L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


DAV School lands in holiday row
The school authorities granted holiday only to the students of Jain community on the occasion of Bhagwan Mahavir Jayanti
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Yesterday, the school teacher ordered the Jain students to stand up in the class and grant them holiday. How can we understand other cultures if the school will not let us participate in the festivals of other religions

— A student

Tomorrow, only Sikhs will celebrate Gurpurab or Muslims only will celeberate Id.

— A Parent

My order was misinterpreted as I have allowed those students to skip the school, who were taking part in the Bhagwan Mahavir Jayanti celebration.

—The principal

Ludhiana, April 18
After the "Insurance for admission" controversy, the DAV school is in the centre of another controversy now with the school authorites telling students of only Jain community to have a holiday today on the occasion of Bhagwan Mahavir Jayanti. Students of other religion attended classes leaving them and many students red-faced.

While the parents feel allowing students of each community to celebrate their respective religious festivals was a non-secular appraoch and the students may think they are not supposed to celebrate other religious festival, DAV School principal said he was concerned about the loss of studies due to so many holidays.

He stressed he had only allowed those students to skip school who were actually participating in the religious functions. He said his orders were being misinterpreted.

Interestingly, this order prevailed in DAV School only. All government schools remained closed today. Several private schools either had a complete holiday or all students, irrespective of their religion, attended school.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, parents complained that while the Constitution of the country laid down importance of religious brotherhood, they feared, children would grow up with the impression of celebrating their own respective religious days.

A student revealed, "Yesterday, the school teacher ordered the Jain students to stand up in the class and granted them holiday. How can we understand other cultures if the school will not let us participate in the festivals of other religions."

"I was shocked when my son, studying in DAV School, told me yesterday that his school teacher had given holiday to only those who were Jains and others will have to attend school on Mahavir Jayanti," said a mother.

Another furious parent said division of holidays on the basis of religious basis is uncalled for. "Tomorrow, only Sikhs will celebrate Gurpurab or Muslims only will celeberate Id. Children usually visit the house of their friends belonging to another religion and have a practical experience and learning of other religions, culture and tradition."

R.S. Patyal, principal, D.A.V School, BRS Nagar, said: "My order was misinterpreted as I have allowed those students to skip the school, who were taking part in the Bhagwan Mahavir Jayanti celebration. No matter which religion they belonged to."

He said he wanted to check the large number of holidays education institutions were having. "It is the schools which observe most number of holidays in the calendar year. The move has been taken to reduce the holidays. Out of 365 days, the schools remain off for 145 days."

The order has not gone well with the Jain community also. Sikander Lal Jain, a trustee of Vijyanand Charitable Hospital, said, "If the school authorities have not declared holiday on Mahavir Jayanti, they should not give holiday on any other religious festival also."



Pacifying fighting labourers cost him life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
In a freak incident, a rickshaw manufacturer died of excessive bleeding after he accidentally shot himself in one of his legs while he was preventing a clash between two groups of labourers working in his factory at about last midnight in Haibowal.

The manufacturer, Pritam Singh, of Field Gunj was declared brought dead in DMC Hospital after it took over an hour for labourers and friend Paramjit Singh to shift him to the hospital. Pritam Singh went to the factory situated on the outskirts of the Haibowal colony with Paramjit Singh at about midnight after he got a phone call about a clash between the factory workers.

He managed to separate them when one group pushed him. He slapped a labourer and was hitting butt of his rifle to another, when the weapon went off injuring his left thigh. The police and doctors said the gunshot wound on the left thigh was not life threatening but his friend Paramjit did not how to drive a car. He along with other labourers tried to load the injured in a rickshaw but could not succeed.

After wasting an hour, they found a man who took the injured in a car to the DMC Hospital but by the time it was too late. SHO Haibowal Gurpreet Singh said according to statement given by Paramjit and other labourers, chaos prevailed in the factory when the rifle went off.

He said all ran here and there for safety and realised after a long pause that the factory owner had shot himself accidentally.

The police has conducted proceedings under Sections 174 of the CrPC, which means the police had the option to book someone for murder if the investigation suggests. The post-mortem examination was conducted in the evening which confirmed death due to gunshot.

The SHO said as per investigation so far, the death seems to be an unfortunate incident. He said it is shocking that in such advanced world of technology, a man died of excessive bleeding for want of delayed medical treatment.

Paramjit is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters. The eldest daughter is married while others are studying in different colleges.

Heart-rending scenes were witnessed at his house in Field Gunj where his children and relatives were finding it hard to console themselves for the tragic death. Relatives said the man had gone to save labourers from injuring themselves but lost his own life.



‘PPSC flouts UGC norms’
Revise ads for posts of college lecturers: Aspirants
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh April 18
Accusing the authorities in the Punjab Public Services Commission (PPSC) of violating norms laid down by the University Grants Commission, to benefit certain aspirants for posts of lecturer, holders of PhD and M Phil degrees have urged the higher authorities to impress upon the chairman of the commission to revise advertisement inviting applications for posts of 265 college lecturers.

In a communiqué addressed to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and education minister Dr Upinder Jit Kaur, holders of PhD and M Phil degrees have alleged that the authorities in the PPSC had violated UGC norms while advertising posts of college lecturers.

Though the UGC has exempted PhD and M Phil candidates from appearing in National Eligibility Test (NET), only candidates who had passed M Phil degree up to December 31, 1993 and submitted PhD thesis to the university in the subject before December 31, 2002, were allowed to apply for the posts.

Perusal of advertisements inserted by public service commissions of neighbouring state revealed that they had made necessary amendments in light of latest guidelines of the UGC.

“NET will remain compulsory for appointment as lecturer. However, the candidates having Ph.D degree in the subject are exempted from NET for postgraduate level and undergraduate level teaching. The candidates having M Phil degree in the subjects are exempted from NET for UG level teaching only,” reads relevant paragraph of the advertisement made by the Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission recently.

Failing to convince officials in the commission, candidates of the area have now urged the Chief Minister and education minister to impress upon the chairman of the PPSC to get a corrigendum inserted in light of latest guidelines of the UGC and save their future from being spoiled.



Granthi held with opium
Our correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 18
The police has arrested a youth of Akalgarh Chhanna village who had allegedly been involved in trafficking of drugs and narcotics under the guise of a granthi of the village gurdwara.

A total of 2,620 gm of opium was seized from his possession.

Devotees, including farmers, labourers and students were among his regular customers. The police team at Barundi- Brahampur road near here nabbed Paramjit Singh, head granthi at Gurdwara Akalgarh, Chhanna, last night. The police became suspicious about the religious leader when he tried to hide in fields on seeing the patrolling party.

Investigations revealed that the accused had been exploiting his religious robe for transporting drugs and narcotics from other states, including Jammu Kashmir, Rajasthan, UP and MP. He was earlier booked for carrying huge quantity of poppy husk.

The accused admitted that he had been dealing in drugs. The police is trying to establish whether the accused was linked with other religious places of the area.



Mosquitoes breed, authorities sleep
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
Lack of proper sanitation in the city is making mosquitoes and flies breed indiscriminately. These insects, known for being vectors of several diseases, are posing a threat to the health of city residents.

One can witness a swarm of flies while sitting in open and lakhs of mosquitoes could be seen breeding on the surface of water. This, however, does not seem to bother the civic body, which is yet to start its fogging operations.

After showers recently, many puddles were formed providing a perfect medium for the mosquitoes and insects to multiply. The fact that these mosquitoes can lead to a number of diseases could not prompt any of the authorities to react.

Not only the unplanned areas like Gyaspura and Sherpur where a disease breaks out every season, the posh areas are also swarmed by the flies.

‘‘The other day, I was sitting inside an eating joint in Sarabha Nagar. There were so many flies that it became difficult for me to finish my snack. The flies really troubled me a lot. I was wondering if areas like Sarabha Nagar too have so many flies what would be the situation in other areas?’’ asked a resident.

Several pockets in Gyapsura were declared malaria sensitive by the Union Ministry of Health in the past and the local administration was asked to take measures against the spread of mosquito-borne disease. This did not wake up the authorities.

Despite having reported many malaria cases in the past, no efforts are being taken to check it this year. The authorities are waiting for an outbreak.

Besides malaria, there is a threat of dengue also like every year.

The mosquito responsible for spreading disease Aedes breeds in fresh water and no measures are being taken to check that. Last year also many cases of dengue were reported from different city parts.

While all this is happening, residents complain that they had not seen a single fogging machine in the city.

The MC functionaries said they were chalking out a schedule for fogging in the city. ‘‘We will soon tackle the problem, ’’ said the functionaries. 



Unethical ads: PMC to act tough against doctors
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 18
The state government’s decision to act tough against unethical advertisements being placed by medical practitioners of indigenous and modern medical system in print and electronic media is a welcome step. But at the same time, once the regulatory authorities get down to the task of bringing the offenders to book, they would realise that it is easier said than done.

Secretary of the medical education and research Jagjit Puri said the boards and councils for Ayurvedic and homeopathic medicines as well as the Punjab Medical Council had been directed to take action against such publishers of advertisements that were unlawful, unethical or violated the Medical Council of India guidelines.

The fact remains that indecent and objectionable advertisements, most of the times, in contravention of the relevant laws, are being carried in the print as well as the electronic media with impunity without attracting any penal action from the administration, which happens to the enforcement agency in this case.

The advertisers, particularly the unscrupulous elements and fly by night operators, and at times, even qualified and registered medical practitioners have been taking advantage of the slackness on the part of regulatory authorities in order to dupe the gullible people.

As far as advertisements making misleading and unlawful claims are concerned, the manufacturers of so called wonder drugs and self-styled healthcare centres top the list. From obesity, diabetes, heart trouble, sterility, short stature, cancer, epilepsy, leucoderma, cancer, renal failure and right up to aids and having a male child; you name it and the medical ‘messiahs’ will have a magic cure for all such ailments. In the process, the relevant provisions of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954 are flagrantly violated.

Ironically, even a few of the reputed health institutions and qualified doctors had also joined the rat race (of making misleading claims in ads) in contravention of the Hippocratic Oath. However, unlike the health department which has been watching these developments like a mute spectator, the Punjab Medical Council had initiated action against a few habitual offenders. But in the absence of a sustained drive against the menace, the quacks and other outfits, claiming magic cure for a number of diseases, are still having a free run.

Going by the flood of advertisements for wonder cure, in print and electronic media in the recent past, the said legislation, enacted with the intention of saving the people from opportunist and manipulative elements, claiming guaranteed cure for many of the “incurable” diseases, has been practically rendered worthless. In the relevant law, not only the claims of magical healing with drugs or other substances are prohibited but those, who claim to possess magical or supernatural powers, have also been dealt with.

In the prevailing situation, the move by the state government seems a step in the right direction. However, whether or not the move will yields any positive results, will depend on the will and determination of the regulatory authorities. 



Udyog Rattan award for city businessman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
The Institute of Economic Studies (IES) has conferred “Udyog Rattan” award on the Ludhiana-based entrepreneur Hardeep Singh at a national seminar on the “current economic scenario” organised in New Delhi.

The award was given by former Assam Governor Bhishm Narayan Singh. Former Chief Election Commissioner G.V.G. Krishnamurthy and Assam minister Vishnu Prasad were present on the occasion.

Hardeep Singh is the chief executive of H.S. Engineers and Associates, a road construction company, which has also received an excellence award in productivity, quality, innovation and management. The company has constructed roads in remotest rural areas in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.



Discrepancies in bills

The bills issued by the PSEB to its customers are purely on estimate basis and the actual consumption of electric units doesn’t match with that of reading as per meter. This has not happened once or twice. It is a matter of routine.

Sometimes, this variation is unbelievable. It has come to the notice that the department is doing all this intentionally in order to levy penal as well as other charges.

Whenever the department issues wrong bill, it affects the rate of electric units, as different rates are applicable at particular slabs. Further, 
issuing of bill for more or less electric unit consumption is also a great loss of revenue to the department.

There has been lot of discrepancies in my bills. Out of the last six bills that I have received, one bill was found to be below 100 units whereas another bill for more than 500 to 600 units.

I request the authorities to issue bills on the basis of actual meter reading instead of estimates. Steps must be 
taken to stamp out erring officials.

Ravi Chander Garg



Travel agents booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 18
A couple who allegedly defrauded Amarpal Singh of Kum Khurd district in July 2006 has been booked under Section 420 of the IPC.

Amarpal dreamt of going to the United Kingdom. He met his brother-in-law Beant Singh of Agwar Dalla in this regard. Beant Singh contacted Kulwant Singh, a resident of Mohalla Telian, and his wife Manjit Kaur, both travel agents.

They assured Beant Singh to send Amarpal abroad. The deal was settled for Rs 10 lakh and a part payment of Rs 3 lakh was paid to the couple. They on August 24, 2006, told Amarpal he has been granted visa for Nigeria.

He (Amarpal) was put on flight with an assurance to shift him to the United Kingdom within a week which was never done. Aggrieved Amarpal returned to India after staying in Nigeria for 10 days. He demanded refund which the couple refused to return.

Beant lodged a complaint with the SSP (Rural). The police zeroed in at Balwinder Singh of Katani Kalan and registered a case against them.



Boy sodomised,1 held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
The Sadar police has arrested a resident of Dulley village for allegedly sodomising a seven-year-old boy.

This is the latest sodomy incident in the district which already leads the chart with highest number of such incidents in the state.

Darahsn Singh, employed with a brick kiln near the village, allegedly lured the boy and sodomised him. Later, the police booked him under Section 377 of the IPC. 



Crop damage
Farmers demand compensation 
Chakar village worst affected
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh/ Raekot, April 18
The hailstorm that hit the region recently has caused widespread damage to ripened wheat crops. The farmers are demanding compensation for the damage.

Accusing revenue officials of showing unconcern about the losses incurred by the farmers, president of the Punjab Kisan Sabha Jagan Nath Dadhahoor and senior vice-president Baldev Singh Latala urged the authorities to conduct girdavaris to access the actual loss.

The hailstorm had hit the region over a week ago, causing heavy losses to the wheat crops. The hailstorm followed by strong winds is estimated to have damaged up to 70 per cent of the crop in a few villages.

The worst-affected areas were Pherurain Achcharwal, Chakar, Lakha, Jhordan and Sidhwan Bet villages. The peasants could hardly do anything as the precipitation had turned soil unsuitable for harvesting by combine harvesters and reapers. Farmers alleged that officials had not taken the girdavaris orders seriously.Tirlochan Singh Raikot alleged that a PCS officer had returned from a religious place instead of physically verifying damages to fields at Achcharwal village.

“It is pitiable that the PCS who had been deputed to gather firsthand information from affected area, instead of visiting fields of farmers returned after placating local leaders and some farmers at a religious place,” lamented Baldev Latala. 



DC educates farmers
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 18
In an attempt to create awareness among farmers pertaining to the depleting water table resources, the Patiala deputy commissioner D.S. Grewal yesterday inaugurated a special `kisan jagriti camp’ under the `save water, save Punjab’ campaign at village Rajla, near here, today.

State government has warned farmers not to start sowing paddy in advance this season and the drive launched by the district administration is a move in this direction. The DC himself drove a tractor over a field in Rajla village where some farmers were trying to sow paddy much in advance. 



Teachers stage dharna against suspension
Our Correspondent

Khamano, April 18
The ongoing confrontation between five women teachers and the Nankana Sahib education trust took a new turn yesterday when three terminated and two suspended teachers staged a dharna outside the school premises. They were protesting against injustice done to them by the trust under the chairmanship of SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar.

Confrontation between the two sides started after a joke about Lord Ram and Sita was published in a school magazine. At that time Kuldip Kaur was officiating as the principle and chief editor of the magazine. A few Hindu organizations had raised the issue and a case was registered against the principal and two other teachers. Later, they were transferred to some other school.

The case registered against them was dropped after an inquiry. But, now, on April 1 Kuldip Kaur was again appointed principal of Samrala school. The matter again came to fore and the local school committee opposed the orders passed by the trust regarding her appointment.

Parents of children studying in this school met and directed the trust to transfer her. The trust bowing to parents’ demand transferred her to some other school run by the trust. The trust in a drastic step terminated 13 members of the local school managing committee.SGPC member Jathedar Kirpal Singh Khirnia was holding portfolio of its additional secretary. The trust in order to teach lesson to the school staff also suspended two women teachers and terminated three others. The matter worsened after five of the staged the dharna today.

This educational institution has become battleground for Akalis factions to settle score.

Meanwhile, MLA Jagjivan Singh Khirnia said he was in touch with authorities concerned and the matter would soon be sorted out.



From Colleges
Students undertake visual merchandising project
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 18
Students of Pinnacle Institute of Fashion Technology pursuing the streams of fashion designing and domestic retail and knitwear design technology undertook a project on ‘Visual Merchandising’ in which they practiced window display in some of the renowned stores of the city.

During the project, they received a comprehensive insight of retailing. According to a press release issued by the institute here today, the practical training made the students learn the techniques to sell a product directly to the customer, which was commonly known as retailing.


The associate dean of Humber College Peter Maddot, accompanied by Col Harjap Singh, visited the GRD Academy here yesterday. The visit aimed at making Class XII students aware of the educational opportunities available at Humber College. The dean has been visiting several other reputed schools in Punjab in the course of promotional campaign.

He lighted the lamp and highly appreciated the welcome song and giddha rendered by the middle school girls.



Vet varsity to open dairy science college
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) is starting a College of Dairy Science and Technology and College of Fisheries from the forthcoming academic session. Vice-chancellor Dr V.K. Taneja made an announcement to this regard, while addressing a press conference here today.

He was addressing the conference in context of the foundation day celebrations on April 21, next week. Dr Taneja informed the gathering about significant progress in the areas of teaching, research, extension, infrastructure development, administration, finances and student activities made during the past two years of its existence.

He said department of biotechnology had also been created and postgraduate program in animal biotechnology shall also commence from the forthcoming session.

He said during the year 2007-08, more than 80 research schemes were submitted to various funding agencies.

Of these, 30 research proposals amounting to more than Rs 15 crores have been approved for implementation. Remaining proposals are under active consideration of funding agencies.

Also, GADVASU has bagged a prestigious project on ‘Sustainable livestock farming system for livelihood security in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab’ amounting to Rs 8.5 crores under the National Agriculture Innovative Project of ICAR.

Another research project ‘Rumen Microbial Diversity in domesticated and wild ruminants and developing microbial consortia for improving energy efficiency of poor 
quality feeds’ has been approved at a cost of Rs 2 crores. Both projects would become operational during 2008-09.

The department of animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries, has sanctioned Rs 60 lakh for conservation and proliferation of Beetal goats -a breed native to Punjab.

The project is being taken up in Talwara (Hoshiarpur) and Padari Kalan (Tarn Taran) and would supply superior breeding males (bucks) to goat farmers. 



1,400 examined at medical camp
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 18
More than 1,400 patients were examined by specialist doctors, nearly 200 selected for free corrective polio surgery while another 75 were identified for eye operations and intra-ocular lens implant at a medical camp organised by USPC Jain Charitable Hospital to mark Mahavir Jayanti, which also coincided with the 10th anniversary of the hospital.

A team of specialists, including Dr G.S. Wander and Dr Naved Aslam, Dr Satish Jain and Dr Dinesh Jain, along with other doctors and supporting staff, conducted the medical check-up of the patients.

Dr Archan Garg, medical superintendent of the hospital, said basic diagnostic tests like X-ray, ultrasound, ECG, EEG and laboratory examinations were carried out free of cost and patients were also given free medicines.



Medical camp tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 18
A free multi-speciality in-hospital medical check-up camp will be organised by Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) in the OPD block on April 20. Consultants from the specialties of endocrinology (diabetes), skin, eye, ENT and dental will examine the patients during the camp.

Giving this information here today, medical superintendent of DMCH, Dr Rajoo Singh Chhina, said a team of consultants and senior residents, including Dr Naveen Mittal (endocrinology), Dr Sumeet Chopra and Dr Harpreet Kaur (ophthalmology), Dr Kapil Dua and Dr Suneet (ENT), Dr Sunil K. Gupta and Dr Chetna (skin and VD), Dr Namita Budhiraja and Dr Vineet Galhotra (dentistry) will conduct the medical check-up of patients.

Dr Chhina further said the patients coming to the camp for consultation will be entitled to free registration, including free medicines, free urine (routine/culture) and blood sugar test, while they will be entitled to 20 percent concession on OPD investigation and indoor treatment in general ward, excluding usage of medical equipment. 



Coaching Centre XI register first win
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 18
Coaching Centre XI quelled a strong challenge from the Superdeep Club before emerging winners by a slender margin of 2 runs to record maiden victory in the cricket tournament being organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association to prepare the district team (u-16) for the forthcoming Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament for M.L.Markan Trophy at Satish Chander Dhawan Government College here today.

In a 50 overs match, Coaching Centre XI, batting first scored 138 runs in 43 overs. The main contributors were Abhijit Randhawa and Arjun, who made 45 and 21 runs, respectively. Sandeep Singh scored 17 while Rajan contributed 11 runs. Harjeet Singh chipped in 5 runs and Paramjeet Singh scored 2 runs.

For the Superdeep Club, Ajay Kumar captured 4 wickets for 19 runs and Abhishek Talwar scalped three wickets for 18 runs while Himanshu grabbed two wickets for 18 runs.

In reply, the Superdeep Club's innings folded at 136 runs in 36 overs, thus falling short of the target by three runs. The main scorers were Abhishek Talwar and Vivek, who made 26 ad 23 runs,respectively. Himanshu, Yuvraj Singh and Sahil contributed 9, 8 and 6 runs, respectively.

Sandeep Singh of the Coaching Centre XI took four wickets for 31 runs and Abhijit Randhawa captured three victims for 13 runs. Harjit and Luvish grabbed one wicket each for 13 and 12 runs, respectively.



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