L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sexual Harassment Case
Complainant slaps legal notice on PAUTA members
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
Complainant in the sexual harassment case at PAU here, through her lawyer, slapped a legal notice on three employees of Punjab Agricultural University, including the president of Punjab Agricultural University Teachers' Association (PAUTA), for allegedly levelling serious allegations regarding her character in a recently held meeting at the varsity on December 5.

The legal notice has been served on president PAUTA Dr M.S.Mahal, Rajinder Kaur Kalra, warden, hostel number 6, Girls Hostel, PAU, and Anil Sharma, assistant director television, department of Communication and International Linkage, PAU, in an effort to malign her reputation.

The complainant said she had suffered mental agony and her reputation was hit. "They spoke against me, about my character during an emergency meeting held by PAUTA executive in an effort to save Dr Dulcha Singh Brar, director, Students' Welfare, who is the main accused in the case. They caused harm to my reputation and came to the rescue of the accused at the time when a committee, probing the case, had already submitted its final report", she added.

The complainant further said these persons should apologise as her reputation was also put at stake by them in the presence of about 100 members of PAUTA.

It is, however, learnt that the authorities had also summoned one of these members on this issue recently. He was reportedly given warning not to utter anything on this matter as nobody knew the details of the issue. The PAUTA executive had called an emergency meeting on December 5 on the campus in which they had expressed their dissatisfaction over the committee’s report and had asked the authorities to reconstitute the committee for an “unbiased” enquiry.

As per the orders of the Supreme Court, such cases needed to be resolved within the stipulated time (within 90 days) and this complaint was lodged in the second week of September.


Lawyers go on indefinite strike
Demand cancellation of FIR against colleague, transfer of SSP
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 8
Work came to a halt at the district courts here today as lawyers went on an indefinite strike alleging false implication of a city lawyer in a theft case of service revolver pertaining to a DSP of the Punjab police.

Taking a tough stand, they declared that the strike would not be called off until the FIR against their fellow lawyer was cancelled.

The situation was tense on the courts complex, with resentment palpable amongst the legal fraternity against the SSP Ludhiana. A large number of lawyers even staged a dharna and raised slogans against the police.

At a stormy meeting held here to chalk out a strategy, lawyers even declared that they would boycott the mega lok adalat scheduled for December 20 and 21, if their demands were not fulfilled.

Expressing anguish over the incident, president of the District Bar Association Parupkar Singh Ghumman sought the transfer of SSP Ludhiana R.K. Jaiswal. He said they would not compromise over this issue at any cost, much less the withdrawal of false case.The legal fraternity appears to have taken a tough stand over this issue.

Harpreet Singh Garcha, member, Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, Senior lawyer Stevon Soni, former Bar president Naval Kishore Chhibber, former DBA secretaries Rajneesh Gupta, Rana Harjasdeep Singh, BJP Yuva Morcha president Sandeep Kapoor, Sanjeev Malhotra, Harinder Narang condemned the police and demanded for the cancellation of the FIR.

The controversy had started two days ago with the arrest of a city lawyer Shival Gupta on the accusation of stealing revolver of a DSP Amandeep Singh of the Patiala range. He was released on bail yesterday, with the orders of court of Judicial Magistrate Amit Thind.

Shival Gupta today claimed at the meeting that he and the DSP were good friends. They had assembled here at a hotel on the Ferozepur road. They had their drinks and dinner together. The officer was in an inebriated condition when he found his revolver lying on the floor.

He kept the revolver with him for the safety of the officer. He further claimed that the DSP wanted to withdraw his complaint, but he was not allowed to do so by some senior police officials, resulting in his arrest and humiliation for no fault of his.



Disabled but not disheartened
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
Having failed to get justice from the DC office, LMC and civil surgeon office, Raju (32), despite his immobile legs, is fighting his battle with life by selling consumer products from door to door.
Differently abled Raju loads his tricycle with consumer products to sell them across the city.
Differently abled Raju loads his tricycle with consumer products to sell them across the city. Photo: Rajesh Bhambi

A brave heart indeed as the man pulls a hand-driven tricycle loaded with 100 kg of products for 15-18 hours a day.

A resident of Bhagat Singh Nagar at Dhandra road, Raju is the sole bread earner of his family who sells phenyl, floor cleaners, washing soaps and detergents in localities and Apni Mandis across the city.

Not in the least deterred by the slowdown in his sales during winters, the man carries on with his routine. "My sales vary from Rs 4500-4600 in summers which come to half in December. I have to take money on interest during winters which I return in summers," said Raju.

This differently challenged man goes on to earn bread and butter for his mother and sister. As he puts, "I have faith in God and myself which gives me confidence and strength to pull the hand-driven tricycle. I am happy to abide by Guru Nanak Dev's adage of ‘dasan nauhan di kirat'", said Raju.

Raju recounts that it was his strong will that kept him going despite getting a cold shoulder from the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation as officials have failed to provide him with a kiosk at any suitable place followed by shabby treatment from the civil surgeon office and DC office where officials had no time to listen to him.

"Then I decided not to beg for help and went to Jaipur to get this tricycle from an NGO. For the past nine years, I am happily driving from every nook and corner of the city as my profits though scanty fill me with a sense of achievement at the end of the day," adds Raju in triumphant tone.



Transporter gets 10-year RI for carrying drugs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 8
The Court of additional sessions judge M S Virdi has convicted a transporter Sukdev Singh of Nihal Singh Wala village of Moga on the charges of possessing huge quantity of opium.

The court ordered him to undergo rigorous imprisonment of 10 years. He was also directed to pay Rs 1 lakh. Opium weighing eight kilogram was recovered from the accused.

“The drug menace has become common among youths, which has spoiled so many families”, observed the judge while declining the plea of leniency raised by the accused.

An FIR was lodged against the accused person at Model Town police station on July 12, 2001, under Section 18 of the NDPS Act.

According to the prosecution, a police party headed by SI Tarlochan Singh was present near cremation ground Dhandra Road, in connection with patrolling. The police spotted the accused coming from the side of Urban Estate Phase II. He was carrying a bag in his hand. On seeing the police party, he turned back and tried to flee.

Following suspicion, the police party apprehended him. Then a huge quantity of opium was seized from his bag.

However, the accused had claimed false implication in the case. But after appreciating the evidence on record and convinced with the submissions of additonal public prosecutor R S Sibia, the court found him guilty and sentenced accordingly. 



PAU to give another chance to director

Ludhiana, December 8
The Punjab Agricultural University authorities will provide one more opportunity to the director, students welfare (DSW), Dulcha Singh Brar, to explain his conduct in connection with a complaint against him for alleged sexual harassment of a female employee of his directorate.

Dr Manjit Singh Kang, V-C, told The Tribune today that the enquiry committee set up to look into the complaint by the female employee against the DSW had already submitted its report.

The committee headed by Neelam Grewal, dean, college of home sciences, comprised four members and three members had signed the report. The fourth member who represents an NGO did not sign and had since resigned from the committee.

Dr Kang said he would hear the DSW during this week.

The V-C said the enquiry committee had given enough time to Brar to present his case and he did appear before the committee at its last sitting but did not record his statement. He gave some written statement to the committee and sought scrapping of the committee. The V-C has already given him one personal hearing wherein Brar sought the scrapping of the committee.

The enquiry committee had recorded the statement of the complainant and the statements of four witnesses. The committee is understood to have given the facts of the case and concluded that Brar did not cooperate with the committee.

Asked if the case of the DSW would be taken to the Board of Management, the V-C said,”First I will give another opportunity to explain his position and only then further action will be decided.”

The Punjab Agricultural University Teachers Association (PAUTA) has also come to the support of the DSW and sought the scrapping of the committee.



City Concerns

In what may potentially be an eye opener for the government and enforcement agencies, a study at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has found that 60 per cent of coriander powder in the market is adulterated with sand and 53 per cent chilli samples with brick powder.

It has been found that that papaya seeds were found as adulterant in 56 per cent of black pepper samples. Also, top on list of heavily adulterated are milk, ghee, mustard oil, jaggery, honey samples and turmeric powder.

Where is the mechanism to ensure clean grocery for citizens lacking in the enforcement agencies, lacking? Should ISI marks be made compulsory on all grocery items, as well or an alternate agency put in place to regulate the quality of food material? What is the role of citizen organisations to ensure adulteration free products for a common man? While the rich can afford to buy packaged products of good companies, what could done for grocery items of a common man who constitute more than 60 per cent of the city population?

Responses, in not more than 200 words, can be emailed to ludhianaconcerns@tribunemail.com or sent to our city office at Bhadaur House, Ludhiana.

City Editor



National award for GADVASU geneticists
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
Three poultry geneticists of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) here,y Dr Samita Saini, assistant animal geneticist, Dr M.L. Chaudhary, head, department of animal breeding and genetics, and Dr Gurvinder Singh, head, department of animal biotechnology, have been selected for "Prof P.K. Pani Research Award in Poultry Breeding and Genetics" of the Indian Poultry Science Association for 2007.

The award constituted in the name of Dr Pani, an internationally recognized Indian poultry geneticist, is awarded for the best research paper published in Indian Journal of Poultry Science. The research paper entitled "Inheritance of immune response to sheep red blood cells and its relationship with other production traits" by the three scientists has been adjudged as the best research paper. The scientists have been invited by the Indian Poultry Science Association for receiving the award during the inaugural session of the "Silver Jubilee Annual Conference and National Symposium of the Association" to be held at Anand Agricultural University, Gujarat from December 10 to 12.

The Indian Poultry Science Association (IPSA) was established in 1965 and is the apex body in the country to provide necessary research and development support in all disciplines of poultry science for promoting productivity and profitability of the Indian Poultry Industry. The membership of the association is about 1000, including scientists, technocrats, industrialists, farmers and entrepreneurs, from a number of supporting and allied industries. 



Rally by MC staff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
The Punjab State Municipal Karamchari Dal held a rally at the zone-D office here today. Employees handed over a charter of demands to the mayor and commissioner after the rally. 

Naresh Dhingan, patron, and Vijay Dhanav, chairman, while addressing the rally, said that after a long struggle, the Punjab government had finally dissolved the sanitation committee and given orders to recruit sweepers, but nothing has been done so far.

Contrary to the orders, the sweepers were being appointed on an ad hoc basis. "If the recruitments are not done at the earliest, they will further strengthen their struggle. The entire responsibility of the same would lie on the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and the Punjab government," he added.



Jeevan Aastha launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
The LIC today launched Jeevan Aastha which is a single premium product with guaranteed benefits on maturity and death. The plan is close ended with maximum shelf life of 45 days from the date of its launch. It offers a choice of two terms ie 5 years and 10 years only.

The minimum age at entry has been kept as low as 13 year to enable parents to make provision for higher education of their children. Similarly, the maximum age at entry has been pegged at 60 years to enable those who wish to protect their savings for the vagaries of an unstable market and also to ensure guaranteed returns for their twilight years.

The plan offers guaranteed addition of Rs 100 per annum for every thousand of maturity sum assured for 10 year term and Rs 90 per annum for policies with five year term.



Dr Johal releases book
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 8
Dr S S Johal, former VC of Punjabi University, released a book “Merian Abhul Yaaden Ate Sunehy”, an autobiography penned down by a retired judge Avtar Singh Gill here today.

Apart from his personal life, the author has shared his experiences in and out of the court. He has claimed that it will be of great help for the legal fraternity.

The book was released in a function held at district courts complex. President of the District Bar Association Parupkar Singh Ghumman, Prithipal Singh Sohi, a prominent literary personality, Naveen Sharma and several lawyers were present on this occassion.



Seminar on river water disputes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
A seminar was held at Rotary Club on the topic "River water disputes of Punjab and Haryana". While addressing members of the club, Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary, said the Central government had throughout discriminated against Punjab in the matter of the distribution of river water. Claim of Punjab as a riparian state has been ignored and it has been given much less share of river water than it’s due. It has adversely affected agriculture and overall economy of the state.

Welcoming Dhanda, S.P. Karkara, president of the club, gave a brief account of the projects and other activities of the club, including its permanent ongoing projects, like scholarships to needy students.

Dhanda lauded the work being done by the club for the welfare of the community. He also distributed scholarships to the needy students. 



Christmas carol service at CMC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
The chapel on the campus of Christian Medical College was illuminated with lights on the occasion of Christmas carol service on Sunday evening. The entire campus seemed to be in the grip of pre-Christmas fever. Carols were sung and plays depicting the birth of Jesus staged.

The function was a joint effort of students and faculty of the CMC. Students from every stream, medical, dental, nursing and allied services, jointly organised the event and put in all their endeavors. A.J. Philip, Senior Associate Editor, The Tribune, also addressed the congregation on the occasion.

A play titled "Nativity" was staged by the students. The play depicted the birth of Jesus Christ and gave the message of universal peace and brotherhood. The choir comprising the students and staff of CMC sang carols. Carols were sung both in English and Hindi.



PIFT students visit exhibition
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
Students of Pinnacle Institute of Fashion Technology from different departments like fashion designing, interiors, textile and knitwear designing went to an educational trip to Chandigarh to attend "The Designers World". Many designer brands got together to make an exhibition filled with sophistication and style.

The students observed the designer accessories, jewellery, footwear and home decorations. To capture the winter season, kurtas, suits with traditional embroideries, award winning shawls of Kashmir by Sonia K Mahajan were also displayed.



Annual day celebrated with zeal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
Bal Bharati Public School celebrated its 2nd annual day programme with a great fervour and zeal, which was attended by more than 1,000 parents. The theme of the programme was the first voyage of "Vasco-Da-Gama- the navigator" from Portugal to Calicut. Bal Bharatians presented this expedition in a spectacular way by laying emphasis on different cultures and folk dances of different countries like Spain, Kenya, Africa, Arabia, India Portugal, etc. Dr Abraham G. Thomas, director, Christian Medical College and Hospital, was the chief guest.

The whole decorum of the school and stage was based on the theme “Portrait of Vasco- four fleets of his expedition”, his battalion and a stage transformed into a huge ship spoke volumes about the show.

The programme started with lighting of the lamp by Dr Abraham G. Thomas, accompanied by I.V. Sehgal, assistant secretary, child education society, New Delhi, and escorted by principal BBPS and Punam Dogra.

The lighting of the lamp was followed by a welcome dance by the tiny tots in there own unique way looking like dew washed buds in the early morning sunlight. Punam Dogra presented the annual report of academic year 2008-09 throwing light on the distinctive features and achievements of the school.



Muslims decide against festivities on Id
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 8
The local Muslim community has decided not to have any festivities on Id in the wake of terrorist attacks in Mumbai and the massive grief caused by the loss of several human lives.

The decision was taken at a meeting convened by the minority cell of the state unit of the Samajwadi Party here today under the chairmanship of general secretary Mohammed Farooq Ansari. Chairman of the minority cell Mohammed Naseem Ansari also attended the meeting.

Those present at the meeting made a fervent appeal to all members of the Muslim community all over the country to celebrate Id tomorrow in a simple manner and at the same time offer prayers for the victims of terrorism and for lasting peace in India.

Hailing the stand of religious leaders of Mumbai not to allow the burial of any of the dead terrorists in any burial grounds of the Muslims in Mumbai, Ansari remarked that there was no place for terrorism and acts of violence in Islam. He urged all Indians, especially the Muslims, to unite on a single platform to wage a war against militant outfits and send a clear message across that all efforts of creating communal disharmony in the country will be defeated.

Prominent among others present on the occasion were Mohammed Zakir, Mohammed Wasil, Mohammed Murtaza, Mohammed Mainuddin, Mohammed Noor Alam, Mohammed Abdul Gaffar, Imran Salmani, Nazeem Siddiqui, Mohammed Israil, Mohammed Shakeel and Mohammed Anees.



Executives’ body stages dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
A daylong dharna was observed by the Sanchar Nigam Executives’ Association outside general manager's office today. Employees were on the dharna as most of the promises and assurances given at the time of absorption from the department of telecom (DOT) to the BSNL are not fulfilled by the BSNL management and that's why the employees are not interested to work as per the terms and conditions of the BSNL.

Inderjit Singh, vice-president of All-India Sanchar Nigam Executives’ Association, while addressing the gathering said in case the government did not repatriate officers to DOT and gave them a chance for re-options or allow them to work on deputation basis in the BSNL, they also have similar rights to repatriate to DOT as the second option and may allow to work on the deputation basis in the BSNL.

"We are constrained to intensify our struggle due to sheer indifference of the concerned authority," added Harbhajan Singh, district president of SNEA.



CICU memo to Vijay Kelkar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) submitted a memorandum to Vijay Kelkar, chairman of the 13th financial commission, who is on a Punjab tour, stating that only two-three kinds of taxes be prevalent in India to free the economy from a number of taxes.

Ashok Juneja, vice-president of the CICU, reminded Kelkar that VAT was introduced on foreign pattern in India with a promise that the number of taxes will be reduced and accordingly, the road map of goods and service tax and one or two kind of other taxes was finalised and made applicable with effect from April 1, 2010 positively.

Rather after the introduction of the VAT, the government imposed FBT, luxury tax and new taxes such as entry tax, which was not needed in view of promise to reduce the number of taxes. As such, the government should not plan and impose any new tax till the introduction of goods and service tax. Juneja further said the tax rates should also be reasonable because whenever tax slabs have been lowered or streamlined the revenue of the government and compliance have always considerably increased.

The CICU functionary stressed upon Kelkar, B.R. Chaturvedi, Indira Rajaraman, Atul Sharma and Sanjee Misra, members of the commission, that the finance commission should make allocation of the funds for the border states of Punjab in such a way that cheaper land becomes available for the installation of industry and necessary infrastructure is installed for existing and new projects in Punjab.

The CICU emphasised that funds for proper roads, flyovers, sewerage treatment system, pollution control measures, cheaper electricity, industrial infrastructure and airline facilities are much needed by Punjab for the progress of trade, industry and agriculture and as such minimum 50 per cent share from taxes collected from Punjab be paid to the state.



IMA Elections
President accused of negligence
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
The ongoing controversy of the district IMA elections intensified today as Dr Gursharan, a front-runner for the post of president, accused the present president, Dr Arun Mitra of “negligence”.

Dr Gursharan in a letter written to Dr Mitra stated that he had failed to deposit the required amount of membership fee with the state IMA in time following which the state body has disqualified the district IMA members from contesting the state elections and for voting as well.

Dr Gursharan also questioned Dr Mitra on his “self-proclaimed” candidature for the post of state vice-president adding, "As per the constitution of the IMA, Punjab, no nomination can be filed by any branch without holding a general body meeting,” stated Dr Gursharan further questioning Dr Mitra.

However, Dr Arun Mitra denied the allegations stating that there was no intimation from the state body for the payment of the amount. "This notice was issued to many district branches and each branch has been given a month time.”



Stray dog menace torments city

The industrial hub of the state seems to have literally gone to the dogs if one considers the growing menace of stray dogs in every nook and corner of the city. It is not only in the congested localities of the old city, but also residents in posh residential areas have to brave it out with packs of stray dogs, who not only bark at all and sundry, but also bite. 

In particular, elderly people and children playing in parks or streets are most vulnerable to the canine danger. Most of the ambitious and elaborate schemes to sterilise the dogs in order to check their proliferating numbers chalked out by the civic body, NGOs and organisations for the welfare of animals remain on paper as people have been left to fend for themselves. The city residents are living under a persistent threat from the stray dogs as assumed alarming proportions is evident from the fact that a majority of the morning walkers now carry a stick with them and people in many city localities have forbidden their children from venturing out in the parks or deserted vacant sites to play. Is somebody listening?

IIT Kharagpur to hold Spring Fest

Students of IIT, Kharagpur, these days are busy publicising the institute's “Spring Fest 2009” in different cities of Punjab, including Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Patiala, Amritsar, Mandi Gobindgarh, and also in Haryana, UP and Delhi. As a part of 50 years’ celebrations, the festival this year will be held between January 22 and 25.

The festival is open to all colleges. Being called a socio-cultural festival, the festival is being even publicised in arts and commerce colleges.

The institute receives participation from all over the country. Ever since its inception in 1960, it holds the recognition of being the most famous festival in eastern India.

The event is planned for a participation of at least 20,000 entries. This time the IIT will have the Spring Fest Championship, which is the trophy that will be given to the best performing college overall. The website is www.springfest.in.

Confirmations so far include: creative writing workshop by British Council for the aspiring novelists being conducted by a veteran Rimi Chatterjee; Naujawan-e- Hind, India's foremost street theatre group; and the National School of Dramatics will be certifying Rangmanch-dramatics competition.

Some of the new attractions this year include New attractions - Kharagshetra, the personality contest, Fusion fiesta (fusion music competition), SF karaoke, break free (free talent show) run bhoomi (treasure hunt through the campus), twisted grades (a game show). Be it quizzing, literary events, panel discussion, star talks, fine arts, dramatics, eastern and western music, antakshari or pronites… Spring Fest has it all.

Journalism, not easy to handle

Journalism is not that easy as it seems to be. At times you feel irritated to receive calls by persons in wee hours just to make corrections in simple press notes sent by people from various sections of society. The other day I got a call to make a minor correction in the press note at 10 pm. Despite my repeated attempts, the person refused to listen that at this time, the edition of the newspaper had already come out. Another colleague got a call from a retiree, telling her that sewerage of his locality was blocked and people were facing tough times. Since the call came at 9:30 pm, the colleague tried to convince the senior citizen in polite manner that she will look into the matter tomorrow but the latter refused to listen to her pleas. He said, "You will have to listen to me and get it cleaned at this moment.”

Schools crave for publicity

All schools crave for publicity in the newspaper. Many times they want coverage for insignificant activities. If their news is published then they are after the reporter that the photograph of the function has not been carried. If the reporter is to collect any information from the school, some of the principals won't come on the line. Communication should be a two-way exercise, not one way.

Badal’s frequent visits cause inconvenience

Every time Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal arrives in Ludhiana, the Ludhianvis run for space. All main roads, particularly the Ferozepur road are blocked for facilitating smooth passage of the Chief Minister and his long cavalcade. The entire police and security paraphernalia is pressed into duty for the security of the VVIP. And it happens almost every week and sometimes more than once in a week as Badal happens to be here too frequently be a political function or a private marriage party. One wonders as whether we could really afford so much security for one particular person or his visit when there is already so much threat prevailing all over the country. The situation is to be seen to be believed. The police stations remain without the police personnel as they are deputed on VVIP duty. Only if somebody could advise Badal as how inconvenient it turns out for Ludhianvis whenever he happens to be here.

Taken for a ride

Ludhiana is known for its vanity. Ludhianvis are compulsive shoppers. They are supposed to be generous buyers prompting the traders from far off places to come and set shop here. In the modern day of "exhibition shopping" the traders and retailers are lured from across the country to set up the boots in the exhibitions organised by various exhibitors. One such businesswoman Nish Merchant from Mumbai had specially come here with high hopes to sell her outfits at the exhibition “Wedding Asia”. She said she had been told that there was huge demand for designer clothes and that too during the marriage season.

But to her utter disappointment she sold things for not more than Rs 15,000. She said she had spent about Rs 1.5 lakh to come here along with the goods she was to sell.

Unconditional love

By definition, unconditional love means love, which is not subjected to conditions or limitations. For a parent, this means loving the child no matter what he or she does. Parents can dislike the child's behaviour, but still feel and convey their love. This unconditional love of the parents was aptly depicted by Kiron in one of her paintings (see picture). She has exhibited her paintings in the ongoing exhibition titled "Fusion" at Sutlej Club. The painter herself feels that this love without restrictions is important in the development of the child's self-concept and self-esteem. A good part of self-esteem is the feeling of "I am lovable".

Rare treat

It is not often that one comes across the beggars with a “philanthropic” zeal. But one such occasion, which can be termed rare, a beggar women reciprocating to the compassionate gesture of her privileged counterpart volunteered to pay back for the tea and snacks offered to her group. The lady when approached by half a dozen kids accompanying a group of women beggars refused to give money, instead brought them tea and snacks. Overwhelmed by the gesture, the “group leader” called the lady and gifted her with a copper coin adding that it was gifted to her by a foreigner as he didn't have the Indian currency. Oblivious of the fact that coin was from Ashoka period, the beggar woman said, "Yeh sone ka hai, hamesha sambhal kar rakhna tumhara bhala hoga" (This is a gold coin, keep it with you as it will bring you good luck) thereby establishing the faith of other woman in “altruistic approach”.

(Contributed by Kuldeep Bhatia, Sanjeev, Shivani Bhakoo, Sheetal, Rajesh Bhambi, Manav Ghuman and Anshu)



Congress men celebrate victory
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 8
The District Congress Committee (DCC), the District Youth Congress (DYC), the SC and sports cell of the party today jointly celebrated the victory of the Congress in the assembly elections in Delhi, Rajasthan and Mizoram giving credit for to AICC president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and the young face of the party Rahul Gandhi.

Presiding over the meeting held in Congress Bhawan here, the DCC chief Jagmohan Sharma said the performance of the Congress in the state assembly elections was a clear indication of the outcome of coming Lok Sabha polls. "The people have reposed their faith in the policies of the Congress while at the same time Rahul Gandhi has been able to mobilise the support of the youth for the party which have had a significant impact on the electoral prospects."

DYC president Dimple Rana and other speakers hailed the victory of the party which they attributed to the able and dynamic leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh.

In another function, organised at Daresi Road, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee secretary and councillor Parminder Mehta said the decisive victory for the party in three states and electoral gains in Madhya Pradesh as well as Chhattisgarh were a clear pointer towards the facts that the Congress would once again get the mandate of the electorate in parliamentary elections also.

Party workers performed "bhangra" to celebrate the win and sweets were also distributed at the function.



Girl succumbs to injuries
Our Correspondent

Raikot, December 8
A student who got injured on Saturday succumbed to her injuries today. A bus of Highway Transport (PB 10 BZ 3975) hit Prabhjot Kaur of Akalgarh, student of BA final at GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sudhar, in Sudhar Bazaar when she was going to attend the college.

The seriously injured Prabhjot Kaur was admitted to DMCH, Ludhiana, where she succumbed to her injuries. 



Tragic end of a love story
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 8
The two lovers, who tried to commit suicide by consuming some poisonous substance here yesterday, died late in the evening. Their parents were reportedly against their relationship.

Chinder Kaur died at the Civil Hospital Jagraon, while Harjinder Singh died at a hospital in Ludhiana. The two had left their house, and while returning to their village in the morning had decided to end their lives.

Yesterday they consumed some poison and were found unconscious on the road passing through Mohalla Sujapuria Hata near the railway crossing by a passerby Krishan Chand, who informed the police about them. They were later taken to Civil Hospital Jagraon. The police had booked them under Section 309 in the evening itself.



Three held with stolen wood
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 8
The Sidhwan Bet police arrested three persons along with stolen wood yesterday. They are identified as Darshan Singh of Talwandi Mallian (Dharmkot), Shingara Das of Kupoora near Mehna and Jagraj Singh Gaga of Daya Kalan (Dharmkot) in district Moga.

Savesar Kumar, RDO, appointed at the 9 wing SK range of the Indian Air Force in Fatehgarh Sevian village had informed the police about these thieves.

A police party lead by Surjit Singh, ASI, nabbed the accused, along with the stolen property worth Rs 10,000 and the tractor trolley used for loading the stolen wood, when they were about to leave after committing the theft. The police has registered a case under Sections 379 and 411 against the accused.



‘Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan’ logo unveiled
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, December 8
Sports projects are limited to major cities and only two crore youth avail sports facilities through youth clubs, sports clubs and other means. To encourage the sportsmen/women and develop playgrounds in all villages in the next 10 years, the Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA) has been introduced by the ministry for sports and youth affairs.

Releasing the logo of the PYKKA at a seminar held at the Pal Auditorium of Punjab Agricultural University here today, Manpreet Singh Badal, minister for finance, Punjab, said there was a target to cover 10 per cent villages and blocks in one year. It had also been decided that not more than 20 per cent villages in the block would be covered in one calendar year, he added.

The main features of this scheme are to encourage sportspersons, develop sports infrastructure and provide sports equipment, give an opportunity to boys and girls to participate in the block, district and state level competitions and also provide training to players to compete in the national and international tournaments.

The minister said this scheme would bring revolution in the state as all villages would be provided sports facilities in the next one decade. The Punjab government would get Rs 12.55 crore during this year from the Centre and the state government would be pumping in its share of Rs 3.25 crore approximately.

The minister further said in addition, the sports department was expected to get Rs 2.16 crore towards competiton scheme from the Central government, he added. The budget for sports in the state had been doubled from Rs 9.12 crore to Rs 18.52 crore, he disclosed.

Padmashree and director, sports, Punjab, Pargat Singh, said during 2008-09, 1,233 villages and 14 blocks would be covered under the scheme. The names of the villages and blocks had been identified in consultation with the local authorities.

"As soon as the funds were received from the government, the scheme would be implemented. The sports department had already implemented the competition part of the scheme by conducting block, district and state-level competitions, added Pargat Singh.



Lawn Tennis Tourney
Double delight for GNPS students
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 8
Students of Guru Nanak Public School (GNPS), Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana, bagged two titles in the boys’ section in the Ludhiana Sahodaya Schools Complex Lawn Tennis Competition organised by Guru Ram Das (GRD) Academy, Partap Singh Wala, the Humran road, here on Saturday.

Teams from Guru Hargobind Public School, Sidhwan Khurd, Spring Dale Senior Secondary School, Sherpur Chowk branch, Ludhiana, BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, and Dugri branches, Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, besides GRD Academy took part in the competition.

In the boys’ under-19 section, GNPS defeated BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, while in the u-14 category GNPS lads outnumbered Spring Dale Public School to clinch the titles. Hosts, GRD Academy secured third position in the boys’ u-19 section.

In the girls’ section, Guru Hargobind Public School, Sidhwan Khurd, and BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School recorded victories in the final to emerge champions in the u-14 and u-19 sections. GRD Academy secured second position in the u-19 section.

Aneeta Kundra, principal of GRD Academy, gave away trophies to the winners.



AITA Series: Easy win in first round
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 8
The main draw of Harvest Tennis Academy’s AITA Super Series Tennis Tournament commenced today at the sprawling campus of Harvest Tennis Academy at Jassowal, Ludhiana. The first round of the boys and girls’ round were easy win for the seeds. The second round matches for boys and girls’ under-14 and under-16 will start tomorrow.

Results of qualifying matches played today:

Boys’ singles under-14: First round: Vishal Passi (1) (Mah) beat Jotpal Singh (PB) 6-0, 6-0; Manish Kumar (Dli) beat Dhruv Goel (PB) 6-0, 6-0; Shashank Nautiyal (Dli) beat Ranjeet Singh (PB) 6-4, 6-2; Basil Khuma (7) (Miz) beat Shourya Dhankar (Har) 6-2, 6-1; Dhruv Agarwal (UP) beat Nischay Rawal (4) (Chd) 6-4, 2-6, 6-2; Nikhit Prasad (AP) beat Jajbir Singh (PB) 6-2, 6-1; Nishanta Rebello (Kar) beat Dalwinder Singh (PB) 6-2, 6-2; Rishab Dev (5) (PB) beat Hardeep Singh Sandhu (PB) 7-6(7), 6-1; Madhurja Dutta (Asm) beat T.S. Jude Raymnod (AP) 6-2, 1-6, 6-0; Manish Drall (Dli) beat Ravinder Singh (PB) 6-4, 7-6 (3); Kuwar Singh Tater (Asm) beat Karan Salwan (Dli) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4; Vilasier Khate (Har) beat Arindam Dutta (Nta) 6-2, 6-3; S.K. Mukund (8) (AP) beat Tegbir Singh Hara (PB) 6-0, 6-1; Abhimanyu Singh (Dli) beat Tushar Mandalekar (Chd) 6-2, 6-1; Sushanta Mohanty (Har) beat Nishat Eqbal (WB) 6-0, 6-3; S.M. Abdullah (AP) beat Navtej Singh Ruprah (MP) 6-0, 6-1.

Girls’ singles under-14: First round: Charvi Saxena (Chd) walkover Tanya Hassan (Bih); Shivani Dabas (Dli) beat Disha Dang (Dli) 6-0, 6-2; Sumeera Kamil (Dli) beat Pooja Morya (PB) 6-0, 6-0; Devki Pande (TN) beat Simerjeet Kaur (PB) 6-1, 6-1; Rinisha (Dli) beat Anushka Rajkumar (Dli) 6-2, 4-6, 6-1; Ambika Pande (TN) beat Aishwarya Gupta (UP) 6-3, 6-0; SG Abhinaya (Kar) beat Pukhraj Gill (PB) 6-1, 6-1; Vasundara Raju (Dli) beat Anjali Thakur (MP) 6-0, 4-6, 6-4.

Girls’ singles under-16: First round: Ambika Pande (TN) beat Devki Pande (TN) 6-1, 6-2; Gundeep Kaur (PB) beat Anjali Thakur (MP) 6-0, 6-0; SG Abhinaya (Kar) beat Aishwarya Gupta (UP) 6-0, 6-1; Sayesha B Dalal (Dli) beat Sumeera Kamil (Dli) 6-4, 6-2; Shreya Pasricha (Dli) beat Disha Dang (Dli) 6-0, 6-0; Anushka Rajkumar (Dli) beat Vansundara Raju (Dli) 6-3, 6-3.

Boys’ singles under-16: First round: Saurabh Patil (1) (Mah) beat Jagdeep Singh (PB) 6-2, 6-4; Madhurjya Dutta (Asm) beat Jaspinder Singh (PB) 4-6, 6-0, 6-2; Nischay Rawal (Chd) beat Hardeep Singh Sandhu (PB) 6-2, 6-1; Shikhar Kumar (8) (Dli) beat Kushaan Kumar (Dli) 6-0, 6-1; Sushanta Mohanti (Har) beat Bavneet Singh (Dli) 6-1, 6-0; Harry Jindal (7) (PB) beat Sohrab Kunwar (PB) 6-2, 6-4; Hardarshan S Gill (Raj) beat Manoj (Har) 6-2, 6-1; Abhimanyu Singh (Dli) beat Manish Kumar (Dli) 6-4, 6-1; Tushar Mandalekar (Chd) beat Tarun Chopra (Dli) 6-1, 7-5; Nikhit Prasad (3) beat Dhruv Agarwal (Dli) 6-2, 6-2; Vilasier Khate (5) (Har) beat Vishnu Raj (TN) 6-2, 6-2; Digvijay Naruka (Chd) beat Hardeep S Honey (PB) 6-1, 6-0; Suraj Beniwal (Har) beat Atul Sri Patel (UP) 6-4, 6-2.



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