L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Roadside Encroachments
MC staff part of game
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Lakhs of rupees allegedly change hands every month among temporary encroachers and tehbazaari department employees of the municipal corporation as the menace of encroachments by the roadside continues unabated.

Every month, as many as 65,000 to 70,000 kiosk owners (as per estimates of their union) who post themselves by the roadsides to sell knick-knacks pay lakhs to the employees of the tehbazaari department, who are often found wanting when it comes to taking action on roadside encroachments.

Not only shopkeepers, who charge money from these people to allow them to stay put in front of their shops, but the tehbazaari employees allegedly accept anything between Rs 100 to 2,000 per month from these people ensuring no action against them.

The revelation has come from Punjab Rehris and Farrhis Union president Balkishan Pappi who alleged that rates were fixed for different areas depending on the kind of knick-knacks that were sold by the vendors.

Ghumar Mandi area tops the list with highest amounts paid by kiosk owners in this area followed by other posh and busy areas like Sarabha Nagar market, BRS Nagar, Aggar Nagar and near Sidhwan Canal.

The biggest “monthly” payers in these areas were kiosks selling eatables like golgappas, pizzas, pasta and other eatable stuff.

“As these people make around Rs 1,000 everyday, they are forced to pay as much as Rs 2,000 to the employees. If they refused to pay they are removed and their goods confiscated,” said Balkishan adding that he had submitted a complaint in witting in this regard to the municipal commissioner and city mayor also.

“In Ghumar Mandi, kiosks selling eatables who keep their chairs and tables by the roadside pay the maximum amount. They have approached me a number of times but I am helpless. They are told that they earn the maximum so they have to pay more.”

He added even the kiosks selling fruits, vegetables, clothes and fast moving goods were charged the maximum. Others like pan shops were not charged that high. Even vendors selling stuff like peanuts were also not charged much.

He said vendors were already paying MC staff so much of money that could go to the state exchequer. “We want that all roads in the city should have a yellow line and a specific place should be earmarked from where we can run our business. We both will benefit from the same. We will not break the rules,” he said, asking for a local rule in this direction.


Six vehicles charred
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
As many as six vehicles, part of case property, were gutted when a major fire broke out in front of the Division No. 5 police station this afternoon. The reason behind the fire has not yet been ascertained.

According to residents, the fire engulfed vehicles parked in a wasteland. Policemen and other residents tried to douse the fire, but to no avail. Finally, fire brigade was pressed into service to douse the flames.

Division No. 5 SHO Shavinder Singh said the fire could have been caused after wild growth caught fire due to dry weather. Residences of a number of bureaucrats fall in this area.




Chopra’s memories live on
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The recipient of the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 1998, B R Chopra, the man behind the Hindi blockbuster movies, passed away today. “Naya Daur”, “Waqt”, “Sadhna”, “Intqaam”, “Qanoon” and “Hamraaz” are among his noted films.

Anil Puri, the noted distributor of Punjab, while recollecting BR Chopra's writings from Cine Herald, said, "Baldev Raj was known for his film reviews and nobody then knew that he was going to be one of the most successful directors of the millennium."

Anil Puri, while narrating his experience, said: "During my last visit to his house in Mumbai, the whole family was looking for him and he was found seated in a corner penning down something even at the twilight of his life."

The tremble in the voice of Jasbir Singh, owner of Naulakha cinema, was audible as he voiced aloud his admiration for the veteran director. "My cinema had houseful shows for almost all movies directed by Baldev Raj Chopra. I still remember the huge rush during the opening of “Waqt” and “Hamraaz” as even the most influential families of the town had their seats reserved in the theatre," added Singh. The theatre was presented with a clock, a symbol to acknowledge the roaring success of movie “Waqt”.

Radhika Jaitwani and Dr R Vatsyanan, close friends of Chopra and the youngest brother of BR Chopra after offering condolences, referred to his favourite phrase "Aadmi ko chahiye, waqt se dar ker rahe".



Global Meltdown
Industry resorts to layoff
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The global economic meltdown has started to cast its shadow on the work force here with many industrialists laying off their employees with a view to downsizing their units and cut costs.

A local cycle manufacturer, requesting anonymity, said: “We have laid off around 30 per cent of our staff and the numbers might increase if things don't look up.”

“The industry is going through one of the worst phases with massive fluctuations and uncertainty looming large. In such conditions, industrialists are being forced to lay off workers in order to cut costs and sustain. Due to cancellations of orders, both domestic as well as from across the shores, many manufacturers are sitting idle with no assurance from any quarters of things taking a ‘U’ turn. A lot of industrial units in the city have laid off their employees. Even I have done so,” said Raj Awasthi, director, Sportking Knitwear, Ludhiana.

According to sources, the local steel and cycle industries have witnessed major lay off of employees. “There are many others who are also doing so but on a smaller scale,” said a hosiery manufacturer.

However, another hosiery manufacturer Vinod Thapar, said: “This is the peak season of the hosiery industry and the demand in domestic market is good, in spite of the global crisis. Therefore, I don’t think any hosiery producer will need to lay off his/her workers during this phase. But yes, there is a massive possibility of such a thing happening towards the month of January.”

President of Focal Point Industrial Shed Association Rajnish Ahuja said: “Big industrial houses of the city where wages of the work force are very high have laid off their workers.”

He added that the big players in the textile, cycle and engineering industry had shown the door to a number of their workers.

A worker in a local steel forging factory, who faced the axe, said: “Many of my co-workers have lost their jobs because the employer wanted to downsize his unit in order to sustain in the prevalent situation. There should be a definite concrete policy to deal with such crisis and the employees should be given some job security or at least adequate monetary compensation. With the current situation, where will we get jobs now?” said the hapless young man.



Attempt to free undertrials, 2 held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Two police officials, including an ASI, were beaten up by supporters of three undertrials facing murder charges at the local courts complex here today. The miscreants were trying to free the accused from the custody of the police after they were brought to the court for production in the case.

The incident took place in the morning when a group of youths led by Harpreet Singh and Ramandeep Singh attacked policemen in order to help the three escape. A police bus was badly damaged in the process.

Deepak Sood, Gurcharan Singh and Suraj Kumar are facing murder charges and had been produced in the court for hearing. Harpreet Singh and Ramandeep Singh went to meet the three undertrials, who were sitting in the police bus.

A little later, their friends came armed with sticks and roads and attacked the bus.

Even the undertrials tried to break the windows from the inside, but the bus driver was quick to respond and sped the bus away from the scene.

Harpreet and Ramandeep even tried to chase the bus but were nabbed by the police.

The police tried to nab the other youths, but they managed to flee the scene. Some policemen received injuries in this process.

The police had registered a case of attempted murder and under various other Sections of the IPC against the the three.

The police bus (PB10 B 9423) was badly damaged in this process. Following the incident, security was beefed up at the district court complex.



Gang of thieves busted, 3 held
Smack, gold seized; 6 jewellers rounded up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The city police has busted a gang of thieves by arresting three of its members. The gang is reportedly involved in over 100 cases of theft in the past one year.

The police has also detained six jewellers for purchasing ornaments form the gang members.

According to the police, two of the gang members managed to escape from the scene.

Those arrested have been identified as Sita Ram and Jangli, both from Bihar, and Rattan Singh from Uttarakhand.

SP (D) Gurpreet Singh said the three had a criminal background and had been in and out of jail several times in similar cases.

He added that the police had solved 35 cases of theft committed by the gang in the recent past and recovered stollen goods.

About the modus operandi of the accused, he said they used to commit theft when the house owners were away.

“We have also recovered smack from the accused and are trying find out if the accused were dealing in drugs as well,” he added.

The six jewellers who have been rounded up are: Jagjit Singh, Jaspal Singh, Kurdip Kumar, Kasar Singh Gagandeep Singh and Rajdev Singh.

The police has also recovered gold ornaments from the jewellers. It has recovered one 315 bore pistol, four cartridges, 260 gm smack and 300 gm gold from the accused.



Homoeopathy panacea for dengue
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The doctors practicing homoeopathy in the city have cured thousands of patients suffering from dengue, thereby establishing themselves as equally qualified professionals as their allopathic counterparts.

Working on symptomatic treatment, the homeopaths after getting confirmed dengue patients put them on medication, including gelsemium, eupatorium, perf, crotalus and ceanothus, that work to improve the immune system.

The platelet count reaches 35-40,000 from 10,000 within 24-48 hours of administration of the medication, claims Dr Robin Brar, a young homoeopath practising in BRS Nagar.

The doctor who treats girls up to the age of five years free of cost said he had treated around 150 positive dengue patients of all age groups.

“The medicines do not have any side effects and the patients recover without getting themselves admitted to hospitals.”

Dr Ravinder Kocchar, principal of Lord Mahavira Homeopathic Medical College, who also practicing homoeopathy said contrary to allopathic medicine, homoeopathy has curative as well as preventive medicine for dengue patients.

“We have given medicines to a large number of patients suffering from dengue during the season but there is the need to create awareness amongst people for the same,” added Dr Kocchar.

Shashi Bala, a resident of Sarabha Nagar, said: “My platelet count had decreased to 10,000 but the homoeopathic treatment took it to normal count within five days. And the cost of the treatment was much less than that of allopathic treatment.”

Similarly, Harinder Singh, an entrepreneur and a resident of Urban Estate, Dugri, confirmed his belief in the discipline adding that after being tested positive for dengue, he went to Dr Brar with platelet count of just 7,000 which increased to 1,82,000 in a week’s time.

On the other hand, another homoeopath Dr Vishavdeep Singh held the government and the policies of the health ministry responsible for sidelining homoeopathy.

The number of dengue patients in the district have reached 1,966 but in the absence of government’s support, homoeopaths are not able to reach out patients despite their efforts, the doctor rued.



Where cigarettes, drugs are part of offering
Worshippers drawn to Shani Gaon to appease Kaal Bhairav
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
In what could be termed as the recent connotation of offering intoxicants to Kaal Bhairav (the fierce incarnation of Lord Shiva), devotees in and around Phillaur are offering cigarettes and drugs to appease the deity.

The idol of Kaal Bhairav at Shani temple in Shani Gaon, near Phillaur, is thronged by hundreds of worshippers especially on Saturdays.

Devotees come to worship Shani god (lord of Saturday) and also offer their prayers to Kaal Bhairav, referred to as Tamsik devta worshiped by the Shani god.

Lord Bhairav, a fierce incarnation of Lord Shiva depicted with a frown, angry eyes, flaming hair and tiger teeth, is being showered with liquor, cigarettes, smack, bhang and even habit-forming drugs (medicines).

The temple, ever since its inception in June, 2006, has helped dispel fear among people of Lord Shani. Being the only temple of Shani in the region, it gained popularity with its special inscription that reads: “Shani shatru nahi mitra hai” (Shani is not an enemy but a friend). Bhairava is also known as Kshetrapalaka or Kotwal, the guardian of the temple.

Raman, a young boy from a nearby village, when asked about the strips of medicines, said: “These medicines are generally offered by young boys (most of them addicts). Some of them offer these on the advise of astrologers with an aim to kick addiction.”

Interestingly, people from affluent families of Ludhiana and Jalandhar, in order to ensure their attendance before the deity, present packs of imported brands of cigarettes, including Dunhill, Marlboro, Benson and Hedges.

Similarly, high-quality liquor varying from premium whisky brands to finest scotch is also offered at the temple.

Acharya Amit, the man behind the making of the temple, talking to The Tribune said: “Going by the dictates of astrologers, people are ready to spend any amount of money on offerings that are sold to generate funds for the development of the temple.”



Government school sans rooms, sanitation
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Government Primary School, 1A and 1C, Jail Road, Ludhiana, speaks volumes of the appalling poverty and government's apathy. The school is sans roof, room and sanitation. Located in the most uncongenial environment, the school has classes up to fifth standard and has the strength of about 125 children and three teachers.

Devoid of any roof, children are made to sit under the shade of tarpaulin and on jute mats. Pyara Singh, in charge of the school on deputation, disclosed that most of the children belong to cobbler's families who were least interested in sending their children to the school.

The only plus point of the school was that its results have been 100 per cent. Many students score 96 per cent marks despite the fact that they are made to perform domestic duties. They are imparted free education and given free books, children pay just Rs 15 as admission fee per year. ‘Padho Punjab’ scheme has also been implemented in the school. Children are also provided with midday meals in good quality. The sanitary conditions are extremely bad with no proper arrangement for drinking water and they were seen drinking water from a pipe attached to a small tap. Even teachers too have been victims of jaundice and typhoid. Regarding the school uniform, they are unable to wear it daily because they have only one uniform.



PSEB to focus on power conservation
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 5
In the wake of an ever increasing gap between demand and supply of electricity in the state, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) is laying a greater emphasis on conservation of power and cutting down transmission and other technical losses.

This was stated by HS Brar, member (Distribution) of the board, while addressing a meeting of the senior officials of the operation wing of Ludhiana Central zone here last evening. The deputy chief engineers, executive engineers and other senior officers of City West, City East, suburban and Khanna circles participated in the meeting.

Brar asked the officers to reach out to the educational, religious and social institutions in the areas under their respective jurisdiction and motivated them to use the energy-saving compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs,) which could lead to huge saving in the power consumption.

Outlining steps initiated by the PSEB towards power conservation, PSEB engineer-in-chief PSEB PS Bath said it had been made mandatory for the agricultural consumers to replace two normal bulbs allowed to them with CFLs.

Maintaining that the saving of power from farm sector alone as a result of using CFLs would be in the range of 100 MW, he said a motivational drive was already on to make the domestic consumers and those in the non-residential supply category to replace existing electric bulbs with CFLs in a phased manner.

“If each household in Punjab goes for a CFL in place of a 100 watt bulb, the saving of power will be around 600 MW which is equivalent to having an additional power generation plant, that too, functional from day one without any capital investment.”

Bath remarked even though the initial cost of a CFL was quite high as compared to an ordinary lamp, the saving in terms of energy bills over the period itself paid for an extra expenditure incurred on energy-saver lamps.

He said the PSEB had already issued an order to the government departments to desist from purchase of ordinary bulbs with an immediate effect and go for CFLs.



Industry upbeat after cut in CRR, repo rate
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The RBI’s 100 basis points cut in cash reserve ratio (CRR) and 0.5 per cent reduction in key short-term lending (repo) rate last week has brought cheer to city entrepreneurs who are hopeful of the start of a low interest regime that would prop up growth.

Raj Awasthi, director, Sportking Knitwear, said: “The cut will surely bring some relief from the prevailing credit squeeze and the much-needed liquidity will come into the market. With the falling of interest rates, the industry is looking forward to good times ahead.”

However, he added that the cut was not in proportion to the rise over the months. “The rates of interest were hiked from 8 to 14 per cent in the past few months but the cut that has been effected is a meager percentage. But, this is just the beginning.”

The repo rate cut will give a boost to growth in every sector by increasing liquidity in the market, the effect of which will be visible in the weeks to come.

Says G.L. Pahwa, prominent cycle manufacturer and president, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers’ Association, Ludhiana: “The industry is very happy over the development and the RBI’s step will benefit us. But for any significant impact, more reduction is needed. We are hopeful of a cut of at least 2-3 per cent in the next few months.”

He added: “Interest rates had gone up by a few percentage points in past many months, which caused a sharp downtrend in demand. Many domestic as well as overseas orders had been cancelled, which caused huge loses to the industry. But now, we are confident of things looking up, however little the cut may be as of now.”

The cut in CRR and repo rates is a wise step by the RBI.

It is a good beginning in the times of economic crisis, remarked Vinod Thapar, textile industrialist and chief of Federation of Knitwear and Textile Industries Association, Ludhiana.



Giant idol of Lord Shiva to be constructed at Payal
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, November 5
The president of Shri Mahadev Mandir Goshala Welfare society (Regd), Varinder Khara, an advocate in the city, during a press conference said the society has decided to construct a 36 ft idol of Lord Shiva in the precincts of a prachin temple of Lord Shiva in Payal.

He said the society has been working for the past four years to revive the six Shiva temples built in the times of ‘Pandavas’.

He said the temple has a lot of power and the devotees’ throng there as their wishes are fulfilled. A story goes that Babur destroyed all the temples when he invaded India. But when his soldiers decided to wreck this temple, blood started flowing. The terrified soldiers stooped and Babar decided to build another temple. The temple built by him has glimpses of Mughal architecture. The authenticity of the date of temples has been proved by the Archeology Department.

The society worked hard to get 11 acres of land attached with the temple and in 4 acres of land has constructed a ‘goshala’ in which 359 ailing cows are sheltered.

He further said great artists have been invited to raise the idol of Lord Shiva for which the work would start after the ‘bhoomi pujan’ on November 10.



Dr Aulakh elected ISOT vice-president
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Besides being the only elected member of the Medical Council of India (MCI) from Punjab, Dr Baldev Singh Aulakh, a urologist and a transplant surgeon at DMCH, has been elected vice-president of Indian Society of Organ Transplantation (ISOT).

Dr Aulakh has also been nominated to be the Indian representative in ‘World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF)’. The WTGF has 90 member countries from all over the world and organises world transplant games every two years, in which over 1,500 athletes (who are actually organ transplant Recipients/ patients).

These games demonstrate the physical success of transplant surgery and help raise awareness of the need to donate organs. “Last games were held in Bangkok. They will be held in Australia in 2009 and in Sweden in 2011. We will bid for 2013 Transplant Olympics,” said Dr Aulakh.

Dr Aulakh has also been awarded by American Urological Association and Urology Society of India for his outstanding operative work related to thousands of kidney transplants, kidney cancers, stones and prostate diseases that he has treated successfully.

Speaking in the capacity of Indian representative in WTGF, Dr Aulakh said: “I would specifically work to create awareness for organ donation amongst masses and also see that a proper check is administered on commercial transactions in organ donation as per directions by WHO (World Health Organization).”

Dr Aulakh will now look after academic activities related to organ transplant and plans to incorporate the global standards in organ transplantation.

He organised the Transplant Olympics of SAARC countries in Ludhiana in 2005. The games went a long way in the promotion and awareness of organ transplantation in this region.

He is also the president of ‘Gift of Life Organ Donation Awareness Society’ (GLODAS), a non-profit organisation, dedicated to the cause of organ donation awareness among the masses.

He recently organised the 19th Annual Conference of ‘Indian Society of Organ Transplantation’ in Ludhiana.



Mall of inconvenience
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Westend Mall, which had brought cheer to local residents has become an eyesore for them as the ongoing commercial activity at the mall has made their lives miserable.

The commercial cylinders stored in the boundary wall on the back of mall under a lock and key, which are visible from the road, have been giving sleepless nights to residents who fear for their life. There are four compartments of two sets each on the same wall.

“These commercial cylinders are an open invitation to a mishap and we have brought it to the notice of MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik, who raised the issue during a meeting with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in Chandigarh,” said residents.

They revealed that at night the road became a nightmare for them, especially women, as drunken youngsters often created nuisance on the road. Residents added that due to this, they had to install gates on their roads.

Interestingly, the road on the rear wall of the mall has two boards mentioning “No parking till 50 metres, towaway zones”, which PUDA says has not been put up by them.

Even an approach road to the mall, which is used for entering and exiting, only serves visitors to the mall and not those who wish to go to buildings beyond it.

PUDA chief A.K. Sinha said the department had not received any complaint from the residents against the mall so far.

On storing of cylinders for commercial activity, he said the mall owner needed to take a “no objection” certificate from the district fire officer.

The certificate has to be obtained even after completion of project and he would be able to comment only after talking to the department concerned.

On sign boards, he claimed that no such boards had been put up by PUDA. “We have not assigned any such boards in the area,” he said, adding that he would inquire into the matter.



Mass marriage programme at Baddowal
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, November 5
In service towards downtrodden and poor families, Baba Jaspal Singh is organising a mass marriage programme at Baddowal tommorrow. Baba Jaspal Singh is the chairman of Bhai Ghaniya Charitable Hospital and Service Society at Baddowal village. The society has organised many mass marriage programmes ealier, at times, twice a year also.

Though Jaspal Singh had set a target to solemnise 100 marriages, 250 girls have reached Baddowal so far.

Baba Jaspal solemnised the marriages as per the religious beliefs of the couples and gave

household goods, clothes of about fifty thousand to each couple besides a common kitchen for all.

Last year, he solemnised about one thousand mass marriages.

The programme started yesterday with the sehaj paath of Guru Granth Sahib. Tomorrow the barats will come and will be welcomed by Baba Jaspal Ji and “Kanaya Daan” ceremony will be conducted. A number of regional and national politicians as well as representatives of the administration are expected to arrive to bless the newlywed couples.



GNPS Trust gets new secretary amidst confusion
Rakesh Gupta

Mullanpur Dakha, November 5
The Guru Nanak Education and Social Welfare Trust, Mullanpur, running two prestigious institution under the name of Dr Mohan Kaur Memorial Nursing College and Guru Nanak Public School remained in news for all wrong reasons. Earlier, there had been seven trusties but about three years back, with the death of the founder president Jathedar Mal Singh Ghuman, the trustees made two groups of three members each.

At times the trustees changed their loyalties but at no time any group could secure support of more than three members. The president and secretary elected at that time remained in their positions till date as due to non-majority of any group.

One group was headed by Baldev Krishan Arora with Dr Bhupinder Singh (secretary) and Ashok Arora and other group was headed by Sanjeev Kumar ‘Toni’ (president) having support of Jaskirat Singh Ghuman and Charanjit Singh (cashier). Dr Bhupinder managed to won the support of Jaskirat and Charanjit, assuming support of four trustees resigned from the post of secretary, eyeing the post of presidentship. But Baldev and Jaskirat had an old enmity and they both couldn't share the same stage. Now Baldev and Ashok changed the loyalties and supported Sanjeev Kumar.

Today at the time of election, on seeing the changed scenario, Dr Bhupinder tried to withdraw his resignation and failing in doing so the trio walked out of the meeting. The remaining three members elected Baldev as their new secretary. Earlier, there is a case pending against Charanjit for decamping with the proceeding register. Now Dr Bhupinder has refused to handover the proceeding register either to the president of the principal of the school. The trust has also received a notice from the Income Tax Department seeking explanations for certain unaccounted expenses. A couple of trusties are believed to be booked for bungling of the school funds.

Favouritism is the policy of the trust, alleges Dr Bhupinder Singh, former secretary. Strangely an institution with such huge assets, funds and a big budget has no role for the treasurer to play in the trust affairs. S. Charanjit Singh Gahour, cashier says “I have no role in any misappropriation of the funds, as I have no role to play in the trust affairs. My signatures and my approval is not valid in the trust affairs.”



National Education Day on Nov 11
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, November 5
The Central government has decided to observe November 11, the birthday of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a freedom fighter, eminent educationist and the first union minister of Education as the National Education Day, every year in a befitting manner throughout the country. Punjab Agricultural University is observing this day through a series of activities. Different colleges and departments will be involved in the celebration by organising displays and slogans on the importance of education.

His Excellency, Gen. (Retd.) S.F. Rodrigues, governor of Punjab and Administrator UT Chandigarh, and the Chancellor of the University has said in his letter to the PAU vice-chancellor, Dr Manjit Singh Kang, to observe November 11 as the first National Education Day. Dr Kang said the day would be celebrated through displaying slogans with a focus on education.



At last, VC replaces secretary
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
At last, the PAU authorities had to bow in front of the pressure of non-teaching employees of Punjab Agricultural University by replacing the secretary to the vice-chancellor.

Nauria Singh, assistant accounts officer at the dean’s office, College of Basic Sciences, has been appointed as a new secretary to the VC today. Dr PPS Lubana, the secretary in controversy over his appointment from the teaching cadre, has been made a technical adviser to VC Dr MS Kang.

One of the employees said, “The technical adviser must not interfere in the daily matters of the administration.”

Resentment prevailed among employees over non-payment of their monthy salaries. One of the protesting employees said over 2000 employees had not been given the salaries of this month.

Meanwhile, as scheduled, the non-teaching employees held a rally near Thapar Hall today for fulfilling their demands. The members said a special pay must be given to the C-grade employees of the varsity, as was being given by the government in various other departments.

The members further said the post of agriculture sub-inspector must be upgraded to the agriculture development officer. Besides, the pending cases of employees must be taken into the Board’s next meeting for an early redressal.

The members further asked the authorities to do something for the laboratory assistants as their case was pending with the court for long.



Charanjit stands first in debate
Our Correspondent

Samrala, November 5
A debate competition was organised at Mai Bhago College for Women, Ramgarh, in which 18 girl students of the college participated. Isha of Mai Bhago Collegiate School of 9th class stood first, Gaganpreet of 10+1 second, Pooja Gupta of 10th third and Jasleen Kaur also won a prize. Charanjit Kaur of BA II won first, Muneet Kaur of MA II won second and Amandeep Kaur of BA final secured third position.

In inter-class encouragement competition Surinder Kaur of BA I won the consolation prize. Two college girls won B and C grade in the examination held by Sikh Missionary College. Prof Tarsem Bahia, principal Manjeet Kaur Dhillon and Prof Dharam Singh performed their duty as judges and gave away the prizes to the winners.

Prof Tarsem Bahia, adviser of the Mai Bhago Education Trust and Senate member of Punjab University, appealed to the students to participate in other disciplines along with education. He also expressed sorrow for the declining ratio of girls in Punjab. He was honoured by the management and college staff with other dignitaries. 



10-day media workshop begins
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 5
Sarvaakar Vision Infinite (Mumbai) started a 10- day workshop on “Film, Television and Digital Video Production” here today at Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences. The journalist and writer-cum-director from Mumbai, Utpal Amerandra Chowdhury, was the main speaker.

On the first day of the workshop, topics like Scene and Shot, Camera eye, Lenses and Aperture, Cinematic Time and Space Camera Movements-Viewpoints and Crossing the Line were discussed. The main aim of this workshop was to create media awareness, media literacy and practical knowledge among the students.

Dr Zora Singh, chairman, Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, conveyed his best wishes to the organisers and said it would give a lot of exposure to the students.

While inaugurating the workshop, director-general of Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, Prof Shalini Gupta, said media had a very important role to play in the present context and the participants of this workshop would learn the functioning of media well.

The convener of Sarvaakar Media Knowledge Event, Utpal Amerandra Chowdhury, spoke on topics related to digital technology and gave audio-visual sessions on film and television production to participants.

Utpal said, “Sarvaakar Vision Infinite proclaims the power of communication through its ongoing nationwide communication festival and calls upon the practitioners of communication to join this arduous yet enjoyable journey and exchange their ideas and experiences.” 



Ramp project inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The long-awaited demand of old city residents, the Miller Ganj and Field Ganj areas to have a connecting link with Jagraon bridge, would soon be over with the Municipal Corporation inaugurating the ramp project. The project starts from the petrol pump near Laxmi cinema to the Jagraon bridge.

The Rs 2.4 crore project was inaugurated by the city mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor today.

According to ward number 36 councillor, Rakesh Prashar, the ramp would run parallel to the elevated road and help solving problems of Miller Ganj and Field ganj residents besides old city.

He added the project would be completed within six months. He said it was a long-pending demand of the residents and he was working towards it during his earlier term too.



Khamano-Sanghol road needs repairs
Our Correspondent

Khamano, November 5
The condition of the road leading to Fatehgarh Sahib from Khamano via Sanghol is worsening by the day owing to the apathy of the PWD and the district administration.

Big patholes dot the stretch from Sanghol up to Bassi Pathana. Daily commuters and schoolchildren are facing hardships due the poor state of the road. The road also poses threat to the lives of the motorists.

A youth of nearby Sohavi village had lost his life after he fell off a tractor after it hit a pothole. Accidents have been reported on the stretch in the recent past.

People are forced to go to Fatehgarh Sahib via Morinda or Kheri Naudh Singh. DC, Fatehgarh Sahib, Surjit Singh said he was not aware and would take it up with the department concerned to get the road repaired.



Consumer Courts
SBI penalised Rs 10,000
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 5
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered the State Bank of India to pay Rs 10,000 in compensation to an aggrieved consumer for causing unnecessary harassment to him.

Besides, president and members of the forum also asked the bank to pay Rs 2,000 on account of thrusting unnecessary litigation upon the consumer. The orders were pronounced by the forum while deciding a complaint moved by Gurcharan Singh of Sarabha Nagar.

The complainant has submitted before the forum that he had availed of the credit card facility from the bank. The limit of credit card was Rs 22,000, including a cash limit of Rs 8,800. He used the card for one year. On September 7, 2006 the credit card wing of the SBI wrongly sent him a draft of Rs 36,000 even though he had never asked the bank for the issuance of the draft.

He made a representation to credit card wing’s senior officials but to no avail. An amount of Rs 49,375 was shown as outstanding in his account and the bank started charging interest on the amount. On the other hand, the bank officials denied the allegations of the consumer.

But after the evidence on record, the forum did’nt find the version of the bank officials. It quashed the outstanding amount and directed the bank to compensate the consumer. 



Anomaly in voters’ cards
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 5
Pankaj Prashar, a resident of Haibowal Khurd Dairy Complex, was delighted to receive voters’ cards of his family. But their joy was short-lived after they found a number of discrepancies in all five cards.

He said: “I was shocked to find that the dates of birth of all my family members were mentioned wrong in the cards.

The card is a crucial document, especially while making a passport and establishing the identity of the holder. These cards hold no value if the contents are incorrect.”

He added that he would go to the deputy commissioner’s office to lodge a complaint and ensure that the election commission rectified its mistake.



City Concerns
Communalism on the rise

The country seems going through tough times with natives of different states asking for ouster of outsiders, at certain places. The assault on Bihari students appearing for the railways examination in Mumbai followed by violent outburst on the streets in Bihar has shown us an ugly side of the growing regionalism. Residents of Ludhiana, a city best representing the secular face of India, have expressed their opinions on the issue.

To attain a healthy life without any type of fear, the government should promote secular ideas or values in either public or private settings over religious ways of thought. Human activities and decisions, especially political ones, under secularism are normally based on evidence and fact rather than religious influence. An early secular idea that involves the separation of philosophy and religion that can be traced back to Ibn Rushd (Averroes) and the Averroes school of philosophy. Further, secularism does not say there is no light or guidance elsewhere, but maintains that it is there in secular truth, whose conditions and sanctions exist independently, and act forever. Moreover, secularism is that social ideology in which religion and supernatural beliefs are not seen as the key to understanding the world and are instead segregated from the matters of governance and reasoning.

Shivanshu Garg, Ludhiana


The growing regionalism in our country is certainly a cause of concern. The Indian Constitution permits the Indian citizens to settle anywhere in the country. Moreover, many commercial activities of one region are dependent on other regions. Punjab’s agricultural produce or Ludhiana’s hosiery goods are bought by the entire country. What will happen if rest of India decides not to see movies made in Mumbai? The Film Industry will crumble. In our city, our industries like hosiery, cycle, motor parts etc are competitive in the world, mainly because of cheap labour it gets from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Manraj Singh Mangat, Ludhiana


The assault on Bihar students appearing for the railways examination in Mumbai that resulted violence on the streets was gruesome and moreover, displays an ugly side of the growing regionalism, racism, as well as favouritism in India. In a democratic set up, everybody irrespective of his caste or religion has the fundamental right to prove and excel himself in any profession. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray did a totally inconvincible act and should be awarded with suitable punishment.

As far as communal conflict is concerned, it has a long history and one can say communal forces have created a communal psyche among a large section of people. Our education system lacks value base and without it we cannot create a healthy mindset.

Ravi Chander Garg


The incidents in Mumbai and Bihar are not new ones but a part of an ongoing series at different places all over the nation. In the recent past, we witnessed similar incidents in Jammu and Kashmir as well. The main reason behind such incidents are streetwise political parties. Each street features at least two parties i.e. the ruling and the Opposition. The ugly state of affairs can see a way out only if the political parties stop interfering in the administration affairs. As far as Ludhiana is concerned, I expect no such nuisance here because most of the population is business-minded and can not be allured easily for hooliganism.

J L Goel, Ludhiana.


Incidents of regional aggression are now threatening to become a nationwide occurance, which will become a very big problem for the secular fabric of the country. The incident of violence against the Bihari students at a railways examination in Mumbai, which resulted violence on the streets in Bihar, should serve as a strong warning to the planners. The Central government is required to immediately warn the parties and groups that are posing a threat to the secular structure of the country.

The government is also required to chalk out a long term preventive action on the issue of threats to secularism.

Ranbir Singh, Sahnewal 



Police drops case against accused, books complainant
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 5
In a U-turn, the Jagraon police has recommended the quashing of an earlier FIR filed at the Dehlon police station and registering a case against the complainant himself.

Gurmeet Kaur, wife of Harvinder Singh of Siar village, had complained to SSP (Ludhiana rural) that her parents at Khera village had been wrongly indicted in an NDPS case.

She had alleged that Lakhbir Singh of Khera village, following an old enmity with her parents, had sprinkled seeds of poppy in the fields of her parents at the time of wheat cultivation and when the plants of poppy grew, he brought the matter to the notice of the Dehlon police on April 10.

The Dehlon police booked Parminder Singh, son of Gurdev Singh, and Sarabjit Kaur, wife of Jasbir Singh, under the NDPS Act. SSP Jagraon then entrusted DSP (D) Satnam Singh to inquire into the matter. On inquiry, Satnam Singh found the allegations made by Gurmeet Kaur correct. He recommended the quashing of the FIR registered against Parminder Singh and Sarabjit Kaur and booking of Lakhbir Singh for cultivating poppy.



3 booked for setting woman on fire
Our Correspondent

Raikot, November 5
The Sudhar police has registered a case against three persons for setting a woman on fire.

Sukhwinder Singh of Dhaipai village had complained to the police that his sister Harpal Kaur, married to Kulwant Singh of Shahpur village, was set afire by her husband and uncle Balwinder Singh and aunt Kuku after pouring kerosene on her.

Kulwant Singh was living with her aunt and uncle at their house. He stated in the complaint that on November 3, when he reached his sister’s house he heard the cries of his sister for help. When he reached the scene, he saw her on fire.

He along with her some neighbours took her to the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, where she succumbed to her burns yesterday. The Sudhar police has registered a case under Sections 304 B and 34 IPC against the three. No arrest has been made so far.



Youth consumes insecticide by mistake, dies
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 5
A youth died at Sidhwan Bet yesterday night when he consumed insecticide mistaken to be liquor. Amritpal Singh, son of Jarnail Singh, kabbadi player stated before the Sidhwan Bet police that his elder brother Bansdeep Singh (24) returned around 10 in the night after attending a marriage party. He had consumed enough liquor at the party. At home he demanded more and searched for the liquor bottles, mistakenly consumed some insecticide.

When his condition deteriorated, they took him to the DMCH, Ludhiana, where he died. The police initiated proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.



Two booked for assaulting woman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
A fight between two neighbours over a septic tank took an ugly turn when a woman and her son allegedly tore the clothes of their neighbour and dragged her into the street.

The victim was freed after the intervention of area residents.

The incident took place at Preetam Vihar colony at Bhamia Kalan last evening, when Pritam Kaur and her son Jagdish Singh allegedly tore the cloth of their neighbour and dragged her into the street.

An area resident said the victim had constructed a septic tank near the house of the accused due to which the common wall of the house had collapsed, which led to the fight.

The police today booked the mother and son for assaulting the woman. However, both accused were at large.



Man booked for molestation bid
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 5
The Sidhwan Bet police today booked a man for attempt to outraging the modesty of a widow of the same village.

In a complaint, the victim, Parminder (45) (name changed) of Sidhwan Kalan village, has accused Jagdip Singh, alias Raja, of the village, of entering her house on the night of October 31 under the influence of liquor with an intent to outrage her modesty. When her sons raised the alarm the accused fled the house.

The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Sections 452, 354, IPC, against the accused. No arrest has been made.



Special Olympics from tomorrow
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 5
Bringing to fore the spirit of humanity and showing a way for inclusion of individuals having intellectual disabilities into the commoners’ fold, the 11th edition of the Special Olympics Bharat (SOB) will be organised by Guru Nanak Public School in association with Ek Prayaas, a School for Special Children, here at Guru Nanak Stadium from November 7 to 9.

The three-day sports extravaganza, which would also feature participants from neighbouring country Pakistan, would commence with the lighting of Olympic torch “Flame of Hope”. The torch rally would begin from Guru Nanak Public School , Sarabha Nagar, at 9:30 am and culminate at Satluj Club.

Over 500 special children of all age groups, including a contingent of 67 from Pakistan, take part in Special Olympics.

Special Olympics Bharat is a national organisation, created to help people with intellectual disabilities, develop self-confidence, social skills and a sense of personal accomplishment. Ludhiana is hosting the event for the third time since the games were first held in Patiala in 1998. “It is indeed an achivement that the SOB has become a kind of movement with various District Special Olympics Associations vying with each other to host the event in its district,” Ashok Arora, patron of the organising committee of SOB, said.

He said after the formal inauguration on November 7, the second day would see the special children testing their athletic skills while the concluding day would have participants pedaling their way to medal podiums in cycling events.

This year’s event has been dedicated to the memory of singing sensation from Ludhiana, Ishmeet Singh, who drowned in Maldives a couple of months ago.

“Among other activities, Special Olympics Bharat (SOB), Punjab, has been conducting state-level Special Olympics every year since 1998,” Surinder Singh, chairman of SOB, Punjab, said. “Through games, we wish to promote mentally challenged children to take part in physical activites and know their talents. We wish to make it truly a national movement,” Surinder added.

Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Sarabha Nagar, along with the members of the organising committee would provide langar on all days to the participants and their attendants.



Inter-Polytechnic Games
Ropar, Patiala girls register wins
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 5
Government Polytechnic Girls College, Ropar, along with Govenment Polytechnic Girls College, Patiala, LLRM Ajitwal and Government Polytechnic College, Ludhiana, registered victories in their respective kho-kho matches in the Punjab Inter-Polytechnic Colleges Kho-Kho and Badminton Championship at the Satguru Ram Singh Government Polytechnic College here today.

Polytechnic College, Ropar, got the better of GTB Khalsa Polytechnic College, Malout, Government Polytechnic Girls College, Patiala, defeated RIMT College, Gobindgarh, LLRM College, Ajitwal, prevailed over Polytechnic College, Jalandhar, while Government Polytechnic College, Ludhiana, beat Government Polytechnic College, Hoshiarpur.

In Badminton, Government Polytechnic College, Khoonimajra, outplayed Polytechnic College, Fazilka, Government Polytechnic College, Fagtehgarh Sahib, outnumbered Government Polytechnic College, Patiala, Government College, Relumajra, outclassed Polytechnic College, Phagwara.

Earlier, MP Singh, principal of the host college, inaugurated the tournament in which teams from the polytechnic colleges of the state are taking part in kho-kho and badminton. The faculty members and a large number of students were present at the function.



PU Athletics
GHG Khalsa College students excel
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 5
Students of GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sadhar, near here, brought fame to their alma mater by winning 13 medals, including five gold in the Panjab University Inter-College Athletics Meet held at the university campus ground, Chandigarh, between November 1 to 4.

Athletes from the college bagged two silver medals besides six bronze medals to prove their mettle.

Manpreet Singh, who clinched four gold medals (shot put, high jump, discus throw and javelin throw) was adjudged the best athlete in the men’s section.

Similarly, in the women’s section, Ramandeep Kaur, who emerged a winner in the 100m sprint besides a finishing runner-up in discus throw and secured third position in shot event, was declared the best athlete.

Another student from the college, Manraj Singh, won 4 bronze medals (100m, 200m, 400m and 800m races) while the college relay team bagged a bronze medal. President of the college governing body, Manjit Singh Gill, joined pricipal Dr HS Brar in appreciating the students and team in charges.



Chess Tourney
Green Land School students shine
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 5
The girls students of Green Land Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana, emerged champions in the under-14 category of the CBSE North Zone-II Chess Championship held at DAV International School, Amritsar, from November 1 to 3. The school team comprising of Sunakshi Batra, Tapsi Pahwa, Amanpreet Kaur, Himani Arora and Muskan Lamba proved its superiroity over others and bagged top honours. In the boy’s section (u-14), the school squad consisting of Divanshu Jain, Manav Sharma, Akash Verma, Vishal Kumar and Lovish Juneja fought valiantly but had to content with the second position.

Meanwhile, these boys and girls have been selected to represent North Zone-II in the forthcoming CBSE National Chess Tournament to be held at Nagpur. The chairman-cum-director of the Green Land Schools chain along with Baldeep Pandher congratulated the students and their coach, Karamjit Singh, on this achievement.



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