L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Incest behind death of two cousins: Cops
Jupinderjit Singh/ Vijay Bansal
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, March 29
Incestuous relationship between two cousins allegedly led to their tragic death yesterday. The girl’s body was reportedly found in a semi-naked condition. Both of them allegedly committed suicide today at Leela Megh Singh village near Sidhwan Bet under the Jagraon police station.

The police is investigating whether the girl committed suicide due to some relationship or was murdered after the accused boy (24) allegedly “forced” her with his friends. Both belonged to the Bauria tribe.

The body of the girl (19) was found on Friday morning from behind a religious place on the outskirts of the village. Her father had lodged an FIR alleging that she was seen with the accused boy, Santa Singh, late in the evening. He suspected that his daughter was gang raped. Subsequently, a case of gang rape was registered against the accused and his friends.

While the police was conducting raids to nab the accused, he and his family reportedly locked their house and fled away. Today, the boy allegedly died in a hospital after consuming some poisonous substance.

Investigations have revealed that the two were related and had an incestuous relationship, the SSP said. However, he added, mystery still remains on why the girl was found semi-naked on the outskirts of the village. He said the girl also seemed to have consumed some poisonous substance either willingly or by force.

The mystery further deepened with the post-mortem examination suggesting that the girl was not raped but had habitual intercourse. There was no sign of rape yet the manner in which the body was found strongly suggests something fishy.

The SSP said the boy was the key behind this mystery but since he had died the police was trying to find out if some other boys were involved or the cousins had entered into a suicide pact. Under such circumstances, she should not have been found naked.



Community radio station goes commercial
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
Community radio station run by Guru Nanak Girls College in Model Town has gone commercial with the ministry of broadcasting allowing the campus to air advertisements for generating finance for itself. 

The radio station has responded quickly and pasted leaflets at some prominent places of the city for attracting advertisers.

According to college authorities, the response has been encouraging as more and more advertisers are coming forward for getting slots allocated for airing their advertisements.

The college is the first educational institute in Punjab to have an FM radio station of its own. Christened as “Guru Nanak Girls College FM Radio Station”, it has been on air for the pas one year.

Principal Dr Charanjit Kaur Mahal, who is also the director of this radio station, said, “Earlier we were not permitted to air advertisements following instructions from the broadcasting ministry.”

Dr Mahal added, “Recently the ministry permitted us an air time of five minutes per hour to air advertisements. As we run our radio station for 16 hours so accordingly we get 80 minutes air time to air advertisements ever day.”

The ministry’s approval has given fresh leas of life to the college’s radio station which was reeling under financial constraints.

Dr Mahal said, “The income generated from advertisements will help us in strengthening radio station’s infrastructure. Earlier the expenses of running this station were borne by the college itself.”

This was the first community radio station being broadcasting on 90.4 megahertz frequency.

The programmes being aired are on agriculture, science, community development, health, education, social welfare, environment, culture, women and budding artists.

Dr Mahal said: “We are proud to be the first educational institute in the state to run such a radio station. It is working as a link between the public and the administration.”



For common man, going gets tougher
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Rising prices

Goods Prevailing Previous (Rs per kg)

Moong 42 38

Chana dal 40 38

Arhar 48 44

Masoor black 48 45

Sugar 18 16

Rice (basmati) 35 30

Wheat flour 130 125

Milk 25 per litre 22 per litre

Ludhiana, March 29
Household budgets are going haywire as prices of items of daily use refuse to stabilise. With inflation at all-time high, rates of products right from the milk and pulses, to flour, sugar and vegetables have recorded a hike of 10 per cent to 25 per cent within past one month itself.

Only last month the government announced a hike in petrol prices by Rs 2 and also effected a hike in prices of diesel. Middle class was yet to recover from the shock of the additional burden than dairy owners hiked milk prices from Rs 22 to Rs 25 per litre from March 1.

As if the pressure was not sufficient, pulses, wheat flour, sugar, fruits and vegetables too got expensive by 10 per cent to 25 per cent during this period itself.

“For the past over a year, managing the monthly expenses is getting tougher with every passing month. A year ago I used to spend roughly about Rs 1,500 on procuring my monthly ration. But now, I am unable to get even half of these items within that amount.

Worse is, petrol is getting out of reach, vegetables rates are soaring and milk prices too have been increased. I have cut down on consumption of fruits but how much reductions can one effect when it comes to food particularly? The government does not seem to take it seriously,” rued Ajay Sharma, a resident.

While the rates of most pulses got costlier by Rs 2 to Rs 4 per kg, wheat flour and rice of commonly used variety by around Rs 5 per kg, vegetables saw a rise of Rs 2 to Rs 25 per kg within a month.

Shopkeepers said customers, unhappy with the continuous hike, were making unsuccessful attempts to cut down on consumption. “This time prices are not stabilising and leaving customers unhappy,” said Sumit Gupta, a shopkeeper near Kailash Cinema.

The cheer that the proposed wage hike brought to the salaried class has already vanished as residents feel the rise might not be able to match the spiraling inflation.

“The coming few weeks would only see a further increase in rates of fruits and vegetables. With marriage season and Navratri approaching this would further fuel the hike,” said Amarbir Singh, general secretary, Ludhiana fruit and vegetable commission agents association.

Prices of a few daily use items have recorded a steep hike within the past one month.



376 students get roll nos. after undertaking
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
The 376 students who had been denied roll numbers by the Arya College authorities for not meeting the requisite minimum lectures to appear in the university examination finally got their roll numbers after the authorities took an undertaking from their parents.

While talking to Ludhiana Tribune, principal S.M. Sharma said: “The issue has been resolved and parents have given an undertaking that they will monitor the activities of their children. They will also keep a check on the classroom attendance of their children.”

The college management was convinced that students would take their lecture regularly from next session.

The denial of roll number had led to protest by students. Some local leaders had also tried to intervene and influence the college authorities to allow students to take examination.

Finally, parent-teacher meeting broke the three-day-long deadlock.



MC to get Rs 120 cr
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
While the municipal corporation is yet to roll back free water supply and sewage facilities for residents living in 125 sq yd houses, the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission has already sanctioned an amount of Rs 120 crore for the city.

The money will reach the civic body by the end of this month. This will be the first installment of grant out of a total of Rs 241.39 crore, which was announced after the mission had approved the project report a week ago.

Sources in the corporation said though the money was arriving, water and sewage facilities provided to residents living in houses measuring 125 sq yd and lesser had to be rolled back.

They added that though house had returned the corporation proposal asking for rollback of bill waiver, the government would have to make an announcement on its own in this regard.

As the money arrives, the poor, who depend on pits for their sewage needs, will get sewage facilities. As many as 1.5 lakh houses belonging to poor will get the facilities.

Besides the capacity of sewage treatment plants being set up under Sutlej Action Plan will be augmented.

“We are planning to lay new sewers out of which 34.72 km will be trunk sewer and 638 km will be the branch and lateral sewers,” said commissioner Vikas Partap.

He added that new sewers would provide connectivity to all areas that were yet not covered by the existing network of sewers.

The corporation will also enhance the capacity of treatment plant at Balloke by 105 million litres per day.

The capacity of the STP at Bhattian will also be enhanced by 50 MLD taking it to a total of 161 mld from its existing 111mld capacity.



Row between council, scribes intensifies
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, March 29
The recent incident of stone pelting by a few members of the local municipal council on houses of two scribes apart from burning their effigies,has not only caused physical and mental harassment to them and their families, but the issue got intensified further yesterday afternoon.

Rohit Gupta, a reporter, Dainik Jagran,said:“I along with Sudarshan Prasher, repoter, Ajj Di Awaaz, went to the committee’s office the other day in order to get corrections done in their billing address for which the house tax inspector concerned demanded bribe.On being refused, the inspector along with one of the clerks reacted in an objectionable manner with us.We immediately lodged a complaint at the Doraha police chowki.”

A counter complaint was lodged by committee members,after which both parties were invited for talks at the police chowki. While reporters along with the members of the press club reached on time, the committee employees evaded the meeting and instead staged a protest march against the reporters. They burnt effigies of the two and also pelted stones at their houses thus endangering their lives and that of their family members. It was only after the police arrived that the agitators fled away. According to reporters, a house tax inspector along with the sanitary inspector were among those who lead the entire protest march thus blaming the two scribes for blackmailing them from time to time.

Rohit Gupta shared with this correspondent that he had a word with Mr.Sumer Singh the Deputy commissioner of Ludhiana who asked SDM, Payal to look into the matter who has inturn appointed Mr.Mandip Singh Dhillon, Tehsildar, Payal to inquire into the case. Mr.Dhillon when contacted said that he had a three hour-long meeting with both the parties yesterday evening. “We have still given them one day to think over after which suitable action shall be taken against whoever is found to be guilty in the case”.

Meanwhile, Mr.Ranjit Singh Grewal, E.O.Doaraha, said that all the allegations levelled against his employees are false and that the reporter of the Hindi daily along with his family members, on being denied the yearly contract, have intentionally created the entire scene in which his employees are being made scapegoats for no fault of theirs.

Meanwhile the press club of Doraha along with other prominent personalities of the area have condemned the action of the municipal council as they term it to be the suppression of democratic voice of the public. The office bearers of the press club have demanded an independent inquiry into the case and strict action against the ones found guilty.



VB Action
MC staff to go on mass leave tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
Employees of the drawing branch of the municipal corporation, Ludhiana, yesterday decided to go on mass leave from Monday to protest against the Vigilance Bureau’s action against their colleagues. The employees applied for the leave to the MC commissioner.

Pavittar Singh, an office-bearer of the employees’ union, said they would not come to the office on Monday and even if the office decided to consider them on leave without pay, they would not come to work unless their colleagues were released and the FIR against them withdrawn.

The employees had been protesting for the past two days. They staged a dharna on Thursday and organised a gate rally outside the MC office yesterday.

The VB had arrested, MTP of Amritsar MC Shakti Sagar Bhatia, two local draftsmen Nirmal Singh and Mohinder Pal in a case pertaining to a building bylaw violation in Gulchaman Gali here. 



Sutlej Club poll today
Entry of outsiders barred
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
The stage is set for the elections to the Sutlej Club, one of the most coveted clubs of the city, tomorrow. With the deputy commissioner who also holds the post of its president in the ex-officio capacity, the post of the general secretary, in a triangular contest, is witnessing most animated last minute parlance.

The post of the general secretary is being contested by Yogesh Bansal, Varinder Goyal and Sanjiv Dhanda. Bansal, who deals in electronics, is also known for his passion for sports. Goyal is a businessman and Dhanda is a jeweller.

Rajesh Bhambi has already been elected unopposed as its vice-president. Neeru Malhotra and Sanjay Aggarwal, too, have been elected unopposed as the bar secretary and the joint secretary, respectively.Prof Arvind Malhotra and Sanjay Mehta are pitted against each other for the post of the finance secretary. The mess secretary’s post will be contested among Sarabjit Singh Tunnu and T.S.Thapar.

Meanwhile, Amita Satija, Arvind Nayar, Rajesh Kakkar, Dr Sumita Gulati, Dr Bhagwanti and Tripta Dalmia are contesting for the post of executive members. Out of them one executive has to be a woman. This is for first time that the club elections are witnessing four women contestants in the same pool.

The club was closed at 12 noon today, even for its members. Following the violence that took place on March 26, the club was already closed for guests and non- members. The deputy commissioner has already marked an enquiry to the ADC to look into the incident of violence. Earlier reports pointed out involvement of a few members, besides a large number of outsiders on the particular day. “The incident was only a show down among groups of the stock exchange”, a member said.

The deputy commissioner has also constituted a separate committee against a contender for the general secretary’s post for allegedly “misusing his position for promoting his business interests.” Only members will be allowed to cast their votes at the club tomorrow. The polling will start at 9 am and end at 5 pm. The results are expected to be declared at around 7 pm.



Tanker overturns, causes snarl-up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
A major tragedy was averted as a tanker containing LPG overturned near Amaltas restaurant here this evening. A snarl-up followed on the Ludhiana-Jalandhar national highway-1 (NH-1).

The driver of the tanker reportedly escaped unhurt. The tanker containing LPG belonged to Indane Gas Corporation.

Soon after the accident, another tanker of the same company met with an accident near Hardy’s World. The driver of the tanker had a miraculous escape.



Player deserted by trucker; club comes to rescue
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 29
The R.S.Football Club came to the rescue of Pankaj Sharma of Arya Samaj Government School, Kotki village in Chandarpur district of Maharashtra, who after getting isolated from his teachers and classmates was deserted by a truck driver near here today.

Pankaj along with the football team of his school had come to participate in the national games near Delhi.

He was unconscious when he was brought to the police station. Office- bearers of the club, led by Bimal Sharma and Deepak Sharma, arranged for his treatment and for sending him to his village.

According to SHO (city), Pankaj could not provide telephone numbers of his parents or teachers. “In the absence of any contact with his parents we have been left with no choice other than asking the sports organisation to book a railway ticket back home and give money for further travel by road,” said Sukhdev Singh while talking to The Tribune.



Pensioners seek release of DA
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
Members of the Retirees Welfare Association today urged upon the state government to release dearness allowance/dearness relief to in-service employees as well as pensioners and family pensioners at 6 per cent from January 1, 2008.

They held a monthly meeting of retirees and pensioners. Association president B.R. Kaushal said the allowance should be given on the similar pattern, as has been done by the centre government.

The pensioners urged the state government to simplify the procedure for medical reimbursement as at present they were facing several difficulties on the receipt of expenses, which they are incurring on account of indoor hospitalisation.

They also wanted the government to press upon expediting the proceedings of fifth pay commission.



House tax on hotels to be revised
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
The house tax committee of zone D today decided to reassess the house tax collection of restaurants, hotels and marriage palaces.

It also decided to provide rebate to widows, poor, physically challenged, ex-servicemen and class IV employees of the municipal corporation.

This was stated by Congress councillor Sushil Raju Thapar, who was nominated as member of the house tax committee of zone D by the mayor.

Addressing mediapersons, Thapar said house tax would be collected from upcoming malls also, which would help them make an additional revenue of Rs 1 crore from just the house tax.

Thapar added that they would collect house tax from the DMC and hostels in the vicinity.

“We will not spare middlemen or officials accepting money by promising a rebate,” he warned.



Book in Punjabi released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
Former vice-chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University Prof Prithi Pal Singh Kapoor released a book “Gurmati Atey Sufi Punjabi Kavi Vich Manukhh Da Sankalp” by Dr Inderjit Singh Vasu here today.

The function was organised by the Bhai Randhir Singh Trust. The trust also released its news bulletin on the occasion.

The event was presided over by Akal Academies (Malwa region) director Ram Singh.

Among others present were Dr Kuldip Singh Dhir, Balwinder Pal Singh, Karamjit Singh Aujla and Jagjit Singh Takhhar.



Five-Month Wait
Body arrives from S. Arabia, cremated
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 29
Residents of Gobindgarh village, near here, heaved a sigh of relief after the body of Mohinder Singh (55), who had died of heart attack in Saudi Arabia five months ago, arrived here yesterday.

Official formalities had delayed the despatch of the body so much so that relatives of the deceased here had decided to get it cremated there.

Persistent pursuit of the case by Lok Bhalai Party president Balwant Singh Ramoowalia enabled relatives get back the body of Mohinder Singh and cremate it yesterday.

Sources said Mohinder Singh, Dalit ex-serviceman, had gone to Saudi Arabia in search of greener pastures around 18 months ago.

He died of heart attack on November 4, 2007 but his body could not be brought to India for technical reasons.

When all appeals made by the kin of the deceased before higher authorities in state and union governments proved futile, his (deceased’s) son approached Ramoowalia, who took up the case with Indian Embassy there and succeeded in getting back the body.



Copper wire stolen
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 29
Some unknown persons allegedly stole copper wire worth Rs 16,000 from a transformer in Gorsian Kadar Baksh. The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Sections 379, 427 of the IPC on the complaint of Jagdev Singh of the village. No arrest has been made so far.

House burgled

In another incident, Gurbachan Singh, Samsher Singh of Marhi Mustfa and Jaswant Singh of Dhilwan allegedly burgled the house of Jinderpal Singh in Gospur village and stole four wooden doors valuing Rs 18,000. The Humbran police has registered a case under Sections 457, 380 of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far.



Coal Price Hike
Brick kilns threaten to shut down
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 29
Activists of the brick kiln owners associations of Ludhiana and Sangrur districts have threatened to shut down operations if steep hike in prices of coal was not withdrawn by the union government.

Shortage of bricks and increase in prices will affect the construction and development work in the area.

According to Vijay Kumar Shahi and Amar Chand Sharma, activists of the district associations, had threatened to shut down their kilns if the price hike was not withdrawn.

Earlier, brick kiln owners had to suffer losses due to increase in transport fares and now prices of middle class varieties had been hiked from Rs 5,000 per tonne to Rs 7,800 per tonne.

“Prices and availability will be further affected after April when quarries in Assam are flooded with rainwater,” apprehended Shahi while talking to Ludhiana Tribune after attending a meeting of office-bearers at Dehlon yesterday.

Observations revealed that hike in coal prices had resulted in corresponding increase in rates of bricks. Majority of kiln owners quoted rates between Rs 1,900 and Rs 2,000 for 1,000 standard bricks. The fare was to be paid by the buyer.

With little stocks of coal at their disposal, majority kiln owners have started searching for alternative sources of fuel.

Thousands of labourers working at kilns will be rendered jobless after fuel stocks are exhausted. Masons and labourers working with them also apprehend similar fate.

General secretary Jagdeep Singh Sakhija Surinder Tangri, Ashwani Sood and Satish Aggarwal were also present.



Workshop at CIPHET
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
The Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) organised a workshop on development of non-destructive systems for evaluation of microbial and physicochemical parameters of mango under its NAIP project here today.

The project has been entrusted to CIPHET as the lead centre with a grant of Rs 6.30 crore. The institute’s partners for work in the field include Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Bhopal, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, and Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh.

The worksop was attended by scientists from Punjab Agricultural University, IMTECH and local units of the Reliance and Field Fresh. Dr S.N. Jha presented a paper on objective and background of the project. Dr R.T. Patil, director, CIPHET, and Prof E.S. Raja Gopal also spoke.



From Schools & Colleges
13 DIMT students get job offers
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 29
Thirteen MBA (final semester) students of the Doraha Institute of Management and Technology have been recruited by several companies during the placement drive organised by the training and placement department of the institute under the guidance of V.J. Rai here.

Dr R.K. Lekhi, director, DIMT, said seven companies, including Max New York Life Insurance, Sporking Group of Companies, Sobhageya Sales Pvt Ltd, Classic Fabrics and Sportking Synthetics, Master Trust Ltd and ICICI Prudential, visited the campus. The students who were recruited include Alok Sharma, Sunil Bector, Parul Sharma, Yadwinder Singh, Purba, Surinder Singh, Lakhvir Kaur, Ankit Kumar, Babalpreet Kaur, Sohit, Daljit Singh, Daljeet Singh, Sanjeev Kumar.

Training and placement drive officer V.J. Rai said the selections were made on the basis of personal presentations, extempore, group discussions, written tests and interviews. He also stated that one of their students has been offered an international job assignment with a Dubai-based construction company. Also, the selected students would receive remunerative package in tune with the best norms in the industry.

Director of the institute Dr R.K. Lekhi said the placement department was finalising dates with various companies to organise more such placement sessions shortly.


LUDHIANA: Abhinav Rakheja of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College brought laurels to the city by becoming a finalist and winning a laptop in the national-level contest "Tycoon 2008" organised by Career Launcher. As many as 24 participants across the country reached the final round.

Adventure camp

A two-day adventure camp that was being organised at Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, culminated here today. Students of the primary section were given training in adventurous sports by trained instructors.

Tent pitching, rappelling, Burma bridge, rope climbing, commando bridge, double trouble, Tarzan swing, treasure hunt etc were the various activities that were undertaken during this camp.



Conference on challenges in IT
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 29
A national conference on challenges and opportunities in information technology (COIT) was organised by the department of computer science and engineering at RIMT Institute of Engineering & Technology here today. More than 100 delegates presented research papers on different areas of IT.

Regional manager of HCL Infotech Ltd Mohit Chawala was the chief guest, who congratulated the engineering department for successfully organising the seminar and exhorted the students to become professionally as well as intellectually equipped to face the challenges being posed by the rapid discoveries in the world.

Chairman of RIMT Group of Institutes Hukam Chand Bansal welcomed the chief guest and experts. He said RIMT eagerly looked forward to such student and faculty improvement programmes that enabled them to interact with the speakers. Welcome speech was delivered by vice-principal of the institute Prof Harsh Sadawarti.

The keynote address was delivered by regional manager (Operations) of Meritech Software Private Ltd Sudarshan Nagaonkar, who provided a befitting start to the conference. Research papers of the experts coming from all over India were published and released. Dr Rajesh Bhatia from Thapar University, Patiala, delivered a talk on the topic 'Software Testing'.

Proceedings and CDs of the conference were released by the chief guest and other delegates. Online copy of the proceedings was also published on the college website. 180 MCA students were distributed laptops free of cost so that they might gain adequate knowhow and skill for the fulfilment of their professional goals.



CMCH stages Frederick Knott’s thriller
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 29
Frederick Knott’s thriller “Dial M for Murder” was staged by the students of the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here on Thursday evening.

The play, directed by Jisha Joshua, a student, revolved around five characters. Tony Wendice, played by Prerit Thomas Jacob, a former professional tennis player, who marries the naive Margot, played by Nelia Mathew, for her personal fortune. Margot’s former lover and crime writer, Max Halliday, played by Chris Baby, the amoral C.A. Swann played by Davis Cherian, Tony’s criminal acquaintance, and, of course, the cunning and tenacious inspector Hubbard played by Joseph Abraham. Desperate to get hands on her fortune, Tony goes great lengths to arrange the murder of his unsuspecting wife. However, things go awry and Tony goes to do some quick thinking.

“Dial M for Murder” is a play which was authored by English playwright Fredrick Knott (1916-2002). The play premiered in 1952 at a BBC television show, before being performed on the stage in the same year (West End in June, and then Broadway in October). 



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