L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Duty magistrate keeps CM waiting, suspended
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
The commissioner, Patiala division, today suspended naib tehsildar of Koom Kalan for dereliction of duty during Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's visit here yesterday.

Naib tehsildar Ranbir Singh Mankoo was the duty magistrate at Sutton House yesterday, where the CM was to reach to inaugurate the Kisan Mela. But he reached late at the venue.

The deputy commissioner, Sumer Singh Gurjar, said Mankoo reached Sutton House at 11 am while the CM was there at 10 am.

“It was embarrassing that the CM was already there and the duty magistrate was missing. And then he walks in at 11 am. Who can tolerate such an attitude?”he asked.

‘‘Suspension is a mild punishment for him. He remained away from CM's duty. This dereliction cannot be tolerated. How could he take such an important duty so non-seriously. He did not understand that duty magistrate's job is very important during a CM's visit.’’ the DC added.

He warned that if any official or employee of the district behaved in such a manner he would not be spared. He added that Mankoo would be chargesheeted.

Sources said the DC had sent a fax message to the commissioner. He immediately ordered his suspension with immediate effect.

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BJP protest today
ASI’s blooper on Ram
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana September 14
The Bharatiya Janata Party today announced statewide protests across the state tomorrow to protest against the central government's affidavit to the Supreme Court questioning the existence of Lord Rama.

Addressing a press conference here today, state BJP president Prof Rajinder Bhandari and secretary Anil Sarin said this was the worst act of blasphemy by the "Communist-supported and Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the centre".

The BJP leaders alleged this was a deliberate conspiracyto appease the minorities at the cost of Hindus. This was the worst act of provocation committed against the Hindus and that too by a government, they said.

Bhandari said the Hindus were being pushed to the wall. He warned in case the Prime Minister and the Congress president did not tender an apology to the nation, the situation would get ”out of control.”

"Even Mahatma Gandhi, father of the nation while succumbing to the bullets of his assassin chanted Hey Ram", Bhandari pointed out, asking, "do the Congress and left leaders question Gandhi ji's faith as well".

Bhandari said protests would be held across the state. Effigies of the Prime Minister and the Congress president would be burnt. 

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PAU dons smart over CM’s remarks
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana September 14
Scientists at Punjab Agricultural University are angry and upset over the remarks of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal who observed here yesterday that the scientists were not spending much time in the fields. "This is like rubbing salt on our wounds," remarked a senior scientist in the university today.

Badal, after inaugurating the kisan mela here yesterday had observed that the scientists, as also officials of the state agriculture department, were not visiting farms, where they ideally should be.

This was in response to a question on improving the financial condition of the university

Another scientist said what Badal probably wanted to convey was since PAU was not doing much it did not deserve more funds. He said the two issues were distinct.

There were greater expectations from the university in the changed agro- technical conditions. "But the state also needs to take care of the needs of the university... research cannot be conducted without funds," he remarked, adding:"Probably the government wants us to get 21 st century results with equipment and infrastructure of 20th century. This is not possible."

The scientists are particularly pained at Badal's observation that the scientists did not spend much time in the farms. "If he did not want to give any funds it was his discretion, but why denigrate the scientists who have given their full life to the university," remarked another scientists and an ex-activist of the Punjab Agricultural University Teachers' Association.

"Badal simply meant to say since you are not coming up to my expectations, I am not going to give you anything".

The scientific community in the university observed that it was PAU which had scripted the Green Revolution. "And if Punjab enjoys the place of pride in the country in food production, it is because of the untiring efforts of the scientists here (in PAU)," said another expert.

The teaching and non-teaching employees' associations in the university preferred to maintain silence on the issue.The officials of the two organisations refused to comment.

Another exoert associated with the mela said the fact that thousands of farmers visited the mela today and yesterday was indicative of the trust and confidence the farmers had in PAU. 

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Pak woman designs bonds
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
For Khoula Ahmed, a Pakistani designer, showcasing her designs in Indian markets has become quite a regular affair, which she does not want to break not just because of a good market she gets here but more due to an emotional bonding that has strengthened over the years.

Ahmed, who is here to participate in Fashion Weekend, told Ludhiana Tribune that, “I started taking part in exhibitions and events in India four years ago. I have become so attached to the place and the people that I don’t miss an opportunity, if I get one.”

Having spent over 15-years in this profession, she is not just confident but also proud of the work she gets done from artisans back home. "It has helped me create a niche in markets that I visit. Be it Pakistan, the USA or India people value the designs and authentic work is appreciated," she adds.

Back home in Sialkot, Ahmed is happy about growing inclination of women towards fashion designing. "They just not want to wear traditional attire but even design it. The market is growing there too."

Ask her about Indian customers and she says, "They are quite experimenting, willing to spend more and nice to deal with. Despite a large number of fashion designers in India, I do not face any competition for the uniqueness of my designs. In fact, people here love to buy when they know that the item has come from Pakistan. It is quite overwhelming."

At the Fashion Week 2007, which kicked off today, participants from various industries, including jewellery, clothes, fashion accessories, health and beauty, marked their presence. The three-day event has, among others, designers from Kolkatta, Mumbai and other places and a few companies as well.

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2 jailed under SC/ST Act
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 14
Additional sessions judge M.S. Virdi has convicted Sukhdev Singh and Baldev Singh of Gureh village, Jagraon, under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act for using derogatory remarks against the sarpanch and a panchayat member.

The duo have been sentenced to imprisonment for one year each. Apart from this, the accused were ordered to pay a fine of Rs 2,000 each.

They were booked following the complaint of Lal Singh and Mohinder Singh, sarpanch and panch, respectively. Some other villagers had also signed the complaint.

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Tributes paid to Saragarhi martyrs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
Kanwaljit Singh, minister for cooperation, Punjab, today said the cooperative department had chalked out a plan to establish an effective marketing system for various crops under the diversification of agriculture so that farmers could get maximum profit.

For this purpose, the Special Purpose Vehicle had been set up. He was addressing a function organised to commemorate the death anniversary of Shaheed Isher Singh, a martyr of Saragarhi post, at Jhorran village.

Isher Singh, along with 21 soldiers of 36 Sikh Battalion Native Bengal Infantry, sacrificed his life while fighting invaders in 1897.

Paying tributes to the martyrs, he said the government would accord proper respect to the martyrs and raise memorials in their native villages which would be developed as model villages.

Ranjit Singh Talwandi, former MLA, urged liberal funds for the development of villages in the Raikot constituency.

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Kanwaljit inaugurates gurdwara building
Our Correspondent

Amloh, September 14
The state government has urged the Centre to fix the procurement price at Rs 800, besides Rs 100 as bonus, for paddy, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, minister for cooperation, said while talking to the media after inaugurating a building of Gurdwara Guru Amar Dass at Ladpur village, near here, today.

He said approach roads to villages would be recarpeted on priority. He appealed people to remember the sacrifices made by the Gurus for the cause of truth and save the younger generation from the use of drugs.

MP Sukhdev Singh Libra criticised the “anti-dharam” policies of the Congress at the Centre which had attacked Harminder Sahib, Babri Masjid and now Ram Setu. Among others, former MLA Balwant Singh Shahpur, gurdwara chief Balkar Singh Ladpur, SAD working committee member Randhir Singh Bhambri, and former district planning board member Joginder Singh Salana were present. 

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Nepalese women celebrate Teej
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
The members of the Nepali community, under the banner of the Pravasi Nepali Sangh, celebrated Teej today. According to Hari Prasad Ghimire, Teej is being celebrated by the Nepali community throughout the country.

He said Teej is a fasting festival for the women in Nepal. It falls in the month of August or early September.

The first day of Teej in Nepal is called the 'Dar Khane Din'. On this day, women dressed in their finest gather at one place and perform traditional dance and sing devotional songs. A special food called 'dar' is eaten. Celebrations continue till midnight after which the 24-hour-long fast begins.

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Harbhajan Mann comes calling
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
“Having a lineal descent from the farming community, I have come to the Mecca of farmers,” remarked renowned Punjabi singer and actor Harbhajan Mann while interacting with students of agricultural journalism during his visit to the Kisan Mela at the PAU here today.

Harbhajan Mann added that visiting the PAU gave him a feeling that he was part of the institution. He felt sorry for the Punjabis, who were going astray and running to foreign lands in search of greener pastures, where they hardly got any respect.

He called upon Punjabi youth and advised them not to develop wrong habits of consuming intoxicants and drugs, as Punjabis were known for their hard work, patriotism and fervour for life.

Referring to former Chief Minister Partap Singh Kairon's wish of transforming Punjab into California, Harbhajan Mann said that he had made a humble effort to make Kairon's dream come true in his forthcoming film 'Mitti Wajjan Mardi'.

Later, he interacted with farmers at the amphitheatre during the Kisan Mela. He urged Punjabi youth to follow the path of development. At the end, he enthralled the audience with his singing.

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Pakhowal road being recarpeted

Ludhiana, September 14
After remaining in bad shape for the past many months, the Pakhowal road in the city is finally being recarpeted by the Municipal Corporation.

The work started on the road two days ago. The authorities had promised that all roads would be repaired after the monsoons.

Residents of many areas connected by Pakhowal road had been protesting against the bad state of the road.

Though the MC had given a patchwork treatment to this road two-three months ago, it had failed to give a smooth ride to the commuters. — TNS

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‘Radio still the leader’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
All India Radio continues to spearhead the communication revolution in the country, despite the expansion of the tele-network. More than 50 per cent population of India (around 55 crore) listens to the programmes broadcast by All India Radio (Akash Vani).

While having an informal chat on the occasion of Kisan Mela with students of agricultural journalism, PAU, D.C. Malik, station director, All India Radio, Jalandhar, said that the radio network had played a major role in the spread of knowledge among the people of various segments. He claimed that the present era was a radio era and it would remain so.

Radio music programmes had become popular among the people and they were enjoyed more than TV programmes.

Interestingly, according to Malik, radio musical programmes even helped in increasing the milk yield of milch cattle.

Paramjit Singh, a farmer from Fatehgarh district, who had come to participate in the Kisan Mela at PAU campus, corroborated the claims of Malik and said that radio had played a vital role in the development of agriculture through its 'Changi kheti' programme.

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Ranike seeks support from corporates
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 14
In an exercise to improve the standard of sports in rural areas and to provide sports equipment to the sports clubs across Punjab,sports minister Gulzar Singh Ranike along with sports director Pargat Singh held a meeting with the chamber of industrialists and representatives of different sports associations at the Circuit House here today.

On this occasion a written proposal was presented to the sports minister by the Sports Forum, Jalandhar.

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Letters
Teachers as role models

The write up ‘Teachers as role models’ that appeared in the Ludhiana Tribune (September 8) was very timely. Respect for the teacher has suffered dilution, partly due to the "fun-culture" imbibed by the youth. The teachers also have to share the blame. They are not as dedicated as the old breed. They used to put their heart and soul into their profession which earned them high esteem. Yet all is not lost. A thorough introspection is needed so that teaching as a profession and teachers as professionals are not just respected but worshipped as in the past.

Gursharan S. Narula, Ludhiana

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.

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Biz Word
2 MDs get lifetime achievement awards
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 14
Balraj Kumar, managing director, York Knitwears, and Gian Chand Dhawan, managing director, York Exports, were given lifetime achievement awards at the annual function of the Wool and Woollens Export Promotion Council held in Delhi. These awards were given in recognition of their services to the hosiery industry and export of the same.

In all, as many as 111 awards were given at the function which was presided over by the minister of state for textiles, Elangovan. The awards were given for the years 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Speaking on the occasion, Elangovan stressed on the need for modernisation of the hosiery industry to remain competitive. The minister said that the response of the industry to the technology upgradation fund had not been encouraging and told the members to take advantage of the same.

Elangovan said that the problems of the textile industry had been discussed at the seminar held from August 31 to September 1 and promised to help the industry in tiding over the difficulties.

Ashok Jaidka, chairman, Wool and Woollens Export Promotion Council, said that the export of hosiery goods during 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 had shown an increase of 21 per cent and 8 per cent respectively.

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Campaigning for cycle body’s poll picks up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
Campaigning for elections of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association of India, which has more than 2,000 members, intensified with the Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma group releasing its manifesto here today.

Members of the group promised to take up vital issues concerning cycle and cycle parts industries with the government like raising demand for a focal point, VAT refunds and providing experts services in spheres like labour, pollution and banking to its members.

Addressing a press conference here today, K.K. Seth of Neelam Cycles said: "The idea is to ensure growth of this industry and take it to the number one position."

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