L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


C-90 King Air Crash
‘It took 3 rounds and turned into a fireball’
Loveleen Bains

Firemen try to douse flames.
Firemen try to douse flames. — Photo by Inderjeet Verma

Sahnewal, October 29
The residents of Jugiana village were shocked after a six-seater C-90 King Air aeroplane coming from Chandigarh crashed and fell on the Thapar Agro factory today morning.

The plane took two rounds over the village and when the pilot realised that safe landing was not possible, he intentionally crashed the plane in an uninhabited place to minimise loss of life and property.

The villagers are all praise for the pilot who, even in the face of death, tried to save the lives of thousands of villagers.

“Both the pilot and the co-pilot could not come out. The smoke after the crash blackened the surroundings after which chaos and confusion ruled the place,” said village woman, who was working in the nearby fields at the time of the incident.

“I saw it happen in front of my eyes. I was showing the plane to my two-and-a-half-year-old son who was dancing on having sighted it for the first time from so close a distance. It passed over our head, took a round and then came back. It soared over our head again and took another turn. The joy of my son knew no bounds when the plane took a third round, but we hardly realise what was going inside the plane and in the minds of the pilot and the co-pilot,” she added.

The plane soon turned into a fireball and thousands of villagers came running towards the crash site to rescue the persons on board. “However, within seconds all was over and there was nothing that the villagers could do,” she said.

The migrant labourers, who were resting in their houses on account of Vishwakarma Day, said that they were terrified when they saw the plane coming towards them. “But the next moment, they heard a thundering noise and smoke from the adjoining factory.

Meanwhile, the fire brigade failed to reach the spot even half an hour after the crash. The employees at aerodrome were baffled as they failed to assess where had the aeroplane disappeared all of a sudden.


Pilots sacrificed their lives to save others
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
They sacrificed their lives to save hundreds others. The deceased pilot and co-pilot of C-90 King Air took the crashing plane to an abandoned industrial unit in Jugiana, an otherwise well-populated pocket within the city's municipal limits.

The residents of Jugiana village, who witnessed the plane crash in the morning, are thankful to the pilots, Manjeet Khokhar and Daleep Kataria, who laid down their lives to save the life of the others.

Eyewitness Jagjit Singh, a resident of Gobindgarh village, said: “I saw an awkward movement of the plane and immediately understood something was wrong with it. After three unsuccessful attempts, the plane made a fourth shot to land safely, but the pilot lost control and the plane turned upside down.

But the pilots managed to fly the plane across the crowded area and without caring for their life they crash-landed at the abandoned industrial unite near the Thaper Agro mill. A resident of the house close to the crash site was all thanks to the pilots for saving their lives. Tara Chand, a nearby resident said, “Hundreds of people could have possibly died had the plane crashed on the colony.

G.S Mangat, chief flying officer, who is proud of the sacrifice of the pilots, said as their was no option to eject from the plane, the only choice they were left with was to take the plane away from the populated area and so they did and saved many lives.

SSP R.K Jaiswal also praised the pilots. “They had to make a decision in a split of second so they decided to sacrifice their lives,” he said.

The villagers said the pilots were their heroes who they would remember throughout their life. ‘‘Our life is a gift by them. Otherwise we all would have suffered burns or died,” said a villager.



Ludhianvis burst crackers worth Rs 4 crore
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

People burst crackers in Ludhiana on Diwali.
People burst crackers in Ludhiana on Diwali. — Photo by Rajesh Bhambi

Ludhiana, October 29
Worldwide recession notwithstanding, Ludhianvis went all out to celebrate the festival of lights and burst crackers worth Rs 4 crore till small hours throwing the Supreme Court directive to the wind and leaving toxic fumes in the environment.

Though a lot of hue and cry about financial crisis was being raised, the city residents did not think twice for virtually putting on fire a huge sum of Rs 4 crores that created polluted in the city.

According to Akhil Kumar, chairman of the Ludhiana Firecracker Dealers’ Association, despite the slump, the sale of firecrackers stopped at Rs 4 crore only. Otherwise they were expecting it to be higher as last year, crackers worth Rs 5 crore were sold in the city.

Akhil said though their big customers remained away from the market, there was no dearth of buyers. ‘‘We did not have buyers who would shell out Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000. But we had people who bought crackers worth Rs 5,000 this time. Mostly, there were persons who were buying crackers within a capacity of Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000. Had it not been due to problems in the market, we would have earned more,” he said.

While the crackers were burst, a thick cloud of smoke engulfed the city last night. It became near impossible to breathe in the air that became saturated with fumes from crackers.

Besides, it was a total din due to the bursting of crackers. “The residents dumped the go-green slogan given by the environmentalists very conveniently. “It is so unfortunate that we can burn so much of money that could have been used in some charity work. We could have used it for providing homes to homeless or simply for a cancer research,” said Balwinder Kaur, a teacher.

She added the entire night remained uncomfortable for the elderly, sick and the children. But nobody cared. ‘‘I was shocked that nobody took the go-green slogan seriously. Newspapers were filled with messages all these days. But it all went into the oblivion. The effects of pollution were so much that it was near impossible to breathe even during the day time today,” she added.



Farmer hacked to death on Diwali night
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 29
A marginal farmer of Maherna Kalan village in Ludhiana district was hacked to death when he was alone in his house situated on the outskirts of the village last night.

The only other member of his family, his minor son, had gone to his sister's house at Gyaspura for presenting her Diwali gifts.

The Ludhiana (rural) police, with no clue about the murder, has started working on a few of hypotheses after registering an FIR under Section 302 of the IPC against unknown persons.

Lying in a pool of blood, the body of the deceased noticed by a villager in the morning today. The body bore multiple injuries on shoulders and throat.

Preliminary investigations by SP (D) Pritam Singh and DSP, Dakha, Paramjit Singh Gorayan revealed that some unknown persons, at least two in number, had murdered him when he was in inebriated condition last night. The police is yet to establish whether the assailants had also taken liquor with him before killing him. A partly consumed bottle of country-made liquor and a packet of “namkin” were found in the room where Manjit was resting before he was attacked. Manjit’s wife had died about six years back and he had been living with his minor son Harpreet Singh after the marriage of his daughter about six months back.

Manjit was last seen when he had gone to some religious places in the village to lit earthen lamps on occasion of Diwali last night. “As he had consumed liquor at that time he did not enter the religious places. He placed the lamps outside of the religious places as a ritual being observed by most of the villagers,” one of the villagers informed the police.

“As no enmity of the deceased has been brought into our notice, we can not focus our investigation. However, I have directed the members of special investigation team to collect information about the lifestyle of the deceased and his relatives,” said SSP, Ludhiana (rural), Gurpreet Singh Bhullar.

The body of the deceased had been sent to civil hospital, Dehlon, for post-mortem.



Diwali celebrated with traditional tinge
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
Though the city has grown modern in its outlook, but people here are still traditional at heart. This was evident in the way people celebrated Diwali. They performed puja, made rangolis, visited temples and gurdwaras.

Festivals lose their meaning if they are not celebrated following traditions and customs, feel residents. Making rangoli is one of the main aspects of this festival.

People make rangoli at the entrance of their houses to welcome guests. Tilak Khanna, a resident of Mall Road, has been making rangoli on Diwali since she got married.

She came to this industrial city in 1969 and ever since she has been welcoming guests at her house with colourful rangolis.

Originally hailing from Mumbai, Tilak found it very difficult to save her tradition of making rangoli as no colours were available in Ludhiana. "During the initial years, I used to save Holi colours so that I can make rangoli on Diwali. But now from the past few years, colours are easily available in Ludhiana," she said.

She further said white rangoli was very popular in Bangalore and whenever she went there she brought white colour from there.

Devotees thronged religious places to offer prayers and lighted candles there. "We started making preparations for Diwali much in advance. Every nook and corner of the house was cleaned so that Goddess Laxmi visits the house. I hope this year Goddess of wealth lives in our house," adds Pratiksha, a resident of Aggar Nagar.

At night, it was the time to burst crackers. Young and old all were seen busting crackers together.

The sky seemed to be filled with numerous colours. Some of the energetic citizens were also seen dancing to the beats of the dhol at late night.



Safe Diwali this year
City hospitals receive a few cases of burns
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
The emergency wards at private hospitals in the city witnessed less number of people with burn injuries this Diwali.

The authorities at the leading city hospitals said that number of burn cases was less as compared to last year. There was a single burn injury case at Ludhiana civil hospital.

As many as 21 people with burn injuries on hands, feet and eyes were admitted to the DMCH last night. Dr Sanjeev Uppal, Prof of plastic surgery and emergency in charge, DMCH, said that the injured were from all age groups. “All the patients are safe except for one who is in critical condition," he said.

Apollo hospital that caters to a large number of low-lying areas near Sherpur and Dhandari, received just four cases of burn injuries.

Similarly, not even a single case was received at CMCH last night. However, two children Gaurav Mehta (11) and Rishabh Kapoor (8) were admitted with minor burns today. Both received injuries while bursting crackers.

The doctors feel that the decrease in number of burn cases this year is directly proportional to drop in sale of crackers. "The recession in the market has hit the lower income group while the impact is psychological on business and working classes,” said a doctor.



28 cases of fire reported in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
As many as 28 fire incidents were reported at different places in the city on Diwali.

Firemen remained on their toes throughout the night to control fire incidents. A major fire broke out in the R.K. Dyeing at Tajpur Road at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. The fire was on till the filing of this report.

As many as 70 fire engines were pressed into service. Firemen said wood and clothes were stored in the godown. The shops in the neighbourhood were vacated to control the fire.

Incidents of fire were also reported from Salem Tabri, Haibowal, Tajpur Road, Industrial Area, cycle market, Jawahar camp, Kitchlu Nagar, Maya Nagar, Partap Nagar, Sunet and Dandi Swami.



Industrialists, workers celebrate Vishwakarma Day
Manav Ghuman

Ludhiana, October 29
Vishwakarma Day was celebrated in the city with fervour. Lord Vishwakarma was the founder of craft, art, architecture and engineering on which the present growth of industry and other sectors is based. Factories remained closed today and owners and workers of various industrial units offered prayers to Lord Vishwakarma and performed puja of their machines and tools.

A state-level function was held at Guru Nanak Bhawan. Paying his tributes, Punjab local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia said Baba Vishwakarma was as great as Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha as all religious scriptures contained episodes of his glorious contribution. Kalia said the state government had chalked out an ambitious programme to open "skill development centres" one in each constituency with an investment of Rs 100 crore in the state to impart technical training to the youth to improve their chances of employability within the country and abroad.

He appealed to the people to improve their professional skills which, he said, would be the real tribute to Lord Vishwakarama. He said with a view to strenghten industry, the Punjab government had prepared an elaborate long-term power generation plan under which 16 new power projects with 16,000 MW capacity would be executed in Punjab in a phased manner. Work on two thermal plants with 2520 MW capacity had already been started at Talwandi Sabo and Goindwal Sahib.

Minister for jails, tourism and cultural affairs Hira Singh Gabria said the followers of Lord Vishwakarma had made substantial contributions to various fields, including religion, industry, craft, architecture, etc.

Addressing the function, Lok Sabha deputy speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal said Lord Vishwakarma was the architect of all equipments of Gods and creator of the modern technology which was still in the process of advancement. He said the artisans worshipped him on all occasions and started their daily business by seeking his blessings.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: The Vishwakarma Maha Puja Utsav was celebrated at the local Dehliz road Vishakarma temple today.

Chairman of the Sainik Group of Industries Raghbir Chand Maini was the chief guest of the function that was presided over by Balwant Singh Lotey. Surjit Singh Rajar inaugurated the function by hoisting the flag.

Addressing the gathering, Maini said the modern society owed a lot to Vishwakarma who paved the way for all mechanical and technical advances.

"It was all due the foundation laid by him that man thought of exploring the outer universe. Fundamentals laid by the great architect led humanity to the age of ultramodern gadgets and space aircrafts," he claimed.

Gaffur and his party presented a programme on religious songs and hymns on the occasion. Joginder Singh Joga, president the Agricultural Implements Manufacturers’ Association, Darshan Singh Lotey, Gurmit Singh Ballowal, Balwinder Singh Birdi, Jagdish Singh Ubhi and Sham Singh Gahir were among others who addressed the gathering.



Discrepancy in merit list disappoints teachers
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
A number of secondary schoolteachers who were issued appointment letters and were asked to join the stations allotted to them came back disappointed as there was no vacancy and the teachers were already adjusted against those posts.

Karamjit Kaur, a social studies teacher, hailing from Halwara, told this reporter that she was supposed to join a government school in Kalsan village. But to her dismay, she found that two social studies teachers were already working in the school and there was no vacant post for her. Karamjit Kaur claimed that she was at no.5 in the merit list of social studies. She has submitted a written application to DEO's (Secondary) office giving all the details and will come to know the result on Thursday when DEO's office opens tomorrow.

Harjinder Kaur, a Punjabi teacher from Lamian village, Raikot, had to face the same situation. She was to join the government school at Lammejat Pura (Jagraon) but had to come back disappointed as there were already two Punjabi teachers working in the school as a result of which there was no vacant post. She has also lodged her complaint with the DEO's office.

The teachers alleged the discrepancy in the lists. The vacant posts were not mentioned in the lists and already filled posts were mentioned.

Sudesh Bajaj, District Education Officer (Secondary), told this reporter that they have received 10 complaints regarding the non-availability of vacant posts. They have solved the problem of five cases and were looking into the pending cases. She further added that file has been sent to DPI for the allotment of the station to the Punjabi teachers who were not allotted stations earlier. The list will be displayed tomorrow in her office.



Punjabis abroad concerned about
dwindling rural economy

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
Sharing his views about the agriculture of Punjab, Sukhi Nijjar, managing director of a Toronto-based famous Punjabi TV channel, said both declining Punjabi culture and dwindling rural economy of Punjab were viewed as serious maladies in foreign lands. He visited the Centre for Communication and International Linkages of Punjab Agricultural University recently. Nijjar said the NRI community living abroad had all appreciation for the PAU for its contribution to sustaining agriculture in the state. He offered to provide a slot to the success stories of progressive farmers on his channel. He mentioned that youngsters in Canada had the impression that Punjabis were very hard working and could make anything happen.

He said migrating to foreign lands was an attraction for Punjabi youths, but warned that there were many difficulties. He suggested that the farmers who emerged successful after getting training and knowledge from Punjab Agricultural University should be documented and projected for the inspiration of others. Sharing his views, Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman said the PAU was getting linked with the outside world through electronic media and efforts were being made to expand this linkage through tie-ups with electronic media portals offered by NRIs. Dr Nirmal Jaura, deputy director (Public Relations) and Prof Gurbhajan Gill, editor of farm monthly Changi Kheti, also participated in the discussion.



Bearing burden of four children all alone
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
The woes of Aruna Bedi, in her late 30s seem to be unending. In-laws have already deserted her and the alcoholic husband has left her to bear the burden of four small children all alone. Since then she has been pleading her case, asking political leaders and bureaucrats to extend a helping hand in providing education to the children. During the recent Sangat Darshan by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal at ward number 29, she requested former to sponsor the studies of her children as in meagre amount of Rs 3000 per month, she could only provide them food but not education.

A resident of Kundan Puri, Civil Lines, Aruna told The Tribune that her in-laws disowned the son (her husband) after three years of their marriage. Having three daughters and a son aged 10 years, six years, four and a half year and 2 years respectively, Aruna had to bear the responsibility of her family as the husband was an alcoholic. "I tried my best to mend his ways but I failed", she said while tears rolled down her cheeks.

"About 10 months back, my husband left me without telling anything. Since then, I do not know about his whereabouts. Neither he tried to contact me or my kids. I had no option but to vacate the rented house to join my paralytic mother and a brother. We have a huge family. With both (Aruna and brother) our salaries of Rs 6000 a month, it is difficult to provide education to my kids. We have to get regular medicines for our mother, too", she added.

Her eldest daughter, who was studying in class II at Saraswati Model school here had to leave the studies because of financial constraints. "I had to take her out from school because I did not have money. I asked my in-laws to give me a patient hearing but they declined to listen to my woes saying they had already disowned the son a long time back".



OYT Scheme
PSEB to clear pending cases
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 29
There is some good news for the applicants on the waiting list of the agricultural power connections under the own your tubewell (OYT) scheme, which was suspended by the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) in May this year.

The power board has taken a policy decision to clear the backlog of OYT connections in the state by widening the scope of release of agricultural connections in the waterlogged areas through outsourcing.

Official sources told The Tribune that some 46,000 applications under the OYT category were pending in different parts of the state, including over 1,400 in central zone comprising Ludhiana, when the scheme was put in abeyance by the PSEB authorities on May 31, 2008.

The PSEB, sources said, has asked all the applicants to whom demand notices have been issued and have purchased material for their tubewell connections, to submit details of material purchased by them along with related bills and receipts. The applicants are also required to intimate about the details of material yet to be procured for the tubewell connection to their respective sub-divisions by October 31, 2008. Consumers will have to bear the cost of transformers in all such cases.

"Based on the requirement of material still to be purchased by the applicants, the sub-divisions concerned will prepare estimates which will be sent to the consumers by registered post and the details will also be put up on the notice boards at the sub-divisions. The applicants will have to deposit the estimated balance amount by November 16, 2008, after which the sub-divisions will prepare seniority for release of connections on the basis of receipt of payment against the estimates, “ said official sources.

It was officially stated that the release of all such tubewell connections under the OYT scheme will be completed by end of March next year. Further, the PSEB intends to clear the release of all tubewell connections under the OYT scheme even to those consumers to whom demand notices have not so far been issued by May 31, 2009.

The sources said that after the release of connections under the OYT scheme, the maintenance of 11-KV line, distribution transformer and allied equipment would be carried out by the PSEB.

However, in case of damage or burning of the transformer after the expiry of warranty period, or if the same is stolen even during the warranty period, the PSEB will replace the transformer, or any other material at the cost of the consumer. 



Kids of well-off families more prone to obesity: Expert
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
City pediatricians have expressed concern over the increasing problem of overweight and obesity in children. Leading city pediatricians observe that on an average, 20 per cent children between 5 and 10 years belonging to affluent families are overweight.

Referring to the worldwide studies conducted on child obesity, the doctors say that obesity in kids has reached epidemic levels. The experts estimate that 15 per cent kids are overweight and another 15 per cent are at a risk of becoming overweight. What is more alarming is that two thirds of these overweight kids will become overweight adults.

Similarly, an obese child between 10 and 13 years has 80 per cent chances of becoming an obese adult.

A leading pediatrician Dr Neeraj Thapar, while commenting on the problem, said more children between five to 10 years are overweight and obese. "Out of total 20 per cent cases of overweight children, five per cent are obese. Dietary adjustments with restrictions on the intake of beverages and junk food followed by at least an hour’s physical activity have shown good results," said Dr Thapar.

However, speaking on misconceptions about obesity, the doctor said mostly people referred all overweight kids as obese which was not so. Generally, a child could not be considered obese until the weight was at least 10 per cent higher than what was recommended for the height and body type. Obesity, most commonly, begins in childhood between five and six years of age and during adolescence. Studies have shown that a child who is obese between 10 and 13 years has 80 per cent chances of becoming an obese adult.

Obesity in childhood and adolescence can be related to:

t Lack of exercise
t Poor eating habits
t Overeating or binging
t Family history of obesity
t Medical illnesses (endocrine, neurological problems)
t Medications (steroids, some psychiatric medication)
t Stressful life events or changes
t Family and peer problems
t Low self-esteem
t Depression or other emotional problems


t Increased risk of heart attack
t High blood pressure
t Diabetes
t Breathing problems
t Sleeping problems

Successful management

It is advisable for the parents to go in for a thorough medical evaluation of an obese kid to consider the possibility of a physical cause. In the absence of a physical disorder, the first step to lose weight is to reduce the number of calorie intake and increase the child's physical activity. Lasting weight loss can only occur when there is self-motivation. Since obesity often affects more than one family member, healthy eating and regular exercise can improve the chances of successful weight control for the child or adolescent.

Sucharu, a mother of a 12-year-old, while sharing her experience, says that her daughter was overweight and her liking for junk food made her obese by the age of 10. "It was only after regular exercise and taking healthy diet that she has been able to reduce it in the past two years. I even had to cut down on her sittings before the television and computer replacing them with physical activity," stated Sucharu.

Further referring to behavioural changes that occur in kids because of overweight and obesity, Dr Navkiran Mahajan, associate professor in psychiatry at DMCH (Dayanand Medical College and Hospital), said: "Academic stress is the main cause that leads to overeating amongst kids further resulting in obesity. In majority of the clinical cases, obese kids suffer from lack of self-esteem and depression, but parents tend to ignore their mental state threby aggravating the problem."


Obesity occurs when intake of calories is more than that those burnt by the body and is caused by genetic, biological, behavioural and cultural factors. If one parent is obese, there is 50 per cent chance that the children will also be obese. However, when both parents are obese, the children have an 80 per cent chance of being obese. Although certain medical disorders can cause obesity, less than 1 per cent of all obesity is caused by physical problems.



Police clueless about its numbers on admn website
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
In another example of lack of coordination between the district administration and police, the official website of the latter has two helpline numbers of the police which SSP R.K. Jaiswal claims to be ignorant of.

These two helplines numbers - one for kids and another for the NRIs - which exist on the official website of the administration have no existence in the police department.

The phone number for child helpline which is 5007043 always remains busy and the message one gets on dialing it is "The network you are trying to reach is busy". Similarly, one could hear the bell going at the NRI helpline number 5050418, but no one picks up the phone.

Interestingly, these numbers have been displayed on the official website ludhiana.nic.in of the district administration which is developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC).

Talking to The Tribune, SSP R.K. Jaiswal said: "The police has a separate wing for the NRIs now and probably the number existed before." He added that he would look into the matter.

Likewise, SP (headquarters) Harish Kumar Sharma revealed that the official website of the district administration has not been inaugurated till date.

He said: "The police has a women and child cell where they are planning to have such service and for this they have trained lady staff too." We just need two vehicles to respond immediately to the calls and for this, the police is trying to approach NGOs which could help us with vehicles to start the helpline, Sharma added.

Similarly, when he was asked about the numbers, the officer repeated what the SSP had said. He also assured to look into the matter.

However, deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar could not be contacted despite repeated attempts to know the status of the official website.

The ignorance of the police staff about the numbers of their department raises a question on the credibility of information available at the district administration's site.



From Schools
Students celebrate festival
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
To promote harmony and togetherness, BCM School, Dugri, celebrated Diwali with enthusiasm. An art exhibition displaying designer diyas, candles, rangoli, wall hangings won everybody's heart. The stalls of eatables were a treat to everybody. Students gave sizzling performances.

Chief guest Mahatma Satyanand Ji Munjal wished a prosperous and safe Diwali to the students and their parents. He praised the efforts of the students and teachers.

"To imbibe socio-cultural values in students, it's very important to celebrate these festivals with the students in the school," said principal of the school Dr Vandna Shahi. The event was enjoyed by the students as well as their parents.

Blooming Buds: A new play way, pre-nursery and nursery school, Blooming Buds, has come up in the city with a focus on the all-round development of kids.

The mission of Blooming Buds is to encourage self-learning and help kids in developing confidence, creativity, intelligence, personality and effective communication.



No reservation, please

I was on my way to Jalandhar when the bus conductor told a middle-aged person to vacate his seat as it was reserved for women. I refused to take the seat, but he was adamant that it was for females.

I got annoyed at it because I don't avail benefits given to me on pretext of being a woman. I believe that females have enough courage to handle every situation and don't need a helping hand from the opposite sex.

Though, I became the centre of attraction for a few minutes in the bus, I think all women who had made their identities would agree with me that we don't need reservations to prove ourselves.

Cracker muddle

The high drama witnessed during the last couple of days over the allotment of temporary booths for wholesale and retail sale of firecrackers in different parts of the city has sullied the image of political leaders belonging to both the ruling combine and the Opposition as well as the officials of the district administration.

Political leaders even of very high standing, including some of those often seen preaching moral values, came out in the open to make it obvious that they had a vested interest in the allotment of booths.

At the same time, the conduct of top officials on this issue left nobody in any doubt that the entire process of the allotment of booths was influenced by other factors than merit.

The banner put up by an office-bearer of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (youth wing of the BJP) on his cracker shop in the Government College for Women ground revealed it all. The banner reads: "Sifarsih se nahin, paise de kar lee hai dukan."

Professional attitude

In a display of appreciable professional attitude, the legal correspondent of Ludhiana Tribune, Rajnish Lakhanpal, recently reported in details a case that he had lost in the courts. The case pertained to convicting two persons on the charges of drug peddling. The guilty duo was ordered to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 15 years each. Interestingly, the story also carried a byline to show the name of the writer the next day, which made sure that the reporter lawyer was a talk in
his community.

Aggressive advertising

The present era belongs to advertising. Want to launch a product or service, go in for an effective advertisement. More attractive the advertisement, more are the chances of people being carried away. A few days back while I was waiting at the traffic signal, I saw a small boy dressed in traditional bhangra dress. He was showing some card to every person standing on the signal. Inquisitively, I called him by my side and asked him to show the card. To my surprise, he was advertising for some newly opened fancy dress shop. It was a good idea on the part of the owner of the shop to draw the attention of the public. Every second person standing at the signal was curious to know what was in the boys’ hand.

Roadside dentist

The teeth business is not just picking up in the stylish dental clinic, but is a flourishing trade on the roadside. Ironic though, but one such self-styled dentist is doing a good business outside the DC office on the Ferozepur road.

With his ready to greet and treat style, the man is indeed street smart as he cajoles the uneducated rural people into taking his consultations. Thereafter, the man takes to cleansing the teeth and convincingly gives them some tips based on kitchen formulas.

Besides, the quack is also well versed with the current day craze for a beautiful smile as is evident from white sets of teeth spread over a red cloth. Don't be duped by his unconventional tools as his dexterity speaks for his clientele.

(Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Sanjeev Singh Bariana, Jyotika Sood, Manav Ghuman and Anshu Seth)



MC fails to provide info

The Right to Information (RTI) Act is an instrument through which citizens can seek information regarding anything from the government and semi-government departments. Under the Act, it is the duty of the departments concerned to provide the information failing which they can be penalised.

The Ludhiana municipal corporation seems to be highly burdened with 600 applicants seeking information about the civic works to be done in Ludhiana.

The MIG Welfare Society, Phase II, Urban Estate, Dugri, had also submitted an application to know why no development works had been undertaken in the colony for the past about 14 years? It sought information about the development works done in the past few years and how much amount had been spent on those works? It also asked about the details of the projects to be undertaken in the area in the near future, amount to be spent and when those would be started.

I am sorry to say that the response given by the assistant public information officer of the MC is far from satisfactory. The officer concerned has simply avoided to reveal the facts by saying that the Funds and Contract Committee of the MC has banned any development works for this colony. But no reason has been given for that.

The society has decided to take up the matter with the State Information Commission, Chandigarh.

Kuldip Singh Kreer, Ludhiana

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



17 booked in group clash
Our Correspondent

Raikot, October 29
The Raikot police has booked 17 persons of two different groups on the charges of arson, beating, damaging property and under SC/ST Act.

The two groups, led by Satish Gupta and Santokh Singh Gill, both scribes of a daily vernacular, were up in arms against each other for quiet some time on various issues. Things turned worse when both the parties complained against each other at the Raikot police station.

Sumit Gupta, son of Satish Gupta, filed a complained against 10 persons, including Santokh Singh Gill of Sudhar, Daljit Kumar Gora, a CITU state vice-president of Raikot, Aman Sharma and Jagdev Verma of Raikot, Ranu Noorpura, Ganesh Bahadur of Raikot, Amar Singh of Johlan and three unidentified persons, for beating him up and his employee Baljit Singh of Gondwal beside damaging office, furniture, Airtel PCO set, fax machine and decamping with seven mobile sets and Rs 2000 from the cash drawer of the shop.

The police has booked the accused under Sections 147, 452, 427, 382, 323, 324, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC.

On the other hand, on the complaint of Ganesh Bahadur, the police has booked seven persons, including Satish Gupta and his two sons, Mohit and Sumit, Baljit Singh, Thakurjit Singh (a scribe) and two others under Sections 323, 324, 148, 149 and 341 of the IPC and 3(10) of the SC/ST Act for abusing Sukhwinder Singh Raju by the names of their caste. He said they beat up him, Raju, Aman Sharma and another person and used caste-based derogatory language against Raju.



Two booked for murder
Tribune News Service

Khanna, October 29
Sukhwinder Singh, a resident of Kalash Kalan village, who got injured a week ago, succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday.

The Khanna police has booked two brothers Mandeep and Hardeep, residents of Machhiyan Kalan, for the murder.

In his statement to the police, deceased’s brother Manjit Singh alleged that on the night of October 22, Sukhwinder was coming in his tempo when he saw Hardeep and Mandeep in an inebriated state on the road.

Mandeep hit Sukhwinder's tempo and asked him to get aside. Sukhwinder resisted this and Mandeep allegedly ran the vehicle over the latter, injuring him seriously. Sukhwinder was taken to the Khanna civil hospital from where he called up his cousin Manjit and apprised him of the entire episode.

At the hospital, Manjit Singh and Mandeep entered into an altercation. Manjit was also allegedly attacked. He told the police that Mandeep and Hardeep snatched his mobile phone, some cash and beat him up.

The police has booked Hardeep and Mandeep under Sections 302, 365, 392 and 34 of the IPC.



Man succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
A 45-year-old man, Anand Mandal, succumbed to his injuries at the DMC hospital here on Wednesday.

According to information, Anand Mandal was allegedly attacked by six persons on October 6 and was undergoing treatment at the hospital. The accused have been identified as Amit Sharma, Sonu Kumar, Tinku Singh, Ravi Kumar, Varun Kumar and Lalit Sharma, all residents of Chander Nagar. A case has been registered.



Man kills wife
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
The festival of lights turned out to be black for 50-year-old Kuldeep who was allegedly killed by her husband.

According to information, deceased's husband Gurdeep Singh, a resident of Khanpur village, demanded money from her wife to buy liquor which she refused. This enraged him and he strangulated her to death with a dupatta. A case has been registered.



Youth commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 29
Kamaldeep Singh (20), son of Baldev Singh of Bujgar village, near Jagraon, ended his life by shooting himself with 12 bore rifle of his father last evening.

He was the only child in the family. He was stated to be mentally upset over the illness of his father who was bedridden due to paralysis. He took the rifle and went to the roof of the house to shoot himself.

The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Section 174 of the CrPC on the statement of deceased’s mother Karnail Kaur.



Inter-college badminton c’ship ends
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, October 29
The important thing in a game is not winning or losing but how one plays the game, said Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, chief parliamentary secretary, Panjab, while presiding over the valedictory function of the three-day inter-college badminton tournament of institutions affiliated to the Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, which concluded at Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences, Mandi Gobindgarh, today.

He congratulated the winners and presented them certificates and trophies for their achievements. Rajnish Sachdeva, director, sports, and deputy dean, PTU, were present on the occasion.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Zora Singh, chairman of Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, expressed satisfaction over the performance of various teams and hoped that they will continue to strive for higher achievements not only in games but in the bigger game of life as well. Prof Shalini Gupta, director general of Desh Bhagat Group, thanked the chief guest, other guests, officials and participants for their wholehearted cooperation for the success of the tournament.


Girls: IET, Bhaddal (first), DAV, IET, Jalandhar (second) Chitkara Engineering College, Rajpura (third)

Boys: SUS, CET, Tangori (first), Aadesh Engineering College, Faridkot (second), DAV, IET, Jalandhar (Third).



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