L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Marriage processions on main roads banned
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
The police today banned the marriage processions on main roads in the city to ease out traffic chaos during marriage season.

Highlights

* Ban on playing of band or bursting of crackers
*
No use of fire arms
*
CCTV cameras and metal detectors must in marriage palaces
*
Police verification of palace staff
*
Follow fire safety norms
*
No serving of liquor without permit

Senior superintendent of police R.K. Jaiswal today said if anybody was found blocking the traffic by way of taking out a procession with a decorated mare or a rath would be booked for violating district magistrate's orders.

He categorically stated that no band would be played on the main roads and no crackers would be burst. He asked the marriage palace owners to inform the police if the hosts of marriage parties did not comply with the orders otherwise they would themselves be booked for the violation.

The SSP held a meeting with owners of 65 marriage palaces in and around the city. He said his major concern behind holding the meeting was traffic and security reasons.

He also asked them to put close-circuit cameras in the parking, main hall, at the entrance and exit points. They were also directed to install metal detectors at the entrance. The hosts would be required to identify their guests so that no unwanted person got inside the marriage palace and create trouble.

The SSP also asked the owners to get the police verification done of the staff working in the palace. The owners should have all past records of the worker along with his photograph and permanent address.

He asked the owners to remain vigilant and ask the hosts to watch out for any unclaimed suitcase or similar stuff and inform the police control room in case of any suspicion.

He also made it clear that no liquor would be allowed to serve inside the premises without a permit from the excise department. The palaces should be let out in accordance with the capacity only.

The owners were also asked to ensure fire safety norms. The SSP said that during a survey he found that kitchens were very close to the main halls where hundreds of people remained present during the function. He asked them to keep the cylinder at a safe distance so that no untoward incident took place.

The owners also asked the SSP to divert the heavy loaded vehicles like straw trucks from the main road, especially Ferozepore Road where most of the marriage palaces were located.

The SSP said he was taking up the matter with PWD (B&R) department to provide service lanes in front of marriage palaces so that the traffic situation is streamlined.

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Power cuts greet consumers, industry spared
Shortage of coal, scanty rain, power purchase on 
returnable basis lead to shut down

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 26
After a comfortable power supply situation all through the summer season, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has introduced restriction on power supply to mixed feeders (comprising domestic and commercial consumers), as also rural feeders under the 24-hour power supply scheme in the state.

Though the quantum of power cut is decided on daily basis depending on the availability of power and the demand, for the time being, mixed feeders in the cities are being subject to an average one-hour cut, split into two parts of half an hour each while a power cut of eight hours is being imposed on rural feeders.

The industrial feeders in the state have been spared of any further restrictions on supply, for the time being, that is except for a mandatory weekly off. However, the authorities might have to impose cut on industrial feeders as well in days to come, said a senior official.

Sources in the PSEB headquarters told Ludhiana Tribune that most of the hydel projects had cut generation due to low water level at the reservoirs. The thermal power stations were also not working to their installed capacity due to shortage of coal. During last week, all four units of the thermal power plant at Ropar had to cut power generation by about 20 per cent due to low stock of coal.

The cumulative effect of this situation had led to a gap of around 30 per cent between the demand and availability of power to the state, the sources added.

While the possibility of further increase in the timing of power cut, both on the urban and rural feeders, cannot be ruled out in days to come, if the power generation is further affected at the hydel and thermal power plants, the PSEB has also taken up the work of routine maintenance of cables and transformers in urban areas and installation of higher capacity transformers to improve the quality of power supply.

The work, to be completed by March 31 next year, will involve frequent shutdowns of the urban and rural at regular intervals during this period.

Other significant factors that had led to shortage of power in the state were scanty rainfall during the last couple of months and the state having to return power to many other states from which power was purchased on returnable basis to meet the increased demand during summer and paddy sowing season earlier this year, the sources revealed.

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3 killed, 13 injured as bus rams into tree
*
Bus was carrying caterers of Delhi * All, including driver, drunk * Driver absconds
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
Three persons were killed and 13 were injured, one of them seriously, when a bus carrying 45 members of a Delhi-based catering company, F and B Catering Services, hit a tree after the driver failed to negotiate a curve at the Arti Chowk in the wee hours today.

Injured flee hospital

Twelve persons injured in the accident and admitted to DMC Hospital fled the hospital in the evening putting the cops in a fix.

Police sources said someone scared the injured that action would be taken against all of them as they were drunk. They also feared the police questioning about the identity of the driver and details of the catering company.

As none was available for making a statement, one of the dead could not be identified.

The bus that hit a "Beri" tree was badly smashed. The bus overturned and skidded for several metres before coming to a halt.

The bus had rammed into the tree with such a force that one of the two branches of the tree also broke. The police had to summon workers to chop off the branches to clear the road.

The police identified two of the dead as Ram Bilas and Ramu Prasad, both of Delhi. The third one could not be identified. Hanuman, critically injured in the mishap, was admitted to ICU at CMC.

The toll would have been higher had the accident occurred few days ago. The Ghumar Mandi police post, functioned right under the tree. It was shifted to Rose Garden recently.

All members of the catering group, including the driver, were badly drunk. They were on way back to Delhi after performing duty at a marriage functions for two days.

The police said the caterers seemed to have had revelry after the last night's party. None of the injured was in a position to tell what exactly happened.

The police has registered a case against the driver of the ill-fated bus no DL-1A-6256. The police said the driver was absconding.

The police had a tough time rescuing the injured. The bus had overturned. The injured were stuck in the mangled seats.

One of the dead was found when the bus was brought back to its wheels. A crane was used for the purpose.

Cops moved into action swiftly, saved many from bleeding to death, and cleared the road otherwise it could have been a major traffic problem.

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Manhandling of councillor
Nab accused or face agitation: Cong
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, November 26
Congress leaders of the city today threatened to launch a Satyagraha over the failure of the police to nab 23 persons who had allegedly beaten Congress councillor Satwinder Singh Jawaddi and his father in the district courts complex on November 1.

Addressing a press conference here this afternoon, former minister Malkiat Singh Dakha and Congress general secretary Gurbinder Singh Atwal said even though 26 days had passed since the incident, the police had not arrested any of the accused.

Akali leader Tanvir Dhaliwal is the main accused, the said. The police had registered an FIR in the case after they threatened dharnas but after that the cops seem to have forgotten the case.

The leaders alleged, the accused had even dared to attack the house of the victims later but the police did not register an FIR regarding that incident.

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PAU to restart MSc journalism after 5 yrs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
After being in a state of limbo for about five years, the Department of Agricultural Journalism, Languages and Culture of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, has finally come into existence.

The orders to this effect were issued today by PAU registrar Dr. R.K. Mahey, which are in line with the recent decision of the Academic Council for the revival of the department. Dr Jagdev Singh, professor of English, has been given the charge of the Department.

Dr Singh will lead a team to formulate the modalities and syllabus for the course of M.Sc Journalism, Mahey told Ludhiana Tribune.

Former vice-chancellor Dr K. S. Aulakh had closed the journalism department amid protest by ex-students and journalists who termed it as a retrograde step in this age of information technology.

Giving credit to PAU V-C Dr M.S. Kang and the dean, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, Dr Tejwant Singh, for the revival of the department and master's programme, Dr Jagdev Singh said this would bridge the gap between the scientists and the farmers by providing trained agricultural journalists.

These journalists would facilitate permeation of knowledge and technology to the masses through journalism of conversation rather than mere journalism of information, he explained.

Moreover, the department would give impetus to development communication as suggested by the Academic Council.

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Sugar traders’ dharna against entry tax
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
Protesting against the implementation of entry tax on sugar from backdate, sugar traders in the city held a dharna at Kesar Ganj Mandi chowk here today. Shops of sugar dealers in the city remained closed today on account of the protest.

The traders termed the implementation of entry tax on sugar from November 5 as unfair. "When it is being imposed in case of other goods from November 21, why should sugar traders be discriminated against. The Excise and Taxation Department has asked us to deposit tax from November 5 to 20. If we are made to pay it from back date, we would have to suffer heavy losses," said Jagjit Singh, president, Wholesale Sugar and Vanaspati Dealers Association.

The impact of entry tax has shown on sugar prices in the city as traders have passed on the burden to consumers. Rates in wholesale market, that were nearly Rs 1,610 per tonne prior to implementation of the tax, have increased to more than Rs 1,660 now. Retail prices have also increased accordingly.

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Anti-encroachment drive 
Vendors protest against MC 
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
The ongoing drive of the municipal corporation against temporary encroachments on the roadsides has evoked protests from the Rehri Farhi Union, Punjab. The union has threatened to take to streets if they were not allowed to stay put.

Not bowing under such pressure tactics, the authorities have clarified that the drive would continue but they were trying to find a solution to help the vendors, who were dependent on these small-time shops to keep their kitchen fires burning.

The activists of the union staged a protest against the MC today and claimed that the city mayor was rendering scores of people unemployed by removing them from the roadsides and confiscating their rehris and similar material.

Raising slogans against the mayor, Bal Krishan, alias Pappi, said the poor man was made to suffer as the kiosks were taken away by the tehbazaari department. He said if the drive was not stopped, they would be forced to intensify their agitation.

‘‘We will take to the streets if the confiscated rehris are not returned to us,’’ said Pappi, demanding that all roads in the city should have a yellow line for them and a specific place should be earmarked from where they could run their business. ‘‘Otherwise our children would die of starvation. How can they let this happen?’’ he asked.

While the protests have started, the MC is not perturbed. ‘‘The drive of removing encroachments will continue. We have promised to the residents of the city to provide smooth traffic flow and that is possible only if congestion on the roads is cleared,’’ said senior deputy mayor, Parveen Bansal.

He added that they were holding deliberations and would not allow these people also to suffer. The MC was finding a solution to their problem by adopting a feasible method. This is not for the first time that a similar drive had been launched.

The pressure tactics being adopted by the unionists are also not new for the authorities. But in the past, political patronage had played a spoilsport. But with the mayor himself at the helm of affairs this time, hope has not diminished.

Such vendors occupy both the sides of all roads in the city. This leads to congestion and traffic chaos. Not only the vendors, but shopkeepers also encroach upon the roads in front of their shops to exhibit items.

Several of them even sublet these spaces to vendors for selling knick knacks. They charge anything between Rs 50 to 100 depending on the area on daily basis from these people. 

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Fancy numbers to be auctioned tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
The transport department has decided to auction the fancy numbers in Ludhiana. About 800 special numbers will be auctioned at Circuit House on November 28. The auction was withheld for about six months.

According to the district transport officer, Ludhiana, auction for the special numbers for the series PB-10 CB, CC and CD would be held. The numbers include those in the single digits, the two digits and several others like 1111, 1234 and so on.

However, there are some reservations among the people about the procedure adopted by the department. Every applicant will have to deposit separate advance for each number in case he or she wants to bid for more than one number. But the transport authorities maintained that it was the standard procedure of auctioning as there had to be separate bids for separate numbers, hence separate advance deposits.

Moreover, the department is also not sure as what do with the numbers which will not be auctioned. Separate reserve prices have been kept for separate numbers. For example for "1" number in each of the three series, the reserve amount is Rs 50,000. The other most sought after number is "786".

There had been suggestions that the department should auction only single digit numbers and allot other fancy numbers after getting some premium on those. That process was less complicated. The transport authorities maintained that the purpose of introducing the auction system was only to ensure that the discretion was minimised, besides helping the government to get some revenue.

Otherwise, there would be dozens of recommendations for a single number from different quarters, making it difficult for the official to make the choice. Open auction would minimise any such scope and people would not feel aggrieved.

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Son to file plea against father's conviction
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
Malkiat Singh, foster son of a double murder convict awaiting death for killing his wife and daughter, whom he had raped also earlier, has won a small battle with his relatives, including his sister, allowing him to file a plea against the death penalty after days of intense emotion-filled family drama.

With the control of a house worth several lakhs, owned by the convict, being the reason of the struggle among the relatives, the Haibowal police effectively got a compromise between the warring relatives, all of whom were pitched against Malkiat alone.

Malkiat had complained to the Haibowal police that his sister Shallu and other relatives occupied the house. They wanted the ownership to be changed from the name of the convict, Mohinder. However, Malkiat was against this as he wanted to file a plea against the conviction.

SHO Gurpreet Singh as per the compromise, Malkiat was free to do anything for his father.

His father, Mohinder Singh, had earned the wrath of all relatives and area residents for murdering his second wife, Veenu, and his eldest daughter last year.

But his son Malkiat Singh shocked everyone by announcing he would file an appeal against the conviction, announced by a local court last week.

Mohinder had earned the hatred more as he had committed the murders when he was on a parole . The younger foster daughter Shallu minced no words in calling his father a beast after he was sentenced to be hanged till his death.

Mohinder Singh had four children of two marriages. Shallu and Malkiat were children of his second wife Veenu. He had a daughter from his first wife, who had died several years ago. He had raped his real daughter as per the case file.

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He inspired his family to turn ‘green’
Mahesh Sharma
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 26
Acting beyond his age, Sahil Sharma, a lad of Sihar village, persuaded his parents and grandparents to be a 'green family' and strive to make a world record of planting and nurturing maximum saplings every week.

Impressed by his arguments, the Sihar family has decided to plant 100 saplings of neem every Sunday.

"Do you know what global warming is?" Jatinder Sharma Laddi of Sihar village was taken by surprise when his son suddenly asked him this question.

Sahil not only discussed various aspects of environmental management, but also emphasised the need of planting more trees.

"We cannot check growth of pollution- emitting vehicles, factories and energy- consuming equipment as they have become necessities. Planting more trees is the only alternative left with us," argued Sahil.

Raghu Nandan Sharma, market committee chairman, Malaudh, Sahil's grandfather, said the family would plant 100 neem saplings in vacant plots every week. "We do not know whether we can achieve a world record as desired by Sahil, but we will try to fulfil his desire to become a green family," said Sharma. 

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Dog show leaves park littered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
Apart from left over food, litter and garbage were strewn all over the ground after the 27th All-breed Championship dog show organised at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here today.

The show was organised by the Ludhiana Kennel Club at the PAU mela ground. A large number of dogs participated in the championship.

No one seemed to have taken the responsibility of cleaning the ground. Moreover, no dustbin was installed during the show to dump the garbage.

The stench emanating from the garbage and plastic plates besides the dog food made it impossible for joggers to do their routine exercises.

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Letters
Promote unity

This letter is to all those who are writing against Punjabis for supporting Ishmeet and all those who are crying aloud about regionalism and religionism. I happened to see the final of ‘Voice of India’ between Ishmeet Singh and Harshit on Saturday and felt disgusted. Instead of promoting unity, the programme openly encouraged division between states and religions. Slogans like “Jo Bole So Nihaal” and “Har Har Mahadev” and quotes like “UP is enough for ten Punjabs” being aired on TV were used to increase the viewership of the programme. This act was appalling and shameful. The voting was being encouraged on lines of religion and not on talent. I wonder if the information and broadcasting ministry is taking any notice of this and planning to take any action. We need more movies and programmes like Chak De India that beautifully package and deliver the message of unity in diversity. Programmes like ‘Voice of India’ should be definitely banned.

Ibs Nanda, 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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Murder accused held on tip-off
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 26
The Dehlon police has arrested another accused of a murder case in which six persons were booked for allegedly murdering a woman of Sayan village, about a month ago. One of the accused was taken into custody on the following day of the incident.

Dalbara Singh, who along with five other persons was booked under Section 302, IPC, for allegedly murdering Ajaib Kaur of Sayan village on October 24, was arrested by the Dehlon police when he was trying to board a bus at the Sayana village bus stop today.

According to SSP Ludhiana (Rural) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, the accused was arrested on the basis of information provided by an informer.

Dilbag Singh, another accused, had been taken into custody from a hospital where he had been admitted for treatment of injuries inflicted during the brawl.

Earlier, the Dehlon police had booked at least six persons for allegedly murdering Ajaib Kaur and injuring Jarnail Singh with gun shots fired by two .12 bore guns at Sayan village near here. A dispute over hiring of panchayat land was reported to be reason behind the rivalry. Both warring groups owe alliance to the SAD. While the weapons and motorcycle used in the incident were recovered on the same day, the accused had succeeded in evading arrest.

The accused were booked under various sections of the IPC and the Arms Act.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Gurcharan Singh and Jarnail Singh had hired panchayat land for mining earth.

Dilbagh Singh and Atma Singh, who had earlier hired the land for the same purpose, got disappointed over their failure to regain the possession of the land and decided to teach the bidder a lesson.

The accused, at least six in number, attacked Gurcharan Singh and Jarnail Singh at about 9 pm on the fateful day and opened fire on them with two .12 bore rifles.

Ajaib Kaur, who had tried to intervene, received shots on her head and the neck. She died on the spot. Jarnail Singh had received shots in the chest. 

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VLCC launches ‘wellness meter check’
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, November 26
VLCC observed anti-obesity day at its Sarabha Nagar centre here today with the launch of "wellness meter check." The facility was formally launched by civil surgeon Dr S.P. Sharma.

Dr Sharma expressed concern over the alarming rise of obesity in children and post-menopausal women. "The lifestyle of present-day children has changed. They spend more hours on the computer and watching TV while traditional outdoor games like kho-kho, football and hockey have taken a back seat. As far as women are concerned, they are not conscious of their diet and physical activity which is a major cause for increase in obesity."

The civil surgeon emphasised that with slight modification of lifestyle and eating habits, obesity could be very well controlled and the affected persons could have a better quality of life.

The vice-president of the company, Monica Bahl, said every third person in India was obese, out of which 50 per cent were males and 62 women. She said a majority of Punjabis were overweight because of their rich diet and sedentary lifestyle.

Showing concern over the increasing ratio of obese people, she said this could lead to multiple problems like back pains, high cholesterol and hypertension. "If the trend of bulging paunches among people is not checked, India will be among the top three countries with a high incidence of obesity.

According to centre manager Ashwinder, there are 12 crore people in India who are obese. As many as 50 per cent of women above the age of 35 years have deformed figures and they hide their weight.

“The stress of modern life, sedentary jobs, unhealthy eating habits and lack of adequate exercise are some of the factors that have led to the worldwide increase in obesity. Most people are unaware that obesity can lead to lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cancer, stroke, back and joint pain, osteoporosis, fatty liver, depression, difficulty in sleeping and infertility."

She stressed that unless the problem of obesity and its related complications were addressed vigorously, it would create a serious public health crisis.

Airtel opens new-look centres

Airtel opened new-look Airtel Relationship Centres (ARCs) in Industrial Area, Shastri Nagar, Bhadaur House and on Gill Road here today.

Customers will be able to pay their bills, procure pre-paid and post-paid connections, get VAS services activated on their mobiles as well get their queries answered at these ARCs. As a special gesture, the company is offering a "goody bag" to customers who visit these ARC's and purchase new post-paid connections, said a press note.

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Govt school students need help
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
As winter has settled in, the parents are taking special care of their kids from cold waves. But on the other hand, the children of primary schools, zila parishad, anganwadi and schools which are running under mid-day meal schemes are going to school without wearing thermals.

While some cannot afford to buy a new sweater, others are waiting for the arrival of the VIP’s or some social organisation to visit and distribute sweaters in their village.

The district education authorities of primary and secondary government schools of the city have not issued strict guidelines for the students to wear sweater during winter. The children do not bother to wear thermals and thus suffer from cold and other winter related diseases.

It is quite ironical that Ludhiana, which is famous for its hosiery manufacturing unit, could not provide sweaters to the children of these schools.

Most of the children studying in these schools are from poor families. Their parents cannot even manage a meal for their children.

However, the non-government organisations are quite active to help the children in the city. It is the condition of the children studying in the villages schools which is a matter of concern.

“We are three brothers and two sisters. My father is a labourer and my mother is a home maker. My father is the only bread earner in the family therefore it is difficult for him to look after our daily requirements. Even I don’t want to bother him by making unnecessary demands”, said Gurjant Singh, a student of Government School, Jarkhar.

Student of government primary schools near Nelon and Dhande said, “Our parents are small farmers and they cannot afford to provide us a new set of sweater every year as sizes differs every next year. Moreover, we have to wear sweater according to the school dress.”

“We do care for our wards but we belong to poor middle class. We cannot ask anyone for help but every year buying a new set of sweater is quite difficult for us”, said Darshan Singh, a resident of a village near Nelon.

While talking to The Tribune, district education officer (primary) Varinder Sharma said, “ The department has not made any guideline to schools regarding the winter clothes as it is up to the students to wear thermals or not.”

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Two selected in placement drive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
Deepak Kumar and Ramandeep Kaur (MBA-II) of the department of business administration at the Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology (LCET) were selected by ICICI Securities at a recruitment drive conducted at GNIMT campus, Model Town, here today.

Out of 200 students, who appeared in the written test conducted by ICICI, thirteen students from LCET were shortlisted for the final interview rounds.

LCET chairman Vijay Gupta congratulated the budding managers for their achievements.

LCET director Dr J.S. Sohal and principal Dr Pawan Kumar also praised the efforts of the training and the placement cell to provide best job opportunities to the students. They also encouraged the cell to continue with such activities and assured all their support.

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No action on SDM’s report
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 26
Even after more than 18 months of the indictment of examination supervising staff of MGMN Senior Secondary School in the infamous student’s suicide case, the DC, Sangrur, has yet to act on the recommendations of then SDM, Malerkotla, who had proposed action against the superintendent, the deputy superintendent and the invigilator on duty at the centre on the day of the incident.

It is suspected that the staff concerned has managed to get the inquiry report ‘misplaced’ in the DC’s office to evade action.

In her inquiry report submitted to the DC, Sangrur, in the first week of April last year, the then SDM Malerkotla (now ADC, Sangrur), Dr Indu, had held that the “supervising staff violated the rules and created such an environment in the examination hall that caused a fear psychosis among the candidates.”

The inquiry report said while pin-drop silence was required in the examination hall, mobile phones of certain staff members were ringing constantly and an altercation over the issue of joining duty by a couple had caused a lot of disturbance there.

The students could not concentrate as they were repeatedly frisked by the staff on duty, said the report.

The SDM had added, “Teachers are more than parents. But they created so much fuss over a trivial issue that students could not perform well and one of the students committed suicide as he failed to do well in the examination.”

On receiving a complaint about the death of the student, Dr Indu had during the exam days recommended the transfer of the staff at the centre as she had found that disharmony among the staff members had driven Sarabjit Singh, a youth from Ghungrana village, to commit suicide.

Kewal Singh, father of the deceased, had also told the police that Sarabjit Singh had hanged himself to death after returning from the school in the evening as he had not fared well in the chemistry paper.

After investigations, Dr Indu had observed that an altercation between deputy superintendent Baltej Singh, his wife Inderjit Kaur, and superintendent Manjit Singh had caused inconvenience to the students.

Baltej Singh and Inderjit Kaur had, however, denied the charges. They maintained that they were being framed as they had been working to curb the menace of copying.

Though Dr Indu had recommended a departmental inquiry against the erring staff, no action was initiated by the education department.

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Lawyers condemn UP blasts, observe strike
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 26
The District Bar Association today condemned the incident of serial bomb blasts in the court complexes in UP, which had taken several lives. Lawyers observed a strike in court, protesting against the rising terrorist incidents.

Terming the incident to be a barbaric activity of terrorists, the president of the association, Hemant Kalia, secretary, Ravi Garewal, and joint secretary, Rajan Chand said the law and order situation was deteriorating day by day. The UP state administration should take the incident seriously so that these do not take place again.

Former Bar Association presidents, K R Sikri, Jagmohan Singh Warraich, Naval Kishore Chhiber, besides several other lawyers also condemned the incident.

District Congress Legal Cell Chairman, Dharmjit Singh Khera, and convenor, Ashok Bhakri, expressed deep concern over the incident. Former chairman of state legal cell, Parsotam Dass Sharma, said it was quite strange that the terrorists had chosen the court complexes as their targets. He urged the local administration to make proper security arrangements in the district court complex to ensure that such type of incident may not happen here.

However, due to the strike in court complex several litigants faced tough time, as their cases were adjourned without any fruitful hearing. 

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Skin ailments due to imperfect lifestyle, says doctor
Mahesh Sharma
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 26
Terming skin to be the strongest barrier to check entry of pathogens of various dreaded deceases, Dr Monika Bharti, a skin specialist, called upon office-bearers of various educational and social organisations to educate people about consequences of degradation of the natural barrier by hasty use of synthetic products. Majority of skin ailments were generated due to imperfect lifestyle, she warned.

Addressing a gathering at GHG Khalsa College, Sudhar, Dr Bharti said certain skin ailments were lifestyle affects. She said applying lotions and creams, without guidance of physicians, could make skin susceptible to biotic and physical factors. Environmental pollution caused by spray of pesticides and burning of straw complicates the problem, she warned.

As many as 200 students of the college were examined for skin ailments and given free treatment during an awareness camp organised at the college campus today.

Principal of the college Swaranjit Singh Deol and Gurdev Singh stressed on the need of personal hygiene for maintaining healthy skin. Devinder Chhabra delievered vote of thanks.

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400 heart patients examined
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 26
In pursuance of their community outreach programme, the consultants from a prestigious heart institute here organised two free medical camps yesterday.

More than 200 patients were examined at the free heart and medical check-up camp held at Malerkotla, where Dr GS Wander, chief cardiologist and Dr Naved Aslam, consultant cardiologist at the institute, attended to the patients. Another 200 patients were examined at Goniana Mandi in Bhatinda district at a camp which was attended by Dr Bishav Mohan, consultant cardiologist at the institute.

Speaking on the need to organise such camps in remote rural areas, Dr Wander said these proved a very effective means of bringing super-specialist consultation within the reach of everyone. 

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City doc wins award
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 26
The Respiratory Chapter of Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) awarded the first prize in the individual category to Dr Rajinder Gulati, a paediatrician at ESIC Model Hospital here in recognition of his contribution towards World Asthma Day (WAD) 2007 celebrations.

The award was given during the recently concluded 19th RESPICON (the annual conference of the respiratory chapter of IAP), at ITC Sheraton and Sonar Bangla in Kolkata.

Dr Gulati, who is also the president-elect of IAP Punjab state, conducted a workshop, delivered a health talk on TV, educated the public through print media and was instrumental in educating schoolchildren in the city about the prevention and treatment of bronchial asthma. 

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Barefooted but strong-willed
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
For them, fear is fun. Despite all odds, sturdy lads at Jarkhar and surrounding villages are just re-scripting the “Chak De India” spirit by keeping alive the passion for hockey in the region.

While cricket seems to be the first choice of youngsters in the country, over 40 teenagers of the village play hockey everyday on rough grounds, barefooted.

Brushing shoulders with players from the well-equipped Jarkhar Hockey Academy, these village youths seem to be riding on the odds trying to make it a point of how motivation to excel can leave fear of injuries behind.

Even the chilling winter could not shake their confidence, as for them, walking barefooted in fields tilling the land or caring for the plants is just a routine matter.

They play in the field regardless of the fact that the hard synthetic ball could hit badly on the ankles and the shins. For them, more important thing is playing the game whether they have shoes or not.

Ever since the hockey academy opened here, the game has become such a rage that more than 140 players learnt the skills in one ground. Only 40 of those are full time academy players, who get equipment, but others play because for their passion for the game.

Academy is trying its best to provide infrastructure for everyone but shoes is a costly commodity and it has to be saved during practice.

The grit and determination of the youths to succeed has not gone unrewarded. Three of those youths are now members of the Jarkhar Hockey Academy team which has topped the pool of six teams in the ongoing Under- 14 Punjab Hockey league (PHL). The league matches are held on weekends.

One of those, 13- year- old Mandeep Singh, when asked if he does not feel scared of getting injured, replied promptly in raw Punjabi , “Pher sikh li hockey, (If I get scared then I can not learn the game). It requires a strong heart and physique. If I think of injuries, I can never play hockey. The first day, I played our coach cautioned that the road to learn hockey was tough so we have to be tough physically and mentally.”

Playing barefooted comes as a blessing in disguise, “It trains us to save our feet from the ball, which is a foul. In match situation, the ball hits us less on the feet and we don’t have to bear penalty for “carrying” the ball.”

Though, the academy is taking care of the players by providing them rich diet, education and infrastructure like sticks free of cost, all village boys playing the game cannot have the facilities due to financial constraints.

Twelve-year-old Harjinder Singh, another player said, “Shoes is one commodity which we use carefully. We do not have any regrets for playing barefooted as we are in love with the game.” His father is a daily wager.

On the other hand, Jaswinder Singh feels playing barefooted is following the path of legendary players. He said, “We have heard tales about legendary hockey players who made India proud despite having no shoes to play in the initial days of their career. Who knows one of us from this stadium will be playing for India in future”?

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Seetal, Rajiv won squash meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
Seetal Kumar and Rajiv Jaggi won the squash championship in senior and junior categories, respectively, in the two-day Squash Championship that concluded yesterday at the Lodhi Club.

Darshan Singh, district public relations officer, Ludhiana, and executive member of the club, distributed prizes to the winners and exhorted players to lay more stress on practice to sharpen their skills.

In the senior category, Vikas Thapar was second and Rajnish Bhatia was third. In the junior category, Sidharath Arora and Kunal Arora were adjudged first and second, respectively.

Manoj Gupta, general secretary, and Rajesh Mittal, sports secretary of the club, said to encourage the members towards the sports, more competitions in different games like billiards, lawn tennis, swimming and squash would be organised. 

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