L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Boy drowns in pit dug by PUDA
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
A 10-year-old migrant boy, Bittu Nayak, of Dugri village died here yesterday after drowning in a 10-12 ft pit dug by PUDA for the construction of a commercial complex in the Dugri area.

The pit was dug two days ago and got waterlogged after heavy rain on Friday. No sign was put on the place to warn residents about the pit.

The alleged negligence cost Bittu his life. A Class VI student of Saini Public School, Bittu had left his house at 8 am yesterday and went missing after that. Last evening, a shopkeeper found the boy’s body floating in the pit. He, with the help of another shopkeeper, fished out the body and identified him as Bittu.

The body was cremated late last evening. A pall of gloom descended on the village after the news of his death. Residents alleged that the negligence of the authorities had caused the death of the boy.

His parents are weavers.

“It was not uncommon for boys like Bittu to swim in waterlogged areas. They would do that every monsoon. This time too he might have gone there to play, but could not see the pit and drowned,’’ a shopkeeper said.

His mother Shanti and two sisters were inconsolable. ‘‘I never imagined he would die like this,’’ his mother said.

The police is yet to register a case. THe SHO, Model Town, Waryam Singh, said he just knew that a boy had been rescued and sent to hospital.

The PUDA authorities said they did not know anything about the case. Executive officer Jeet Ram said he did not know about the pit.

The XEN, V.K. Chauhan, in charge of the project, also claimed he was not aware of the pit.


Candidates flout election code, deface property
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 29
Ignoring directions of the State Election Commission, supporters of candidates for the elections to the municipal council continued defacing public property by pasting posters on the walls of government buildings, electric poles and telephone panels. Even private educational institutes and houses were not spared.

Though the authorities got posters removed from certain public properties, no case was registered under the Prevention of Property Defacement Act, 1997.

Poster war among candidates, Independents and those supported by SAD and BJP, resulted in massive defacement of properties owned by individuals and various government agencies. Though the owners felt dejected over damage caused by pasting and removing of the posters, none came forward to get cases registered against the violators.

A few candidates did not even hesitate to deface walls of the MC office, police station, Janta College for Women and MGMN Senior Secondary School. Buses, hospitals and factories also suffered defacement.

The returning officer had strictly instructed all candidates to follow the election code. While a few candidates tried to follow the instructions, the others failed.

The authorities claimed that the posters pasted on public buildings had been removed by the civic body staff. However, no action was initiated against the violators.



Driver’s Murder
Cops suspect illicit relations 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
The police suspects multiple illicit relationship could be the reason behind the gruesome murder of the driver of an orchestra group who was stabbed to death yesterday near Noorwala road.

Police investigations revealed that the victim, Balbir Singh, had reportedly left his wife several months ago and was living with different women. His wife, too, was allegedly staying with another man.

“The reason behind the murder appears to be the complexities of the relationships,” a police official said, wishing not to be quoted.

He said the police was questioning all members of the orchestra party, especially women, besides his relatives.

The police has not detained any person so far. A lot of feminine things were strewn around in the Qualis of the deceased and the seven-odd stab wounds suggest there could be a man-woman duo behind the crime.

The Qualis was found abandoned near Noorwala road and the body was found at a colony nearby. The police said the call details of the mobile phone of the victim would be taken soon.



Crumbling trench puts residents’ lives at risk
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
A trench dug and forgotten by the water supply and sewerage board to lay sewer in Urban Estate, Phase-II, Dugri, has left residents panicky as it has started to cave in due to rains.

The work on the trench, measuring 12x10 feet, for laying sewer was suddenly abandoned six months ago. The sides of the trench are now caving in with rain.

Residents fear that there were many electricity poles on the sides of the trench and if the sinking in continued, these poles could fall any time posing a threat to the lives of people living in houses in the vicinity.

Moreover, the eroding soil was getting accumulated in sewers pipes thus choking the system even before it was laid.

B.R. Luthra, a resident, said a pole supporting high-tension cables stood along the trench. The rain might cause further sinking in of the sides of trench and the pole could give way anytime, he added.

Moreover, the area around the trench has turned slippery the due to rain, thus posing a threat to the lives of passersby.

“A large number of pedestrians pass through the road and can fall in the trench, especially at night. In such an scenario, they will go undetected,” said Luthra.

He added that the board started the digging operation two years ago. The work continued till six months ago when it was abandoned. It is anybody’s guess why the work was discontinued. And the trench has been left as it is.

“We have complained to the authorities a number of times and have sent reminders highlighting the problem. But all this has fallen on deaf ears,” rued Manjeet Singh, another resident.



Activists join hands for nature
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
Environmentalists from all over Punjab have decided to join hands to save environment instead of forming new joint action or working committees. Around 100 environmentalists, social workers, political activists, who took part in discussions on environment degradation at SCD Government College here today, stressed on protection and preservation of natural resources, including water, air, trees and earth.

SEWA, Punjab, took this initiative in providing common platform to all individuals and organisations engaged or want to get engaged in environment protection.

Concerned over the lethargic attitude of farmers in Punjab, Dr Inderjit Kaur, in charge, Pingalwara, Amritsar, said: Today's farmer is going away from his roots. If migrant labourer can work in his fields why can't he or his family can do the same work for himself? Today, he feels that agriculture is useless. It is the same agriculture due to which Punjab is recognised worldwide. We have to protect our land and natural resources at any cost."

Another environmentalist Nirmaljit Singh stressed that instead of forming committees to chalk out plan of actions, we should start protecting environment from this very moment. He said today many of the NGOs had made it a "business" to get huge grants and they do little in the direction. "We must oppose such NGOs, social organisations, governments, who believe in paper work. It is due to them that the agrarian Punjab is in such a miserable state, losing its vast natural resources," he said further asking every Punjabi to come forward for his own protection from deadly diseases due to use of pesticides, insecticides, poisonous substances present in the environment.

The participants asked all present to plant at least one environment friendly and medicinal plant/sapling around their homes, offices, work places, schools, colleges to protect environment. Others who took part in the deliberations were Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, Sant Sewa Singh Khadoor Sahib, Prof Rupinder 
Singh Maan, Umendra Dutt and Sant Labh Singh.



MC Polls: Money, liquor flow freely
Our Correspondent

Doraha, June 29
With the local municipal council elections barely a few hours away, parties are leaving no stone unturned to woo voters in order to garner their support. Besides spending a huge amount of money on flags, hoardings and posters, the candidates are now alluring voters by wooing them in cash or kind. One often comes across the door-to-door distribution of money by candidates of a few wards in Doraha.

Apart from this, the Bacchus lovers are being lured with wine and drugs, teetotalers with cold drinks and women with suits and sweets. In some cases even television sets are being supplied to the family from where a major chunk of votes can be extracted.

The Tribune has found out that a particular candidate has fixed the rate of each voter at Rs 5,000 and if there are four members eligible for exercising their franchisee tomorrow in a family, Rs 20,000 has already been paid to them.

A large number of voters of a ward alleged that they were being forced to keep the cash much against their wishes and if at all they resist, candidates find some other source to approach us. “We shall literally heave a sigh of relief when all this hullabaloo of elections would come to an end as neither do these candidates rest nor they allow us to do same,” one of the voters alleged.

Another voter contended,” Since a large number of candidate are contesting the poll from our ward all of them are known to us. One has to be nice to all.

But, as my family members and I were utterly disgruntled over their occasional visits and undue interference that too during vacations, we already left for our relatives in Delhi a week ago.”

A social worker of Doraha rued,” I really fail to understand the sense behind conducting such elections. Good numbers of voters are being supplied liquor like water and hence they remain inebriated.

Will an intoxicated voter be able to vote for a right candidate? Does he know as to whom he is casting his precious vote to? And will a representative elected by such a person be a genuine one and able to relate to our problems after coming to power?”

“This is simply murder of a democratic system. The administration as well as the police is watching as mute spectators.

In the name of free and fair poll, every dictatorial and dishonest trick is being carried out to grab the votes”, an important personality of the town said. 



EVMs despatched to polling booths
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 29
All is set for the local municipal council’s poll tomorrow. The authorities claimed that all arrangements had been made for the smooth conduct of the elections. The polling will start at 8 a.m. and continue till 4 p.m.

Payal SDM Neeru Katyal said polling staff along with material had been dispatched to all booths at Payal and Doraha towns. Candidates and their agents were urged to maintain peace and tranquility during polling tomorrow.

EVMs had been duly checked and dispatched to a few polling booths. The presiding officers were directed to ensure safe custody of these machines. Candidates and their agents will be allowed to check genuineness and zero mark of their respective machines before commencement of polling tomorrow. Extra EVMs have been arranged for meeting any emergency.

Katyal said as per the Election Commission’s directions, voters who had been issued photo identity cards must bring these at the time of voting. For those who have not been issued the identity cards, the commission had given a list of 14 alternative documents for proving their identity.

According to Manjit Singh, assistant returning officer, 38 polling staff, each constituting five personnel, have been constituted to conduct polling at 22 polling booths for polling to 15 wards. While 22 teams were sent to their respective booths, rest was kept in reserve.

Amandeep Singh Bhatti, retuning officer, had earlier briefed the poling staff about procedural elements of the polling. Bhatti said at least 200 polling personnel had been put on duty in the town. Majority of these were from outside the area as per the directions of the State Election Commission. All polling personnel have been given training for use of EVMs consisting of two balloting units.

Three officials have been deputed to supervise the election process.

Paramjit Kaur (candidate from ward No. 1), Mandeep Kaur (ward No. 15) and Ravinder Kumar (ward No. 14) have apprehended rigging by their opponents during the polling tomorrow.

At least 88 candidates, including seven SAD and five BJP nominees are contesting election for 15 wards at the local town. Twenty-one out of 22 polling booths have already been declared sensitive.

Gurmel Singh, SP (Headquarters), Jagraon, supervised the security arrangements at Raikot town where nine out of 17 polling booths had been declared sensitive. Election to 14 wards would take place tomorrow whereas one candidate had already been declared elected unopposed.



Man had cheated son-in-law 5 yrs ago
PO’s posters blackened,peeled off 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
A five-year-old case against a man for allegedly cheating his son-in-law came back into limelight when a few unidentified persons pasted his posters in the old city last midnight.

The posters, more than 100, were blackened or torn off today afternoon by sympathisers of the man. The man, Charanjit Singh, a resident of the Link road near the Samrala Chowk, was declared the proclaimed offender in a case of assault and cheating his son-in-law.

A love story of a run away couple (his daughter and son-in-law) is the root cause behind the posters. The police said the man had opposed his daughter's marriage with a boy of her choice.

However, when the couple got married against the will of their parents, Charanjit allegedly got his son-in-law falsely implicated in a cheque bounce case. Later, when the police found the truth, Charanjit was booked. He ran away and was declared a proclaimed offender.

The case is in a city court but in a novel way to settle score with the accused, people, presumably the complainants pasted the poster containing his picture with proclaimed offender wrriten on it on poles, walls and shop shutters.

A Tribune team had seen four youths pasting the posters in Chaurra Bazar area last midnight. However, today morning, the posters were peeled off and blackened.

Division No. 6 police station SHO Gurtej Singh said he had received a complaint about the posters but there was nothing illegal in its pasting. "The man is a proclaimed offender and complainants or the police can do so”, he added.

Usually, posters are released by the police or the district magistrate, but in this case, the persons went ahead and released it on their own. The posters don’t carry the name or address of those printing and pasting it. Sources said District Magistrate was authorized to take action against such acts.

The SHO said it was unfortunate the case had reached at such a stage. "It all began due to a love affair. Then families came at loggerheads. After that there was rapprochement but a few relatives still opposed the couple.



Despite MC drive, hoardings still stand
Tribune News Service

Kharar, June 29
The Kharar municipal council has failed to completely achieve task of removing hoardings and billboards from the Chandigarh-Kharar stretch.

Instead of completely removing illegal structures, the MC has just removed advertisements affixed on them.

The huge structures fixed on the riverbed near Desu Majra featuring advertisements have yet not been dismantled.

Under the rules, huge structures supporting hoardings have to be removed.

XEN central works division (CWD) Karnail Singh said the MC had just done a superficial job.

“According to the Supreme Court orders, no individual or a company can put up any advertisement along the national highway. Violation of these orders was going on blatantly right under the nose of authorities,” he said.

Interestingly, at some places, the MC officials have covered original advertisements with white sheets.

“This does not serve the purpose. The violators are bound to be back in action unless every structure supporting these hoardings is dismantled,” officials pointed out.

It is learnt that the MC had duly floated tenders for installing these billboards and had generated handsome revenue out of it.

However, MC officials stated that they had given the permission with a clause that national highway rules had to be kept in view before any such installation.

While hoardings under the MC limits have been removed to some extent, others are still standing.

The areas were they stand include sales tax barrier near Balongi, Mundi Kharar and Daun.

According to officials, these hoardings will be removed within a week.

MC officials have acted upon the orders of the district administration after the High Court summoned district officials on a PIL filed on the issue by Devinder Kumar.

An inquiry in this regard is pending with SP (city) Mohali Varinder Pal Singh.

Varinder Pal said the MC was yet to submit its record regarding tenders floated for installation of billboards.



Rights panel starts its unit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
All India Human Rights Association (AIHRA), an NGO, launched its local unit at the Ludhiana club here today. On this occasion association members nominated Anil Sharma as the AIHRA district chief. Speaking on this occasion, he said the NGO would make people aware of human rights and provide legal help to poor people.

He further said, "We plan to take up the matter of pollution and traffic with departments concerned. The matter of corruption in various department is also a matter of concern."

Sharma added that issues like child labour, violence against women, female foeticide were some of the issues, which demand immediate attention. The NGO would take up these issues with officials concerned.



Rectify cable service

DG cable that provides services in the Barewal road area has been blocking DD News in the morning and evening hours and instead it shows a religious programme. After the programme is over, DD News is shown on the same channel.

Several requests have been made to the operator to rectify the error in the service. The two programmes should be shown on different channels so that the viewers do not feel cheated. Through this letter, the cable operator is requested to pay attention to this demand of the viewers.

Gurmel Singh, Ludhiana

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.



Cinema staff booked for pornography
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
The Kotwali police has booked manager and three other employees of the Laxmi Cinema hall for allegedly showing porn movie clips in the garb of screening a Hindi movie.

SHO Nirmal Singh said a case under Sections 292, 293, 294 and 120-B of the IPC besides violation of copyright 63 and 68 A of the Cinematography Act has been registered against manager Sukhwinder Kumar, assistant manager Dalbir Singh, operators Dyal Chand and Mohinder Prasad.

Action is also being initiated against the owner, the police said. An adult Hindi movie “Sneha Meri Jaan” was being screened in the hall but the staff in-between showed English porn clips.

A report for further action has been sent to district magistrate Sumer Singh Gurjar.



Ways to uplift educational standards  discussed
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
A meeting of headmasters and headmistresses of various government high schools of the city was held at Government Girls High School, Madhopuri.

Headmistress Leela Rani presided over the meeting that discussed various methods to uplift the standard of education in government high schools.

Leela Rani said the teachers working as headmasters for the past 15 years were awaiting promotions while numerous posts of principal were lying vacant in the state.

She further said the educational staff should not be used for non-educational works as it affected the studies to a great extent.

She added that the government should put an end on the PTA fund and computer fee of Rs 80 and 20, respectively, as students could not afford the fees and the teachers had to pay their fees from their own pockets to encourage them to take up the subject.



Interview date revised for BSc agri (hons)
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
According to the information given by the dean, College of Agriculture, PAU, Dr Milkha Singh Aulakh, the candidates who have applied for six-year B.Sc agri (hons) programme at PAU were earlier informed through the prospectus that they will be interviewed on July 9. However, in view of the heavy rush of applications received for this programme, the candidates will be interviewed as follows:

Candidates with names starting with the alphabets ‘A to G’ will be interviewed on July 9 and those with names starting with the alphabets ‘H to M’ will be interviewed on July 10. The students, whose names will start from alphabets ‘N to Y’ will be interviewed on July 11.

Dr Aulakh further informed that the candidates have also been intimated about this interview schedule through letters and that in case of any further query about the schedule, the candidates can contact the office of the dean, College of Agriculture, PAU or office of the registrar, PAU.



630 examined at IMA camp
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 29
More than 630 patients were examined at a medical camp organised here today by the local branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in collaboration with the Youth Club, Rahon Road, and the Punjab Medical Representatives  Association, to mark “Doctors Day” that falls  on July 1.

Assistant civil surgeon Manorama Avasthi while inaugurating the camp exhorted the medical fraternity to serve the mankind with compassion and strive to bring the medicare within the reach of the common people.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Arun Mitra, IMA president, said on one hand such camps serve the people who could not afford the treatment from super specialists while on the other, these serve to improve the doctor-patient relationship.



BCM XI trounce Scorpion XI
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
BCM XI registered a convincing seven-wicket win over Scorpion XI on the inaugural day of the twenty20 cricket tournament played at the ground of Polytechnic College here today. Sixteen teams are taking part in the under-19 cricket tournament organised by the Ludhiana District 20-20 Cricket Association. Scorpion XI won the toss and elected to bat fist. The decision backfired as the team were bundled out for a paltry 76 runs in 19.3 overs.

Kashav top-scored with 19 runs, followed by Sahil Nayar and Khushal, who scored 14 and 10 runs, respectively. Yogesh took three wickets conceding 14 runs.

Mangal also delivered a fine bowling spell and clinched three wickets, giving away 15 runs.

BCM XI players chased the target in 11.4 overs and lost three wickets on their way through.

Nikhil smashed a quick-fire 30, with Prabha scoring an unbeaten 28 runs.

Khushal and Sarandeep took one wicket apiece conceding 14 and 15 runs, respectively.



AITA: Punjab players advance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
Budding tennis players of the host state Punjab paved their way through the qualifiers on the second day of the annual PAU AITA Total Tennis Talent Series Championship organised by the Total Tennis Academy on the Punjab Agricultural University campus here today.

Around 300 participants from across the country are taking part in the tournament.

In the final qualifying matches played in the under-12 age category, Abhinav from Punjab got the better of his state mate Amartya in a three-set encounter (1-4, 4-2, 4-2).

Ramandeep from Punjab beat his compatriot Prerak 5-4(5), 4-5 (2), 4-2.

Punjab lad Kshitij beat Parth 4-0, 4-0. Daksh beat Ratik 4-0, 4-1.

Rahul from Haryana beat Abhishek from Punjab 4-1, 4-0.

In the under-14 final qualifiers, Rishabh from Chandigarh beat Uday from Punjab 4-0, 4-1.

Pallav from Haryana beat Amit 4-1 as he conceded the match after suffering an injury.

Hardeep from Punjab beat Jotpal 5-3, 4-1. Ravinder from Punjab beat Bhawan Preet 5-3, 4-5 (6), 4-1.



Benipal sports cell chairman
Tribune News Service

Khanna, June 29
Kuldeep Singh Benipal has been appointed chairman of the sports and culture cell of the Punjab Youth Congress. Vijay Inder Singla, president, Punjab Youth Congress, welcomed him.

Earlier, Benipal was the secretary of the Punjab Youth Congress.



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