L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Punjabi shot dead in Manila
Rakesh Gupta

Raikot, November 24
A native of Tajpur village, near here, settled in Manila, Philippines, was shot dead by some miscreants last night. He was in the business of finance there.

Jagtar Singh Khangura, alias Nikku (40), s/o Mohinder Singh of Tajpur village, was the victim of the shooting incident. He had gone to Manila 18 years ago and had settled there.

He was shot dead last night at around 11 p.m. when he was having a walk after dinner in front of his house.

Two native motorcyclists fired at him and killed him on the spot.

A pall of gloom descended on Tajpur village when the news of the killing reached there.

Jagtar Singh was a entrepreneur and used to lend money to factories and showrooms. He also used to spend generously on development projects of his village Tajpur. He was to arrive in India, like previous years, to attend the mega sports meet of the village on November 28 and 29.

He is survived by his widow, a son and a daughter. His associate Sukhwinder Singh from Manila informed that his body would be cremated in Manila.


Dengue outbreak ‘benefits’ docs, labs
Got commissions from wholesale dealers on sub-standard Chinese surgical kits, which do not give accurate results of tests
Anshu Seth/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
Having “adjusted” their commission packages with wholesale dealers of surgical kits, many local doctors and laboratories have benefited from the outbreak of dengue in Ludhiana district.

The wholesale dealers have been allegedly selling substandard Chinese kits, which reportedly do not give accurate results. The kits for Elisa test are available between Rs 150 to Rs 210, but people coming to private hospitals have been charged between Rs 700 to Rs 1200.

The kit manufactured by Medikit is available for Rs 210, while the kit of SD Company is priced at Rs 200. Similarly, the kit manufactured by Akon company is available for Rs 150. Maintaining anonymity, a doctor from a nearby village alleged that doctors were getting hefty commissions from laboratories and drug wholesalers dealing in these kits.

The Tribune reporter, posing as a middleman of a doctor made a call to the owner of Mayfair Surgical store in Pindi street, asking for some kits to which the chemist said, "They are not available at my store but they would be made available once you place an order for the kits." However, the wholesaler refused to give the name of the outlet.

It is shocking but true that the market is flooded with Chinese made Elisa test kits, which were even available between Rs 50 to 70. Local laboratories operational in every nook and corner of the city were using these kits to ascertain the “positive” and “negative” factor in the tests.

A senior physician who is running his clinic in Model Town said, "The kits are substandard and are inappropriate to ascertain the accurate results. We can't rule out the probability of having more confirmed cases of dengue."

Dr S.P. Sharma, civil surgeon, expressed ignorance over the issue stating that the department would look into the matter. "The officials concerned will conduct checks for the same," he added. 



Acid thrown on youth, 1 booked
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 24
One person was booked for allegedly throwing acid on a youth Rajdev yesterday. The accused, Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Sowaddi Khurd, had gone to meet his widow aunt Jagir Kaur at her house. 

When Rajdev, nephew of Gurmeet Singh, opened the door, the accused threw acid on him. According to the police, there was an old enmity between them over Jagir Kaur’s property.

Gurmeet was also booked last month under Sections 107 and 151 of IPC following an altercation with his aunt. The accused is absconding.



Bank Heist
Three youths arrested
Our Correspondent

Khamano, November 24
In a major breakthrough, the district police has arrested three youths who looted Rs 46 lakh from the local SBI branch. Gurpal Singh of Singh Bhagwantpura, Kurali, who now resides at Hallo Majra, and Harpreet Singh, alias Haria, a resident of Otalana, and Anurag, both from Samrala, were arrested under Sections 399 and 402 of the IPC. They were produced in the court at Fatehgarh Sahib and remanded in police custody till November 27.

These youths had looted the SBI on October 24,2007. They had tied the bank’s peon and staff on a gunpoint. Gurpal Singh and Harpreet Singh along with Kulwinder Singh, alias doctor, were responsible for committing the robbery. Kulwinder Singh is still at large.

Anurag, who was running an academy, has also been arrested on the charge of harbouring and providing information about the robbers. The police has impounded the white Zen car used for looting the bank. A few arms were also recovered from them. The cops were tight-lipped about their arrest.



MC tehbazari targets only rehriwalas
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
For the tehbazari wing of the municipal corporation, it seems rehriwalas and poor are the only targets as the department’s storehouse has mainly rehris and wooden tables as seized products during the anti-encroachment drives.
Signboards of the traffic police, which had been removed by the tehbazari wing of the municipal corporation in Ludhiana. Photo: I.V.
Signboards of the traffic police, which had been removed by the tehbazari wing of the municipal corporation in Ludhiana. Photo: I.V.

The huge number of rehris stored at this place in Industrial Area-I tells the story of discrimination of the department while undertaking their work of removing encroachments.

According to information, a defaulter has to pay Rs 500 for a handcart without roof and Rs 800 for the one with roof. As far as other things like crates, chairs, scooters, bikes, etc are concerned, it's the choice of the commissioner in charge to decide the amount of fine.

Talking to The Tribune, Bihar migrant Ram Kishan (56), whose rehri was picked up recently, said, "Biwi ji jo bari dukano wale hai unka saman bhi bahar sarak pe hota hai, par unko to koi kuch nahi kehta. Sab gareeb par his zulm dhate hai." (Mam, big shopkeepers even encroach roads by keeping their materials on it, but no one says anything to them. It's always downtrodden who become the victim of atrocities.) He rued that if he had a permanent space for selling vegetables, why would he be selling it on roads.

Similarly, Raghu (32), who sells Chinese cuisines on handcart, says these rehris cost between Rs 3,000 and 5,000, depending upon the type and size. "Sometimes it is possible to run away with the handcart, but when we are crowded with customers, we don't come to know and become the victim of the MC," Raghu said, adding that he had bought his new handcart by selling jewellery of his wife.

Interestingly, the store house has a few number of signboards of the traffic police too which were removed during the anti-encroachment drives. Sources added that these boards were picked up as they were planted at places which were not meant for them.

Superintendent Naveen Malhotra of the tehbazari wing denied that he never adopted a "pick and choose policy". He said, "During the drive, we remove everything which comes in our way. Be it kiosk, tables, chairs, vehicles or anything."



2 bikers killed in accidents
Our Correspondent

Raikot, November 24
A motorcyclist was killed in accident today. Iqbal Jit Singh (38) of Basram village near Raikot was returning after attending the marriage of a relative at Theekriwal near Narnala. His motorcycle collided with with a Bathinda-bound Qualis (PB-01-4511) coming from Ludhiana on Raikot-Barnala road. The Qualis dragged the victim about 40 ft. killing him on the spot. The victim had returned from Dubai two months ago.

Meanwhile, another motercyclist died in an accident last night. Paramjit Singh of Divene village and Jassa Singh of Lakha village were returning from a marriage palace on Ludhiana road, Jagraon. When they reached Nanaksar, a Bolero coming from Moga hit the bike. Paramjit Singh died on the spot while Jassa Singh was admitted to the civil hospital, Jagraon, in a critical condition. The driver managed to flee along with his car. The Jagraon police has registered a case against the accused.



High-pitch music pains residents
SC ruling being flouted
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
With the marriage season at its peak, high-pitch music is played in the city blatantly till late hours at marriage palaces, private parties without giving a second thought about the nuisance created to area residents.

The unabated menace of noise pollution causes distraction to students preparing for their exams and disturbs peaceful ambience required for the aged and ailing people. The law-enforcing agencies, however, find it difficult to register case against the violators in absence of any written complaints lodged by the residents.

The pressure horns in vehicles and announcements/ advertisements on loudspeakers have further added to the problem. The noise pollution near hospitals, schools and in residential areas has become a cause for concern.

Manjit Singh, a resident of Dugri, said his house was adjacent to a marriage palace where music on high volume was played almost everyday recently. "My daughter studies in plus two, it is her crucial year. She cannot concentrate due to the music played at the marriage palace till late hours. The Supreme Court has imposed a ban on music/loudspeakers at public places after 10 pm but nobody bothers to adhere to the norms. We had complained to the police control room but they refuse to take any action. We feel helpless at such a callous attitude by the officers concerned", he rued further asking top officials to let the common man know where to lodge complaints against such nuisance.

One of the marriage palace owners disclosed that it was difficult to stop people from playing music/DJs after 10 pm. "If we act strict on the issue, there will be no marriage booking at our palace. We cannot afford to bear huge losses. For Ludhianvis, parties actually start after 10 pm and go uptill late hours. For Punjabis, music is the real enjoyment, how can you ask them not to enjoy?", he asked.

Ishita Goel, a resident of Ferozpur road and student of BBA first year, said music became very disturbing during the marriage season. "I have ailing grandmother who gets disturbed. I have the habit of studying till late nights during my examinations but I fail to concentrate due to high volume music played by marriage parties. On the entire Ferozpur road, there are several marriage palaces and you are forced to hear high volume of music every night in this marriage season", she said, adding that government agencies and social organisations should take initiative to check the menace.

Before playing music, resident has to seek the permission of the SDMs concerned (up to certain decibel of noise). The DSPs should look into the enforcement of the Noise Pollution Act. "But nobody burns his fingers by taking unnecessary altercations", said an official with the district administration.

SSP R.K.Jaiswal said they could take action only when written complaints were received. "In many cases actions had also been taken against the defaulters. In certain cases, when officers tried to take suo motu action, they were immediately stopped by the area residents themselves. 



Act fails to curb domestic violence
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
In spite of the enactment of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, that protects women from becoming victims of domestic violence and prevents the occurrence of such an act in society, violence against women has increased in the city in the recent past.

If police officials are to be believed then marital disputes and violence against women have been increasing in recent times for various reasons. Till October 31, the police had received 1,631 complaints of this type.

“It is perhaps the ignorance on part of the victims, accused and law-enforcing agencies that in spite of the enactment of the Act, women are still being tortured in society,” said an official on condition of anonymity. He added that women were suffering due to the lack of awareness about the Act, which provided them protection, security and rights.

Baldev K.Baweja, a lawyer, said under the Act women were given several rights, towards which there was total ignorance in society. Domestic violence included sexual violence, verbal and emotional abuse, economic violence and dowry-related harassment, etc.

The victim (woman) cannot be asked by in-laws, husband or any other relative to leave the house. In case there was a need, security had to be provided to the victim by the social security women and child development department or other law-enforcing agencies.

“Insult for not bringing dowry, not having a male child, name calling, not providing money for maintaining wife and children, forcibly taking away woman’s salary, income or wages, not allowing woman to use clothes or articles of general household use, non-payment of bills such as electricity, etc, any verbal or emotional abuse, preventing woman from leaving the house or taking up a job or preventing her from a person of her choice, etc. come under this Act. Besides, there are several other rights that have been provided to women under this Act. However, violence against women has increased in spite of all this,” said Baweja.

District programme officer Surinder Singh said women were suffering in spite of their progress in all fields because of the lack of awareness of the Act formulated in 2005.

“They have been going through the torture of dowry, violence at the hands of in-laws/husbands. Some of them, who cannot bear it even commit suicide. There is a need for joint efforts by society to make women secure and protected,” he said.



Sale of Agricultural Produce
No end to PAU's financial crisis
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, November 24
There seems to be no end to the financial woes of the Punjab Agricultural University in the near future. A meeting convened by chief secretary Rameshinder Singh for discussing the financial crisis of the university failed to find a solution to the problem.

The expert committee set up by the board of management of the PAU and headed by S.S. Johl, former vice-chancellor, Punjabi University, had recommended levying of 50 paise per Rs100 as cess on the agricultural produce of the farmers for enabling the university to tide over its financial crisis. The committee had estimated that cess would annually fetch Rs 150 crore to the university which would be sufficient for meeting its financial needs, including the payment of the pension to the retirees.

The Chief Minister had called a meeting for discussing the experts' committee report in Chandigarh on June 17. Badal had agreed to levy the cess and had even verbally ordered the finance department to prepare the mechanism for levying it.

The Tribune has learnt that farmers' organisations like the BKUs were opposed to the levying of the cess, and now the Chief Minister has rejected the same.

Chief secretary Rameshinder Singh said the levy of cess was a political decision and had to be taken by the cabinet and the Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, vice-chancellor Manjit Singh Kang impressed upon the state government to make arrangements for the payment of pension to the retirees who have been paid pension up to September as per the High Court's direction. The university was supposed to disburse the pension by December 31. The university needs Rs 4 crore every month for doing the same.

While justifying the levy of cess and seeking more financial assistance from the Punjab government, Kang maintained that the farmers were getting benefits worth Rs 3,000 crore every year, as a result of the new technology, different crop varieties and other technologies provided by the university. And they should also help it in strengthening its infrastructure and research activities.

Kang told that the state government had promised to revalidate Rs 10 crore left out of Rs 20 crore special grant and lying with the university for disbursement as pension to the retirees. The government would try to give some amount till March, he said.

Chief secretary said they had discussed the financial position of the university and would study the proposals. But no immediate relief was possible, he added.

G.S. Kalkat, chairman, Punjab Farmers Commission, and former vice-chancellor, PAU, said the government had to do something within the next four months.



Farid school celebrates annual day
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 24
Saint Farid Public School, Mandi Gobindgarh, celebrated its annual day function on the school premises today. As the school provides quality education to students, its enrollment has crossed 2,000. District police chief Ashok Kumar Baath from Moga was the chief guest. The function began with a “Shabad Gyan” recited by the students.

Principal Varinderjit Singh while reading the annual report said the school felt proud of the students for their achievements in the field of sports, cultural activities and academics at the national level. Harmanjeet Singh won a gold medal in judo in the north zone and Narinder Singh bagged a bronze medal in the national games.

The students presented a welcome song, Rajasthani dance, giddha, bhangra, choreography and staged a play “Dhian atey dherkan”, which depicted the importance of female child in the family.

Chairperson Harjinder Kaur and vice-chairman Vikramjit Singh of the school management committee also addressed the audience. The chief guest gave away prizes to the students who excelled in sports and educational field. 



Teachers against corporal punishment in schools
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
The alleged thrashing followed by rustication of a Class XI student by the DAV Public School principal has triggered a controversy whether corporal punishment should be allowed in schools or not.

The victimised student said, "We have reached a compromise with the principal."

Amarjit Kaur, district education officer (primary), said as per new rules, no child could to be physically punished. This massage was conveyed to all and sundry at the block-level meetings that the children were not to be beaten up.

The DEO (secondary) was not available for comments. "We don't believe in physical punishment. The more you beat up the children, more stubborn they would become. We should study the mental state of the child whenever there is any case of indiscipline and handle the matter sympathetically," said Vinita Sanan, principal, Greenland Convent School.

Educationist Col D. B. Sharma, who has served as a principal for more than two decades at a reputed school, and now is director, Sat Paul Mittal School, said: "I don't believe in corporal punishment. Throughout my career, I have never allowed any teacher to beat up the child. Those who indulge such acts have no business to stay in this profession. Even if such things happen, we involve the parents and tell them to get proper counselling to their ward."

Principal of another public school was of the view that there should be no physical punishment in the schools. She further said if the corporal punishment was awarded, that meant, "We are reverting to the primitive age."

But despite claims of being against the physical punishment by various school authorities, such a practice continues to prevail in majority of the schools.



GNPS Trust
Dissident forms parallel board
Rakesh Gupta
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, November 24
Dissident Bhupinder Singh has established a parallel board of management of the Guru Nanak Education and Social Welfare Trust, Mullanpur, which is already running two prestigious institutions-Guru Nanak Public School and Dr Mohan Kaur Memorial Institute of Nursing at Mullanpur village. Charanjit Singh and Jaskirat Singh, both trustees, support him. They were allotted the designations of the secretary and the treasurer, respectively.

Earlier, Bhupinder Singh did the same on May 8, 2007, with the support of Baldev Singh, Krishan Arora and Ashok Arora, who were given the posts of the secretary and the treasurer, respectively. The then SDM interfered in the matter and nullified the resolution passed by Bhupinder, Ashok and Baldev.

After Mal Singh Ghuman’s death, there are only six trustees. Baldev and Ashok are committed to each other, while Charanjit Singh and Jaskirat Singh are bound with each other on personal grounds. Ashok and Jaskirat cannot share the same platform, as they differ over a trust running Guru Nanak Girls College, Mullanpur, in which they both were members. Thus, Sanjeev Narula and Bhupinder Singh lead the two groups with the support of two trustees each. Due to this, institutions are not being developed since long.

Bhupinder resigned from the post of secretary of the trust on November 5. At the time of new secretary’s election, he tried to withdraw his resignation. But, after failing to do so, he along with Charanjit and Jaskirat, walked out of the meeting. The remaining three members elected Baldev, Krishan and Arora as their new secretaries.

Earlier, there was a case pending against Charanjit for taking away the proceeding register. At that time Bhupinder refused to hand it over the president or the principal of the school, stating that he would only hand it to the new secretary.

The trust had also received a notice from the income tax department seeking explanations for some unaccounted expenses. A couple of trustees are believed to have been booked for bungling school funds. Therefore it is believed that they might have damaged the previous records.

The issue, once again, resurfaced when Bhupinder approached IOB, Mullanpur. Armed with an application and copy of resolution he termed himself as president and his associates as the secretary and the cashier. Besides this, they announced of the resignation of Ashok and included two new trustees, Dr Rajpal Singh and Balwant Singh. Earlier, Balwant was included as a trustee on January 23 this year, but the resolution failed, as he could not obtain necessary votes. Later on, Ludhiana Judge Amita Singh set the resolution aside in the lok adalat on August 29.

Trustee Ashok alleged that the dissident trio had forged his blank signed paper to be his resignation letter. He even offered to resign in actual if Bhupinder Singh vowed in the name of God of the genuineness of his resignation. Sanjeev and Ashok termed it a coup bid. They said the meetings were to be held under president, and even then no one could go beyond the agenda of the meeting fixed and intimated to the trustee earlier. They said they would drag Bhupinder in contempt of court and prosecute him for forging resignation letter of Ashok.

Now the matter has gone to the police. Dakha SHO Gurdial Singh said they would inquire the matter, and after getting legal opinion, would book the offenders. He said the carbon dating examination of the resignation of Ashok would be done to prove its genuineness.

The issue does not seem to be ending near future as the group of Sanjiv Narula has BJP on its back, whereas the group of Bhupinder has the SAD. The matter may go in any direction; it is the institution that will bear the never recoverable losses.

Dr Mohan Kaur Memorial Nursing College and Guru Nanak Public School, being run by the trust, has a cash asset of Rs 5 crore, fixed assets worth Rs 3 crore of the school and 1.5 crore of the college. Besides, the trust owns a land around nine acre currently valued at Rs 20 crore approximately. The trust has a budget of approximately Rs 2.5 crore annually.



Small units against importing HR coils
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, November 24
Resentment prevails among small and medium- scale industrialists over the Central government's decision to introduce import license system for importing HR coils. The Central government has deviated from its policy of liberalisation adopted in 1990 to protect the major steel producers of India, alleged the captains of industry today.

Satish Dhanda, former chairman, Engineering Export Promotion Council and vice-chairman, Medium-Scale Industrial Development Board, set up by the state government told The Tribune that their were only seven to eight major steel producer who had been looting the small and medium-scale industries for the past three years and increasing the steel prices at their sweet will. The small and medium-scale industries cried hoarse against the loot of the steel producers but the government did not move against them. Now, when the steel prices had fallen all over the world it is still on higher side. The Central government has resorted to old system of "license raj" to protect them. Was it not a politics of convenience to protect a few individuals by ignoring the interest of the lakhs of people involved in the small and medium-scale industries, he asked?

Dhanda said the HR coil was the mother of all engineering industry and besides introducing import license system; the government had also levied 5 per cent import duty on the import of HR coil. This duty was likely to be raised further, he added.

Dhanda disclosed that a group of industrialists from the various parts of the country met union commerce secretary G.K.Pillai in Delhi and lodged the protest against the Central government's decision.

According to Dhanda, the industrialist pressed upon the commerce secretary to withdraw the import licenses system and status quo is maintained.

The industrialists further asked the secretary to ensure the payments of the industry due from the various government departments to meet the financial crunch.

The Central government was urged to prefer the income tax on the small and medium scale industries for five years and three years, respectively, to tide over the financial crunch being faced by the industry.

Dhanda revealed that a number of bicycle and cycle parts manufacturers who had set up their offices in China had imported cycle parts worth Rs 800 crore last year for the cycle industry. This would fall this year because of the new decision of the government. A few units were having multi- trade system in China through these offices.

He further stated that the Chinese government was having day today solution to the problem of the industry whereas in India, the government would inject the ‘bodies’.

Avtar Singh, general secretary, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking, and P.D. Sharma, president, APEX Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also assailed the Central government's decision to re-introduce import license system for the HR coils steel and sought the withdrawal of the same.



Relief demanded for dengue victims

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 24
Holding alleged administrative lapses responsible for the recent spread of dengue and other epidemic diseases in the state, the Universal Human Rights Organisation has urged the higher authorities in the state and Union government to declare the menace a natural calamity.

Besides demanding compensation for victims, the organisation has urged the government to provide the treatment at the state-run hospital. In a communique addressed to the director, National Water-Borne Diseases Control Board, the CM, Punjab, and the chief secretary, Punjab, Satnam Singh, president, have demanded a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for families of those who had died due to dengue and other diseases caused due to alleged negligence of the civic authorities. The rights activists contended that the administration had failed to implement provisions laid down by the WHOand the diseases turned out to be epidemics. — OC



Evolve medicare to deal with emergency cases: Expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
India needs to come out of the shackles of age-old British system of medicare and evolve a foolproof system of dealing with emergency cases through ER medicine and physicians for emergency services. Krishan Kumar, assistant professor of emergency medicine, New York Medical College, who was here to conduct a seminar at DMCH, stated this.

The survival rate of road accident cases in India is between 40 to 45 per cent as compared to 99 per cent in the USA, which makes it all more necessary to initiate systematic emergency services and medicine, the doctor added.

"Education and knowledge to perpetuate the concept of emergency medicines is need of the hour but what is more important is to train the trainers which can only be done through a trained faculty" said Krishan Kumar.

Terming the first 60 minutes of administering ER medicine as 'golden hour' the doctor said, " It's the time that decides the fate of patients in critical condition." The specialisation in emergency care is just 30-year-old concept in developed countries but the results are commendable," the doctor added. He also emphasised on the need for emergency medicine and physicians adding that specialists can't sit in the emergencies which make it mandatory to have qualified emergency physician in every hospital.

Krishan Kumar, MD, Emergency Medical Services, Nassau University Medical Center, New York, delivered a lecture on 'emergency medicine' in which he informed about the status epileptus and anaphylaxis. He said immediate action should be taken in the case of drug reaction. The response should be taken in five minutes only. Life saving drugs like adrenal should be given in five minutes; if there is some kind of delay the brain can be dead. Every doctor, nurse and para- medical staff should have knowledge about the advance life support system.



BSNL staff hold demonstration
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
Members of the BSNL Employees Union today held a massive demonstration during lunch hours on a call given by the central headquarters. The employees are demanding immediate wage negotiation for non-executives in the BSNL. Addressing the demonstration, Balbir Singh, circle secretary of the union, said the government had approved the recommendation of the pay revision committee for all executives in central public sector undertaking.

Balwinder Singh, district secretary, added that more than 14 lakh employees of central public sector undertaking were yet awaiting the decision of the government to start wage negotiation for non-executives. The last wage negotiation was held in 1997. More than 12 years have elapsed but the government has not allowed wage negotiation. They further said the employees would go on strike in December if the demand was not accepted by the government.



Mandir panel chairman
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 24
Balwant Singh Lotey, a local industrialist, was unanimously re-elected president of the Baba Vishawkarma Mandir Committee for the 18th consecutive year. 

Sham Singh Gahir and Kishan Singh Rajar were elected senior vice-presidents, while Darshan Singh Lotey and Amarjit Singh Baurhai were elected vice-presidents. Jagdev Singh Hunjhan was elected joint secretary.



Martyrdom day of guru observed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
The bhog of Shri Akhand Path was held in gurudwaras to observe the martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadurji. The shaheedi purab of the ninth guru was observed with religious sentiments.

Ragi jathas from the neighbouring states  especially came in some of the city gurudwaras on the occasion.

Shabad kirtan was held and hymns describing the life and sacrifice of the guru were sung.

Langar was also served from the community kitchen. Kirtan darbars in the evening were held at almost every gurudwara in the city. 



Poultry farming no one’s baby
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
Poultry farming seems to be no one's baby. Neither considered to be business establishment nor agriculture, the poultry farming in the state is suffering in the absence of any government support so much so that numerous poultry farmers across the state have been forced to shut operations or sell or rent out their farms. If sources are to be believed, as many as 50 per cent small and medium and 30 per cent big poultry farms in the state have been closed in the past two years.

Says Somesh Verma, a local poultry farmer, "Exorbitant feed prices and absolutely no support from the state government have made it difficult for many poultry farmers to sustain their business due to which they were suffering huge loses. Thus, they were forced to close their farms."

He added that investment in the poultry farming was nearly two times than what it was in other businesses. But the government refused to give any subsidies, rebates or concessions to the poultry farmers.

Another poultry farmer Sanjeev Bassi added that almost 50 per cent of the farms in the state had closed because the farmers suffered huge loses. Bird flu and the government's refusal to help them added to their miseries. "There are over 25 types of feed items in the poultry farming but the government does not give us any subsidy on them.

Sustaining business is such conditions becomes impossible," Bassi said.

In addition to all these problems, high land and steel prices are also responsible for declining trends in the poultry farming. "In the wake of high land prices and ever rising steel costs, no new poultry farms are being opened in the state, thus there is no expansion of the industry," said Rakesh Gupta, a local poultry farmer.

He added that the poultry often fell victim to various diseases, adding to the woes and loses of the farmers.

The farmers lamented that prices of feed items have increased two times over the last couple of years and in case of many items, costs have risen by over 75 per cent but the cost of produce remains the same which resulted in increased cost of production. "Lack of capital forced many small farmers in the state to sell their farms to private companies and take up the job of managers of their own farms.

Poultry farming in Punjab is now being run on private finance," said Verma.

"Out of 400 large and medium poultry farms in Punjab, about 150 have shut down and as many as 50 per cent of the small ones have closed operations. Because of high risk involved in the trade, the government does not give us the benefits that other industries get, thus we continue to suffer," said Gursharan Singh, who rented out his poultry farm because of high costs of production.

"We have given numerous representations to the government to help save the industry but to no avail," Verma lamented. 



BSNL union’s poll on January 21
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
Meeting of the district working committee of the BSNL employees’ union was held here recently to discuss the ensuing membership verification in the BSNL. In BSNL, the elections to elect a union are held after every two years. The notification for holding the elections has been issued by the BSNL management. According to the notification, the elections will be held on January 21, counting will be done on January 23 and the result will be declared on January 24. In the elections more than 2,40,000 non-executives will take part. The elections will be held together in 35 circles of the BSNL from Kanyakumari to Jammu and Kashmir.

In Punjab circle 8,624 non-executives will cast their votes, 50 polling booths in all 12-district headquarters have been set up. Moudgil, all-India organising secretary, said the BSNL employees union had the history of relentless struggle against anti-workers’ policies of the government and the management.



Provide relief to debt-ridden farmers: BKU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
The BKU has taken a serious note of the lapses on the part of the government for not providing adequate relief to the families of the farmers who committed suicide. These views were expressed by secretary general of the union, Puran Singh Shahkot, today.

He said the Central government had passed relief fund worth Rs 786 crore for the families of those who committed suicide due to debts. But,till date not a single penny has been disbursed among 2,600 Punjab farmers who committed suicide during the past four years.

The farmers contribute 60 to 70 per cent of the food grains for the entire country but the community is still being ignored by the government. The union members also urged the state government to take up the issue with the Central government.



Malegaon Blasts
Shiv Sena holds protest
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 24
Activists of the All-India Shiv Sena led by senior vice-president of the state unit of the body Baljit Singh Jassian today held an angry protest at the Clock Tower chowk here against the implication of religious guru in the acts of terrorism and inhuman treatment being meted out to them by the police and other interrogating agencies.

The protesters also burnt an effigy of the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, charging it with taking politically motivated action and violating the sacred spirit of the Constitution to settle score with its opponents.

Jassian said different political parties had made a fervent plea for an independent probe into cases involving Sadhvi Pragya and Colonel Purohit, who have been implicated in the Malegaon bomb blasts. However, the interrogating agencies purportedly on the behest of the union government were resorting not only to third degree methods against the falsely accused persons, but they were also being subject to repeated narco tests, which at best was an attempt to defame and humiliate them.

"In the wake of the coming Lok Sabha elections, the UPA government is making a desperate bid to divert the attention of the people from crucial issues of inflation, unemployment and recession by slapping charges on religious leaders and activists of Hindu organisations.

Sharanjit Chahal, vice-president of the sena, remarked that each and every member of the body would stand by religious leaders and other members of the community and all designs of the government to divide and weaken the Hindu society would be defeated. "The government ought to fight recession, curb rising prices and create more employment opportunities rather than rousing communal passion to pursue its political agenda."



Vocalist Meeta mesmerises audience
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
The environs of DPS Public School reverberated with raag “alhya bilaval” (the morning melody) as Meeta Pandit, the young vocalist of Gwalior gharana, recently performed under the aegis of SPIC MACAY. The artiste was performing at “Virasat 2008” dedicated to the late singer Ishmeet Singh.

Accompanied by her companions Vinod Lele and Roshan Lal Verma on tabla and harmonium, the trio earlier performed for audience at Ramgarhia Girls College. Leaving her audience mesmerised Meeta Pandit treated the music lovers with bhajans of bhagat Kabir and 
ganga stuti.

Granddaughter and disciple of Padma Bhushan Pt Krishna Rao Shankar Pandit, the doyen of northern Indian classical music in the 20th century, and the daughter and disciple of legendary Pt L. K. Pandit, Meeta has the unique distinction of being the first woman musician in the family.

Speaking to The Tribune today, Meeta revealed:

Q What was the most challenging phase in your life?

The most challenging phase in my life was when I had to give my ambition of doing MBA and switch over to music in my final year of B.Com in 1994. My brother's accidental death (who was emerging as a classical singer) was the turning point in my life, as I had to own the responsibility of carrying on the family tradition in classical singing. Thereafter I went on to do my doctorate in classical music.

Q How do you define the element of “romance” in Indian classical music?

The element of “romance” in Indian classical music is eternal as the strength of emotions is marked in every composition that resuscitates even the dead objects and celestial beings. No other music in the world can imbibe the feeling of love between two humans; their pain of separation and elevation of love to the epitome of devotion but Indian classical music has this rare quality. The audience's reciprocation to the romantic saga of Meera's love for Krishna at “Love Notes” concert at Neem Rana Fort strengthened my belief in imaginative yet pragmatic style of Indian classical music.

Q Is guru-shishya parampara significant in contemporary times?

The importance of guru-shishya parampara is evident from the fact that even the western world is adopting this age-old custom. Abiding by the dictates of Indian classical music, I am taking lessons of 12 French and Swiss students in Nimes (France) twice a year. They sit on the floor, keep their feet away from the guru, practice vegetarianism and do “riyaaz” for long hours.

Besides, I am a regular trainer of Indian students at SG Mahavidyalya in New Delhi. 



One dead, 2 injured in accident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
A youth died and two injured seriously, when a speeding car rammed into a stationary vehicle at Ferozepore road last night.

The youth, Pritpal Singh (15), who was sitting at the back of the vehicle, died on the spot, while his father Shamsher Singh and victim’s sister Simranpreet Kaur sustained serious injuries.

The victims, residents of Manakwal village, were returning home after attending the wedding ceremony of their relatives, when a speeding Swift car lost control and rammed into it. The vehicle (PB- 69-A -0092) has been impounded by the police, but the accused managed to escape from the spot.


Another run over by bus

A speeding private bus crushed a youth and injured other seriously at Pakhowal Road here today.

The incident took place at Punjab Mata Nagar, when the overspeeding bus lost control and crushed a youth, Rajat Kumar (16), who was accompanying his friend Rajinder on a scooter.

While Rajat died on the spot, his friend Rajinder sustained serious injuries and was rushed to a hospital.

The bus was impounded by the police, but the accused driver and conductor managed to escape from the spot.



Check pollution by vehicles

Ludhiana is in the grip of smoke pollution from automobiles. Being an industrial city, the people of Ludhiana facing many health problems due to environmental pollution. Smoke exhaust from vehicles, especially from autos, is harmful for our health and may cause serious disease like asthma and cancer.

It is a fact that vehicles are not checked as per norms of pollution by the authorities. Without checking the pollution level of vehicles, fake certificates are issued to drivers of these vehicles by the authorised pollution agencies located at petrol pumps. To check the pollution increase, suitable measures should be taken by the traffic police and the pollution department jointly. Strict anti-pollution laws should be enforced. The public should be educated about the fighting pollution. It is necessary that the environment should be clean and conducive to good health and mental peace.

H S Lamba, Dugri, Ludhiana

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



82 aspirants turn up for soccer trials
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 24
As many as 82 aspirants turned up for the trials conducted by the District Football Association, Ludhiana, here today at Guru Nanak Stadium to select the Ludhiana football team (boys’ u-19) for the forthcoming Punjab State Junior Football Championship scheduled to be held at Khadoor Sahib in Taran Tarn from November 28 to December 3.

The selection panel constituted by the association supervised the boys and selected the following probables for the upcoming tournament. The names of the boys are Charanpreet Singh, Jagseer Singh, Harmanjot Singh, Ankit Kumar, Sarabjit Singh, Arjun Singh, Rohit Sharma, Rajan, Mandeep Singh, Harsimran Singh, Udhay Behal, Paramvir Singh, Vishawdeep Singh, Tanveer Singh, Jatinder Singh, Jaspreet Singh and Gagandeep Singh. Raghav and Dilpreet Singh have been chosen as standby.



Sunrise Badminton Tourney 
Double crown for Pranav Chopra
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 24
Continuing with his consistent performance, local shuttler Pranav Chopra, a trainee of the Ludhiana Badminton Academy added another feather in his cap when he clinched double crown in the Sunrise National Ranking Badminton Tournament held from November 20 to November 23.

Pranav Chopra, cureently engaged by Air India, teaming up with Sai Praneeth of Andhra Pradesh bagged title in the doubles category. In the final, the pair faced a little challenge from their opponents Nandgopal and Ajay Kumar, both from Andhra Pradesh. Pranav and Sai won the verdict in straight sets 21-6 and 21-11 to emerge champions.

Later, in the mixed doubles, Pranav Chopra along with Pradayna Gadre from Maharashtra, got the better of Akshit Mahajan from Haryana and Vijeta from Madhya Pradesh whom they outnumbered 21-12 and 21-11.

Pranav, who is a permanent member of the Indian junior squad, has recently won a bronze medal in the Youth Commonwealth Sports held at Pune, recently.

Meanwhile, Chandigarh Badminton Association felicitated M.K Chopra, president of the Ludhiana Badminton Academy (LBA). 



Chess tourney from Nov 29
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 24
The Ludhiana District Chess Association (LDCA) will organise the annual Ludhiana District Chess Championship here at Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, on November 29 and 30, according to Arvinder Preet Singh, general secretary of the association.

The championship will be held in six rounds as per Swiss League System under the latest FIDE, World Chess Federation laws. Competition in u-19, u-13, u-17 for boys and girls as well as men and women will be held during this two-day meet. Players have been advised to bring their own chess sets.

Top three players will be awarded with trophies, besides cash prize. On the basis of their performance in the meet, players will be selected to represent Ludhiana in the Punjab State-B Chess Championship slated to be held next month at Sangrur.

Entries can be confirmed by November 27 with Arvinder Preet Singh (98140-84872) or president of the association, Vikas Sharma (98157-30066).



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