L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


After Gurjar, it is Bir’s turn
Gosain criticises him for showing affidavits to DC

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
After levelling allegations of corruption against deputy commissioner, Vidhan Sabha deputy speaker Satpal Gosain today criticised divisional commissioner, J.S. Bir, for showing the affidavits to the deputy commissioner.

"Bir should not have shown the affidavits submitted by the cracker stall dealers to deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar till the probe in the stall allotment case ended. It is quite unethical and the matter needs to be probed by the CBI,” demanded Gosain while addressing mediapersons today.

Gosain said he along with a few other MLAs would meet Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on December 24 and seek Gurjar’s immediate transfer. Besides, we would also ask him to order a CBI probe, said Gosain adding that he had full support of the BJP high command.

Denying deputy commissioner Gurjar's allegations that he had asked for cracker shops, Gosain said: "I have never asked for personal favours from the deputy commissioner and the allegation are baseless." However, he added that whenever someone came to seek his help, he didn't deny them.

Alleging involvement of deputy commissioner Gurjar in the land grab case, too, Gosain said: "We are collecting evidences about his involvement in various land grab cases so that Gurjar’s deeds could be brought to the fore."

He said tehsildar Mukesh Sharma was an honest man, but due to pressure he had to bow before Gurjar’s wishes. Similarly, tehsildar A.P. Verma was asked by the deputy commissioner to pay Rs 1 lakh to him daily. He added that he was collecting evidences in form of photographs and CD’s, which would be handed over to the CBI so that they could probe into deputy commissioner’s closeness with the land mafia.

Presenting a case, Gosain said Anupam Kakkar had applied for the NOC for a petrol station on the Raikot- Sarabha Road at Tusse village. Kakkar had received the NOC from the zila parishad on August 27. It was questioned because the deputy commissioner had asked Kakkar to pay Rs 1 lakh, which Kakkar refused.

The deputy commissioner had yesterday rubbished the allegations levelled by Gosain. He said Gosain was hurt, as he had not bowed under his pressure to allot cracker sites to all his supporters. "Last time Gosain's supporters got maximum sites and I had to bear a lot of criticism. This time I decided I would be fair. This did not go down well with Gosain." Gurjar added.

He had added all 14 affidavits filed to Bir were not signed by any of the allottees. These were from other, who had no locus standi to file affidavits. "If they were not the allottees, how can they allege they paid me money?" the deputy commissioner asked.


An apology for a dispensary
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Heaps of garbage, open manholes, damp rooms and missing power connection, besides frequent appearances of snakes, plague the staff at the dispensary in Jaspal Bangar village.

The dispensary caters to around 10,000 persons living in six villages adjoining Jaspal Bangar village.

Instead of cleaning the area around the dispensary, which is the only place to provide medical aid in the village, the open space on the premises is being used to dump village waste. It has been going on for a long time, despite the request of the staff to the sarpanch to get the garbage dump covered.

Sarpanch Daljit Kaur said she would immediately get it covered with soil.

Dr Jasdeep, working in the rural development department, said: “About 25-30 patients visit us everyday, but patients from well-off families are reluctant to come here due to the pitiable condition of the dispensary.”

Working without power makes the task more difficult as the Punjab State Electricity Board had disconnected the connection three years ago due to the non-payment of a bill of Rs 84,000 by the health department.

The staff said there was no sewerage system and everything was clogged, making it a breeding ground for snakes.

“To ascertain the presence of snakes in the rooms, we draw a line of DDT while going back. Broken lines in the morning confirm the presence of snakes,” a dispensary worker said.

The working conditions apart, the salaries get delayed by over a month. The doctor is unable to pay salaries to the paramedical staff and the Class IV employee due to the delay in the release of the monthly consolidated amount of Rs 30,000.

Voicing his opinion on the past and present working of the dispensary, Lakhwinder, a resident of the village, said: “The doctor and staff played truant when the dispensary was under the health department but the regular presence of a doctor has reinstated the faith of villagers who depend on Dr Jasdeep for their routine problems.”



IMA elections called off
Office-bearers appointed unanimously

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
With the warring factions of doctors reaching a consensus, the IMA district body elections were called off today. Agreeing to the unanimous decision taken by senior members of IMA, the doctors from the factions lead by Dr Narotam Dewan and Dr Arun Mitra agreed to the appointments of office-bearers to the IMA executive committee.

Dr Manoj Sobti was appointed president of the district unit of the IMA and Dr D.P. Singh its secretary. Dr Hardeep Singh was appointed senior vice-president, Dr Satish Nauhria finance secretary, Dr Najit Kaur joint secretary and Dr Arun Mitra patron.

The term of the office-bearers has been extended to two years from one year and it would formally come into effect following an amendment to the constitution of the IMA in January.

Dr Iqbal Ahuja, chief election commissioner, said the elections were called off following the withdrawal of nominations by candidates following an agreement signed by both groups last evening.

Dr Sobti said the provision for a dispensary, blood bank and an ambulance at the IMA house would be taken up on priority.



44,000 cases settled in a day
Lok Adalat on Fast Track

Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 20
In the history of lok adalats, the District Legal Services Authority has set a new record by disposing of over 44,000 cases involving compensation of Rs 37.71 crore here today.

The executive chairman of the State Legal Services Authority, Justice Mehtab Singh Gill, who is also the administrative judge of Ludhiana district, presided.

Justice Gill, along with sessions judge G.K. Rai, additional sessions judges M.S. Virdi and Kishore Kumar, civil judge senior division Lachhman Singh and CJM A.S. Virk inspected the functioning of the 56 benches set up in the city, Jagraon, Khanna and Samrala.

Talking to the media, Justice Gill said in the two-day mega lok adalat, around 2.5 lakh cases (out of a huge pendency of 10 lakh cases in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh) were likely to be disposed of and would be a remarkable achievement in the history of judiciary.

He said the lok adalat was the only alternative to minimise the pendency of cases in various courts. He said it also provided for a cheaper and permanent remedy as these decisions could not be challenged in higher courts.

The authority had so far held 4,797 lok adalats, in which 7,04,064 cases had been taken up, out of which 3,88,728 cases had been settled.



Husband puts minor girl on sale
Rakesh Gupta

Mullanpur Dakha, December 20
A minor from Bihar has accused her husband of putting her on sale. Lal Pari (16), Satrain Singh of Chintamadi in Bihar and at present, staying at Hassanpur village as a tenant, has complained against her husband Sudhir Karan, a Nepalese, that he put her on sale for Rs 10,000 and also allegedly pushed her into flesh trade.

She said her father had died when she was a child and her mother was deaf and mute. She said her uncle sold her to Sudhir Karan about six months ago and he bought her to Punjab and forced her into flesh trade.

He used to send her to customers and sometimes brought them home. He would beat her when she objected. On December 16, she alleged that he took her to Ludhiana to sell her, but returned as the buyer did not turn up.

Her landlady Surinder Kaur and other neighbours were upset at her condition.

SI Nishan Singh said they had received her complaint and were investigating the matter.



Ghumman does it again
Retains post of Bar chief
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, December 20
Parupkar Singh Ghumman retained the post of president of the District Bar Association (DBA) in its annual elections held here today. He won with a huge margin of 463 votes. A majority of young lawyers supported him for his boldness and aggressive attitude.

Overall, the elections were peaceful even as the police remained present at the venue throughout the day to avoid any untoward situation. Out of 1,694 votes, 1,547 were polled and 18 were declared invalid, according to returning officer Ashok Mittal.

Supporters of Ghumman had started rejoicing much before the official announcement as he was leading from the beginning.

Anil Kaushal was elected vice-president with a margin of 69 votes while Kamaljit Sharma was elected secretary. He won with a margin of 66 votes and secured 583 votes.

Yadwinder Sharma was elected joint secretary after winning with a margin of 51 votes.



This time, Xmas spirit pervades all
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Setting an example of religious tolerance and harmony, people of various faiths are participating in the ongoing Christmas celebrations in the city.

Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Sarabha Nagar, sponsored tea and snacks for people accompanying the Christmas procession from the old city to Holy Cross Church in Sarabha Nagar.

Novin Christopher, a resident who married a Sikh woman, said the city had a unique culture that rose above the barriers of caste and community.

“I retained my name after marrying Novin, but I regularly come to pray in the church. Novin accompanies me to gurdwara,” his wife said.

The Christmas spirit has forged a bond among all religious communities as was evident from the presence of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims during the Christmas celebrations at Issa Nagri last evening.

Overwhelmed by the expression of love and camaraderie by children and teenagers, Newton, a member of the Sarabha Nagar parish, said this sentiment could change the social and political fabric of India.

A customary gift (for the past nine years) of a plum cake by a Christian family to The Tribune office here was also in time. The woman said: “I have gifted cakes to the staff in the office even after the death of my son three years ago as they remind me of him.”



City Concerns

The Ludhiana police has withdrawn 35 security personnel from VIP duty in a follow-up to the ongoing debate on pruning the excessive security cover of VIPs. People feel there is scope for greater rationalisation. Residents are peeved at the security cover being provided to VIPs travelling to the city, additional security at sites they visit and unnecessary security to some political leaders and other influential people in the city.

Residents feel community policing is being compromised, as is indicated by the number of thefts, traffic chaos and numerous incidents of trivial crime. Police personnel on their part maintain that a very small workforce is available for such work.

We would like to seek your opinion on whether large-scale police deployment for VIP security is justified and what should be the criteria in allowing a security cover for an individual or an organisation. Do you recommend that the powerful and rich should employ a private security agency that is monitored by the state police?

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



Inflation down by 6.84 %
People happy as prices of basic commodities fall
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
With inflation rate coming to all time low in the past nine months at about 6.84 per cent, the common man has heaved a sigh of relief. The prices of food products, oil and other basic commodities have come down in recent times, giving consumer a breathing space. At the same time, analysts feel that if inflation rate kept on coming down (beyond a limit), it could cast a shadow over country's future trading. They also stressed that for the food security of country,it was not necessary to open up the agriculture sector to the international trade.

Reena Malhotra, a homemaker, said it had become impossible for common man to live in such inflationary conditions. The prices of food grain, vegetables, fruits, oil and diesel etc had increased drastically on the onset of this year. "Due to falling prices in recent times, it is celebrating time for all of us. The budget of a homemaker depends much on basic commodities. With prices of vegetables, pulses, cereals, oil etc coming down, we can,now, heave a sigh of relief", she added.

Mithilesh Gupta, an industrialist, said it was a good sign that inflation was coming down but at the same time, the ongoing recession had affected the city's industry. "It is not that there is absolutely no work here but the process has gone slow with cancellation of several export orders. The payments have been delayed, major industrial houses are not picking up their goods from local manufacturers and there are no further export orders for the time being. We all know that present scenario was not going to be there for long, still small-scale industries have been affected more", he added.

Talking to The Tribune on phone, Devinder Sharma, country's leading economic analyst, said coming down of inflation rate to an extent was good. He said rising prices had always been attributed to global trading."If prices continue to come down beyond a limit, the US-like situation may arise. Due to financial crises, future trade will not pick up", he said adding further that low inflation rate was good as far as it did not affect the farmer. If inflation settled in, prices of produce like rice, wheat and other crops will come down and the farmer will directly be affected. "We are safe because we have not integrated our agriculture. Though the government of India is in favour of opening up the agriculture sector to the international trade but it will definitely not favour the country", he warned.



Hosiery retailers put up sales, already
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Global economic meltdown that has adversely hit the industry has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the common man with the city’s hosiery traders offering huge discounts on their products.

A survey of the city’s markets revealed that hosiery retailers, including brands like Koutons, Cottleaf and Priknit, are offering discounts and concessions or other attractive offers on their products.

“Usually this is the peak season for hosiery retailers because woollens are in great demand around December-January when temperatures are at the lowest. This is the best time for retailers to make great sales. However, this year, the scene is entirely different. Numerous retailers in the city are offering huge discounts, some even as high as 40-50 per cent to attract buyers and with a view to sell the export surplus stock, which is lying unsold due to the prevailing conditions in the global market and the importers cancelling orders,” said a hosiery manufacturer and retailer on condition of anonymity.

M.K. Mittal, a hosiery retailer in a local market, agrees: “The cancellation of overseas export orders have led to flooding of the city markets with stuff meant for export. The traders have no option but to dispose of their wares at slashed rates to avoid 100 per cent losses.”

However, Manish Awasthi, managing director, Sporking Knitwear, differs on the issue. “If we look at the markets carefully, we will find that sales have been put up by a certain section of the hosiery traders which are ‘sale brands’ and usually offer discounts round-the-year. But bigger brands are not doing so and waiting for the right time to put their products on sale, which is usually around February,” he said.

The sales, however, have brought cheer to the common man, especially students and housewives, who are making the most of the “unexpected sales”.

As Priya, a BCom III student of a local college, says: “Sales are always a good time to strike a good bargain. Every year stores put up sales at the end of the season but this year the sales have started early and already great offers are being given to buyers on fresh stock of woollens. I’m enjoying every bit of it and have already stocked up my wardrobe with long coats, pullovers and stoles bought from various sales.”

Adds Rajni Sethi, a housewife: “Global crisis has led to slowdown in business and forced traders to sell their wares at lower rates but it is benefiting the buyers in a big way. Most shops are offering 30-50 per cent discount on jackets, coats and sweaters. I don’t think people would want to miss the opportunity to buy good stuff at reasonable prices, that too, during peak winters.”



LS Poll
Grain market, school remain priority for voters
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 20
Grain market, a government senior secondary school and subdivision are a few demands that residents of the local town have placed before prospective candidates for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

With successive representatives of the area in Parliament and assembly, irrespective of their political allegiance, having ignored these demands, aspirants are now finding it hard to convince people and their elected representatives that they would be different.

Observations revealed that office-bearers of various political parties have once again started impressing upon their senior leaders that they should clear their stand on issues like construction of a grain market, a school and upgradation of the sub-tehsil into subdivision.

While those owing allegiance to the Congress have an edge that needful would be done after their party returns to power, SAD and BJP leaders are under pressure for failing to fulfill their demands.

Residents resented that farmers of the area had been forced to dump their produce in open even 20 months after then parliamentary secretary Razia Sultana laid the foundation stone of a grain market at the Jagera road.

Though commission agents and farmers of the area had urged higher authorities, including Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Punjab Mandi Board chairman Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, to either get the project completed or remove the foundation stone, no attention has been paid to their demand.

The proposed grain market was to be constructed in 40 acre at an estimated cost of Rs 25 crore.

Though the district administration had forwarded the plan to the colonisation department before lying of the foundation stone, nothing had been done after the SAD came to power in the state.

Local leaders, irrespective of political allegiance, had played an important role in convincing plot owners to exchange their land with the government.

Office-bearers of a few political parties, including nominee of SAD secretary general Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, had also participated in final discussion about the project.

The management of the Gaushala Committee had also given their consent to exchange land with the government as per the necessity of farmers and commission agents. Councillors led by Ravinder Puri and Bimal Sharma said they have taken up these with Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal who has started taking interest is development of the area. Atwal is an aspirant for SAD and BJP ticket for the coming parliament elections.



Illegal Hoardings
Ad companies submit memo to Gosain
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The illegal hoardings which dots the city and for which the municipal corporation has been severely criticised led to the division with a few advertisers alleging today that senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal did not want that illegal advertisers should be curbed.

In a memorandum submitted to Punjab deputy speaker Satpal Gosain, S.S. Prakash, S.S. Sandhu and P.J.S. Cheema alleged that during the finance and contracts committee meeting on December 17 municipal officials mooted a proposal. According to which advertising rights for the city were to be handed over to a firm and a fixed amount of Rs 1.5 crore to be taken from it as an advertising fee.

Terming it to be a good move to end illegal advertisers, they said Bansal opposed the move saying that it would monopolise one firm and the corporation should not allow this. They revealed that at present the corporation was generating revenue worth Rs 10 lakh and if tenders were flown, it could earn up to Rs 1.5 crore. They also alleged "the senior deputy mayor was for his own interest was helping the gang of thieves, who are looting the state."

Deputy speaker Satpal Gosain and senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal both belong to the BJP.

Talking to The Tribune, Praveen Basal said these were tactics to dislodge from framing illegal advertisers who have been ruling the city. He said, "The advertising mafia is hand in glove with a few influential people, including some municipal officials. Despite Punjab and Haryana High Court’s direction, the corporation has failed to keep a check on illegal hoardings, which are dotting the city." Besides, corporation officials themselves had confessed that they have failed to check illegal hoardings.

“I have on several F&CC meeting requested municipal officials to handover a list of receipts that were issued for putting up the advertisement, but to no avail." He added that the reason for his opposition of the proposal was that the advertisers would be earning a whooping profit Rs 6 crore per year from the advertisements by further passing over the work to other contractors. The civic body would just get Rs 1.5 crore from the entire deal.



Private schools make quick bucks
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The admissions to nursery classes have begun and the private English medium public schools are on an earning spree, charging hefty amounts according to their fancy. Admitting a child to these schools makes a big hole in one’s pocket. However, the rich and elite class of Ludhiana doesn’t mind paying any amount for getting their ward admitted in a reputed school.

If there is a competition among the schools, there is an equal competition among the parents to get their child admitted to the best school. It is because of this reason that all nationally reputed schools have their branches in this industrial hub of Punjab.

Some of the managements of these schools continue to fleece the parents. It may be mentioned here that the Central Government has introduced a Bill in the Parliament granting right to education to every child in this country.

Investigations made by this reporter show that the schools are charging heavy fee ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 55,000 at the time of admission. Delhi Public School has charged Rs 55,000 for the admission to nursery per child.

According to a parent, the school has charged Rs 1,500 in advance for 3 sets of school uniforms, activity items, school bags, text and note books, stationery items and Adidas shoes. Another redeeming feature of DPS is that if any student from Class IV onwards wants to wear a wrist watch, he or she has to wear the school customised Timex watch available in the school tuck shop.

Sat Paul Mittal School is charging Rs 48,700 for admission to lkg which includes development fee - Rs 25,000, admission fee - Rs 2,000, security - Rs 5,000, annual charges - Rs 7,000, tuition fee - Rs 2,000 per month, computer fee and ‘smart class’ (LCD screen) - Rs 3,600 and parent school association - Rs 100. Col D.B. Sharma, director of the school, claims, “We are giving more than what we are getting from the students.”

According to DAV Public School principal R.S. Patial, the school is charging Rs 30,000 per child. Ryan International School has fixed Rs 25,500 for admission. Greenland Convent School has fixed the amount of Rs 10,000. BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School is charging Rs 9,630 which includes Rs 2,070 tuition fee per quarter, annual charges - Rs 7,260 and computer charges Rs 300 per quarter. Admission process in Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, is in progress. Eminent educationists of the town are strongly censorious about the high scale commercialisation of education by the private players, reducing education to a commodity.



Assault on lecturer
Teachers demand action against erring students
Our Correspondent

Doraha, December 20
The teaching faculty has demanded an impartial probe and strict action against the students who allegedly attacked a lecturer of GTB Khalsa Institute of Engineering and Technology, Chhapianwali, who had slapped UMC cases against eight students of Muktsar College in the capacity of centre superintendent in May 2008.

As he was appointed the centre superintendent for the second time in the same college, for the examination which was to commence from December 19, the alleged assailants attacked Ashok Bathla with sharp edged weapons and said it was a lesson taught to the latter for making DMC cases against the students. They also allegedly threatened the teacher of dire consequences if he tried to repeat the same thing in the December examinations too.

Dr Kuldip Singh, former general secretary, PCCTU and fellow, Panjab University and Prof Jaipal Singh, president, GCTA, along with other members of the teaching community, have expressed shock and concern over the entire incident and termed it to be highly shameful act on the part of the students.

Demanding action against the guilty, these teachers have asked for an independent probe in the entire case and appealed to the police not to give in to political pressure, for if it happens the very purpose of conducting the exams in a free and fair manner would be defeated.

“Moreover, these elements need to be given a befitting punishment so that the teachers could be relieved from every sort of pressure while discharging the examination duties. On the contrary, if these rowdy elements are left on their own, they would be further encouraged to indulge in such immoral and illegal acts by throwing all norms to winds,” the intellectuals added.



Bus hits girl, students block GT Road
Tribune News Service

Mandi Gobindgarh, December 20
A large number of students from RIMT today blocked the G.T. Road after a girl was hit by a college bus in the college premises last evening.

The girl was identified as Shweta, a student of MBA. She was a hosteller and was hit by the college bus near the parking area. The irate students were demanding immediate action against the negligent driver who hit the girl. They also demanded that the girl should not only be given the first aid by college authorities, but complete treatment.

The girl received injuries on her legs and was rushed to a private hospital in Mandi Gobindgarh. She was then referred to DMC Ludhiana where she was undergoing treatment for her fractured legs.

The students began their agitation in the morning at around 9 am and continued till 1 pm. They came on the G.T. Road and tried to block the highway. Police officials from Mandi Gobindgarh police station reached the spot and tried to pacify the agitating students. Officials of the college management also intervened to pacify the students.

Later, the irate students were brought to the conference room of the college campus where the officials had a talk with them. The students put off their agitation only after the assurances were given by the police officials and the management.

Mandi Gobindgarh SHO Mahesh Kumar revealed that the students were demanding complete treatment for the injured girl and stringent action against the bus driver. The students alleged that the driver hit the girl while adjusting the bus in the parking area. A DDR in this connection was lodged at Sirhind police station last night and action would be taken accordingly, the SHO said.



Atwal lays stone of link road
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Charanjit Singh Atwal, deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha , today said that the SAD-BJP government had hastened development with programmes costing over Rs 10,000 crore to strengthen the basic infrastructure like roads, bridges, schools and hospitals across the state.

Atwal was addressing a gathering at Mangali Uchhi village, 15 km from here, after laying the foundation stone of a 2.5-km link road to be constructed at a cost of Rs 27.44 lakh. He also inaugurated a community centre built at a cost of Rs 4 lakh in the village.

Atwal said the government had also started a programme worth Rs 468 crore for the construction of link roads in the state, under which funds amounting to Rs 4 crore would be spent on the construction of 20-km new roads in each constituency.

To ensure self-reliance in power, the government had planned four power projects of 6600 MW capacity. Work on the projects had already started at Talwandi Sabo (1980 MW) capacity and Gowindwal Sahib (500 MW).

The other two at Rajpura (1500 MW) and Gidderbaha (2640 MW) would also be taken up soon, he added.



Officer accused of withholding money
Our Correspondent

Raikot, December 20
Commission agents of the local grain market have accused Lab Singh, assistant food supply officer of harassing them. Suresh Kumar Garg, president, arthiya association, Raikot, Krishna Nand, vice- chairman, Raikot market committee, and Surinder Garg have accused Labh Singh of not releasing the payment of stitching. A few commission agents on the condition of anonymity said the officer and Pungrain warehouse inspectors had not paid any money to commission agents or labourers. They alleged that they had embezzled the entire bribe amount and has not passed on the shares to senior officials of their departments. Now the department is not releasing their payments. When enquired, the Pungrain inspector said empty bags of the paddy had to be returned by the commission agents and that was why they had not been paid. On the other hand the commission agents accuse that except one or two all commission agents have returned the empty bags long ago. They term this as the face-saving tactics of a few officials.



Syndic for raising academic standards
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, December 20
Dr Kuldip Singh Kalsi, a lecturer of GNN College Doraha, who has been recently elected as syndic to Panjab University, wishes to raise the academic standards of the university apart from looking closely into the issues related to the teaching faculty and the stakeholders.

This political science lecturer had already remained on the post of the general secretary of Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union apart from being the district president and the ex officio member of the union. Dr Kalsi had contested for the senate elections first time, being the lone candidate to fight with an agenda. Dr Kalsi has been elected unopposed as a syndic of the university.

He said, “I would strive to work for the strict implementation of the service conditions specified in the university calendar as they are not being implemented in some of the colleges.”

Dr Kalsi added that, “Further, 10 per cent total deduction of provident fund, maternity leave of 6 months and paternity leave of 15 days are some of the genuine demands that need to be considered and that would be seriously looked into along with other fellow syndics.”



Artistes bring Danish culture alive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
A team of 20 Danish dancers performed at CMCH hospital today. The dancers are in the city to participate in the Indo-Danish folklore festival.

Dr Vijay Obed, Dr William Bhatti, and Dr Rupinder Kaur took the initiative to organise the show in collaboration with Balwant Singh, principal of Partap College of Education.

CMCH director Dr A.G. Thomas said the gymnasts-cum-dancers brought the culture of Denmark alive before the audience through their precision of movements in rhythmic gymnastic, dance, artistic vaulting and tumbling.

Dr Kim J. Mammen, deputy director of CMCH, and Dr Kanwal Masih, medical superintendent, were also present on the occasion.



Prize distribution at Greenland
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The annual prize distribution function was organised at Greenland Convent School, civil city. Rajesh Rudhra, chairman-cum-director of the chain of Greenland Schools, was the chief guest. Jyoti Pujara, principal, read the annual report.

Tiny tots gave a stupendous performance through their beautiful items. The chief guest gave away the prizes to the students for their excellent performance in academics, sports and other activities.



Yoga camp concludes
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, December 20
Yoga is an inseparable part of Ayurveda and it integrates the body, soul and mind. We develop this passion to give new career direction to the students as well. This was stated by Dr Loveleen Kaur Ahuja, principal of Desh Bhagat Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Mandi Gobindgarh, at a meditation camp.

The camp was jointly inaugurated on December 15 by Dr Zora Singh and Tajinder Kaur, chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, which concluded today. Pranayama and Yoga were the special features of the camp. Dr Anil Joshi from Khanna interacted with students and teachers about Yoga and meditation.



JNNURM Projects
Team visits MC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
A two-member team, under the leadership of Parmita Dutta, senior research officer from the National Institute of Urban Affair, New Delhi, visited the municipal corporation to assess the progress of various projects under JNNURM in the city.

According to sources, the team members asked the civic body officials to implement reforms that were necessary for undertaking JNNURM projects as soon as possible. These include computerisation of all data in the municipal corporation to bring the presence of e-governance in the civic body.

Besides, the delegation also asked officials to tell them about the staff requirement for undertaking JNNURM projects like storm sewerage system.

The team members met officials from various departments, including B&R, O&M and sewerage. They enquired about the efforts being taken by them and gave some proformas to collect data.



Woollens distributed among poor students
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 20
The State Bank of Patiala, grain market branch, manager Bharpoor Singh distributed woollen garments among needy students of Government High School, Ghungrana, near here, yesterday. Major Singh, sarpanch, presided over the function, while Ajmer Singh and Gurdial Singh were the guests of honour.

Addressing the function, they called upon politicians and elites of society to come to the rescue of students who were forced to drop out of the school due to the poverty.



Youth stabbed to death
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 20
A youth of Kanganwal village in Sangrur district was allegedly stabbed to death by a few miscreants while he returning home from micro-hydle plant located on the Sirhind canal near here yesterday evening.

The police, which is yet to establish the motive behind the murder, has registered an FIR under Sections 302 and 394 of the IPC against the miscreants.

Though a handle-less kitchen knife was found lying near the body of the deceased, the police suspects that he had been killed with some other sharp edged weapon.

The miscreants took away youth’s mobile and a wrist. Manpreet Singh (25) of Kanganwal, an employee posted at micro-hydle plant at Kanganwal Bridge on the Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal was stabbed to death by some miscreants while he was returning home.

Profusely bleeding body of the deceased was spotted by a passer by at 6.30 pm, shortly after he finished his duty at the power plant.

Investigations reveal that the assailants had stabbed the victim near the heart. Bloodstains on the cycle seat and the handle suggested that he was stabbed, while he was still on bike. The fatal weapon was so sharp that it pierced four layers of the blanket, the victim was wrapped in.

Avtar Singh, another employee of the micro-hydle plant and a cousin of the deceased, told the police that he (deceased) had left the plant at about 6 pm. Though the shift changes at 8 pm, the night staff relieved the day staff to enable them reach their home on time.

“Hardly had we settled that a passer by informed us that one of our colleagues is lying injured on the Kanganwal road. We were shocked to find Manpreet dead,” Avtar Singh told the police.

Manpreet is survived by his wife and old ailing parents. He was married about 18 months ago.



Punjab TT meet
Ropar, Patiala paddlers hog limelight on day one
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 20
Players from Ropar and Patiala hogged limelight as all the seeded teams had a smooth sailing on the opening day of the 49th Punjab State Inter-District and Open Table Tennis Championship being organised by the Ludhiana District Table Tennis Association (LDTTA) that began at the Indoor Hall of Punjab Agricultural University campus here today.

Ropar paddlers won their matches in the team championship events in the sub-junior boys and junior boys categories while those from Patiala wrapped up their matches in the sub-junior girls and boys team championship.

Earlier, Dr Sharad S. Chouhan, DIG (vigilance), Jalandhar zone, inaugurated the championship in which around 350 participants drawn from 15 districts of the state are taking part. S.S. Mand, SSP (vigilance), Jalandhar and chairman of the tournament organising committee, along with office bearers of the LDTTA, including Subhash Batra, Vivek Jindal, Sharad Seth, Sanjay Aggarwal, besides former national table tennis champion Sanjeev Sood and O.S. Nagi, director sports, Sat Paul Mittal School were also present on this occasion.

Fang Jenn Chiu, secretary, LDTTA, welcomed the chief guest and wished the participants a comfortable stay during the course of the four-day championship.

First day’s results:

Sub junior girls- Patiala bt Fatehgarh Sahib 3-0 (Neha bt Supandeep; Ruchika bt Navneet and Dolly bt Anita Rani); Khanna bt Jalandhar 3-1 (Poonam lost to Neha, Rajni bt Disha, Dimpy bt Nimran and Poonam bt Disha); Amritsar bt Faridkot 3-0 (Vasundhra bt Ritu, Purva bt Gurshan and Shipra bt Anmol).

Junior girls: Amritsar bt Faridkot 3-0 (Sukhpreet bt Surinderpal, Tanveen bt Manpreet and Sugandha bt Reetu); Ropar bt Khanna 3-0 (Kanchan bt Neelam, Lovepreet bt Manpreet and Deepa bt Aarti).

Sub junior boys: Patiala bt Fatehgarh Sahib 3-0 (Jaspreet bt Aman, Karan bt Tanjot and Gurpreet bt Taranpreet); Ropar bt Khanna 3-0 (Basant bt Kartic, Prabhjot bt Shubham Sharma and Deepak bt Shubham Tripathi); Ludhiana bt Jalandhar 3-2 (Shown lost to Rupam, Abhaydeep bt Gurshan, Shubham bt Murdal, Abhaydeep lost to Rupam and Shown bt Gurshan).

Junior boys: Ropar bt Ludhiana 3-0 (Kartik Dogra bt Bhavuk, Basant bt Taranvir and Rajeev bt Agnish); Jalandhar bt Khanna 3-0 (Guransh bt Naveen, Simranjeet bt Karan and Sandeep bt Nirmal); Amritsar bt Muktsar 3-0 (Rohan bt Saurav, Vakesh bt Deepanshu and Sumesh bt Prince Chadha).



Cancellation of Cricket Tour
‘Govt did the right thing’
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 20
Ludhianvis have hailed the Central government’s decision to refuse permission to the Indian cricket team to tour Pakistan. The announcement to call off the forthcoming tour to Pakistan has come in the wake of stepped-up terrorist activities in different parts of the country, allegedly guided and aided by elements from across the border.

The Indian team was to tour Pakistan in January and February. Radhika Jaitwani, a social worker, who had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi last week urging them not to allow the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to go ahead with the Team India’s proposed tour to the neighbouring country, said: “The cancellation will certainly convey India’s reasoning behind the decision as the time and conditions were not conducive for players to tour Pakistan.”

She thanked the Prime Minister and union minister of state for youth affairs M.S. Gill for taking the step.

Ramesh Mago, an industrialist, said: “Following terror strikes in the financial capital of the country, which established Pakistan’s involvement, there was no point in undertaking the tour. India should cut bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan.”

Teja Singh Dhaliwal, honorary general secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, too, expressed satisfaction over the government’s decision.

“The Prime Minister and the minister for sports deserve kudos for taking a decision that sends a clear-cut message to the international community that India will not tolerate violence,” added Dhaliwal.

“The government has taken the right decision as there was threat to the life of our cricketers. Even cricketers were reportedly reluctant to go to Pakistan in the prevailing scenario,” an industrialist and a keen follower of the game, Avtar Singh Bhogal, said.

Ravi Grewal, an NRI from Los Angeles, praised the Indian government for taking the “ultimate” decision. He said there was no safety for anyone in Pakistan, as the persons at the helm had no control over terrorists. The government had done the inevitable, Grewal added.



Hockey League
Mohali lads defeat Faridkot 4-1
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 20
Mohali lads defeated Faridkot 4-1 in a group 'B' match in the u-14 section in the ongoing Punjab State Inter District Weekend Hockey League for Boys being organised by the Punjab Sports Department on the PAU campus here today.

Mohali drew the first blood in the 17th minute through Simranjot Singh. Three minutes later, Sahil Gill increased the lead and in the 30th minute, Harjot struck to make it 3-0.

They added another goal in the 44th minute.

The lone scorer for Faridkot was Sikander who reduced the margin in the 46th minute which salvaged some pride for the losers.

In the second match, Moga B quelled a challenge before emerging winners 2-1 against Grewal Hockey Academy, Kila Raipur, in a group B encounter in the u-16 section.

Moga B players went ahead in the 15th minute when Deepak sounded the board. They consolidated the lead (2-0) through Lala Singh.

After trailing by two goals till the 60th minute, Kila Raipur boys managed to pierce through the Moga defence line and Gurinder Singh capitalised on the lapse to narrow down the goal difference 2-1.

The last match of the day was played between Shaheed Brig Balwinder Singh Shergill Academy, Barnala, and Patran XI in which the former was triumphant 6-1.

Patran XI lads got the lead when Puneet Sharma scored in the fifth minute. Dimple was on the target in the 26th minute to put Barnala in the lead.

Manpreet Singh struck in the 30th minute to enhance the lead (3-1) while Sandeep made it 4-1 in the 36th minute.

Manpreet Singh scored two more goals which saw Barnala wrap up it quite comfortably (6-1).



Santosh defies age to bag medals
Our Correspondent

Raikot, December 20
Age is no constraint for Santosh Gulati (51), a physical education teacher at Dr Dwarika Nath High School Raikot, as he bagged one gold and two silver medals in the category of plus 50 years at the 29th Punjab Masters athletics meet held recently at Gursagar Mastuana Sahib near Sangrur. She struck gold in javelin throw, and silver in shot put throw and discus throw. As many as 325 students from Punjab schools participated. She is now preparing in the nationals scheduled for February 2009 at Hisar.



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