deserve this acknowledgement of The college’s contribution towards addressing the health needs of our country."



Ludhiana Calling

A Punjabi boy might have topped the IIT entrance test this year. The Punjabis may be touching heights of excellence in various fields. But the fact remains that most of us (Punjabis) still remain deficient in English language. During a press conference Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) senior vice president Daljeet Singh Bittu announced the constitution of a three-member committee. Although well conversant and articulate in English, Bittu spoke in Punjabi. He announced the names of the members of the committee as “Charan Singh Lohara, Bhai Ram Singh and myself”. A colleague from a vernacular daily could not understand what he meant by “myself”. He repeatedly asked that Lohara and Singh were OK, but who was this “myself” as he had heard the name for the first time. Later his colleagues explained to him that it was Bittu himself.

‘Punglish’ officials

Fed on diet of flattery by sycophants, bureaucrats never miss an opportunity to impress others and show off their communication skills and knowledge. A senior administrative official, however, made a fool of himself while trying to impress a woman journalist from a TV channel by his English. In response to her query about an incident involving a woman, he replied “You go to the gali (street where the incident took place) and ask the jananees (women)” advising the journo to verify the incident from the spot.

Summer camps

Summer camps, that were earlier
an option some kids went in for have almost become a necessity these days. Rising population of working couples necessitates this new phenomenon of keeping kids busy for which parents are finding these camps a good outlet. Not only do these camps keep children busy for a few hours, these also add to their skills like painting, music , dance etc.

Pollution control

Despite the High Court orders to start the common effluent treatment plant by May 31 barely one-fifth of the total electroplating units came forward even when the plant was inaugurated. These units, which face threat of closure, it seems give two hoots to the HC orders and would act only when they face an actual action for non-compliance.

One unit in 3 months

It took around three months for the Ludhiana Effluents Treatment Society to enrol 167 electroplating units out of the 500 to get their effluents treated. But finally on the day of inauguration, effluents of only a single unit were
collected for treatment. If after three months only one unit came up with its effluents, one could well imagine how much time would be required for all 500 units to stop discharging waste into Budda Nullah.

Waiting for rains

Come June and the people start waiting for monsoon. With the mercury touching 44°C mark, the residents are bogged down by heat wave. The rains would not only bring respite but also reduce pressure on electricity and water consumption.

Water wastage

Despite the MC making repeated appeals to the city residents not to waste potable water, the latter do not seem to bother. They continue to waste the precious commodity. Everyday water is seen flowing from overhead water tanks as several residents have not cared to put an auto-stopper in their tanks. Moreover some others keep watering their lawns even when the earth gets saturated. Unmindful, they keep on sprinkling water for hours together. Hope they become considerate enough in the coming days.




Minister for more benefits to pensioners
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 3
The social security department is preparing a draft proposal for the grant of pension benefits to all men above 65 years of age and women above 60 years, irrespective of their annual income.

Further, the pension under the scheme would be increased from the prevailing Rs 250 to Rs 400. The proposal would be soon presented before the government, said Swarna Ram, minister for social security child and women development, here yesterday. He was presiding over the 6th annual state-level delegate session of the Physically Handicapped Association of Punjab at Bachat Bhawan.

The minister said the department would adopt the best convenient method to send pension to the beneficiaries from among the four proposals, speed post, banks, sarpanches or the department. He said at present beneficiaries were being harassed by banks for maintaining minimum balance in their accounts.

The banks would be directed to exempt the pensioners from this clause, he added. Ram said the deputy commissioners had been directed to start pensions of all those eligible beneficiaries whose pensions were stopped by the previous government.

Later, presiding over the delegate session, he announced that the state government would ensure 3 per cent reservation for handicapped in the allotment of all type of plots or flats by PUDA and the improvement trusts.

He announced that visually handicapped would be provided free education.

They would also be provided a stipend of Rs 200 per month up to class VIII and Rs 300 up to class X.

Ram said visually handicapped would also be given the facility of free travel in private and government buses where as physically handicapped had to pay half fare. He also announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the association.

Lilly Chaudhry, deputy director, said as per the census department report there were 4.24 lakh handicapped in the state and out of these 92,600 were getting various types of pensions. She highlighted various schemes and programs initiated by the government for their welfare.

Balwant Singh Dardi, president of the association, highlighted various demands of the association and urged the minister to consider the same. Sukhwionder Singh, patron of the association, Gurwinder Singh Bhatti, Dharmpal, district president BJP, Ran Singh Kalsi, BJP leader, Anil Suraj, social worker and Amrit Bala, DSSO, also addressed the gathering.



NRI donates money to rural school
Our Correspondent

Amloh, June 3
NRI Rashpal Singh Raipur yesterday donated Rs 51,000 to Government Secondary School (Boys) here, to promote sports and upgrade the school stadium. He also gave away sports material and uniforms to players.

At a function on the school premises hockey coach Rajinder Singh Tiwana, physical education lecturer Manmohan Sharma and DPE Jaspal Singh praised the school hockey teama in various age groups.

Principal Navtejinder Kumar Singh thanked the guests.

Parent Teacher Association chief Ram Sharan Sood, secretary Sukhdev Singh, Guru Gobind Singh Sports Club chief Darshan Singh Cheema, Jathedar Hardyak Singh, former council chief Baldev Sedha, Punjabi poet Kailash Amlohi and advocate O.P. Karkara also spoke on the occasion.



Right to Information Act  
Kashyap seeks Rotary’s participation for public benefit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 3
India is the 55th country in the world to enact the Right to Information Act, which has brought a positive revolution in governance of the country.

This was stated by Chief Information Officer Rajan Kashyap while delivering the keynote address on the occasion of the district assembly of the Rotary International District (3070) here today. As many as 500 delegates from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are attending the event.

After implementation of the Act, every civil servant is on toes since they have been held responsible for their acts of omission and commission.

Kashyap said Rotary had a pivotal role to play towards the success of the Act. The organisation could organise workshops to bring awareness among the public about the provisions of the Act so that a larger number of people would benefit.

He also added that Rotary could also create a system to ask for information about various shortcomings and ills of the governance, thereby, bringing relief to general public.

Dr P S Grover, incoming District Governor, presided over this meet. It was preceded by the college of governors, which discussed the Rotary programmes for the year 2007-08.

Justice Narender Sud of the Punjab and Haryana High Court also addressed the delegates. Sarbjit Singh, host club President and Sanjiv Sethi, chairman of the assembly, had made elaborate arrangements for the meet.

Eminent industrialist B M Munjal called upon the Rotarians to introspect and introduce punctuality in their programmes. He also asked those gathered to refrain from making uncalled for complaints to Rotary International as it adversely reflected upon their working.

Rotarians S V Hans and S.P.S. Grover also spoke.



Youth Cong believes in peaceful agitation’
Our Correspondent

Amloh, June 3
The Punjab Youth Congress chief Vijay Inder Singla said today that youths should work for the welfare of the society and not resort to political vendetta.

He was interacting with the mediapersons at the residence of general secretary of Youth Congress Punjab, Jasmeet Singh, today.

Accompanied by district Youth Congress chief, Sandeep Singla Ball, he had come here after holding celebrations of the 108th birth anniversary of late Lala Jagat Narain at Ladowal village where he was martyred at the hands of terrorists.

In reply to a query, Singla appreciated the trend in the SAD-BJP government in the state to give more representation to the educated youths in the cabinet.




SAD-BJP committed to peace: Bhandari
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 3
BJP state president Rajinder Bhandari said today that the SAD-BJP alliance was committed to peace and communal harmony in the state. He said the alliance was providing a clean and transparent government to the people.

Speaking at a function organised by residents of Sargodha Colony to felicitate him, the BJP leader said there was complete understanding between the two alliance partners on all issues.

Bhandari congratulated the people of the state for maintaining peace despite grave provocations. He said the people had made their point while at the same time ensuring that there was no untoward incident.

He asserted that the alliance would sweep the forthcoming corporation elections in the state. He said the problems of the people were being tackled on priority and the government was responsive.aAddressing the function, senior BJP leader Lala Lajpat Rai said the party and the people had great expectations from Bhandari.




Pirated CDs seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 3
The police has seized more than 150 pirated CDs and porn movies from the shop of Chimpu Bhatia. The shop is located in the Le Classic hotel complex.

The police has booked Bhatia, a resident of Rishi Nagar, under Sections 420, 292 and 293 of the IPC and Sections 51, 52-A, 63, 66 and 68-A of the Copy Right Act. An anti-piracy squad of Shemaroo.com also assisted the police in conducting the raid.



Clash: Police suspects foul play
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 3
Suspecting foul play on behalf of the complainants, the Payal police has initiated a probe into allegations levelled by the family of the Doraha municipal council chief. Though the family had accused a resident of Chakk Sarai village and his associates of robbing them of Rs 1 lakh by assaulting them with sharp-edged weapons yesterday, it has now asked the police to allow them to withdraw the case.

The police might initiate proceedings under Section 182 of the CrPC against the complainants in case the story narrated by them proves to be false.

Amarjit Singh Goga, a resident of Doraha, had alleged that nearly nine persons led by Avtar Singh Tari of Chakk Sarai village assaulted him and his family, including his mother Harnam Kaur, president, municipal council, and snatched Rs 1 lakh from them when they were going to Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana, yesterday.

“When we were going from Doraha to Ludhiana in our car the accused stopped us near a petrol pump and assaulted us. They dragged me into nearby fields and fled after snatching Rs 1 lakh from me,” Amarjit Singh reported to the police. He identified the leader of the gang as Avtar Singh Tari.

According to him, passersby, who came to their rescue, shifted him to a private hospital at Doraha.

Though the police swung into action after receiving the complaint in the evening, it became suspicious about the sequence of events narrated by complainants later.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect named in the complaint and the complainants had an old enmity.

“Both groups scuffled when they stopped at a petrol pump situated on the Khanna-Ludhiana road yesterday. When Amarjit Goga got hurt, her mother felt insulted and decided to teach Tari a lesson and concocted a story,” observed Randhir Singh, SHO, Payal.

The SHO said the complainants had asked the police not to proceed further as they wanted to withdraw the case. However the police would initiate proceedings under Section 182 of the CrPC in case the story narrated by the complainant turns concocted.



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