L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Acid attack on woman, infant
Victim blames brother-in-law
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
A woman and a child had a miraculous escape from an acid attack at Peeru Bandha area here this afternoon.

Ekta, a resident of Bank Colony, sustained burns injuries on her right hand and leg as her brother-in-law allegedly threw acid on her. She is getting treatment at CMC Hospital.

Her one-year-old son Bhavishya also sustained injuries as acid drops fell on his right foot. Ekta has filed a dowry suit against her husband Varun and in-laws recently. She alleged that since she had filed the dowry suit, she received repeated threats from her in-laws.

She added that her brother in-law Arun Khurmi and her father in-law Roshan Lal were threatening her to stop persuing the dowry case.

Ekta alleged that when she was taking her son for a medical check-up, her brother in-law, along with five other members, who came in an Indica car (PB 10 BJ 4381), threw acid on her and fled the spot.

She was earlier rushed to the civil hospital but because of lack of facilities, she was referred to CMC Hospital, where she is undergoing a treatment. Beant Kumar, in charge, Salem Tabri police station, said, "We have recorded the statement of the victim and attempt to murder case will be registered against the accused."


MC looks the other way as ad scam gets murkier
Companies allege advertisement mafia is forcing them to buy space on hoardings
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
The advertisement scam staring the municipal corporation in its face is growing murkier with various companies alleging that the advertisement mafia was forcing them to buy space on hoardings.

All this is happening right under the nose of the authorities. Many companies disclosed to The Tribune that they had to buy space on the hoarding boards after being pressurised by several leaders.

They said they were not in a position to say no to them fearing harassment. They said 80 per cent of their budget on advertising in different media was being spent on hoardings alone while earlier it was between 20 to 50 per cent.

Municipal corporation sources said a mafia was active in the city and it was operating allegedly in connivance with not only MC functionaries but also political leadership.

The city mayor, Hakam Singh Gyaspura, incidentally, did not constitute a committee to look into the advertisement scam worth crores despite announcing it on the floor of MC house a month ago.

The mayor had announced he would constitute a committee after chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda had raised the matter.

Dhanda had unveiled the scam, stating he had a video footage to support his claim. He had asked the mayor to cancel the contract of the concerned company immediately. The mayor, however, had deferred the case.

Though the MC exchequer is losing crores of rupees every year, the authorities continue to sit over the scam.

The MC had entrusted the contract of 220 hoarding boards to a private company two years ago with a rider that it would maintain all green belts in the city. The company was also asked to give small amounts per board with an agreement of a contract for seven years.

The company, however, did not do anything as almost all the green belts in the city are forest areas and only the roundabouts were to be maintained by the local body.

Dhanda had held that the MC could earn Rs 40-50 lakh every month by renting out space for advertisements on boards every month. He had said a company had even offered Rs 50 crore every year for all boards in city. But the MC took no decision.

Dhanda had inspected green belts, poles and kiosks carrying advertisements throughout the city. He counted these and videographed the green belts to bring documentary evidence.



Storm plunges city into darkness
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 31
Intermittent showers and high-velocity winds that lashed the city for more than five hours on Saturday hit the power supply in many localities as distribution lines snapped at several places, a number of feeders developed snags while in the other areas, fallen trees led to power failure for hours together.

According to PSEB officials, many localities were plunged into darkness as nearly 20 per cent of the 350 feeders in the city remained non-functional and the line staff remained busy to rectify the faults. The power supply could not be restored till late in the night in those areas where cables had snapped or power supply was disrupted due to fallen trees.

The inclement weather led to failure of power supply due to faults in the feeders in Civil Lines, Daresi, Pakhowal Road, Model Town extension, Shaheed Bahagat Singh Nagar and many areas in the old city while snapped cables affected the power supply in Model Town, Atam Nagar and Model Gram areas.

As a result of power failure, people in the affected localities had to go without water as well during the evening.

The PSEB officials claimed that most of the feeders were made functional by around 10 pm and the power supply was restored while it took some more time to restore the power supply where cables had snapped or distribution system had developed major faults.

Residents in Model Town were reported to have held a protest at the PSEB complaint office in Model Town late last evening when power supply was not restored for several hours.

Residents in some localities like Atam Nagar and Model Town complained that the power supply was not restored till this afternoon. As the water supply was also affected due to power failure, the overhead water storage tanks in most of the houses could not be filled up and the people in these localities had no water for cooking or other daily chores.



City sits on powder keg
Army to defuse 11,000 explosives

Ludhiana, August 31
Ludhiana continues to sit on a powder keg with more than 11,000 explosives-both dead and live-lying in the compound of a dry port in the industrial focal point area for the past more than three years now.

The explosives were segregated from the iron scrap, which the local industrialists and those of Mandi Gobindgarh and other towns had been importing from the Middle East, including Iraq.

At least 10 labourers had died in a bomb explosion that had taken place in a steel plant located in Ghaziabad in 2004. After this a few explosions rocked places like Ludhiana, Mandi Gobindgarh and Rajasthan.

Following these, the government banned the import of the scrap from Iraq for sometime. Later, the rules were made more stringent and industrialists allowed to import the scrap.

The bomb disposal squad was summoned. They segregated the explosives from the iron scrap. At least 11,000 explosives, including live bombs, in four large boxes were found from the site. The police authorities were asked to defuse the explosives but since it was a herculean task, the authorities expressed their inability to do so.

The state government has been pressurising the Army authorities to undertake the task of disposing off the explosives. Numerous meetings took place in Ludhiana. Once the authorities had even decided to defuse the explosives in the Sutlej bed. But, the work failed to start.

The Tribune has now learnt that the Army authorities have agreed to defuse the explosives. This was decided in a meeting chaired by financial commissioner (Home), Punjab, B.C. Gupta. The work will start sometime around end of October or early November.

When contacted Gupta confirmed that the Army would take up the work of defusing the explosives, but some modalities were yet to be worked out.

Kamalpreet Brar, additional deputy commissioner, who had also attended the meeting, told The Tribune that a detailed plan had been chalked out for defusing the explosives. The work would be carried out in the Mattewara area. Brar said, “The Army authorities have planned the route and site for defusing the explosives and laid a few conditions, which are being sent to the state government for sanction. They have also sought battle-causality status and reimbursement of cost of defusing the explosives. Besides this, they have also asked for the increasing the insurance cover for those engaged in this task.”

A few people had died in explosions that rocked the city in 1990. These explosions took place after the bombs were recovered from the iron scrap. The Army was called for defusing the bombs. Even then, it had defused in the bombs in the Sutlej rive bed. 



Speed post car to check traffic violations
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 31
To check the speed of the state-run buses and other private and public transport vehicles, the state transport authorities would soon press into service specially-designed speed post car, for various localities at random. This will help in reducing the accidents that takes place due to the reckless driving. The government has also decided to provide mandatory insurance cover worth Rs 2 lakh to those travelling on these vehicles.

Admitting that drivers of the public transport vehicles, in order to reach their destinations within scheduled time drive at speed higher than the permitted limit, Master Mohan Lal, asserted that the state transport department had procured a speed post car from the Central government which would be used for keeping a check on the speed such buses. “Equipped with sophisticated devices for measuring the speed of passing vehicles, this car will be placed at a few locations in the state at random. Feedback provided by those manning the car will be used to take action against the violators,” said Mohan Lal when attention was drawn toward hazards of speeding buses owned by a few transporters.

Claiming that introduction of air-conditioned buses would attract more passengers from the middle class segment; he said efforts were being made to improve the services of ordinary buses as well. He said a Bill for starting mandatory insurance cover of all those travelling in the public transport vehicles would be introduced during the next Assembly session.

Ramesh Chand Ghaie, office-bearer of the district unit of the BJP, Vijay Kumar Goyal, BJP president, Sanjay Sood, Sonu Malhotra, social workers, Dilshad Khan, Kedar Kapila and Ravinder Puri (councillors) were present on occasion.



Rs 30 cr loans given to 729 farmers
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, August 31
A total of 729 farmers were given agricultural loans amounting to Rs 30 crore by Uco bank during an agricultural credit camp near Tibba village today.

The programme, which was organised by G.S.Cheema, senior branch manager, Jugiana branch, was inaugurated by chairman and managing director of Uco Bank S.K.Goel, the chief guest on the occasion.

While addressing sarpanches, panches and farmers of Alamgir, Kalakh, Jugiana, Majara, Raipur Majari, Jugiana, etc, Goel highlighted the active role being played by the bank for the development of agriculture sector and weaker section of Punjab.

Sharing the schemes of the bank with the farmers, the chairman said the bank had 25,000 farmers with credit facility of Rs 516 crore and 12,922 beneficiaries under weaker section accounts amounting to Rs 99.91 crore in the Chandigarh zone.

He asked field functionaries to take more initiative so that this figure may increase to 30,000 farmers. He also said the bank had extended the credit facility of Rs 10.37 lakh to 175 beneficiaries under DRI, Rs 43.15 lakh to 238 beneficiaries under the Mahajan Rin Mukti Yojana and Rs 97.26 lakh to 134 farmers under re-lending to farmers covered under ADWDR-2008.

He added that the bank had also devised schemes for overall development of the agriculture sector like the hi-tech commercial dairy scheme for promoting dairy in partnership with the Punjab Dairy Development Board for a minimum of 10 animals on concessional interest rate for unemployed youths, trained by the board and Uco Samagra Kisan Samridhi Yojna (USKSY) to meet all time requirement of the farmers.

The chairman urged the farmers to avail user-friendly, cost-effective and technology-enabled deposits, loans, insurance and other schemes of the bank. He praised the farmers of Punjab for their progressive approach and hard work that had not only made the state a prosperous one but also played a major role as food supplier for the whole nation.

Jathedar Gurmail Singh Sangowal, member, SGPC, expressed that while the bank waived the loan for farmers from time to time, it should definitely take into account those loan takers who returned the amount on regular basis and hence should be given special concessions.

At this time, Gurcharan Singh, president of the Kisan Club, Raipur Majri, asked bank officials to fix the rate of interest at 7 per cent for the loan amount even if it exceeds the fixed limit of Rs3 lakh.



Reorganisation leaves town isolated
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 31
Residents of this town, known for manufacturing agricultural implements, have started feeling isolated, both administratively and politically, after the reorganisation of assembly and parliamentary constituencies.

Local leaders, irrespective of their political allegiance, have urged the authorities to upgrade the local sub-tehsil office to the subdivision level and save the socio-economic entity of the town.

Situated on the border of Sangrur and Ludhiana districts, the town was made sub-tehsil about four decades ago and the block development office was later established in Amarpura here. On the persistent demand of the residents, a DSP was also posted here. But all these offices were later shifted to Malerkotla.

While residents from about 24 villages of the block used to purchase goods of daily use during their visit to government offices, traders lost customers as now they have started making purchases from Malerkotla.

The situation worsens when the government included some area of this town and surrounding villages in Fatehgarh Sahib parliamentary constituency and newly constituted Amargarh assembly segment, due to which leaders of various political parties of Sangrur started ignoring the development of the area.

Jatinder Kumar Bhola, former president of the municipal council, apprehended that officials at district and sub-division offices would pay no heed to the requests of the residents and leaders of the area as the MLA and MP would take no interest.

"When we will have no role to play in elections of MLA and MP, then why will they bother about our grievances and demands. And representatives, who will be elected by our votes, will not be easily accessible to us," argued Bhola.

Accusing the successive governments of ignoring the genuine demands of the residents of the area, Bimal Kumar Sharma Billu, councillor rued that the leaders could not even maintaining nomenclature of the block in administrative records. "What to talk of upgrading the town to the assembly or subdivision level, the authorities did not accede to restoring name of block as Ahmedgarh block. It is rather called Malerkotla II," lamented Billu. Billu regretted that it was shame on leaders and residents of the area that Amargarh village with population and infrastructure much lower to Ahmedgarh was made its assembly constituency.

Dharam Pal Sharma, a social worker, said it would be difficult for children of the area to remember names of their district, subdivision, block, health department block, assembly segment, and parliamentary constituency as all are different.



Nod to flats for city cops
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
In a major fillip to the housing facility for cops in the city, the Punjab government has approved the construction of 12 apartments for DSPs while move to construct multi-storeyed apartments for SPs in a portion of the SSP residence is also in the pipeline.

Apart from that, a nearly two-decade-old dispute between the Punjab Police and the Punjab Agro over 9 acres of land in Salem Tabri, which is in illegal occupation of the Salem Tabri police station, has been resolved with the Punjab Agro agreeing to give two acres of land to the police.

SSP R K Jaiswal said a centralised malkhana (place for keeping vehicles impounded by cops), would come up at one acre while plans were on to use the remaining land.

The construction of the DSP apartments near the Sadar police station has already started. The SSP said there were six houses allocated for DSPs while nine DSPs are posted here, "Now, we will have three more apartments," he said.

He also disclosed that the Punjab government had almost agreed to his proposal of constructing similar apartments for SP-level officials in a portion of the SSP residence, "The left side of fields in the residence has been earmarked for the purpose."

He said the apartments would be one of the best accommodations for senior officials in the region. Further, it would cut the cost of providing individual security to the officials at their residences. It would be convenient to provide centralised security at the apartments.

The cops were neglected as far as housing facities are concerned. The SSP said DGP N.P.S. Aulakh was focussing on providing the best accommodation for cops of all ranks. He said the construction was already on for under gazetted ranks in Rakh Bagh. "The DGP has sought proposals for housing and we have floated nearly 35 different proposals to him," he said.

The police is planning for the future as well. Already, move is on for introducing commissionerate system of policing. Many more houses will be required at that time. Further, the Ludhiana-rural police district will also be housed in the city instead of Jagraon. 



Not many aware of Rock Garden at PAU
Kanchan Vasdev

Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, August 31
The rock garden at Punjab Agricultural University, which was one of the glories of the campus, is now in a state of neglect.

This garden, which was developed nearly 30 years ago during the tenure of former vice-chancellor M.S.Randhawa, to add to the aesthetic beauty of the campus, is now in ruins.

The once green lawns of the garden are now full of wild grass. The fountains don’t work anymore and engraved stones are also covered with the moss and grass. These have also become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, as they remain waterlogged during the rainy season. The lighting system, too, has been damaged over the years.

While old timers recall that it used to be a beautiful picnic spot on the campus and was frequented by students and teachers. Now, not many people are aware that this place was once happened to be a rock garden. Whenever they are asked about its location, they nod in the negative.

“There is no place like this in the university. Is it there? Please tell me also,” said a student, when asked. Only teachers, who have been working here for the past three decades, are able direct us towards it.

“Those were the good old days. Dr Randhawa was our vice-chancellor. He was a visionary and was a connoisseur of art. He put up all works of art, displayed on campus. They are the valuable possessions of the campus but unfortunately not many people cherish them, “ said a teacher.

He said the rock garden, too, was his brainchild. He had also got numerous stones engraved with quotes by intellectuals, as he wanted the students to read such lines while studying in the university. He also got many other artistic stones put up. But over the years, after Dr Randhawa retired in 1978, all these things are lying neglected.

Though there is no signboard to direct people to this rock garden, a stone with “Nek Chand Rock Garden” engraved on it lies near the place. It is, however, being used for sitting under a tree. Another stone with a few lines of Guru Nanak engraved on it lies in its vicinity. The students are often seen sitting on these stones under the shade of a tree.

According to teachers, only a few thousand is required for getting the spruced up. “Just one or two gardeners and a feeling for the garden would do the trick. But, who will do that? We don’t know. It is lying in ruins for 30 years now,” said a teacher while requesting anonymity.

He added it would be a matter of pride for the university to have a mini rock garden. “They just need to clean it. Then put the things in shape. We would still be able to take pride in it. Is anybody listening?”



Action demanded against illegal chemists
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
The Ludhiana Retail Chemists Association in a representation given to the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and state health minister Laxmikanta Chawla have demanded action against unauthorised chemists who have opened their drug stores in nursing homes.

Interacting with the media today, association president Amandeep Ahuja stated that the chemist shops being opened in nursing homes did not have licences and were being run without qualified pharmacists. Also, these stores were violating the pharmacy Act wherein it was mandatory to have proper storage conditions and a pharmacist to sell and purchase medicines.

He also said the retail chemists association had called upon the health minister to take strict action against the chemists guilty of selling drugs to the youth without prescription.

Association members also stated that it was the duty of every chemist to discourage the unethical practice of foeticide. “We have specifically asked the chemists in the rural area to report every incident of female foeticide to the health authorities so that the guilty can be taken to task,” they said.

The association members further added that they would go on three-day strike in case of delay in action against the erring chemists and nursing homes and hospitals supporting them.

Association vice-president Navin Kumar and secretary Ajay further stated that the winter timings for retail chemists would change from September 1. The chemist shops would open at 8.30 am and close at 10 pm but the drug stores adjoining the hospitals have been exempted from the time restriction to avoid inconvenience to patients.



200 examined in medical camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
As many as 200 patients were examined in a free medical camp organised by Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here today. The patients were treated under expert supervision for the specialities of medicine, gastroenterology, oncology and eye.

The team of doctors, which examined the patients, included Dr H. S. Dhooria (medicine), Dr Dinesh Garg (ophthalamogy), Dr Devinder Singh Sandhu (oncology) and Dr Varun Mehta (gastroenterology).

Secretary of DMCH managing society, Prem Kumar Gupta said: “Free medical camp went a long way in giving medicine to the underprivileged section of the society and besides providing free consultation and medicine, the doctors and the senior residents made the common people aware about keeping good health."

Dr Daljit Singh, principal, DMCH, said free medical camps for the people of Ludhiana would be organised at regular intervals by DMCH in future. Dr Rajoo Singh Chhina, medical superintendent, said the main aim of organising such camps was to create health awareness among the masses and to advise them to adopt healthy lifestyle.



Verka milk goes up by Re 1
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
Consumers will now have to shell out more for buying milk and milk products produced by Verka from September 1onwards. The prices have once again been increased within six months.

All varieties of milk would now be dearer by Re 1, while the cheese would cost Rs 2 more. The standardised 1litre milk pack, which was earlier priced at Rs 22, would now cost Rs 23. The full-cream milk would now be available for Rs 25 per litre and double-tonned milk for Rs 19 per litre. The small cup of curd would now cost around Rs 15 and a packet of cheese Rs 28.

The reason cited for the increase in prices of the milk and milk products is to enable dairy cooperatives to pay a higher price to rural milk producers and to offset the increase in the cost of processing and distribution.

"It was only a few months ago that the prices of milk were increased and now again Re 1 hike has been announced by Verka. It would have been better had the prices been increased by Rs 2 about six months ago", adds Joginder Singh, a resident of Model Town Extension. Since milk comes under essential commodity people can’t avoid it. Thus, they will have to bear the extra burden and shell out more money for the same, he added.



Power thieves fined Rs 8 lakh
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, Aug 31
With each passing day, the field staff and enforcement wing of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) seems to be tightening the noose around the neck of those indulging in power theft and causing huge losses to the board.

On Saturday, the PSEB staff inspected some 60 domestic power connections under Agar Nagar division and caught 15 cases of theft. A penalty of around Rs 8 lakh was imposed on the defaulting consumers. In Khanna circle, officials of Doraha division conducted raids in Ranon village under Dhamot sub-division, where 25 cases of theft were unearthed.

Sources in the PSEB revealed that field staff had inspected domestic power connections in several colonies like Durgapuri, Haibowal, Humbran Road, Prem Nagar and village Bagge Khurd in Haibowal sub-division, where 15 consumers were found to be stealing power either through ‘kundi’ connections or creation of bypass to the energy meters. In all, a penalty of Rs 8 lakh has been imposed on those indulging in power theft.

According to senior XEN of Doraha division, most of the 25 cases of power theft, detected in Ranon village, had the seals of energy meters tampered with, which was technically considered a case of theft. "The amount of penalty in these cases was being worked out and demand notices would be issued on Monday," he stated.



Warm send-off to librarian
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 31
Pargat Singh Sekhon, a librarian, who got superannuation after 33 years of his service, was given a warm send-off by principal, staff and students of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, in form of a get-together that was organised in his honour in Dr Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall of the college, today.

During his service, Sekhon was in-charge of a youth club, NSS, sports and cultural activities of the college. As the librarian he contributed towards computerisation of the library and enabled it to be fully equipped with latest technology.

President Roop Brar, general secretary Balwant Singh Pangali, treasurer Adarsh Pal Bector, director Jaswant Singh Gill and principal Narinder Singh Sidhu termed him as a successful librarian and a man who served the institution with dedication and devotion.

Various speakers, including M.S Bhandari, head of the hindi department and Sohan Singh, superintendent of the college, lauded his services towards the students and the institution. Sekhon expressed his gratitude towards the staff.

The outgoing librarian donated an amount of Rs 11, 000 and a book trolley for the library.



Ludhiana-Dhuri Section
Rail traffic disrupted for 3 hours
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 31
Rail traffic on the Ludhiana-Dhuri section was disrupted for more than three hours after an eucalyptus tree, along the railway track near the Dhuri railway over bridge, got uprooted and fell on the track due to the high velocity winds that lashed the region on Saturday evening.

A major disaster was averted as the Ludhiana-Hissar passenger train was only a few yards away when the tree fell and blocked the railway track. The passengers had to wait for nearly three hours for a rescue team to arrive.

A tractor, pressed into the service for clearing the track, failed to move the huge tree. The railway staff had to summon a JCB machine for clearing the track. The rail traffic on this section was restored at around 8.30 pm. 



Plea to extend date for form submission
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, August 31
Under the Rashtriya Gramin Health Mission, the health and family welfare department, has invited applications up to September 12 for recruitment of 1,468 auxilliary nursery midwives (ANM) and multi-purpose health workers.

Result of 1,100 trainees of the 2006-08 session was declared on August 26 but institutes have refused to declare the trainees pass on character certificate on the basis of the website result.

It has been mentioned in the conditions that appointments will be on contract basis at Rs 6,000 per month and candidates should have been registered with the Panjab Nurses Registration Council. All attested certificates should be attached with the application form.

Parents of the candidates, who were declared passed on August 26, held a meeting chaired by Narinder Joshi here today and decided to take the case with health and family welfare minister Laxmi Kant Chawla, to extend the date of applications to be submitted from September 12 to 30 as the certificates are likely to be issued on September 15, said Joshi.



No function on Beant’s death anniversary
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 31
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) failed to organise functions to commemorate the death anniversary of Beant Singh, the assassinated Punjab Chief Minister of Punjab at Payal today. It has been organising big rallies at Payal ever since Beant Singh was assassinated on August 31, 1995.

Gurkirat Singh, grandson of Beant Singh, said tributes were paid to the slain leader in a function organised at Chandigarh today. Henceforth, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee would organise functions on the birth anniversary of Beant Singh that falls on February 19, he added.

Meanwhile, Parminder Mehta, PPCC secretary, paid tributes to the slain leader at his office.



Bid to grab flats
CM orders probe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
Chief Minister Parkash Badal has ordered an inquiry in the yesterday’s alleged attempt made by some 1984 riot victims to forcibly occupy 85 flats of GLADA which are likely to be given to victims who had not got any benefit even after a long struggle.

Representatives of the Punjab Danga Pirit Welfare Council, headed by president Surinder Singh, met the Chief Minister at a function organised at Punjab Agricultural University here today. After a meeting with council members, the CM ordered a magisterial inquiry in this matter.



Co-operative society office burgled
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 31
Office of the Co-operative Society, Sarabha, was burgled on intervening night of August 29 and 30. The thieves allegedly broke open the safe and stole Rs 97,000. The Sudhar police has registered a case on the complaint of Bhupinder Singh of Sarabha under Sections 452, 380 of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far.

3 booked for assault: Harbans Singh, Bahadur Singh and Manvir Singh Sonu of Changan allegedly trespassed into the house of Sukhwinder Singh of their village and assaulted him with sticks and sword.

Injured has been admitted in DMC Hospital, Ludhiana. The Humbran police has registered a case under Sections 452, 324, 34 of the IPC on August 30 after recording the statement of the injured.

Sudden quarrel is said to be the reason behind the incident. No arrest has been made so far.

In another case, Kulwant Singh, Darshan Singh, Jagdip Singh and Harjit Singh of Toosa allegedly threatened and assaulted Harbans Singh of their village with sticks and sword. The injured has been admitted in civil hospital, Sudhar. The Sudhar police has registered a case under Sections 324, 506, 34 of the IPC last evening. Some dispute over passage and flow of sewerage water is said to be the reason behind the incident.



Two thieves arrested
Tribune News Service

Khanna, August 31
The Khanna police arrested two thieves who were trying to sell stolen material in a market today.

The accused have been identified as Sukhdev Raj of Heeria village and Baldev of Chandra village. Police officials got a tip-off that the duo were trying to sell some iron material, wooden furniture at a very low price to someone in the market. A case has been registered against them.

1 killed in accident: An accident victim succumbed to his injuries last evening at the civil hospital. The victim, identified as Jang Singh of Bhattian village, was hit by an unidentified car on the Samrala road, when he was going towards his village. The police lodged a case on a complaint made by brother of the deceased.



16 booked for trespassing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
The Sarabha Nagar police has booked Sonia Dhillon, a resident of Agar Nagar, and 15 others for allegedly grabbing a property of an NRI, Darshan Singh Grewal of Barewal Awana village.

According to the police, Dhillon along with 15 accomplices allegedly tried to grab a plot of Darshan Singh at Sidhvan canal on August 22.

According to a complaint made by Darshan Singh, the accused along with her accomplices damaged the gate and broke the boundary wall of the plot.

The police has registered a case under Sections 447, 448, 427 and 511 of the IPC for house trespassing and criminal trespassing against the accused.



Academicians oppose Punjab’s decision on central status to PU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
Educationists and intellectuals from all over Punjab have condemned the state government's "eagerness" to hand over Panjab University to the Centre. Condemning the Punjab government for failing to handle the financial matters of the varsity, educationists feel that the state is now trying to wash its hands off the responsibility. But with this step, they warn, not only will the state lose its stake over the internationally acclaimed university but also its hold over the union territory of Chandigarh.

Talking to The Tribune, Prithipal Singh Kapur, former VC of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, said Panjab University belonged to the state. "It is closely knit with Punjabi culture, heritage and language, having its own identity. How can it be separated from its heritage by the politicians?" he asked, adding that it was not going to get any higher academic standard if it was given the status of central varsity.

He further added that the decision was purely administrative, and it was against the state. "We have asked the Chief Minister to withdraw the no-objection certificate sent to the central government. We have also requested the Prime Minister’s Office not to show undue haste in the matter as it was a conspiracy against the state", he said.

Former vice-chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Dr K.S.Aulakh, said those concerned with Punjabi culture, traditions were surprised at this move of the state government. "Due to fund crisis, the state government had taken an about-turn on the whole issue. How can they serve 100 years old PU in a silver platter to Central government?" he asked. Further adding, Dr Aulakh said if there were financial problems, the government should have demanded more grants.

Meanwhile, a meeting of academicians was also held at GGN Khalsa College here to oppose the decision of providing central status to PU. The meeting was attended by Dr Manmohan Singh, former secretary, higher education; Dr S.P.Singh, former VC of GNDU; and Dr J.S.Puar, former VC of Punjabi University, Patiala.



Tuition, a compulsion for students, parents!
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
Providing education to children has become a Herculean task for parents. In addition to the hefty tuition fees charged by schools, parents in the city are shelling out several thousands of rupees on private tuitions of their wards. Lack of regular vigil on part of the parents is cited as one of the reasons for growing ‘tuition culture’ in the city. Many parents, however, hold teachers responsible for creating circumstances which make parents bow to such pressure.

The parents, a majority of them from middle and upper middle classes, engage tutors for their wards in the city. Starting from UKG class, the tutors teach the students up to 10+2 level as private tuitions have become ‘real necessity’ for the students.

A BA Part I student of a girls’ college here said she was taking tuitions of English and science of primary-level students. She said there were six students, belonging to different classes in the batch. "Whatever the teacher teaches them in class, I make them revise in front of me. It is easy to handle small students," she added. The tutor charges Rs 500 from each student.

A parent, however, said the class teacher of her son often called her to school to tell about ‘slow growth’ of the child. She asked her to arrange some good tutor for the ward. A tutor was arranged but still the teacher concerned was not satisfied and kept on complaining. "Finally, she said she could teach him better and asked for Rs 1,800 for two subjects. We had no other option but to accept her demand," complained the mother.

Certain teachers in the city have left their jobs just to take private tuitions. They have made several groups of 15-20 students each and are minting money as ‘affluent’ parents have no dearth of money but cannot spare time for their kids.

Some other parents believe that tuitions must be kept for children studying above 5th standard. They feel that it is difficult to teach subjects like maths and science. "Private tuitions are the best option," they feel.

The students, on the other hand, say tuitions are must for proper guidance. They feel that in this competitive era, only those students, who have kept tuitions, 
rise in studies.



‘Govt teachers must help needy students’
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 31
Showing satisfaction over the conduct of seminars under the aegis of Sarv Siksha Abhyan at various schools in the area, the deputy circle education officer (DCEO), Nabha, Manjit Kaur called upon teachers to make maximum use of the knowledge they acquired at the seminars to raise the standard of education.

While talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, after addressing the teachers of the block at MGMN Senior Secondary School, yesterday, Manjit Kaur claimed that a majority of the participants had been very receptive to the training imparted during rescheduled programme recently.

"But we want to make sure that the benefit percolates to the depths of the education system and reaches the students," said Kaur.

She added that the participants had been directed to make maximum use of the acquired knowledge for the benefit of the students.

Earlier, addressing the participants, Manjit Kaur reminded them of their duty to help the students from lower strata of society.

"As parents of government school students cannot afford to get them extra tuition and other teaching aids, they depend on you for all their educational needs. You must use the techniques illustrated by experts in various fields, for the benefit of all students, including special students," said Kaur.



Arya College mgmt, teachers hold talks
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
Management of Arya College today said they held talks with the representatives of Arya College Teacher's Union who had been on protest on two major issues of contribution of 10 per cent share to the CPF on total salary and encashment of earned leave to the employees of the college on retirement.

Secretary of Arya College Managing Committee, S. K.Syal, in a press statement, said the teachers' union was told in clear terms that the college authorities had no reservations on both the demands and the same would be implemented from April 1, 2008.

On August 30, the union representatives suddenly thronged the office of the principal and sat on dharna. The authorities of the college, when handed over a copy of the order, expressing the acceptance of 10 per cent contribution towards CPF on salary and making payment of earned leave in cash effective from April 1, to the union leaders sitting on dharna, the same was torn by them.

The secretary further added that the order was circulated to the college staff and instructions were issued to the principal to start making payment to the retired employees. These were no other demands of the union pending with the college authorities, he said.

On behalf of management, he said the college authorities were determined to ensure that the foremost interests of the students to study, for which they pay the hard earned money of their parents, were not jeopardised by the irresponsible acts of teachers' union by holding dharna and leaving their classes. The guilty must be taken to task, he said.



Rationalisation of teachers stalled
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
After three months of hullabaloo over the implementation of “rationalisation of teachers”, the process has finally been stalled by higher officials in the education department to review the irregularities in the transfer process.

With this decision, all effort made by the selection committee formed for rationalisation of teachers has met a dead end.

Sources in the education department disclosed that the higher authorities will now implement their own list of teachers to be transferred at various stations.

The department employees complained that it was a sheer wastage of manpower. “If the department higher-ups wanted to implement their own list then why did they form a committee and wasted so much of government machinery for over three months.”

Giving details, Sudesh Bajaj, district education officer (DEO), secondary, said: "Those teachers who were transferred under the rationalisation process on August 23 and 24 had been asked to join back their previous stations as the rationalisation process has been stayed by Jagtar Singh Khatra, DPI, secondary."



Guru Nanak school wins shabad gayan competition
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
Baba Gurmukh Singh Memorial Inter-School Shabad Gayan Competition was held today at Guru Nanak Public School. Schools from Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and other parts of the state competed for the top prizes.

First prize was won by Guru Nanak International Public School, second prize went to Swami Sant Dass Public School and third prize was bagged by Gujranwala Guru Nanak Public School.

In the best tabla player category, first prize went to Gujranwala Guru Nanak Public School, second prize went to Ramgarhia Boys Senior Secondary School, and third prize was given to Baba Isher Singh Public School. Consolation prizes were given to BCM Arya Model School and Ramgarhia Girls Senior Secondary School.



Puja wins Fulkari contest
Tribune News Service

Khanna, August 31
Nearly 200 students of AS College participated in Fulkari-2008, wherein the students performed various dances and took part in competitions of mehndi, crafts and rangoli here today.

Puja, a student of the college, won the contest for her presentation and dressing. Ankita Singhania was declared first runner-up and Ramanpreet Kaur was declared second runner-up.

MP Sukhdev Singh Libra was the chief guest, who lit up the ‘shama’. He said students should participate in cultural activities besides the studies. He also announced Rs 2 lakh for welfare of the college.



Punjab Hockey League
Kila Raipur Academy lads score easy win
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 31
Grewal Hockey Academy of Kila Raipur scored an emphatic 4-0 win over Sudhar Academy in the Punjab State Weekend Hockey Tournament (U-14) being organised by the Punjab Sports Department at the Prithipal Singh Memorial Astro-Turf Stadium on the Punjab Agricultural University campus, here today.

Kila Raipur lads drew the first blood in the very third minute of the encounter through a field goal scored by Sabdeep Singh. They increased the lead in the 15th minute when Harjeet Singh found the target and in the very next minute, Navpreet Singh made it 3-0. In the 24th minute, Harjeet again struck to consolidate the lead 4-0.

Earlier, in the inaugural match, Santokh Singh Academy, Roomi defeated Khaira Academy from Khaira in Ludhiana district 4-1.

It were Khaira lads who earned the lead in the 8th minute when Gurkanwal Singh sounded the board. Nine minutes later, Roomi boys neutarlised the lead through a penalty corner conversion by Sarbjot Singh. He put his side ahead in the 24th minute through a field goal (2-1).

Parminder Singh of Roomi Academy converted a penalty corner in the second half to make it 3-1 while Charankamal Singh struck two minutes later which sealed the Khaira Academy lads' fate 4-1.

In the third match of the day, Devinder Singh scored a brace to help Moga XI to register 3-0 win over Sangrur XI.

Harkirat Singh converted a penalty corner in the 18th minute while Devinder Singh struck in quick succession (23rd and 25th minute) to guide their side to an easy victory.



Prithipal Memorial TT Tourney
Deepika, Dharminder emerge champions
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 31
Deepika, in women's section, and Dharminder, in men's section, came out triumphant to bag the titles in the 19th Open Prithipal Singh Memorial Table Tennis Tournament, which concluded at the indoor gymnasium hall of Punjab Agricultural University here today.

In the final, Deepika faced a little challenge from her opponent, Kritika, whom she defeated in three sets, while Dharminder had to toil hard for five sets to tame his rival, Sahil Sharma, and won the verdit in 3-2.

In the cadet section, Harnoor Singh and Himani Bhatia romped home victorious to clinch the titles in the boys’ and girls' sections, respectively. In the boys' group, Harnoor got the better of Jashandeep Singh, while in the girls' section, Himani Bhatia outplayed Yashi to win top honours.

In sub-junior section, Anushika and Abhaydeep Singh proved their mettle to bag the titles in the girls' and boys' sections, respectively. In the final, Anushika outnumbered Shipika, while Abhaydeep beat Shubham Grover to emerge victors.

In the junior boys' section, Bhuvan Jain beat Nirmal to prove his supremacy, while in the girls' category, Kirti Aggarwal outclassed Bhumika to emerge champions.

In the youth category (under-20), Kirti Aggarwal and Sahil Sharma won their matches to emerge champions in the girls’ and boys’ sections, respectively. Kirti outplayed Dipika, while Sahil overpowered Manpreet Singh to win the titles.

SP (vigilance) Surinderjit Singh Mand gave away prizes to the positionholders. Former captain of the national hockey team and deputy director, sports, PAU, Ramandeep Singh, along with office-bearers of the Ludhiana District Table Tennis Association and parents of the participants were present at the prize distribution function.



BVM wrestlers shine in zonal tourney
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 31
Students of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir School (BVM), Urban Estate, Dugri branch, reaped haul of medals in the Ludhiana Zonal Wrestling Tournament organised by the Punjab School Education Board at village Manekwal, near here recently.

Boys from the school bagged as many as 11 gold medals in under-14, under-17 and under-19 categories.

Former Rustam-e-Hind Kehar Singh and Sumer Singh gave away prizes to the winners.



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