L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sexual Harassment
PAU dean summoned 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
The director, students welfare, PAU, Dr Dulcha Singh Brar, has reportedly demanded the copy of a complaint and some time before recording his statement to the committee probing sexual harassment charges against him.

He was called by the committee members, whose chairman is Dr Neelam Grewal, dean, College of Home Science, in connection with the case today.

It is learnt that Dr Brar appeared before the committee with his son and demanded a copy of the complaint to know the nature of the complaint.

He reportedly said unless the copy was made available, he would not be able to record the statement. A woman employee of the PAU had filed a written complaint of sexual harassment against Dr Brar on September 14.

Dr M.S. Kang, vice-chancellor, had constituted a committee to look into the complaint, which is perhaps the first of its kind here. Since the controversy has gained a lot of momentum, deans, directors and heads of various department have said the truth should come out at the earliest.

“We all should know what the reality is. The speculation must come to an end. If it is a false complaint, action should be taken against the complainant and if Dr Brar is found guilty, he should be punished for his act,” a senior faculty member said on the condition of anonymity.

Dr Neelam Grewal said Dr Brar was summoned today, but she refused to give any details as it might hamper the probe. “Since it is a sensitive issue, we want to probe it deeply. The committee will submit a report as soon as possible,” she added.


A pain that refuses to go away
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
They laid down their lives for us, but their families are struggling for even two square meals. This is the story of a number of families who assembled here today on the occasion of the Police Commemoration Day.

Family members of as many as 52 personnel who died during militancy, laid wreath at the memorial.

Madhuri was only eight months old when her father, constable Sham Sunder, died in a blast in 1992 in front of the house of the then education minister, Harnam Das Johar.

Her mother helped spot her father in the photo gallery of martyrs installed at the Police Lines. She was only 21 years old when her husband died and raised her daughter on a meagre pension of Rs 2,500.

Her mother-in-law is praying for death as they cannot afford to buy expensive medicines.

Madhuri said: “I am proud of my father and I will join the police after completing Class XII. I want to see my mother happy again. If my father laid down his life for the nation, my mother’s sacrifice was no less. She spent her whole life for my better future.”

Gyan Kaur, wife of Gurmeet Chand who was shot by militants, was pinning her hopes on DIG Ishwar Singh.

She requested him to give a job to her son. After the death of Gurmeet, there is no one to look after the family. Gyan Kaur reminded the DIG that the government had assured a job to her son at the time of her husband’s death.

“Earlier, my son was not eligible to join the police as he was not matriculate, but he cleared the examinations last year and is now eligible to join the police force. I have suffered a lot all these years and am hoping for a favourable response,” she said.

The story of Chand Kaur is no different. Her son-in-law Pritpal Singh died fighting terrorists in 1993. Her daughter’s property at Sunait was allegedly grabbed by her in-laws.

The suffering did not end here. After some time, her elder son died in an accident, leaving behind six daughters. Her youngest son and husband are bed-ridden.



Police remembers its martyrs
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, October 21
The Police Commemoration Day was observed with a solemn parade at the Central Police Lines here this morning.

The day is being observed since 1959 in the memory of a small contingent of policemen that was attacked by Chinese troops, killing 10 of them. Since then, all states and UTs observe this day and pay homage to those valiant officers and soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their motherland.

The names of the officers and men are read over the commemoration parade. As many as 52 personnel who laid down their lives for the safety of the city residents during the period of militancy were remembered by the officers.

A parade was held in which contingents of the Punjab Police and IRB paid salute to the martyrs.

A police band also performed on this occasion. DIG Ishwar Singh, who was the chief mourner, read the names of officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

He lauded the role of martyrs who gave up their present for the future and for protecting the security and integrity of the country.

The city police also invited the families of the martyrs and organised a small get-together with them.

Ishwar Singh, SSP R.K. Jaiswal, SP (headquarters) Harish Kumar and SP city II later listened to the grievances of the kin of martyrs and assured help.

Later, officers and police personnel laid wreaths at the memorial.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: GOs, SHOs and police officers from various units of the area attended ceremonial parades at their respective district headquarters to pay tributes to over 683 policemen who had laid down their lives during the past year. Functions were organised at the Police Lines to commemorate the Police Commemoration Day.

SSP (Sangrur) Naunihal Singh, SSP (Ludhiana-rural) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar and SSP (Khanna) Arun Pal Singh addressed policemen at their respective headquarters on the conclusion of parades this morning.

Policemen from Dehlon, Sudhar, Malaudh, Payal, Sandaur, Latala, Kup Kalan, besides local units of the Punjab Police attended parades organised at Jagraon, Khanna and Sangrur Police Lines today.

Paying tributes to 683 policemen, who laid their lives during action from September 1, 2007 to August 31, 2008, the officers called upon rank and file in the force to value prime sacrifices of martyrs and live up to the expectations of their seniors.

“We should remember that the martyrs had laid down their lives while trying to preserve the esteem of our department. We should also understand that remembering them on a designated day is not enough to pay tributes to our martyrs. Doing our duty diligently will be a true tribute to them,” said Gurpreet Bhullar.

Police parties offered salute and laid wreaths in the memory of the martyrs. Names of the martyrs were read out by GOs at their respective functions.

The functions were also attended by members of the bereaved families, civil officers and retired police officers.



PAUTA Elections
Mahal group victorious again
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
For the second consecutive year, Dr M.S. Mahal group proved its majority by winning the elections of the Punjab Agricultural University Teachers’ Association (PAUTA) held here today.

Dr Mahal defeated his rival group led by Dr M.L. Sharma by a margin of 40-80 votes for various posts.

A total of 712 votes were polled by PAUTA members in today’s elections.

As soon as the results were declared in the evening, it was celebration time for the winning group. Mukesh Siag, who was elected general secretary, said it was due to cooperation of the PAU faculty that the group had once again come into power to serve teachers.

The elections of PAUTA are held annually. As any other elections, the voters were given a “warm treatment” by members from both groups. The voting was held at the examination hall and the university was abuzz with activity, as faculty members were seen in groups to support their candidates.

Teachers had especially come from places like Abohar, Ballowal, Bahowal, Bathinda, Shaunkri and Chandigarh to cast their votes. Seven booths were set up for the convenience of voters.

Dr R.S. Dhillon from the department of chemistry was the returning officer, while Salamdin and O.P.Chaudhry were assistant returning officers.

Before the voting, a general house meeting was held in which the contenders for the posts of president and general secretary presented their agendas.

Dr Mahal and Dr Sharma were pitted against one another for the post of president, while Mukesh Siag and Dr K.S.Sangha had faced off the post of general secretary.

There are 813 members in PAUTA with voting rights. Over 700 voters exercised their right in today’s elections. Polling ended at 4.15 pm.



Govt failed to check paddy rot: Capt
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Khanna, October 21
The UPA government has increased the MSP on wheat by 55 per cent and on paddy by 52 per cent.

Former Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, announced this during his visit to the Khanna grain market here today. He was here to oversee the procurement process of paddy.

He said ever since the UPA government took over in 2004, the MSP of wheat had increased from Rs 630 to Rs 1,000. Similarly, the MSP of paddy had also increased from Rs 590 to Rs 880.

He said the state government had failed to check the rotting of tonnes of paddy in grain markets all over the state due to poor storage facility. “A squall leaves behind a trail of damage for farmers, who run helter-skelter to save their crop from getting damaged. The high moisture content has rendered the produce less profitable,” he said.

He alleged that Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal was using 165 cars for daily use and the state’s exchequer was being spent to meet the fuel demands of these vehicles in the time of inflation. He alleged that SAD men worked only for their own party workers, and not the common man.



Sangat Darshan Cases
CM’s aide reviews progress 
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
It seems Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is trying hard to fulfill the promises he made to residents during sangat darshan.

As a part of this initiative, the CM’s political adviser, Daljit Singh Cheema, who had been accompanying him and keeping a record of the complaints, visited the city today.

He held a meeting with government officials and councillors, including MC commissioner G.S. Ghuman, deputy speaker Satpal Gosain and mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura, at the Circuit House.

According to information, Cheema had come to review the progress of cases, which would be discussed at a meeting in Chandigarh on October 25.

The meeting would be attended by officials from Ludhiana, MLAs and councillors in whose constituency the CM had held sangat darshan.

Cheema discussed major projects, including infrastructure and development, besides pension problems.

Interestingly, the meeting witnessed a spat between deputy speaker Satpal Gosain and the SDM. Gosain alleged that the SDM had not been passing applications of ration card and blue cards of his constituency for more than a year.

Cheema directed the SDM to return incomplete forms of Gosain’s constituency and complete the exercise by the first week of November.

The councillors had come prepared as they had brought applications pertaining to their wards.

Adopting a strict policy of not accepting applications seeking a job, Cheema directed councillors to forward only those demands that had been discussed during the CM’s visit.

Meanwhile, sources said the CM’s next sangat darshan was likely to be held on October 26 in the constituency of MLA Harish Bedi.



Killer tenants get life term 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 21
A couple has been sentenced to undergo rigorous life imprisonment on the charges of killing their landlady over just Rs 3,000.

Those convicted are Ram Swarath and his wife Bachhi Devi of Kabir Nagar, Shimlapuri.

Additional sessions judge P.S. Dhanoa held that the prosecution had proved the guilt of the accused beyond any shadow of doubt.

The duo were booked on the charges of killing Sunita Devi on Sepetember 8, 2006, on the complaint of Ramji Dass, husband of the deceased.

He had submitted to the police that he had rented out a room to the accused. Ram Swarath had taken a loan of Rs 3,000 from his wife on the pretext of purchasing a motor cycle, but he did not repay the loan.

When his wife asked for it, he would start quarrelling. A day before the incident, there was an altercation between his wife and the accused. The next day, he was stunned to see that the accused were strangling his wife with a dupatta when he returned home for lunch. 



Distress siren for central jail inmates
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
Sirens would be installed in each barrack of the central jail for inmates to send distress signal in case of any emergency.

During a visit to the jail premises yesterday, chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda assured the jail authorities of taking up the matter with officials in the Punjab secretariat.

Dhanda had reached the jail following reports in the local dailies concerning unhygienic living conditions that had allegedly led to the death of three inmates during the past 10 days. The minister also assured the gathering that he would take up their grievances with jail minister Hira Singh Gabria.



Two arrested with 1 kg opium
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 21
The police nabbed two persons, including the kingpin of a gang of drug peddlers, today.

The motor cycle used in the crime and 1 kg of opium were seized from their possession.

A police party led by Jagrup Singh, SHO of Malaudh, arrested Iqbal Singh of Ward No. 14 and his accomplice when they were allegedly going to supply opium in villages along the Chomon drain.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the gang was involved in the supply of drugs by exploiting their links with senior leaders of the SAD.

The police is yet to establish the identity of the youth SAD leader from whose house the accused had taken delivery of the consignment.

The DSP, Rattan Brar, said the main accused had been plying taxi for a long time and it was yet to be established if the SAD leader who used to hire his car knew about the illegal activities of the accused.



Shopping no fun this Diwali
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
With the prices of commodities skyrocketing, shoppers were eagerly looking forward to the festive season to avail of some good bargains. However, this year has proved to be a big disappointment to residents.

Diwali is round the corner, but not many discounts are being offered on products. In addition to this, the prices of commodities have increased.

Unlike previous years when the festive season was synonymous with discounts on nearly everything, this year, not many offers are being extended to shoppers.

Rashmi, a beautician, says: “Every year we reserve our shopping for this season because this is the time when freebies are given with most things. However, this time no free gifts are being given and in addition to it, the prices of commodities have increased by at least 10 per cent. Diwali fun has been dampened as everything from sweets, dry fruits, clothes to household items like crockery have become dearer.”

Jeet Singh, owner of a bakery, says the prices of eatables have increased this year. Even companies like Cadbury’s are not coming out with any special offer on their products.”

The owner of an electronics shop says unlike previous years, no major concessions or gifts are being offered this year on white products.

The owner of a department store in Sarabha Nagar says around this time every year, sales usually rise by 40-50 per cent. “However, this time it is only 15-20 per cent as people are not making enthusiastic purchases,” he adds.



Ignorant police makes fool of itself
Deploys cops at courts anticipating Capt’s visit
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, October 21
The local police today erroneously deployed a large number of policemen at the district court complex in anticipation of the arrival of former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh for hearing in the City Centre Scam case, which was not scheduled for today. As a result, lawyers as also litigants faced harassment as parking restriction was imposed near the Sessions Court area.

Moreover, restriction on the movement of litigants was also imposed in certain areas. When some curious lawyers asked the policemen the reason behind the security arrangement, they were surprised to learn that it had been done for Capt Amarinder Singh’s visit in connection with the City Centre Scam case.

Baffled, lawyers dealing with the case went through their diaries, only to find that the case hearing was scheduled for next month.

Some policemen found themselves in a piquant situation on learning the fact. However, they continued to man the complex for hours.

A police official deployed at the courts complex said they had been deployed due to some misunderstanding. However, they expressed their inability to leave the complex until they received a communique from senior officer orders in this regard.

The orders finally came in just before the lunch time, much to the relief of the policemen as also lawyers and litigants.



Sowaddi (west) sarpanch elected
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 21
Sowaddi village (west) sarpanch Bharpoor Singh, a CPI activist, retained the post by securing four panch votes out of seven in his favour. Three panches voted against him. Tension had prevailed at the village after Bharpoor Singh had pledged support to Amarjit Singh, an Akali worker, for the post. However, he took charge and remained in the post for the next four years.

Sowaddi two panchayats - Sowaddi Kalan panchayat with nine members and Sowaddi (west) with seven members. Pargat Singh Pammi, a Congress worker, was elected sarpanch from Sowaddi Kalan with the support of seven members earlier.

The elections to Sowaddi (west) panchayat ran into rough weather when the department concerned erroneously issued elected candidate certificate to Jugraj Singh, a covering agent of Amarjit Singh. Jugraj Singh had failed to get even a single vote.

The elected candidate certificate was to be issued to Bharpoor Singh. After getting an affidavit from Jugraj Singh, Bharpoor Singh got the records of the department corrected after filing a representation with the State Election Commission, Punjab.

The SEC ordered for the correction in records and conducting of election.



Campaign against fire mishaps
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
With an aim to curtail the risk of fire mishaps during Diwali festival, DMCH in collaboration with the Burns Association of India (Ludhiana Chapter) is undertaking an awareness campaign in city schools.

An interactive session and workshop on burns prevention during Diwali was organised at various schools, including St Thomas School, Delhi Public School, BCM School and RS Model Senior Secondary School. Dr Sanjeev Uppal, Professor of plastic surgery department at DMCH spoke to the students and gave tips on how to avoid accidents.

Dr Uppal urged the children to burst crackers in open with parents.

He also advised to keep a bucket of water nearby to douse flames if somebody catches fire. Also, the fireworks should be bought from reputed manufacturers and stacked at safer places.

Concluding the session, Dr Uppal, asked the students to educate maximum number of people. DMCH will also organise these sessions in Kundan Vidya Mandir, DAV Public School and Sacred Heart Convent School, BRS Nagar, for safe Diwali.



Youth heritage festival concludes
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 21
A four-day youth and heritage festival being organised in Dr. Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, concluded today amidst cultural fanfare and lively rejoicings.

Roop Brar, president, the managing committee, Prof. Balwant Singh Pangali, general secretary, Jagjivan Pal Singh Gill, vice-president, Adarsh Pal Bector, Hardarshan Singh Mangat, principal K.K.Tandon, principal R.S Jhanji, principal Malkiat Singh, principal Jagmohan Singh, Prof Jaipal Singh, president, GCTA, Prof. Kuldip Singh, area secretary, GCTA, Tarlok Singh Jaggi, executive committee member, director Jaswant Singh Gill, were among those who were present.

Dr. Narinder Singh Sidhu, principal of the college, thanked the department of youth welfare, Panjab University, for enabling the college to organise the festival. He also expressed his gratitude towards the participating colleges and guests.

The results:

Orchestra Indian - (Team) - GNN College, Doraha-1 (Individual) Devinder Singh, GNN College-1, Harwinder Singh - GNN College, Doraha-2; Folk orchestra - (Team) - GNN College, Doraha-1, SCD Government College, Ludhiana-2 (Individual) - Sukhwinder Singh-1, Jasmeet Singh, Government College Ludhiana-2, Gurmeet Singh, GNN College, Doraha-3; Folk instruments - GNN College, Doraha-1, SCD Government College, Ludhiana-2, M.G. K.M. Shahi Sports College, Samrala-3; Instrumental music (Percussion) - SCD Government College, Ludhiana-1, GNN College, Doraha-2, Government College, Karamsar, Rara Sahib-3; Instrumental (Non-Percussion) - GNN College, Doraha-1, Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management, Jhande-2; Kavishri - GNN College, Doraha-1, A.S.College, Khanna-2, SCD Government College Ludhiana-3 (Individual) Ranjodh Singh, GNN College, Doraha-1;

Vaar/kali - M.G. K.M. Shahi Sports College, Samrala-1, SCD Government College, Ludhiana-2, A.S.College, Khanna-3, (Individual) Megha Sharma of GNN College, Doraha-1; Ladies traditional and ritualistic songs of Punjab (suhags, ghoris, long heik songs, dholak/ghara songs, sithnies)- Malwa College, Bondli, Samrala-1, SCD Government College, Ludhiana-2, A.S.College, Khanna-3; Folk dances - GNN College, Doraha-1, Arya College, Ludhiana-2, SCD Government College, Ludhiana-3 (Individual) - Parmeet Singh of GNN College, Doraha-1; Folk dances, embroidery: (dasuti) Jugraj Kaur, GNN College, Doraha-1, Virpal Kaur, SCD Government College, Ludhiana, Anu Aggarwal, GPC, Alour-3; Bagh - Gurinder Kaur, SCD Government College, Ludhiana-1, Pushpinder Kaur, GNN College, Doraha, Harjit Kaur, GPC, Alour-3.



Bhangra steals the show
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
The ongoing PU youth festival for educational colleges at GMT College of Education, which entered its third day, witnessed a huge participation of students. However, the real show stealer of today's events was bhangra, which enthralled audience and forced them to tap their feet.

The results are:

Vaar Singing: Dev Samaj College of Education (Chandigarh) - first, DD Jain College of Education (Ludhiana) - second and Rayat College of Education (Rayat) - third.

Embroidery (Phulkari): DAV College of Education (Hoshiarpur) - first, BCM College of Education (Ludhiana) - second and Doraha College of Education (Doraha) - third.

Pakhi design: DAV College of Education - first, GMT College of Education - second and GTB Khalsa College of Education - third.

Crocheting: GMT College of Education (Ludhiana) - first, BCM College of Education (Ludhiana) - second and Bhutta College of Education (Ludhiana) - third.

Folk dances: DAV College (Hoshiarpur) - first, Bhutta College of Education - second and Doraha College of Education - second.



Rampur school excels

Doraha, October 21
A team of Government High School, Rampur, stood first in the district-level science congress, which was organised at R. S. Model Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana, today.

The children science congress was organised in the junior and senior categories for the rural students in which the team of Government High School, Rampur, comprising Harmeet Singh, Balraj Singh, Iqbal Singh, Gurkirat Singh and Manpreet Singh, under the guidance of Pal Rani Kaur, a science teacher, and headmistress Gurdip Kaur, secured the first place and brought laurels to the school. — OC



12 bogies of freight train derail
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 21
Rail traffic on the busy Ludhiana-Ferozepur section remained suspended for over 12 hours after 12 coaches of a freight train derailed at 1.10 am today.

Railway officials of the Ferozepur division, under the supervision of DRM Satish Kumar and ADRM Kulbir Singh, cleared the rail track with the help of cranes.

The coaches of the train were put back on track around 1.15 pm. Commuters had to face a lot of harassment. Thousands of commuters travel on this section every day. 1 LF and 2 LF Ludhiana passenger trains were cancelled, while 4 LF Ludhiana-bound train was commuted till Moga only from Ferozepur.

Senior DRM Dharminder Singh said the bogies of the freight train derailed during shunting near the Ajitwal railway station. He said prima facie evidence pointed the finger of suspicion at the engine driver and the guard. However, he said no action had been taken against anyone as investigation was still on.



Man booked under Child Marriage Act
Our Correspondent

Khamano, October 21
In a case of child marriage, the Khamano police has booked the father of a minor boy following a complaint by the boy’s mother.

According to sources, Balbir Singh, a resident of Sanghol, near here, had solemnised the marriage of his son Kuldeep Ram with Swarn Kaur, a resident of Chirari village (Phagwara), in the presence of his relatives and villagers on October 1.

The parents of Kuldeep Ram had been living separately at the village. The mother, Jeeto, after the marriage of her son filed a complaint with Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Dr Kaustab Sharma against Balbir Singh. The SSP later marked an inquiry.

After holding the enquiry, in charge of Sanghol police post Gurpartap recommended the registration of case as he found the boy minor. The police has booked Balbir Singh under the Child Marriage Act. He has not been arrested so far.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |