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Obscene MMS
Humiliated, student hangs himself
Lecturer, six others booked
Mahesh Sharma

Sahnewal, April 10
A student of a private college in Doraha, who was allegedly filmed in a compromising position by his seniors and a lecturer, hanged himself yesterday.

Inder Pal left a suicide note in which he has named a lecturer and six students who forced him to end his life.

According to R.K. Jaiswal, SSP, Ludhiana, Inder Pal stated that he was being harassed and blackmailed since December 2006. He had spent a night with the accused at Purana Kila during an NSS camp organised by the college.

Investigation revealed that the victim and the suspects had some drinks and watched a blue film. Inder Pal was reportedly stripped and filmed by the others.

The accused later threatened to circulate the film among his friends and relatives. Besides exploiting him monetarily, they would use him against other students and the management committee. He would also serve them liquor and food often.

Getting tired of being treated like a slave, he stopped following their orders about a week ago. The accused then circulated the obscene MMS.

Inder Pal was to take his annual examination on April 15. He visited the college on April 8 to get his roll number and he was humiliated again.

The police has booked Charandeep Singh, a lecturer posted at a college in Mukandpur, and six students under Section 306 of the IPC for abetting suicide. No arrest has, however, been made so far.

Investigations revealed that Charandeep Singh had resigned from the Doraha college and joined a college in Mukandpur village.

The SSP said the accused would be arrested after charges levelled in the suicide note were proved. “We have to proceed with caution as the matter pertains to the future of students,” he said.



Five arrested for assaulting mobile dealer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
A neighbhour in connivance with four members of a gang of professional snatchers and robbers had scripted the April-7 robbery and assault of a Shimla Puri mobile dealer, Sachin Malhotra, who was badly wounded in the crime.

The accused had formed a gang that was allegedly involved in several incidents of snatching, robbery and murder.

Most members of the gang belonged to different faiths and religions. Normally, a majority of members of a gang belonged to one tribe, caste or community of criminals.

Rakesh Kumar, alias Pandit, had planned the robbery of Malhotra. The members of the gang included Avtar Singh, alias Pilot, Pargat Masih, alias Neeta, Tarsem Kumar Gupta, alias Ganja, and Shankar Kumar, alias Gaenda.

Announcing the arrests at a press conference here this afternoon, SP (detective) Gurpreet Singh said CIA wing-II in-charge Dilpreet Singh arrested the accused near Lohara village last night.

After robbing his neighbhour in Shimla Puri, Rakesh allegedly played the role of a good neighbhour later by expressing his concern over the incident to the victim.

All accused have earlier been caught on similar charges and have been in and out of jail several times.

The accused were school dropouts and had been hooked on drug. They had left studies in order to make money for drugs and eventually taken to crime.

Dilpreet said Avtar Singh, alias Pilot, was the kingpin and had been nicknamed so due to his skills at driving a motor cycle.

The modus operandi of the gang involved marking their potential victims and keeping a constant surveillance on them.

They used iron rods and knives to attack their victims. Apart from robbing Sachin Malhotra, the gangsters had also robbed the house of Gulzar Singh in Shimla Puri yesterday. The police is expected to solve at least 10 cases with their arrest.



Youth held for beheading neighbour
Our Correspondent

Majri (Ludhiana), April 10
The police has arrested Samsher Singh (22) of Majri village for allegedly killing his neighbour Baljit Kaur (35) whose headless body was found in the fields on the outskirts of Neelon village, near Samrala, about three weeks ago.

Frequent visits by some persons, with whom the victim allegedly had illicit relations, was stated to be the reason behind the murder.

The suspect was reportedly in love with her daughter and did not want that she should “imitate” her mother.

According to Daljit Singh Rana, DSP, Samrala, Samsher Singh had been identified on the basis of calls made and received on the mobile of the victim.

The police became suspicious of the role of Samsher Singh when he could not explain a call received from Baljit Kaur on the evening of March 17. Later, he confessed that he had gone to bring Baljit Kaur from the Neelon bridge as she had missed the last bus to the village.

“As I was fed up with the behaviour of Baljit Kaur, I decided to kill her,” he told the police, adding that he had chopped off her head with a sharp-edged weapon by taking her to a deserted field. While the body was found in the fields, the head was thrown in Sirhind Canal.

Baljit Kaur was the wife of a marginal farmer. She, along with some other women of the area, had fallen prey to a gang involved in the exploitation of women belonging to poor families.

Her family had inherited about 6 bighas, but half of it had been sold to meet routine expenses. Her children had been pulled out of school.

Baljit Kaur had left her house on the pretext of purchasing medicines on March 17. Her body was found in the fields the next day. The police had registered a murder case against unknown persons.



Another headless body found
Tribune News Service

Khanna, April 10
Days after the headless body of a woman was found dumped in the fields on the outskirts of Neelo Kurd village, the Khanna police found yet another headless body,this time of an eunuch yesterday.

The body was found from near the Scared Heart School in the town. It was first spotted by a few passers by who immediately reported the matter to the police.

Following this, a team of senior police officials, including SSP Gautam Cheema, rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.

Police sources said on the first look, the body appeared to be that of a woman, which made the police establish connection between both the murders.

The victim was wearing bangles and woman's cloths. However, after preliminary investigations the body was found to be that of an eunuch.

The SSP said rivalry could be reason behind eunuch’s death. The police was working on various theories to crack the case.

Meanwhile, the police is yet to solve the murder case of the woman whose headless body was found in the field of Neelo Kurd village.

The woman had been identified as Baljit Kaur, wife of Zora Singh, a resident of Majri village, that falls in the Payal segment of the district.



Checkmated for want of funds
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

G. Spencer Alexander
G. Spencer Alexander

Ludhiana, April 10
Financial constraints have put a question mark on the career prospects of a chess player whose hearing is impaired.

This handicap has not been able to pin him down and on several occasions, he has made his “normal” counterparts bite the dust.

G. Spencer Alexander (32) of Tamil Nadu, who is here to participate in the 4th National Chess Championship for the Deaf, was not able to participate in the World Chess Championship for the Deaf in Hungary in 2006 as he failed to arrange Rs 1 lakh for air tickets.

Ranked No. 1 among hearing impaired chess players, he is ranked 1,836 in the open category. Neither the government, nor any NGO came forward to help him.

Also, in 2005, he could not participate in the Asia Chess Championship for Deaf in Kazakhstan due to the same reason. But this did not shatter his confidence.

With the help of an interpreter, he talks about his achievements. Alexander has been playing since 1990 and has been national deaf champion twice. He has participated in several regular and open chess tournaments.

He stood third in the National Deaf Championship in Bareily in 2006 and ranked first in another such championship held last year in Karnataka.

With no coach or support staff, it was his passion for chess that took him to the No. 1 position. Now, he is honing the skills of about 10 deaf players as a coach.

A maths teacher by profession, Alexander is determined to leave a mark at international championships.



Tubewell owners told to switch to CFLs
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 10
In the wake of acute power shortage and persistent need to purchase power from other states at an exorbitant cost every year, the PSEB is going all out to promote power conservation and switching over to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in a phased manner.

Talking to The Tribune here today, the engineer-in-chief of the PSEB (central), B.S. Bath, said it had been made mandatory for each of the 10 lakh consumers having tubewell connections in the state to replace two bulbs allowed to them to be used for lighting purpose with CFLs by April 15.

“The PSEB will ensure total compliance by the stipulated date since power is supplied to tubewells free of cost and it cannot be allowed to be wasted. Those failing to comply with this requirement, will face the risk of disconnection of power supply,” he said.

At least 100 MW could be saved from the farm sector alone. A motivational drive was already on to make some 44 lakh-odd domestic consumers in Punjab replace existing bulbs with CFLs.

“If each household goes for a CFL in the kitchen, bathroom and veranda, around 600 MW will be saved,” he said.

Though the initial cost of a CFL was high as compared to an ordinary lamp, the saving in terms of energy bills over a period compensated for it.

He said the PSEB had issued an order to all government departments to desist from the purchase of ordinary bulbs with immediate effect and go for CFLs.

“Henceforth, each fused bulb in government offices all over the state will be replaced with a CFL,” he added.



MC staff meet principal secretary
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Agitating employees of the MC today met the principal secretary, local government, in Chandigarh to demand the quashing of an FIR against three MC employees who were booked in a corruption case by the Vigilance Bureau.

A protest rally was also organised at the local MC office in this regard.

Pavittar Singh, an office-bearer of the MC employees’ union, said they had met D.S. Bains who assured them that the matter would be taken up with the Chief Minister.

Representatives of employee unions from all five MCs of the state and commissioners were present at the meeting.

They demanded that the FIR registered against the three employees in the Gulchaman Gali building bylaws violation case should be withdrawn immediately and the Vigilance should be restrained from interfering in the working of local bodies.

They said they had their own vigilance cell to look into such complaints.

They also took up the case of safai sewaks who were employed on contract and said they should be put on the rolls.

Meanwhile, work suffered in MC offices. Residents have also urged the government to resolve the issue soon so that their work could be taken up by civic body employees. They said their site plans were not being passed.

The employees said they would continue their protest until the matter was resolved. They threatened to go on protest from Tuesday if their pleas went unheard.



Septuagenarian’s world tour dreams shot down
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Manjit Rai Bharadwaj, a 70-year- old man, who owns a record of completing an all-India tour covering a distance of 10,224 km on foot, has decided to abandon his next expedition — a world tour on foot — owing to bureaucratic dilly-dally.

His mission to spread global peace, unity and brotherhood has met an abrupt end as the government has refused to sponsor his tour.

The youth affairs and sports department has rejected his proposal stating that the department does not have provisions to sponsor an individual for such a tour.

He has approached President Pratibha Patil to seek her intervention in the matter.

A retired railway head clerk had requested for security guards for the tour and a sponsorship from social organisations due to his limited resources.

He said: “I had asked the department concerned to provide me with the route map so that I could start the journey in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the government. But instead of helping me out, they have entangled me in their bureaucratic red tape.”

Addressing a press conference organised by the Rashtriya Viaks Manch here, he alleged that the under secretary to President of India had cold-shouldered his repeated requests for assistance.



Chemist shops raided
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
The narcotics control cell of the city police, along with a team of drug inspectors, confiscated nearly 21,000 intoxicants during raids at four chemist shops.

Disclosing this here today in a press conference, SP (detective) Gurpreet Singh said the intoxicants were in the form of tablets, capsules, syrups and injections.

The joint team recovered the intoxicants from Chopra Medical Hall, Bobby Medical Hall and Khangura Medical Hall, all located on Pakhowal road, and Sukhmani Medicos in Basant Nagar, Shimla Puri.



Rising Prices
For people, March was most expensive month
Tribune News Service

Items of daily use are getting out of people’s reach due to the price hike.
Items of daily use are getting out of people’s reach due
to the price hike. — A
Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, April 10
While the policy-makers are expected to give some relief from soaring prices, the inflation has reached an all time high.

Starting from basic commodities, the prices of every segment are rising today and have made the lives of people miserable.

And the worst affected are homemakers who are finding difficulty in controlling unavoidable expenses. For majority of them, March was “the most expensive” month, which dithered their whole budget.

Apart from routine expenses, the home-makers had to spend a huge amount on admissions, books, school uniforms and tuitions for their wards in March. Barring elite, it has become difficult for all to live in society where everything seems to be out of one’s reach.

The prices of vegetables, fruits, milk, pulses, flour, edible oils, books, bags, tuitions etc have reached to an all time high and those running homes are finding it difficult to control the expenses.

Jyoti, a homemaker said the tuition teacher of her daughter, who studies in Class IX, had demanded three months tuition fees in advance.

Besides, she had to spend more than Rs 7000 on admission, new uniform, books and other articles, in addition to routine expenses in March alone.

“With limited salary, it becomes difficult to spend extra. I had to borrow money from my brother”, she added.

Working as a domestic help in few houses Neha, wife of a daily wager said for the past eight days, she had not cooked any vegetable at her home. She said her four children often cried for having “good food” but she felt helpless.

“In case my employers provide me some vegetable (leftovers), it is party time for my kids”, said Neha adding that even one bottle of mustard oil was available at Rs 70 and above, how could a poor man survive in such inflation?

She also added that except for her two-year old son, (who has weak bones); nobody is given milk at her place.

A vegetable vendor, Ram Prasad said prices of vegetables had increased to maximum in the past few days.

“There had been an increase from Rs 3 to Rs 10 and above on almost each vegetable (retailing). People are consuming vegetables but in lesser quantity. They blame us for charging high rates but we hardly get good margins”, said Ram Prasad.



Industrial boards within a week, says BJP chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Industrial boards, an election promise of the SAD-BJP government, with representatives from industry would be formed within a week.

BJP president Rajinder Bhandari said this here yesterday evening. He said the posts of chairman and vice-chairman would be given to industrialists.

Bhandari was addressing industrialists at a function organised to honour president of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry P.D. Sharma.



53 people donate blood
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 10
Keeping its tradition alive, Salaam Zindagi Foundation, an NGO, working for thalassaemic children, organised its 3rd monthly blood donation camp in association with the transfusion department of DMCH at the Arya College for Boys here today.

At least 53 volunteers came forward to donate the blood. BJP legislator Harish Bedi inaugurated the camp while Arya College principal S.M. Sharma was the guest of honour.

Manjit Saini,president of the NGO, along with other members included Rajesh Kaul, Mandeep Rawat, Ashish, Harminder, Raman, Anurag, Aman, Manoj, Vikas, Varinder, V.K. Bhanot, Deepak, Pradeep, Puneet Mahajan, A. Bhalla, Gurcharan, B.S. Dhaliwal, G.S. Puri and Munish.



Gang of hosiery robbers busted, 4 held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
A kingpin of the gang of robbers, who used to steal yarns, clothes and hosiery products from factories located in the city and then hide in Patiala, has finally been arrested.

Ajaib Singh,alias Zeba, used to identify the potential targets, plan and execute the job with the help of a few cloth merchants.

His gang was allegedly involved in 40 cases stealing and robberies in the city. The gang was quite a terror among the city manufacturers with 13 such incidents reported within past few months only.

They had stolen goods worth Rs 10 lakh last week only. A delegation of manufacturers had met SSP R.K.Jaiswal a few days ago in this regard.

SP City-III Sajjan Singh Cheema said Zeba immediately shifted to Patiala.He was finally arrested along with three other members of the gang.

They have been identified as Mohmmad Ehsaan, Parmod Kumar and Sonu. The police has also sought the production warrant of another accused Sajid, who is already lodged in the Central jail.

The gang members disclosed that they used to sell clothes through him before he was arrested in another case. The police is also on the look out of Krishan Kumar, Surja and Vijay.



Govt agencies go slow on wheat procurement
Tribune News Service

Khanna, April 10
Various government agencies have decided to go slow with the procurement of wheat that has started arriving in grain markets across the state due to the presence of high moisture content in the grains caused by the recent rains.

According to sources in the grain market, arrival of over 700 quintal of wheat was registered yesterday out of which only 70 quintal was bought by the government procurement agencies. Officials of these agencies refused to procure the wheat as the grains contained moisture.

These sources said though there had been a sale of over 5,750 quintal of wheat till date, last year more then 6,000 quintal had been sold till this time.

They maintained that the recent rains had caused huge losses to farmers who were now left with no option but to bring their dampened produce to the markets for sale. This produce would not fetch them even the minimum support price, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the farmers have started demanding that the government should relax the criteria for lifting of the wheat crop, keeping in view the unfavorable weather conditions that had resulted in poor quality of the produce.

However, sources said the procurement drive would pick up in a couple of days and the farmers would start bringing in their produce with less moisture content.



From Schools
Tiny tots celebrate Baisakhi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Rising Stars Playway School, Jassian road, organised a cultural programme 'Jug Jug Jeeva Punjab' on the occasion of Baisakhi.

Students and their parents came dressed up in traditional Punjabi dresses. Little stars presented bhangra and gidda amid thunderous applause.

Risul, Vaibhav, Jatin, Ada Sharma, Jatin Bansal, Muskaan, Harsimran, Jashanpreet, Aditya, Viren and Kriti gave amazing performances.

The teaching staff put in great efforts to make this function a success. School principal Sonia Sharma thanked the guests.

KIddies Paradise School: Students of Kiddies Paradise School celebrated Basakhi in a traditional manner on the school premises here today.

The students were dressed up beautifully to celebrate this occasion. A traditional dance contest was held to mark the occasion.

School principal Radhika Singh highlighted the importance of the day and congratulated the children and parents for making the event a success.

Fancy Dress: A fancy dress competition was held at Mother’s Touch Nursery School, KVM city branch, here today.

Gagandeep Kaur and Jasleen Kaur, principal and coordinator of the school, graced the occasion. They judged the contest and appreciated the hard work put in by the students, parents and teachers.

The participants were bubbling with confidence and left the audience mesmerised and spellbound. Headmistress Namita Raj Singh congratulated the winners and lauded their efforts for putting up such a wonderful show.

Results: Class I: 1 Ridhi, 2 Aditya, 3 Esha Jain, consolation prize: Prapti; Class II: 1 Prerna, 2 Abhijot, 3 Aayat, consolation prize: Driti.



From Colleges
GGNIMT students given scholarships
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
A scholarship distribution function was held at GGN Institute of Management and Technology (GGNIMT) here today.

More than 20 students were awarded scholarships worth Rs 1,25,000 by chief guest Hira Singh Gabaria, Punjab cabinet minister.

Top three rankers who received the highest amount of scholarships were Kanika, a student of MCA, who was given a scholarship of Rs 20,000; Shilpa Jain, another MCA student, was given Rs 12,500 and Sandeep Singh of BBA got Rs 10,000 scholarship. Institute director Kuldip Singh congratulated the students for their excellent performance.

FAREWELL: Outgoing BSc agriculture final year students were given a farewell party by third year students at PAU today. A cultural program including Punjabi folk dance, western dance, skit and classical dance was organised in Pal Auditorium. Students were given colourful mementoes.

Navneet Sandhu and Tanya were chosen ‘Mr and Ms Personality’ on this occasion. Dr M.S. Aulakh, dean, PAU College of Agriculture, addressed the students and wished them luck. He appreciated the efforts put in by the juniors in putting up the show.



PAU holds training in bee pathology
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
An advanced training course on ‘bee enemies, diseases and their management’ is on at PAU. The course started on April 8 and is on till tomorrow.

The course has been organised by the department of entomology with the help of directorate of extension education, PAU, under the aegis of ICAR's 'All India Coordinated Project on honey bee research and training for extension teachers and scientists from KVKs and FASSs headquarters in various districts of Punjab as well as officers of the state department of agriculture and horticulture.

According to head of the department of entomology Dr N. S. Butter, this training was timely in the wake of the recently observed incidence of varroa mite and wax moth attack on honey bees and reports of EFB and sacbrood diseases in the bee colonies of Punjab. This training would help provide immediate remedy to beekeepers of the state.

Dr Butter stressed that extension officers/teachers concerned with beekeeping should provide the needed clinical help and technical guidance to beekeepers to safeguard bees against enemies and diseases in their respective regions.

According to principal investigator of the ICAR scheme and technical coordinator for the training course Dr Pardeep Kumar Chhuneja, scientists and officers would be imparted training in management strategies of various bee diseases and enemies.

Besides, the extension functionaries would be educated about the causes of the spread of these menaces. The officer trainees would also be trained in techniques of collection of diseased bee/brood samples and their further preparation for dispatch to bee pathology labs for diagnosis.



Vietnamese art expo from today
Hues of French, Buddhist influence vivid
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Works of Vietnamese artists on display at Sutlej Club in Ludhiana on Thursday.
Works of Vietnamese artists on display at Sutlej
Club in Ludhiana on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Sayeed Ahmed

Ludhiana, April 10
Fading impressions of war from their minds has the artists from Vietnam dwell on the peace of getting on with life and the beauty that the country has to offer.

Seven artists from the country, with paint and brush strokes, have portrayed how after years of strife and hardship, the nation is emerging in the global arena.

Singapore-based art promoter Gaurika Miglani has brought the works of Vietnamese artists to the city for the first time.

More than 150 paintings and art works, to be put on display in the city for two days, beginning tomorrow, are a window to the present cultural and economic state of affairs.

Surreal dominance of French influence is quite vivid in these works. The artists have effectively merged sharpened colour strokes portraying women taking reigns in their hands in varied arenas from managing work to daily life.

Many of the works show a strong influence of Buddhism encompassing Chinese symbols that "radiate positive energy of Feng Shui".

"Bringing these works here is an effort to promote these artists. Due to the brightness and high decorative element, I aim to promote the art as a decorative form and not for investment purpose," Miglani told The Tribune.

The seven artists whose works are on display are Hoang Cong Hung, Nguyen Van Duong, Truong Quoc Bao, Tran Minh Loc, Le Phan Quoc, Truong Bach Tuong and Bui Quang Huy.

Miglani, who has been promoting art works in India for two years now, said people were getting receptive though the phase of art getting widely accepted as an investment was yet to come.

"There is a select category buying art for investment. But because of the high price tag it carries, it gets beyond the reach of many and keeping that in mind, I am promoting the works of upcoming artists, which would please art lovers and also suit their pockets."



TN bag overall trophy
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 10
Tamil Nadu accumulated 31 points to bag the overall trophy in the 4th National Chess Championship for the Deaf organised by the Association of the Deaf, Punjab, that concluded at the Samiti Kendra, Sham Singh Road, here today.

Players from Delhi secured 27.5 points to finish runners-up, while Kerala with 21 points had to content with third position. Maharashtra scored 19 points to occupy the fourth place and hosts Punjab with 17.5 points secured fifth place.

In the men’s section, participants from Tamil Nadu proved their mettle to secure first three positions.

M.K. Alguraja and M. Sivaraj, both from Tamil Nadu, secured 28 and 26 points, respectively, to bag the first two places, while G. Spencer Alexander, also from Tamil Nadu (25 points), followed closely at third place.

In the women’s section, Illa Joshi of Delhi with 15 points romped home victor, while S. Gajalakshmi from Tamil Nadu secured 13 points to finish runner-up. Renu Bala of Delhi secured third position.



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