L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Power cut for industry to go
VAT refunds within 6 weeks: CM
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
In what has brought a sigh of relief to the industry, the Chief Minister has assured it that power situation would be improved within a week to 10 days with no cuts on industrial connections and VAT refunds would be given within six weeks.

At a meeting with industry representatives from here at Chandigarh, CM Parkash Singh Badal discussed issues concerning the industry and also said refunds of electricity bills, that were being issued at increased tariffs, would be given.

"The Chief Minister has assured us that within six weeks of filing our details, provided the records are complete, VAT refunds will be given and there will be no delay. This has brought major relief to the industry that had been suffering on account of delays. He also promised that within a week to 10 days, power cuts would be minimised and there would be no cuts on industrial connections," said Charanjit SIngh Vishwakarma, president of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, who attended the meeting.

Apart from frequent power cuts these days, which are streching to even 6-7 hours in several areas, the local industry has been crying hoarse over advance consumption deposit. At the meeting that was held today, the industrialists said voluntary disclosure would be restored and the ACD would not be implemented.

The representatives of the industry from Ludhiana who attended the meeting included Inderjit Singh Pardhan and Avtar Singh from Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), industrialists K.K Seth, Subhash Lakra and Ajit Singh Kular and Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma from the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

The CM also assured the industry that a VAT refund committee, that would include industry representatives along with the Excise and Taxation Department, would be formed soon in order to deal with pending cases of refunds.

The industry, which welcomed the promises, said it was waiting for these to get implemented. Industry bodies also said they would honour the Chief Minister soon.



Meanwhile, funds for PAU pensioners refused
To takeover Ladowal land
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
The state government has once again left Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in the lurch. Earlier, at least the government was giving assurance to the authorities, but today, during the Board of Management meeting, it was made clear that the state government was adamant on its stand for taking over the Ladowal land and had no funds for the PAU pensioners.

According to sources, these two major issues, apart from the appointments of deans and the director (research), were also discussed by the university authorities during board’s meeting. On the issue of 1,250 acre of the PAU land, the government representatives, including the finance commissioner (Development) made it clear that it was a government-allotted land and it (state government) had every right to take it back for “high-end project”, which would give good returns. In lieu to that the government was providing another piece of land to the university, said FCD.

University authorities further got disappointed when officials told them that the government was ready to take it out of the financial crunch but the scarcity of funds was the main hurdle. They said the university had to make its own arrangements for the time being. The matter of pension was important but even the government was helpless in providing any financial assistance in the absence of funds.



Insurance for Admission
DAV principal under scanner
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
The deputy commissioner today ordered an inquiry by a PCS official to find out the truth behind the shocking ‘‘insurance for admission" controversy allegedly involving the DAV School principal R.S. Patyal and his son, who runs an agency of ING Vyasa insurance company.

DC Sumer Singh Gurjar said he had ordered the inquiry after he had received a complaint from Congress leader Jagmohan Sharma against Patyal and his son Akshay Kumar.

Levelling allegations against the school principal and his son, District Congress Committee chief (Urban) Jagmohan Sharma today said Patyal's son Akshay Kumar had committed a fraud by enrolling as an agent of ING Vyasa company by using three different names.

‘‘He claims himself as Akshay Kumar Singh and Akshay Singh also while his original name was Akshay Kumar in the records of the insurance company. Why did he change his name? This smacks of a fraud, ’’ said Sharma, while showing documents in which Akshay was shown to have three different identities.

Accompanied by SAD councillor K.L.Chhabra, SAD working committee member Jiwan Dhawan, Congress councillor Amrit Varsha Rampal and many others, Sharma alleged that Patyal had impressed upon the parents of his students to buy policies from his son if they wanted their children to be admitted in the school.

DAV school is situated in the ward of councillor K L Chhabra.

He further alleged that Akshay had earned kudos from the insurance company for selling policies worth nearly Rs 4 crore within a year and all these were bought by the parents of the students of DAV School. A single premium was Rs 1 lakh. He also showed a copy of a cheque worth Rs 1 lakh issued by his son. Sharma, however, erased the name and bank account of policy buyers so as not to disclose the identity of the student, who could be victimised in the school.

In support of his allegations, Sharma even paraded some parents, who claimed that the principal had directly asked them for money of they wanted their wards to be admitted.

Patyal refuted all allegations and stated that his son had worked under the same code of the insurance company. It did not matter if he had changed his identity.

He said his son used the database of his school to contact the persons who would agree for a policy. ‘‘It was my goodwill that people got policies from my son. There is nothing wrong in it. I can swear that I did not pressure anybody to buy a policy from my son. People were convinced with the insurance cover and only then they got the policies.’’

He further stated that he admitted as many as 350 students this year and his son did only 250 policies. “Had I asked the parents, I would have asked everybody. Why should I spare the 100 others also?’’ he asked.



School vacated after bomb hoax
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Threat of a bomb blast led the police to evacuate students and staff in the Lal Bahadur Shastri Senior Secondary School, Millergunj, and thorough search of BCM School Model Town school this morning.

Hundreds of panic-stricken students and staff of Shastri School rushed out after an unidentified caller phoned at 9:30 pm to a school clerk that a bomb has been planted in the school building.

With the word spreading around, large number of alarmed parents reached the school to ensure their child was safe. The police said a woman, who lived in the neighbourhood of a family that rushed to Shastri School, spread the panic further when she called up the BCM school to ascertain if everything was safe there. The BCM school was not evacuated.

The police announced the school was safe after four hours of frentic search by the anti-sabotage squad and the sniffer dog squad. SHO Surinder Mohan and SHO Warryam Singh said the calls were a hoax.

"We are trying to trace the caller, who phoned at the Shastri school" said SHO Mohan. The woman who called up at the BCM school was identified and questioned. SHO Warryam Singh said she was just panicky that the bomb may have been planted in that school also.

The police said there was no need to evacuate the BCM school and the search went on while the school functioned normally after a short break. On the other hand, the Shastri school authorities declared an early closure today as most of school hours were already because of the hoax call.

SSP R K Jaiswal has appealed to the public to immediately call up the police instead of pressing panic buttons. He said the police was quite vigilant and there was no need to fear.



Anganwari workers take to streets
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Hundreds of factory and anganwari workers held a protest march demanding withdrawal of cases lodged against workers here today.

The march, for which a call was given by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Punjab, culminated at the DC office where the workers submitted a memorandum to the administration.

Addressing the gathering, Raghunath Singh, secretary of the union, condemned lodging of cases against anganwari workers and termed them as unjustified. Demanding that the cases should be withdrawn immediately, he urged workers to remain united for their rights.

The workers also demanded that over 300 cases against those in the cycle industry should be withdrawn. "We have been fighting continually that these cases against factory workers should be withdrawn but no action has been taken so far," said Jagdish Chaudhry, vice-president, CITU.

Demanding hike in minimum wages, CITU members said the minimum wage was the lowest in Punjab. While it was Rs 3,510 in Haryana and Rs 3,516 in Chandigarh, it was only Rs 2,570 in Punjab, they said.

"There has been no increase in minimum wages in Punjab for the past seven years and despite all their sweat and toil, workers are finding it increasingly difficult to make two ends meet."

Singh also demanded that the workers should get representation in wage board.

Jatinder Pal, district president and Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon, CPM district secretary, also addressed the workers.



Man burnt to death by auto driver
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
A man was allegedly set on fire by a pan seller near the local bus stand at about mid night last following a minor argument.

The police said the victim Sanjeev Kumar, aged 35, resident of Azad Nagar, was an autorickshaw driver. He was allegedly in an inebriated condition when he entered into an argument with the pan seller Shankar Kumar.

The police said Shankar, in a fit of rage, doused kerosene on the victim and set him on fire. Shankar was rushed to a hospital by some unknown persons and cops but could not be saved. The police said Shankar has been booked. He was absconding.



Man robbed of Rs 65,000
Tribune News Service

Mandi Gobindgarh, January 7
Three motorcycle-borne miscreants robbed a local resident of Rs 65,000 by throwing chilly powder in his eyes.

According to the police, Vivek Gupta, who is a resident of the Shyam Nagar locality, lodged a complaint with the police, alleging that while he was returning home on the previous night, he as robbed of Rs 65,000 by three-motorcycle-borne youth.

In his complaint, Vivek stated that when he reached the Motiya market on the Amloh road, three youth came near him and threw chilly powder at his face.

Blinded by the attack, Vivek could not put up any resistance against the attackers nor could he identify any of the three persons. He said before he could make out what was happening, the three persons broke the lock of his scooter and fled with a bag in which there was Rs 65,000 in cash.

After receiving the complaint, the police registered a case against the three unidentified persons and started the investigations.



DM gets tough on noise level
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
The office of the local district magistrate has ordered that noise level at the boundary of the public places will not exceed 10 Db(A) above the ambient noise standards. No one will beat a drum or any instrument or blow a trumpet between 10 pm and 6 am, except in public emergencies.

The office has sounded a complete ban on sounding of fire crackers between 10 pm and 6 am. No horn will be allowed during the same period. The order will remain in place till March 4. The orders are in compliance of the order of Supreme Court passed in writ petition(Civil) No 72 of 1998 regarding noise pollution.



Cops thwart SAD(A) plan to stop buses
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 7
The observance of road safety week served a dual purpose today, when a few police parties successfully kept activists of SAD (A) from stopping buses, owned by the Badals.

A few teams of policemen from police stations at Dehlon, Payal, Raikot, Sudhar, Jagraon and the local town had been deployed at various places on highways, where public transport was plying. No incident of buses being stopped was reported from the area.

Though the purpose of special deployment of the police was apparently in response to the statewide call given by leaders of SAD (A), in charges of various teams termed the deployment as a routine exercise.

Paramajit Singh Goraya, DSP Dakha, who had come to check a naka organised under the supervision of Prem Singh at Jagera, claimed that the exercise was part of the road safety week. “Though we are primarily trying to educate people about the hazards of reckless driving, the cops will also stop anybody interfering in plying of public transport or other vehicles on the roads,” said Gorayan while talking to the Ludhiana Tribune.



‘Revival of terrorism to affect NRIs’
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 7
Terming revival of terrorism in the border state as perilous for strengthening of bonds of Punjabi NRIs with their roots, Dr Ruby Dhalla, Member of Parliament for Brampton Springdale in Canada’s Parliament, claimed that she would impress upon the Canadian Government to help the Indian and Punjab governments to deal with extremism with an iron hand.

An organised step to help Indian women, being exploited by a few NRIs, will also be taken, she asserted.

Dr Dhalla, the first South Asian woman to be elected to federal parliament in the western world and the youngest woman in Canadian Parliament, was talking to the Ludhiana Tribune after being felicitated by a few social and constitutional organisations of the area at Pohir village, near here, today.

“As the official Opposition critic for social development and vice-chairperson of the standing committee for human resources and social development in my country, I along with my colleagues will impress upon the Canadian Government to help India curb terrorism with an iron hand,” said Dr Dhalla, apprehending that revival of terrorism would disappoint the NRIs who had made up their mind to invest in northern India.

Dr Dhalla said she would soon meet Canadian High Commissioner in India to discuss measures to safeguard interests of women being exploited by a few NRIs on the pretext of marriage. She said the phenomenon of “cross marriage” was a blot on society, both in Canada and Punjab as well.

Appreciating the role played by Sukhbir Singh Badal in launching a move to defend interests of NRIs, the Canadian MP said promises made by the state government should be kept in letter and in spirit.

Warning the Punjabi youth against the trend of going abroad by illegal means, Dr Dhalla claimed that the procedure for legal entry had been simplified. “With persistent efforts of representatives of our party, youths immigrating on student visa had been allowed to work and sponsor their parents also,” said Dr Dhalla.

Asked about her opinion about politics, Dr Dhalla commented, “Politics is not about power, but about empowerment in which all people have a voice. Politics is about people... their hopes, dreams, and desires. It’s about working together to create a society in which equality, acceptance, and respect continue to be nation’s hallmarks.”



Minhas appointed PAU Director (Research)
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Dr R.K.Mahey, Registrar, PAU, in its 233rd Board of Management meeting held today at Mohali, said appointments to key posts of director (Research), dean (College of Agriculture), dean (College of Home Science) and seven heads of departments were approved.

Dr P.S.Minhas, assistant director-general, Irrigation Water Management (ICAR), has been appointed as the director (Research). Dr Minhas has worked in the area of soil water plant interactions in the saline environment and development of management strategies for the judicious use of the low quality water.

He coordinated operational research programme on the saline irrigation techniques and has received prestigious awards, including Su Kumar Basu Award by IARI (1997-98), Hari Om Ashram Trust Award by ICAR (2002-03), CSSEI Excellence Award on the Soil Salinity and Water Management by CSSRI, Karnal (2004).

He has been honoured with the fellowship of the NAAS, New Delhi (2001), and the Indian Society of Soil Sciences (2002). Dr Minhas has 158 publications to his credit.

He has earlier served as scientist S-I, S-II/senior scientist, Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute, Jhansi, and the project coordinator CSSRI, Karnal.

Dr Milkha Singh Aulakh, additional director of research (agriculture) has been appointed as the dean, college of Agriculture w.e.f. February 1, 2008. He has worked on different aspects of the fertiliser sources.

He has been associated with the research leading to the field methodology for measuring denitrification losses, nitrous oxides and methane emission in crops,developed integrated nutrient management for the rice-wheat system.

He has served PAU in various capacities as the research assistant, Assistant Soil Chemist, Soil Chemist and Senior Soil Chemist.

He has been awarded with Fulbright Research and Lecturing Award (CIES), International Crop Nutrition Award by DIA France, Pierre Becker Memorial Award (FIBS,UK), TSI-FAI Award by Sulphur Institute, USA, IMPHOS-FAI Award, Morrocco, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Memorial Prize (2001-2002), Hari Om Ashram Trust Award, FAI Silver Jubilee Award, NFL Award, Plauqe by the Government of India, Dhiru Morarji Memorial Award (FAI), IPNI Award and he has been Editor of the Journal, Biology and Fertility of Soils. Dr Aulakh has 133 publications to his credit.

Dr Neelam Grewal has been appointed as dean, college of Home Science. She has served PAU as assistant scientist, associate professor, professor and head of the department of clothing and textiles and has worked on various aspects of clothing and textiles, handled various research projects and strengthened linkages with industry/private sector. She is co-inventor of the first patent filed by the PAU. She has 88 publications to her credit.

The Board of Management also approved appointments of heads of seven departments, including Dr H.P.S.Nagi, as head, department of Food Science and Technology, Dr Jarnail Singh as head,Department of Processing and Food Engineering, Dr U.S.Walia as head, department of Agronomy, Dr Ajmer Singh Sidhu as head,department of Soils,Dr Rajinder Singh Sidhu as head, department of Economics and Sociology, Dr S.C.Sharma as head, department of Forestry and Natural Resources and Dr Davinder Singh Cheema as head, Department of Vegetable Crops.



Tight security outside girls colleges
Killing of Jalandhar principal
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
The police has tightened the security outside all girls colleges in the city following brutal killing of principal of Kanya Maha Vidyalaya (KMV), Jalandhar, Rita Bawa yesterday.

SSP R.K.Jaiswal told The Tribune that police personnel had already been on duty outside these colleges but now they were given instructions to be more vigilant. He said, "There is no fun deputing policemen in their uniforms. We have asked policemen to be on duty in plain clothes so that the moves of anti-social elements are watched minutely".

Meanwhile, the educationists in the city have condemned the barbaric killing of principal Rita Bawa and three other people. They said killing innocent in such inhumane manner had sent shock waves in the educational circles of Punjab.

Tarsem Bahia, president, Punjab Educationists Forum, said this was a shameful act. Killing innocents was not a problem to any solution. He demanded that a high-level probe should be initiated by the government and the guilty should be booked to law. He also asked government to provide proper security to the principals, wardens, students and other staff to the colleges.

President, Punjab Government College Teachers' Association (PGCTA), Prof Jaipal Singh, said the incident had shattered the teaching community.

They felt insecure as anyone could target them anytime. The police should work hard to trace the killers and they must not be spared by law, added Jaipal.

Principal, Arya College, Dr S.M.Sharma, said all teaching community condemned this act of violence. "We can only pray to Almighty to grant peace to the departed souls and strength enough to the bereaved families to bear this irreparable loss. The teaching work in the college has been suspended to protest against the brutal killings", he informed. Even the principal of Guru Nanak Girls College Dr Charanjit Mahal, announced a half-day off today to pay respect to Rita Bawa and three others, killed mercilessly yesterday in Jalandhar.

She termed the event to be deplorable. She said a wide vacuum had been created by the death of Rita Bawa, an able administrator, whose contribution in the field of education was unforgettable.

She also added that security outside girls colleges should be tightened as anti-social elements always looked for an opportunity to barge into girls' colleges.



Aganwari workers burns CM’s effigy
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 7
Members of the Aganwari Mulazam Union Punjab Jagraon branch today burnt the effigy of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at Tehsil Road, Jagraon, in protest against their long-pending demands which have not been yet met with by the state.

They demanded ICDS Scheme to be converted into government department. Workers and helpers should be given the grade of third and fourth grade employees and till this is not met, the minimum Rs 3,000 to workers and Rs 2,000 to helpers be given. They demanded Rs 1,000 and Rs. 500 as pension for the workers and helpers along with provident fund by implementing the scheme of welfare fund. They demanded fixed TA/DA to the workers and helpers of anganwari for attending circle meetings and other official work outside the headquarters and maternity leave benefits like others, reservation in the village level ANM and ETT Teachers. They also protested against the overtime work being taken by officials.



Dairy owner dumps dung on street
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January7
Residents of Aman Nagar are up in arms against a dairy farmer who has been dumping dung on the streets in their area.

The residents said Vishwa Mitter, a dairy owner, was requested several times not to throw dung on the street itself as it raised stench and was a breeding ground for many germs.

But the dairy owner did not listen to anybody's requests. ‘‘Instead he threatens us that his relatives were employed in the municipal corporation and nobody could do anything to stop him,’’ said the residents.

They added that they had even complained to the MC and a team of employees had even visited the area to take stock of the situation.

But nobody did anything. ‘‘They came, went inside their house and returned. We do not know what to do now,’’ said the hapless residents.



58 pc population suffers from bone disorders: Doc
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 7
A free bone and bone mineral density check-up camp was organised at an ortho clinic here in collaboration with Shri Sai Sewa Trust and Kindex Company on Sunday. Test for bone calcium evaluation was conducted on latest bone scanning machine and more than 100 patients were examined by orthopaedic surgeon Dr Jagdip Madaan and his team. Some 80 per cent of the persons were found to be having weak bones in the form of osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Interacting with the patients at the camp, Dr Madaan said around 58 per cent of total population in the country had osteoporosis as per the latest data released by the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Another survey had revealed that the Punjabis consumed more milk and milk products, which led to a higher incidence of kidney stones.

"Further, 80 per cent hip fractures in India are because of osteoporotic bones as compared to the western world where only 20 per cent hip fractures are attributable to this condition. All these fractures need some kind of surgery, adding up to a huge amount of national money which, otherwise, can be used for providing healthcare to the people.

According to Dr Madaan, if osteoporosis was detected well in time, the outcome of the treatment was far better. He pointed out that detection of osteoporosis by simple blood tests and X-rays was not possible and the standard procedure was bone ultrasound, which being a costly test, was out of the reach of common man. That was where such free bone check-up camps came in handy to the people to detect osteoporosis.

Emphasising the need for better health education and awareness among the people, he said those having a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, woman after menopause, diabetics, those in the habit of drinking and smoking, patients on medicines for asthma, thyroid and heart problems were more prone to have osteoporosis.

Therefore, such persons ought to undergo bone ultrasound and if needed, go for calcium therapy. Some kind of physical activity, regular intake of milk, regular walk, decreasing alcohol consumption, controlling body weight could help significantly in keeping bones in good form, added Dr Madaan.



208 donate blood at camps
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 7
The department of transfusion medicine at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here organised two voluntary blood donation camps with the help of Krantikari Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sewa Dal at Haibowal Kalan here and Sant Baba Visakha Singh Sports Club, Kishanpura, at Moga in which 208 units of blood were collected.

Dr Amarjit Kaur, professor and head, department of transfusion medicine at the hospital, said education and motivation were the keys to making blood donation widespread. She urged each and every healthy person to donate blood at regular intervals or as and when needed and become a part of the mission to save fellow human beings from personal tragedies.

The donors at the camps, on their part, pledged to make blood donation a way of life as also motivate others to come forward for the noble deed.

She said the major concern of the department of transfusion medicine was to arrange adequate leuco-reduced blood for thalassemic children, needy patients and for certain conditions where life of the patient was dependent only on blood and blood components.



Jeweller to pay Rs 12.88 lakh as tax, penalty
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
The excise and taxation department here has asked a local jeweller to pay Rs 12.88 lakh as tax liability plus penalty.

The department conducted an investigation against Jain Diamond Jewellers near Fountain Chowk on November 16 last year. According to officials, undisclosed income worth over Rs 4.29 crore was detected.

Officials said the jeweller had made sales transactions but the same did not reflect in his books of accounts.

After making the investigations, the department has calculated a tax liability along with penalty to the tune of Rs 12.88 lakh.



Team India should call off tour: Cricket fans
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 7
Resentment prevails among cricket lovers over the gross umpiring errors during the Sydney Test which India lost by 122 runs.

The Tribune office here was flooded with calls from the cricket fans who wanted to express their anguish over the issue. A majority of them, to whom this correspondent talked, were of the view that India should call off the tour as the two umpires were “biased” and gave faulty decisions against the visitors which cost them match and almost the series.

Disappointed over the result of the Sydney Test, an ardent cricket fan, Sumit Verma, said the umpiring blunders was there for everyone to see and one could not believe his eyes that experienced umpires could go on committing such mistakes. In case of any doubt, they could have taken the help of the third umpire, he lamented.

Another cricket fan, Mandeep, was of the view that since the two umpires, Bucknor and Benson had gifted the second Test to the hosts, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should call the Team back as in the present scenario, and there was no fun in continuing with it.

Supporting such views, others opined that in the era of advanced technology, there should be guidelines from the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the officiating umpires to take the help of electronic gadgets before giving any verdict (doubtful).

Rajan Verma, a former cricketer, was of the view that at present, there were only eight umpires in the ICC panel which should be expanded because they were overburdened. He said with so many crickets being played these days, it was time to double the number of the umpires.



Speaking Out

Awful umpiring...

I am not hurt that India lost the second match against Australia in Sydney. But what hurts the most is that our team is becoming a victim of partial umpiring. Definitely, we could have won the second Test today if they (the umpires) took fair decisions in the match. The umpires should be sacked immediately.
— Vitthal Bhardwaj

Time has come that Steve Buckner should be shown the doors. Such harsh and wrong decisions are not only disheartening the players but also has let down the Indian spectators. I got up at 4 am daily to see the match but now I am disappointed like every Indian. Kumble should have walked out of the match following repeated wrong decisions.
— Aayush Raj Soni

I am virtually fed up with bad umpiring in Australia. It was a shame for Steve Buckner, when Symonds himself admitted that he was out but not given. I can’t understand why don’t they (the umpires) take help of the third umpire while taking crucial decisions. This is not a mistake but foolishness on the part of umpires.
— Gaurav Malhotra

This 9-year-old feels that Team India should come back from Australia in protest and resolve never to play in Australia again till this match is re-played. “The umpires were clearly biased. Buckner is a ‘suckner’. The Indian team should have self-respect and show unity. Why are the Indians taking so much insult from them?”
— Parth Lal



Mushrooming of liquor vends

With the new excise policy coming into force for earning more revenues in the current fiscal, liquor has become a cheaper commodity and a few new liquor vends have been opened near schools, colleges, religious places, residential colonies as well as villages. If the government regards liquor as injurious for health, its frequent sale should be stopped and made costly by slashing the rates of essential commodities like gas, pulses, gold, silver, registry charges, diesel, petrol, mustard oil, desi ghee and building materials.

Jai Gopal Kusla, 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.



Bank employees booked for making payment on
forged signatures
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Khanna, January 7
The Khanna police has registered a case against an unidentified person and three employees of the Centurion Bank of Punjab on a complaint filed by a local resident, who alleged that someone forged his signatures and withdrew Rs 2.5 lakh from his account.

In his complaint, Hardev Singh stated that he had deposited Rs 5 lakh in his bank account in June. A few days after, someone forged his signatures and got a cheque book issued from the bank in his name. The following day, the person withdrew Rs 50,000 from his account and the very next day he withdrew Rs 2 lakh.

Following this, when Hardev Singh checked his bank account, he was surprised to note that Rs 2.5 lakh had been withdrawn from his account without his knowledge.

As he approached the bank authorities, they asked a handwriting expert to ascertain whether the signatures on the cheques, on which the amount was withdrawn, were of Hardev Singh or not. The handwriting expert reportedly confirmed that signatures on the cheques were not of Hardev Singh.

Thereafter the bank's manager lodged a complaint with the police on October 1 and the bank deposited Rs 2.5 lakh in Hardev Singh's account. However, after receiving the complaint, the SSP had marked an inquiry to the economic offense wing of the department, which after completing the inquiry, established that the bank employees concerned should be booked under the relevant section of the law even as the money had been given to Hardev Singh. Thereafter the police registered a case against three employees of the bank, including Meenakshi, Jaspreet and Sonia.



Ryan students’ crusade against AIDS
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
“Right to live” a crusade against the deadly HIV/ AIDS virus, but it’s not only about HIV/AIDS! With this endeavor by Ryan International School, Ludhianvis can soon boast of its own Rock band, a few film directors and a fashion designer.

In such a small age when children need care and affection of their parents, these students are directing films, performing at Rock concerts and street plays for promoting AIDS awareness among people.

Rishab Shukhija, Abhinandan Singh Gill, Joy Jacob, Divan Khosla, Parul Malhotra and Puja Sharma are among those who are trying to make people aware of this deadly disease in an innovative way.

Project head, Utkarsh, while addressing a press conference said, “We thought of sensitizing and making people aware of this disease by using a few visual and performing art forms.” He further said at 21 days workshop on filmmaking, ballet, fashion designing, rock music and street theater was organized by experts from all over India.

For the first time the school will have a children rock band that will sing for the cause of AIDS awareness and the school has also made a film scripted and directed by 25 children that will be premiered at PVR, Ludhiana. The school will also organise a fashion show “Positive” where models will display a range of garments designed by children on the theme of deadly virus.”

More then 10 schools across the city will be take part in a few events.Utkarsh said,” At Ryan we strongly believe there is no age restriction for leadership. This campaign by and large for the young people will strike the right chord, especially of today’s youth.

The students shared their experience with the media. Abhinandan Singh Gill was glad to disclose the fact that his designing rage “Positive” would be Punjab’s first on AIDS awareness that was created and designed by children. While the duo of Joy Jacob and Divan Khosla was ecstatic about their Rock band. Joy and Divan assured the power pack full throttle rock music evening with their song preview. 



PAU to host seminar on agri-research
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Dr G.S.Chahal, dean, College of Agriculture, Punjab Agricultural University, said a national seminar-cum-training camp on high resolution imaging in the agricultural research would be organised by the college of agriculture from January 9 to 23. About 200 participants from a few universities and institutes would take part in the seminar.

It will be inaugurated by Dr P.S.Datta, project director, nuclear research laboratory, New Delhi, while Dr D.S.Kalha, finance secretary, Punjab, will be the chief guest. PAU vice-chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang will preside over the inaugural function.

Thirteen technical sessions will be organised. A film on nano-science and nano-technology will also be screened on January 23.



Shingaar blast case: remand of accused extended
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 7
Judicial magistrate Ranjan Khullar today extended the police remand of Ravinder Pal Singh, alias Rinku, arrested in connection with Shingaar Cinema bomb blast case, for a day.

Meanwhile, Gurpreet Singh and Sandip Singh arrested by the local police in RDX recovery case were also remanded to one-day police custody. The prosecution had sought remand for a couple of days, with the plea that they wanted to take accused to Bikaner. But the judge disagreed.



Singer Sukhi, Khosla to receive awards
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 7
The Malwa Sabhiacharak Manch will honour nine persons from different walks of life at the “Lohri Mela” to be organised at Punjabi Bhawan here on January 10. Those selected by a committee headed by Prof M.S.Cheema, will be presented a gold medal, a robe of honour and a citation each.

Addressing the meeting, Krishan Kumar Bawa, chairman, announced yesterday that A.S. Pannu, an IAS officer, will be honoured with Dr M.S. Randhawa memorial award for civil services, Rupa Saini, a hockey player will get the Dhyan Chand Olympian memorial award for sports, Inderjeet Hassanpuri will be honoured with Dr V.N. Tiwari memorial award for the Punjabi culture and literature and Dr H.M. Khosla with Dr Santokh Singh Anand memorial award for medicine.

Among other awardees at the mela will be Sukhwinder Sukhi, who will get Lal Chand Yanla Jat memorial award for the Punjabi folk singing, Sukhpal Singh Bhullar, who will be presented with P.N. Thapar Memorial award for agriculture, Jaswinder Bhalla and Bal Mukan Sharma will get I.S. Johar memorial award for satire and films and Labh Janjua will be presented with Mohammed Rafi memorial award for music and singing.

Bawa said the manch was celebrating Lohri festival for the girl child since the past 14 years with the objective of eradicating the bias for the male child in society. In the wake of skewed sex ratio in Punjab, it had become more important to wage a war against female feticide and give due respect to the girl child.

According to Pawan Diwan, president of the body, a seminar of female foeticide and drug addiction will be organised on January 9. Punjabi folk singers and artists will enthrall the gathering on January 10. Another highlight of the festival will be titles of “ghabru Punjab da” and “mutiar Punjab di” which would be awarded on the basis of voting by the audience.



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