L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Mercury dips to -1°Celsius
Breaks 30-year record
Damages 25 pc potato crop
 Benefits wheat, oilseed crops
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The mercury in the city has dipped to -1 degree Celsius here today, breaking the records of last 30 years. If the data collected by experts of the agricultural department is any indication then January received maximum frost.

This frost has adversely affected the late sown potato crop (up to 25 per cent). Other than potato, the frost was likely to affect a number of other produce, including winter maize, sugarcane, peas and tender vegetable nurseries.

Giving details about the widespread cold wave in the region, Dr G.S.Bains, head, Department of Agricultural Meteorology, PAU, said till date, January received 12 frosty days as against five, considered to be normal for the month. He added that the normal minimum temperature for January was 5.1 degrees Celsius whereas the weathermen had recorded 2.6 degrees, 0.2 degrees, 0.8 degrees on January 1,2 and 3, respectively.

Dr Bains said, "It was shocking to record -1 degree Celsius temperature yesterday and today (minimum) and result is widespread frost. The gross minimum temperature on the soil surface remained as low as -4 and -5 degrees on these two days".

Dr N.S.Malhi, director, extension education and research, said the heavy frost had damaged up to 25 per cent of the late-sown potato crop. He added that leaves of many crops had damaged. The weather (frost) has mostly affected the lately-sown potato crop (November and December) because the first crop (October) has already been matured. "Though many farmers have saved their produce by doing light irrigation and sprinklers so that frost does not settle-down but 25 per cent of it has been damaged", said Dr Malhi.

Dalip Singh, sarpanch, Bardala village, near Khanna, said 50 per cent of potato crop had already been damaged at their village because of heavy frost in the last few days

"Farmers are worried because the frost has stopped the growth of the crop. The taste as well as the colour of the produce (potato) gets changed and there are generally no takers of damaged crop", he said.

Tracing the possible reasons for this cold wave, Dr Bains said the snowfall in the upper ranges coupled with north-westerly winds in the region were responsible for the prevailing weather. The current occurrence of frost had broken the records of the past three decades.

"However, the weather is expected to be beneficial for wheat and oilseed crops, as it will promote tilling and suppress the insect-pests and diseases due to extremely low temperature. We suggest farmers to apply light irrigation in the evening to protect the crops against frost", said Dr Bains, adding that the weather was likely to be cloudy in the next 48 hours.



2-yr-old dies mysteriously
Mother suspects in-laws’ hand, viscera report awaited
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 22
Accusing the Samrala police of shielding the suspects of cold-blooded murder of his 2-year-old child, Manjit Kaur, mother and resident of Todarpur village near here, has urged the authorities to exhume the body of his son and get the post-mortem done by a panel of doctors.

Jaswinder Singh, SHO Samrala, denying charges, claimed that a report had been registered under Section 174 of CrPC and further action would be initiated after the receipt of chemical examination report of the viscera of the deceased child.

According to a statement recorded at the Samrala police station, Amanjot Singh (2) had died under mysterious circumstances shortly after Manjit Kaur had left him playing near her mother-in-law yesterday. Though she had demanded the registration of a murder case, the police, allegedly succumbing to political pressure, preferred to register report under Section 174 of CrPC.

"When I returned after milking buffaloes, my mother-in-law Harbans Kaur handed me over still body of my son. Besides bearing injuries marks at nose and throat the child had passed stool in his short," Manjit Kaur told The Tribune, alleging that the police was trying to shield her in-laws. Terming disharmony to be reason behind the murder,

Manjit Kaur alleged that her in-laws did not want that her son should inherit property from the clan.

She has now urged the higher authorities to get the body of her son exhumed and get the post-mortem conducted by a panel of doctors.

Dr Harvinder Singh, SMO, Samrala, showed ignorance about the outcome of post-mortem report. "As Dr Sukhbir Kaur, who has conducted post-mortem on the body of the child, is on leave till Tuesday, I cannot comment

about external injury marks. However we have sent the viscera for chemical examination," said the SMO.



Common man suffers as ex-CM visits city
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Whether a political leader comes to the city as the chief guest in a function or as an accused in a multi-crore scandal, it is the common man who suffers.

This was proved again today when former chief minister Capt Amarinder and his relatives along with some Congress leaders and workers appeared before the District and Sessions Court in the city centre project scam.

Persons visiting any of the government departments in the mini secretariat or litigants going to the court were harassed as the police raised barricades and stopped people from going inside.

Even parking of vehicles was not allowed which led people to park vehicles on the road. This led to congestion on the Ferozepore road and in the Feroze Gandhi market.

A massive traffic jam took place at Bharat Nagar chowk, Park Plaza crossing and opposite the mini secretariat.

Jaswant Jirakh, one of the litigants, was peeved at the police bandobast. "Why are the cops making a hero out of an accused even it is a former chief minister. Hundreds of litigants like me were not allowed to go inside as cops kept shooing us away at all entry gates."

Col J S Brar, another litigant, rued that he was made to travel on foot as his vehicle was not allowed inside the complex. Further, he was not allowed to go in and ended up circling the complex many times in order to gain entry.

They argued that the police was going into an overdrive in the name of security by harassing the public. "They should barricade one court for him and ensure free movement of the public in others or he should be called on Sunday or some other holiday so that the common man is not harassed."



Temple, school lock horns over demolition
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The Durga Mata Mandir Trust, Sarabha Nagar, and Government Primary School, Sarabha Nagar, have locked horns against each other over the demolition of a wall by the mandir authorities.

Both parties are blaming each other for the breach of trust. The primary schoolteacher alleged that the mandir authorities have demolished the wall without taking the consent of the school authorities and conducted the demolition work in the evening. While, the mandir authorities have claimed that they have taken the prior permission of the school authorities and even helped them in shifting their kitchen.

The mandir authorities said the wall was constructed by them and they had right to demolish it as they were constructing a hall over the mandir land. Whatever sighted to be the reason of the demolition, the mid-day meal of the children got delayed due to the immediate shifting.

The wall has become the bone of contention between both parties as the school authorities feared that their costly material might get stolen if the wall was being demolish further.

While talking to The Tribune, some teachers said they did not know to whom this wall belonged to but when they came here this morning they found the wall demolished due to which the cracks were further appeared on the roof and adjoining walls. Teachers further complained that the mandir authoroties should have informed the school authorities before conducting the demolition.

The school authorities have complained to the area councillor Amrit Varsh Rampal, who was also the president of the school. They have further written a letter to Varinder Sharma, DEO, Primary and requested him to intervene in the matter.

On the other hand, Surinder Duggal, trustee, the Durga Mata Mandir Trust, alleged the school authorities for unnecessarily aggravating the issue. He said, “The mandir authorities had taken permission of the school authorities before conducting the demolition work. Our worker had even helped them in shifting their kitchen and other material.”

He further said, “The mandir is expanding the area to accommodate more people and for that purpose we had to collapse that wall and further we are conducting the work on our side of the land. We are ready to help the school in all possible manner but the school authorities should not intensify the situation.”



Tax Evasion
CA gets notice; deposits Rs 20 lakh
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The Central Excise Commissionerate has detected a case of alleged massive service tax evasion by a chartered account in Ghumar Mandi here. The CA, said officials, was charging service tax from banks that were his clients but not depositing the same with the department.

After being sent a notice by the department, he has submitted Rs 20 lakh so far. "The banks were also availing Cenvat on the amount they paid to this CA, who, they have appointed for verification of details of clients who took loans from them. “However, from our investigations, we found that the department was not receiving any tax. He deposited Rs 20 lakh and we are expecting much higher evasion," a senior official said.

Department officials said curbing the service tax evasion was a focus area for them and they were taking various measures.

With the last date for the quarterly return, February 25, and also the annual return, March 25, getting nearer, tax sleuths are actively keeping a tab on assessees and taking measures to curb evasion of service tax. 



Probe into sambhar's death on
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The Department of Forests and Wildlife, Punjab, today started a probe into the death of a sambhar that strayed in Laddowal and died at local PFA hospital on January 5.

Chief conservator of forests B.R. Bala visited the city today to probe into the matter and recorded the statements of the forest department authorities as well as PFA activists.

Talking to The Tribune, he said he had listened to both parties and would prepare a detailed report in the case and submit it to the government.

‘‘I will submit the report tomorrow. The further action will follow after the report,’’ said Bala, refusing to comment on the findings.



Kiran Bedi takes up Hansi suicide case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
A BSNL employee fighting against his own department and the police for justice in the mysterious suicide case of his son, Ashish Hansi, who was an IAS aspirant, has got renewed hope with the Kiran Bedi- led Safer India organisation taking up the case on his behalf with the Punjab police.

The suicide case and the alleged laxity of the police and the BSNL officials had recently been highlighted by the Ludhiana Tribune in the weekly In Basta column.

In a strongly worded letter to the Punjab DGP, N P S Aulakh, the organisation, which is an initiative of the India Vision Foundation, founded by retired IPS officer Kiran Bedi, said it seemed the case was not handled properly.

The organisation called for the direct attention of the DGP Aulakh so that proper, lawful action in the case may be taken.

Safer India is an effort to provide a platform for citizens like Hansi to reach out to the police for safety and security, and on the other hand it allows the police to build trust among the public by filing their replies to the complaints to reflect their promptness in investigations.

Hansi complained to the organisation that his 24 years old son, who after attaining B.Com and L.L.B degrees was preparing for taking the IAS exam, committed suicide in February 2003.

He allegedly killed hismelf after receiving some threatening sms through phone number 94170-99995.

The BSNL has till date not provided the details about the number. The police had also been unbale to trace the sms or the sender. After the Ludhiana police failed to make a breakthrough, DIG Ishwar Singh constituted a Special Investigation Team 
for the purpose. It, too, could not reach 
any conclusion.



‘Human rights fundamental right’ 
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, January 22
Justice Dr Shiv Raj Patil, member, National Human Rights Commission, has said that human rights are not a matter of charity but the fundamental right of evey citizen. He said the police and administrative officers should follow law and respect the human rights of everybody irrespective of their status.

He asked judicial officers to give proper hearing to all litigants and lawyers. People came with the last hope before the courts. He stressed that the lawyers should also give due care to the litigants.

Young lawyers should give due respect to their seniors. With the help of seniors, the juniors can succeed in this profession, added Justice Patil.

Justice Patil had come to adress the city lawyers at the district courts complex on the invitation extended by former Bar president Hemant Kalia and Ashok Jain. He was accorded a warm welcome by Parupkar Singh Ghumman, president of the District Bar Association and other office-bearers of the DBA.

International Human Rights Organisation Chariperson D S Gill presented an approach paper on human rights to Justice Patil. He requested him to take up the case of Candian Sikh journalist Harkirtat Singh who was deported to Canada at the Delhi airport, despite his valid Indian visa.



Privatisation policy opposed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Activists of seven unions today took out a rally through different parts of the city to protest against the privatisation policy of the state government.

The rally passed through Jagraon bridge, Ghanta Ghar chowk besides other places and culminated at New Courts Complex.

President of Jamhoori Kisan Sabha Mohinder Singh Seelon said the government was shying away from its responsibilities by privatising public sector organisations dealing in basic amenities.



Driver held in accident case
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 22
The Machhiwara police has arrested Baljinder Singh of Machhiwara, who had been booked under Section 304 A, IPC, for allegedly causing death of P.S. Batra, The Tribune reporter from Samrala, on December 4.

The driver of a Zen car had run away after hitting Batra on the Gharhi road on December 4. The police had registered a case against unknown persons.

Efforts by a special team constituted under the supervision of Randhir Singh bore fruit about a week ago when the police came to know that a Zen car (PB 43 C- 0050), owned by Daman Deep Singh, was repaired and painted at a workshop, situated near the town, during the second week of December.

Investigations revealed that Baljinder Singh had borrowed the Zen car on the day of the incident and he had got it repaired later. After hitting Batra, near his brother’s home, Baljinder Singh had left the area to evade identification and arrest. Succumbing to persistent pressure of the police, he surrendered at the Machhiwara police station this evening and admitted that he had caused the accident that claimed Batra’s life. Investigations further revealed that the owner of the car was a close relative of the deceased.



From Schools & Colleges
Education, remedy for all ills of society: Expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
BCM College of Education today celebrated ‘Rapport Day’ in order to bridge the gap between theory and practice. A function was held by the subject societies of science, home science, economics, maths and social sciences. 

Former principal of GHG College of Education, Gususar Sadhar, B.S. Bajwa, at present settled in Canada, was the chief guest. Principal Dr Khushvinder Kumar welcomed the guests and congratulated the subject societies of the college. He stressed on the need for creative teachers for the upliftment of the society. Bajwa motivated the teacher trainees to excel in their fields and contribute in shaping the future of the country. He said education was the remedy for all ills of the society. "So, bring logical and rational thinking in life," he said. 

A cultural function was held in which different themes were touched as environmental education, human rights, indiscipline, global warming, women education etc. After the function, a meeting was held with the principals of various city schools to discuss teaching practices to bring quality in education. Principals of 14 government schools of the city took part in the discussion and provided their valuable suggestions to improve teaching.

LECTURE: The commerce department of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujarkhan campus, organised an extension lecture on career opportunities for commerce students in India and US on the college premises here yesterday. Chartered accountants Amrit Singh Makkar and Rajeev Sharma were the resource persons. They explained the entire process involved in taking up chartered accountancy as a career. The experts also discussed BPOs while imparting information about CPA course. They explained how the course was divided into four parts - its registration, requirements, total fee structure and duration.

Over 250 students attended the lecture. Principal of the college Dr Manju Chawla thanked the guests for imparting valuable knowledge to the students.

REFLECTIONS 2007: Students of Bal Bharti School had vivacious glimpses into the achievements and reflections of the year 2007 through cultural and educational presentations on the schools premises here yesterday. The performances of the young artistes exhibited sheer talent and calibre. The pre-primary section of the school presented individual and group performances in the form of recitation of poems like ‘Buckle my shoe’, ‘My fair lady’, ‘My Family’; extempore on ‘My Principal’ and ‘Indian Festivals’. A tableau portrayal of various Indian festivals and days of national importance like the Republic Day, Basant Panchami, Holi, Baisakhi, Independence Day, Diwali and Gurparb left the audience mesmerised. A short play ‘The Rat's Feast’, written by Rabindra Nath Tagore reflected the psychology of students when they were introduced to a new teacher at school. Principal of the school Punam Dogra appreciated the effort of the students.



Respiratory, chest diseases camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The Christian Medical College and Hospital organised a free respiratory and chest diseases camp for the patients of Kausar, CMC Hospital, Malerkotla under its Rural Health and Outreach Programme (RHOP). The camp was conducted by the department of respiratory medicine. Patients were examined for various respiratory ailments.

The team was headed by Dr Akashdeep Singh. During the camp, lab tests were done which included spirometry, sputum analysis, X-ray and ECG. Free medicines were also given to the patients. More than 240 patients were examined during the camp.



Sports meet gets under way at DMC
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 22
The annual sports meet of the employees of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMC&H) began today in which a large number of participants competed in various disciplines. Prem Kumar Gupta, secretary of DMCH managing society, inaugurated the three-day meet. 

Among the dignitaries present at the inaugural function were principal Dr Daljit Singh, vice-principal Dr Jagdeep Whig, dean (academics) Dr S.C.Chopra, chief cardiologist-cum-coordinator of HDHI Dr G.S. Wander, medical superintendents - Dr Sandeep Puri, Dr Rajoo S. Chhina and Dr B.S.Shah. Matches in badminton, table tennis, chess, carom and volleyball were conducted on the first day.

Results: Badminton: men's singles: Sanjeev Kumar b Rakesh Bhatia, Kuldip b Rakesh Kumar; men's doubles: Vishal Chuttani and Amit Gupta b Sanjay Singh Negi and Vinod Singh Negi, Gian Chand Rana and Pawan Kumar b Nitin Sharma and Akshay Sharma; Badminton: women's singles: Anchal Bhardwaj b Shweta Vaid; Table Tennis: Gurpreet Singh b Sanjiv Kumar, Sanjay Singh Negi b Arvind Sharda; Carrom: Ram Krishan and Munish Kalia b Sukhwant Singh and Bhagwant Singh; Chess: Anil Kumar b Ashok Kumar, Raja Gupta b Vikas Sethi, Manmohan b Raja Gupta, Ashok Kumar b Vikas Sethi; Volley Ball: Team of Suram Singh b Team of Ajay Kumar.



Cricket Tourney
Ludhiana score emphatic 94-run win
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 22
Ludhiana scored an emphatic 94-run win over Zone B in the third match of the Punjab State Inter-District Senior FC Mittal Cricket Tournament held at Punjab Agricultural University, here today.

Ludhiana won the toss and opted to bat. They hoisted a handsome total of 272 runs in the stipulated 50 overs. The main contributors were Chinton Sehgal (64), Gaurav Marwaha (61), Ankur Kakkar (40), Karan Goel (35) and Bharat Malhotra (21 n.o).

For Zone B, Krishan Kumar was the most successful bowler claiming four wickets for 44 runs while Abhinav grabbed two wickets for 45 runs and Vishal Sharma captured one for 21.

In reply, Zone B could muster 178 runs in 42.4 overs. Arminder Singh top scored with 41 runs, followed by Hitesh Anand (30), Jatinder Singh (21) and Amrinder Brar (12).

For Ludhiana, Gagandeep Toor scalped three victims for 44 runs. Ankur Kakkar and Gaurav Marwaha took two wickets each for 22 and 32 runs, respectively. Sunny Kumar, Gagandeep Dhand and Bharat Malhotra chipped in with one wicket each.



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