L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Lover throws girl into canal
Victim’s body yet to be recovered
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khamano, September 10
Sukhbir Singh allegedly threw a girl of Sohavi village into the Bhakra Canal, near here, with the help of a labourer. The girl was swept away by the current. The police has not been able to recover the body yet.

Meanwhile, Mandeep Kaur (17) of the same village has been missing from her house since September 6.

According to information, Mandeep Kaur allegedly had relations with Sukhbir Singh, who promised to marry her. On the night of September 6, she reportedly met him near her house.

The next morning, her family informed the police that she was missing and feared that she may have been lured by Sukhbir Singh. They also visited his house and urged his parents to tell them her whereabouts, but they expressed their ignorance.

According to sources, on that night, Mandeep Kaur insisted that Sukhbir Singh marry her, but he was not serious as he was already married. She even told him to kill her if he did not want to marry her.

Sukhbir Singh, along with his servant, Surinder Patel, took out his car and took her along with them.

They stopped the car near Sajadpur village and Mandeep Kaur told him to jump into the canal so that they both could be together in death. However, Sukhbir Singh and his servant threw her into the canal, but did not follow her.

The police has registered a case against the duo on the statement of the girl’s father, Ajmer Singh.


Drug addict sets his house afire
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 10
Paramjit Kaur, a widow, is yet to recover from the shock that her only son, Gurprit Singh, set their house on fire when four persons, including children, were inside.

The incident took place this morning at Brahmpur village, near here.

The family members were saved by villagers.

Gurprit Singh, reportedly a drug addict, set the house on fire when his mother refused to give him money to buy drugs.

His mother was inside the house, along with her daughter and two granddaughters.

According to the police, Gurprit Singh’s wife had left for her parents’ place this morning only.

Household goods, including gifts for the wedding of Gurprit Singh’s younger sister, were destroyed in the fire.

“He was my only hope after my husband’s death,” his mother said. Her statement is yet to be recorded by the police.

The wife of the accused, Kiranjit Kaur, who returned after learning about the incident, has maintained a stunned silence.

Paramjit Singh Goraya, DSP, said the police had begun investigation and an FIR would be registered on the basis of the statement of Paramjit Kaur.

He said the family was going through a rough period and had earlier sold some land.

Gurprit Singh is absconding.



Endless wait for power connections
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 10
If you have applied for a power connection for a newly constructed house or a new business establishment in the city, you will be in for a rude shock as it might take couple of months before the connection is released.

Thousands of residents in various parts of the city have been waiting for the past over six months to get a power connection.

Applicants who are being made to wait for the new three-phase connections include those who fulfil all conditions of the PSEB. Their residential or commercial premises are located in areas where new connections can be provided.

The connections are not being released due to a shortage of three-phase meters, a senior PSEB official, requesting anonymity, said.

Several people who have been waiting for power connections said for the past more than three months, PSEB officials had been saying that the meters would be available in some days.

The officials stated that no power connections could be provided in non-approved or unauthorised colonies as per a policy taken by the Punjab government and notices to this effect had been displayed at Suvidha Centres and divisional and subdivisional offices.

However, in quite a few approved colonies also, people have still to get the connection.

“In such cases, colonisers have failed to provide the basic infrastructure for power supply as agreed between them and the PSEB at the time of the development of colonies. Even though the buyers of the property in these colonies are not at fault, the PSEB can provide connection only after the basic infrastructure like electric poles and transformers are provided by colonisers as per the terms and conditions,” a PSEB official maintained.

The PSEB said the meters should be available in a week or 10 days.



Contractors sell liquor 25 pc above MRP
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, September 10
After pooling prices, liquor contractors are selling liquor at higher rates compared to the minimum retail price (MRP) fixed by the state government. The contractors hope to make a good fortune in spite of large-scale smuggling of liquor from Chandigarh. The pooled prices are over 25 per cent higher than the MRP.

Liquor contractors, who have been witnessing a slump in sales so far, are expecting sales to pick up from this month with the start of the wedding season.

Festival season will soon follow Navratras, from when they expect a boom period to start for around five months.

Smuggling has become a parallel business now, say contractors who have got liquor vends from the state government.

Even a senior official of the excise and taxation department admitted: “There has been a widespread smuggling of liquor from Chandigarh to Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. There is no fixed limit for lifting of quota of liquor in Chandigarh and the licence fee is fixed for a year. The dealers there can lift any amount of liquor.”

The local contractors say the smugglers have a direct link with consumers, and police officials and excise department officials are hand in glove with them. They make monthly payment to the officials and their business thrives. Contractors in Chandigarh make a direct supply to the local smugglers who further make home delivery to the consumers.

Deputy excise and taxation commissioner, Ludhiana, Parampal Singh says around five groups dominate the official liquor business here.

Enquiries made by The Tribune show that there is a difference of Rs 1,000 per box (12 bottles) in the smuggled and pooled price of liquor.

The excise and taxation department charges Rs 1,000 as permit fee for serving liquor at marriage palaces and other social gatherings.

Besides, the department has also been charging Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 from caterers who serve food at marriage palaces.

This sum is taken lump sum because the caterers do not pay the VAT. If a caterer is registered with the department, he can file the return.



Tribune Impact
Chhapar road repair begins
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 10
The public works department has starting patchwork on roads leading to Guga Mari, where the CM, besides other SAD and BJP leaders, are expected to address a conference during Chhapar mela.

The patchwork started after residents of the area complained about the apathy of the authorities towards the poor condition of roads. The Tribune had carried a story in this regard. The Jandali, Pohir, Dhulkote, Chhapar, Dehliz and Jagera approach roads were found to be in a bad shape. Workers of the public works department converged on the mela site to repair the roads. However, there was no bitumen coating.

Investigations revealed that work was focused on stretches where the CM’s cavalcade and other leaders were expected to pass. Special attention was paid to the portion which joined the SAD conference site with the area shortlisted for a helipad for the CM’s helicopter.



Man gets 9-year jail term
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 10
The additional sessions judge, G.S. Saran, has convicted Sodhi Ram of Kakowal for possessing narcotics. He has been sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for nine years and a fine of Rs 50,000 has been imposed on him.

The judge acquitted co-accused Rakesh Kumar and Bittu by giving them the benefit of the doubt. The accused had been booked under Section 15 of the NDPS Act in 2005. According to the prosecution, the police had got secret information that the accused were travelling with narcotics in a Gypsy. The police seized 50 kg poppy husk from Sodhi Ram. Later, it also arrested the other two accused. They were also chargesheeted.



Thieves target courts complex
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, September 10
It seems the district court premises have become a favourite place of thieves. More than 45 bicycles of judicial employees have been stolen so far. Several employees have lost their scooters and motorcycles too.

The thefts are taking place despite the fact that there is a police post inside the court complex.

The judicial staff today submitted a written representation to the district and sessions judge, G.K. Rai, in this regard.

In their representation, they said no parking had been earmarked for judicial employees. In the absence of proper parking, it was easy for thieves to take away vehicles.

Vehicles of a large number of lawyers and clerks have also been stolen from the parking area.

The district bar association and the judicial employees welfare association have not been able to do anything about it.



Man run over by truck, killed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
Mohammad Mustkin (18), a labourer from Bihar, was hit by a speeding truck at Sarabha Nagar. The victim was rushed to the DMC Hospital were he succumbed to his injuries yesterday.

The police has impounded the truck and arrested the driver, Gurdeep Singh. A case of negligent driving has been registered against the driver.

Meanwhile, a man was electrocuted at Janakpuri here yesterday. Inderjeet (35), a resident of Hoshiarpur who was working as a daily wage earner here, got electrocuted when he was working at a house in Janakpuri.



SCD College BCom seats still vacant
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
These days when meritorious students and their parents leave no stone unturned to get admissions at Government Colleges, five seats of BCom I still lie vacant at SCD Government College here. Thanks to the education department’s indifferent attitude that has not bothered to fill the seats even after two months of the new academic session. The BCom course remains one of the favourites among students this year in city colleges.

The seats fell vacant as five students had left the college in July. The admission committee allegedly obliged their acquaintances by giving seats on “preferential basis”, ignoring the merit. The blame of controversial admissions was put on a clerk, who publicly announced that he was made the scapegoat by the three-member admission committee. DPI (colleges) Dr Kanwarjit Singh, after knowing about the incident through media, asked the principal, SCD Government College, to send an enquiry report into the incident. The details had reportedly been submitted well in time by college authorities, but nothing has been done by the higher authorities.

The DPI could not be contacted for the enquiry despite repeated attempts for over 10 days. Dr Malkiat Singh, the principal, said he did not know anything about it. As far as vacant seats were concerned, he said, “The seats will be filled after September 30 after doing migration of certain students.”

Interestingly, the admission committee had returned the admission fees to the students who had left the college without even informing the principal. Regarding the vacant seats, nothing was displayed on the college notice board either. Other five students were adjusted on preferential grounds by the admission committee. According to sources, four out of these five students were admitted on merit basis while one student was “accommodated” by the members.

One of the faculty member asked that what was the fun of initiating a probe into the controversial admissions when nothing had to be done by the DPI.



Vet varsity union protests against mgmt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
The non-teaching employees of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) held a rally against the management’s adamant attitude on certain issues at the campus here today.

Anil Sabharwal, who led the rally of employees, told The Tribune that despite repeated requests by the union, the management was keen on providing extension to about six assistant accounts officers (AAOs) in the varsity. Since these AAOs were employed on contractual basis and the contract was to expire on September 17, further extension should not be given to them, he said.

“If they are given an extension of another year, we, the employees will suffer. The superintendents will not get their due promotions. Last time when we had spoken to the management, they assured us that no further extension will be provided to the present AAOs, who are the retired employees of PAU. But we have come to know that the heads of the departments have written to the authorities to provide them further extension,” said Sabharwal.

The agitating employees said that since its inception in 2006, the varsity had not recruited anyone on technical posts which include lab technicians, senior lab assistants, messenger boys etc. “That time we did not have proper union who could raise such issues. But now the union (with approximately 900 members) wants the management to start the recruitment process,” said another member of GADVASU non-teaching union.



PAU teachers’ assn seeks aid for farmers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
The members of Punjab Agricultural University Teachers Association (PAUTA) today requested the farmers during kisan mela at Ballowal Shaunkhri, Nawanshehr to pay 50 paisa cess on every Rs 100 earned by them to put farm varsity out of financial crunch.

Pamphlets were distributed among farmers to pay the meagre amount of cess. The general secretary of PAUTA informed that members were trying to convince the farming community as farm varsity had done a lot for their welfare.

“Dr S.S. Johl, PAU economist, and the committee had suggested putting cess on farmers’ produce to save the university from financial problems. However, the state government had rejected the proposal for the time being as some farmer leaders had raised certain objections,” said the general secretary.



Bhavai dancer enthrals Ramgarhia students
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
It is the responsibility of the younger generation to carry forward the rich Indian tradition and not allow it to disappear.

This was expressed by national award winner and renowned “Bhavai” dancer Dr Roop Singh Shekhawat who was at the Ramgarhia Girls College to give a performance today.

The event was organised by the department of dance and Hindi of the college.

Dr Shekhawat, who is a dance lecturer at Bal Bhawan, Jaipur, enthralled the students with his performance by dancing on a sword, along with balancing a huge stack of matkas on his head.

A doctorate in folk dance from Rajasthan University, Dr Shekhawat has been promoting and performing “Bhavai” for the past 37 years when he was hardly nine. His fan following is not restricted only to India, but has admirers even in countries like Geneva, South Africa, etc where he has performed.

Honoured with various awards, including the Bihar Lok Samrat award and Rajasthan’s Sangeet Raj award, this folk dance lecturer loves to experiment with his dance styles and has adopted a fusion of folk and Kathak in his performances.

He said, “Folk dance is an asset for us and I am trying to carry it forward by motivating people. I have an academy named Bhavai Lok Kala Sansthan and teach Bhavai style of dance because it is unique and there are hardly any artistes performing it.” He added his initiatives were just a drop in ocean and he will try his best to keep the art alive.



Play staged on life of RSS Sarsanghchalak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
Idam-na-mam, a play depicting the life and works of Madhavrao Sadashivarao Golwarkar, popularly known as Guru ji, second Sarsanghchalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was staged here last evening at Guru Nanak Bhawan. The play portrayed Guru ji from his young years when he was very obedient and a follower of customs. He was the only son of his parents and despite living the life of luxury he entered the field of social work. Working for the people gave him immense pleasure and comfort.

Nagpur-based theatre group, Radhika Creations, staged the play. Various stages of Guru ji’s life were shown in a very emotional manner. All the phases of his life, including his youth when he fled from his house and then returned and joined the RSS, were touchingly depicted by the artistes.

While addressing the audience the district president of Bharat Vikas Parishad said the play was staged as a part of the series, which would be staged in the entire country. He further added that the main aim of staging the play was to acquaint the younger generation of the life and works of Guru ji so that they can bring the same traits in their own lives.



Ankush, Jensi bag quiz title
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
Department of pharmacology, Christian Medical College, organised the 4th annual pharmacology quiz, PHARMIZ-2008, at the hospital auditorium today.

Four teams from the MBBS 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 batches were selected through a preliminary test. Ankush P.M. and Jensi George from 2005 batch grabbed the title.

CMC director Dr Abraham G. Thomas and principal Dr Sunil Kumar Singh inaugurated the quiz. Dr Dinesh Baydal, acting head, department of pharmacology briefed the teams about the format.

The quiz was an audiovisual treat comprising six rounds on multimedia. It was also attended by faculty members and students of the college.

CMC deputy director Dr Kim Mammen, deputy medical superintendent Dr V.P. Singh, and vice principals Dr Tejinder Singh and Dr Sheila Das were also present.



Congress to stand by Capt Amarinder, says Tewari
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
All-India Congress Committee secretary Manish Tewari today said the party would stand by Capt Amarinder Singh, who has been indicted in a land deal by the Dhanda committee report.

He said the report had been prepared by the ruling combine of SAD-BJP. “We shall stand by him politically and even pursue the case legally,” he said.

He added that the party respected the decision of the legislative body, but questioned the jurisdiction of the committee.

The Congress members had pointed out the lacunae of jurisdiction in the beginning to the probe and have thereafter disassociated with the findings of the committee. “We absolutely reject the report,” he said.

“The BJP and the CPI have only shown their anti-national side on the issue of the nuclear deal at the international level. In the current context of limited gas supplies and the changed world order, the nuclear deal only strengthened India’s position globally. The deal does not mean we will stop testing nuclear capabilities in future. Our nuclear programme is not one of threatening others. This one is just keeping ourselves updated with the latest developments in the world,” he said.

Success of the Right to Information Act is one of the biggest achievements of the Congress during the past few years. “Earlier, a common man complained of offices remaining closed doors to even the general information. The Act has enabled the common man to know the job mechanism as well as fix the responsibility for those not doing their job,” he added.



Centrally-sponsored schemes
244 beneficiaries to get loans worth Rs 1.88 cr
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
Zila parishad and DRDA chairman Manpreet Ayali today said loans amounting to Rs 1.88 crore would be received from various banks to help 244 beneficiaries, including individuals and groups, to start their ventures under centrally-sponsored schemes during the current financial year in the district.

Ayali was presiding over a meeting of the governing body for implementing DRDA schemes to review the progress of these schemes at zila parishad here.

Ayali said loans would be arranged for people living below poverty line and a subsidy of Rs 10,000 per family would be provided on loans to Scheduled Caste families and handicapped persons.

He added that a sum of Rs 7,500 per family would be provided with subsidy to the non-scheduled caste families.

At the meeting, Ayali asked officers to ensure proper selection of beneficiaries under the schemes and make arrangements for the required training for starting their ventures.

He said the elected representatives should also be consulted while finalising the lists.

He further told the officers to effectively educate people about the schemes at villages so that they could avail of the benefits.

ADC (D) Priyank Bharti said all departments/officers had already been geared up to implement the schemes efficiently and said no laxity on part of any officer would be allowed.

Among others present at the meeting were APO Ramesh Kumar Kapoor, NABARD DDM Harmesh Kumar, district programme officer Neena Gupta, Machhiwara block samiti chairman Gurdial Singh, Ludhiana-1 block samiti chairman Balwant Singh, Raikot block samiti chairman Inderjit Singh Grerwal Pakhowal block samiti chairman Gurmukh Singh and Ludhiana- block samiti chairman Sat Pal Singh.



51 bottles of blood donated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
At least 51 bottles of blood were donated for thalassaemic children at a camp organised by Salaam Zindagi, a city-based NGO, at Arya College today.

Minister Madan LaL Bagga was the guest of honour. Addressing the volunteers, he appreciated their efforts to help poor thalassaemic children and other needy people of the society.

Bagga assured help to Salaam Zindagi for the cause.

Dr Baldev Singh Aulakh, transplant surgeon from the DMCH, explained the importance of blood donation and other medical aspects related to blood donation.

He stressed the need for donating blood and exhorted the organisation members to create awareness on the issue in the society.

Arya College for Boys principal S.M. Sharma was also present.



188 bottles of liquor seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
The police seized 188 bottles Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) from a vacant plot at Chet Singh Nagar in Shimlapuri here yesterday afternoon.

The police had received a tip-off that liquor bottles wrapped in a sack were hidden in a vacant plot at Chet Singh Nagar.

The police recovered the bottles, while three accused — Bhupinder Singh, Lalli and Jaeet Singh — fled the scene.



Gang of robbers busted, 3 arrested
Our Correspondent

Raikot, September 10
The police busted a gang of robbers by arresting three of its members here today. The gang was behind various robberies in the town.

Those arrested have been identified as Suresh Kumar, Deepak and Manpreet, all from Raikot.

The other two members of the gang, Shalu Kumar of Raikot and Rahul of Ambala, are still at large.

DSP Raikot said SHO Gurdial Singh and his team had been trailing the robbers after September 4 when they had robbed Rs 84,000 in cash and a diamond ring from a shop, Punjab Handlooms. One of the gang members, Deepak, was a former employee of the shop.

The police recovered Rs 70,000 and the diamond ring from them along with artificial jewellery and silver ornaments.

During interrogation, gang leader Suresh Kumar admitted to having committed more robberies.

These included robberies at Hans Raj Jeweller, in which they decamped with 3 kg silver ornaments, and at Anil Kumar Jeweller, in which they robbed 1.5 kg silver ornaments and artificial ornaments.

The stolen silver ornaments were said to have been sold in Chandigarh. DSP Narinderpal Singh said more robbery cases would be solved with their arrest.



One killed is accident
Our correspondent

Khamano, September 10
One person was killed and another injured when two vehicles collided head-on near Khant village on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road here.

According to sources, a Tata 407 truck (PB 10 BK 0296) coming from Chandigarh collided head-on with a jeep (HP 33 T 9248), killing jeep driver Manoj Kumar on the spot.

His cleaner Manoj Kumar was injured and was taken to a hospital. Both hail from Mandi. A case has been registered.



Katoch Shield
Ludhiana take on Amritsar today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 10
A keen tussle is on the cards when hosts Ludhiana will take on Amritsar in the semifinal of the ongoing Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament for the Katoch Shield, organised by the Punjab Cricket Association, slated to be held at the Punjab Agricultural University ground between September 11 and 14 here.

Ludhiana secured three points from as many matches to book their place in the last-four stage of the tournament.

They beat Jalandhar, drew with Minor Districts XI (Zone B) and then lost to Chandigarh on their route to the semifinals. Besides, Ludhiana and Amritsar, Mohali and Chandigarh secured berths in the semifinals.

A number of Ranji players from both sides will be seen in action during the match. Gagandeep Toor, Ankur Kakkar, Karan Goel and Gaurav Marwaha from Ludhiana and Ravneet Ricky, Sandeep Sanwal, Chandan Madaan, Sumit Sharma and Bharat Loomba from Amritsar will be in action.

Satish Kumar and Satinder Kohli, both from Patiala will be the umpires. The play will begin at 9.30 am.



Punjab softball meet from Sept 14
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 10
The 13th edition of Junior Punjab Softball Championship for boys and girls will be held here at Ramgarhia educational complex, Miller Ganj, from September 14 to 16, according to honorary secretary, the Punjab Softball Association, P N Passi.

The following players have been selected to represent Ludhiana in the championship: Boys: Vikramjeeet, Sunil, Sanjay, Jatinder, Pawan, Gurbir and Jaspal Singh of Ramgarhia Senior Secondary School, Ajay Kumar, Abdul and Gurmukh Singh of TSSM Senior Secondary School, Manpreet Singh and Vardan of R S Model Senior Secondary School, Manjot Singh, Navjot Singh of Guru Nanak International Public School and Navraj Singh Bhandari of Guru Nanak Model School. Onkar Singh will be a manager of the team while Deepak Kumar and Jarnail Singh have been named as coaches.

Girls: Gurpreet Kaur, Shweta Rai, Sharanpreet Kaur, Diksha, Tejinder Kaur and Saima Gupta of TSSM Senior Secondary School, Priya, Sukhdeep Kaur, Anita and Harmanjot Kaur of R S Model Senior Secondary School, Harpreet Kaur of Ramgarhia Girls School, Lovepreet Kaur, Manvir Kaur, Varleen Kaur and Harnoor Kaur of GN Senior Secondary School. Baljinder Kaur will be the manager of the squad while Kulwant Kaur and Asha Rani will be the coaches of the team.



Village girl looks to make waves in softball
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
At 20, this village girl from Malerkotla has been trying to carve a niche for herself in softball — a game not much popular in India.

Loveneet Kaur has been part of the Punjab women softball team, which won the gold medal for the third consecutive time in Senior National Softball Championship at Chandigarh in June.

Daughter of a farmer and a housewife, Loveneet took to softball when she was in Class X.

She said: “I had never thought that I would ever take sports as a career but I had an inclination towards games because of my uncle, who was a volleyball coach.”

A BA final-year student at Ramgarhia Girls College, Loveneet attributes her success to coach Pranath Passi. Her coach had been an inspiration for her, she said.

Her parents, too, had played a vital role behind her success, she added.

Loveneet has participated in various events, including inter-varsity tournaments and national-level competitions. She said the game was unpopular in India and that was why players were not getting a platform to display their skills.

“Softball players in countries like America and Canada get a lot of facilities from their governments. However in India, the game is not popular and consequently there are no sponsors or hi-tech facilities to match international standards,” added the player, who is also a music buff.

Though her first love is softball, Loveneet plays baseball too. She has participated in many events and represented Panjab University in inter-varsity meet as well.

Passi said: “Loveneet is a promising player and if she works hard she may get a place in the national team too.”

On her future plans, Loveneet said there was not much scope for softball here and if she got a chance to represent any other country she would happily do so because of her love for the game.



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