L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sexual Harassment
PAU Dean faces independent probe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
The Board of Management of Punjab Agricultural University today decided to constitute an independent inquiry into the alleged sexual harassment case involving Dulcha Singh Brar, Dean, Student Welfare (DSW), against a university woman employee at a meeting held at Chandigarh today.

Avtar Singh Dhindsa, a member of the Board of Management, said the committee would be chaired by a retired IAS woman officer whose name would be cleared by the Vice-Chancellor.

The board has taken away the designation of the DSW from Dr Brar. He has been asked to join the Department of Entomology as professor till the completion of the inquiry, sources said. Dr Dulcha Singh Brar had been ordered to be put under suspension and sent to his parent cadre - the Department of Entomology - by Dr M.S. Kang, Vice-Chancellor, earlier this month following the receipt of the report from the university inquiry committee.

Dhindsa said, "While dealing with the case, the board also took a serious note of complainants going to the Press without the completion of any inquiry reports. Many times, even small issues are blown out of proportion. We have decided to frame a policy to deal with harassment cases, especially those pertaining to charges of sexual harassment. Only if someone is dissatisfied with the inquiry report, he should go to the alternate avenues."

The university decided to ask the government for a special cess to help the university meet its pension funds. It was felt that farmers should be levied minimum cess while the arhtiyas should be asked to pay heavier amounts.

It was also decided that the university would conduct interviews for certain top level promotions, including heads. Chief Secretary Ramesh Inder Singh, who is the chairman of the board, could not attend the meeting, the sources added.


Employees’ body blocks entrance to MC office
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
The one and only entrance to the municipal corporation zone-D office remained closed from 10 am to 1 pm here today following a dharna by the Punjab State Municipal Karamchari Dal.

The agitators were protesting against the municipal corporation for failing to implement the local bodies department's directions of regularising the workers of Mohalla Sanitation Committees. Besides, they also opposed the decision of the core committee taken yesterday that the workers should be employed on the DC rate till they could be regularised.

Organisation chairman Vijay Danav said: "We are strongly against the decision of the MC that we should be employed on the rates that was taken yesterday. When the civic body has failed to regularise 179 employees, who are already working on DC rates, then how could we trust them?"

He said the SAD-BJP government had promised us government jobs in their election manifesto and now they have to comply with it. He revealed that the MC's claims that there were around 3,377 workers in the Mohalla sanitation committees were completely wrong. He added that a vigilance enquiry could be also done to verify the facts.

The protesters submitted a 16-point memorandum-cum-reminder to joint commissioner Kuldeep Singh demanding an action within seven days. Interestingly, there are two organisations representing workers of the Mohalla Sanitation Committees. While one is opposing to work on DC rates, the other organisation ie Municipal Karamchari Dal lead by Laxman Dravid is supporting the move.

Dravid said, "After a long time, we have seen a ray of hope that we would be directly employed by the municipal corporation. We have agreed to the term because the civic body has told that we would be regularized soon."

Meanwhile, the lone entrance which was closed caused harassment to the office employees and other visitors who either return empty handed or entered to the office through windows.



Gosain cheated, insulted me: DC
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
A few hours after a ‘‘truce meeting’’ between the Deputy Commissioner and Deputy Speaker over the ongoing controversy on fire cracker sites, the DC Sumer Singh Gurjar today burst out against Satpal Gosain, stating that the latter had ‘‘cheated and insulted’’ him.

The outburst came after a failed meeting of the duo yesterday, mediated by a city resident asking both of them to bury the hatchet. After hugging the DC and posing for a picture gleefully, Gosain said he had not forgiven Gurjar and his allegations stood against him.

Gosain's statement made the DC quite angry. Speaking to The Tribune, he said he had never gone to Gosain to tender an apology. ‘‘His mediators were after me for the last three days, asking me to clear the misunderstanding. When I went there, Gosain said I was like his son. But what happened when he came out? ’’ lashed Gurjar.

He added he also stood by the allegations he made against Gosain. ‘‘Yesterday, I said I withdraw the allegations, but today I say he asked for 100 cracker sites, which I was not in a position to allot to his supporters.’’

Meanwhile, the mediator tried yet another bid in the morning to make both of them sit together. He called them over breakfast and both met once again.

Even after the second meeting, Gosain said he would not withdraw his complaint against the DC. ‘‘Now so much has been done by the government over my allegations. I cannot back out. I will face this inquiry and wait for its findings,’’ said Gosain. Gosain said he was invited to the mediator's house by his daughter. When he went there, the DC was already there. ‘‘I do not know what was the story behind today's meeting. But the outcome is that I will not withdraw my complaint.’’

With the allegations and counter-allegations levelled by each other once again, the controversy has only failed to die down. All eyes are now on the report of the inquiry report that would be submitted on December 30.



Alive man shown dead
Forgery case unearthed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
A case of forgery has come to light wherein a resident of Phagwara had shown an alive man dead by procuring a fake death certificate and got his will transferred in his name.

Addressing a press conference here today, DC Sumer Singh Gurjar said he had complained to the SSP, Ludhiana, against Ashok Kumar, who had shown Tilak Raj to be dead. The accused also got a fake voter ID card and got attested an affidavit from a Suvidha centre and got the will transferred in his name.

The DC said the accussed defrauded not only the attesting authority but also the local Registrar, Birth and Death, Election Department and Executive Magistrate.

The administration had written to the SSP to get Ashok Kumar booked after the fraud was unearthed.

In yet another case, a missing man's property was also sold off by preparing his fake voter ID card. Sukhdev Singh had been missing for the past eight years.

The accused, who the DC refused to identify, also allegedly took Rs 28 lakh from the buyer of the land. The administration was not divulging details about the accused, as he was yet to be arrested.



Hotels shut against luxury tax
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
Protesting against the luxury tax, hotels today remained closed and put black flags on their establishments. Hotels throughout Punjab remained closed on a call given by the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Punjab. Members also took out a protest rally from Bhadaur House. Hoteliers ridiculed the 8 per cent luxury tax on room rent and 10 per cent tax on banqueting.

The introduction of the luxury tax on hotels has come as a shock to the hoteliers in the state. The announcement came close after the recent Mumbai terror strike that had already proved to be a nightmare for hoteliers all over the nation, as the hotel industry witnessed a sudden crash in the business.

Amarvir Singh, general secretary of the association, said they had been asked to pay the 8 per cent luxury tax for rooms the rent of which is above Rs 200 and 10 per cent from banquet halls the rent of which is more than Rs 5,000. The state government has directed the hotel owners to get them registered by December 25 and deposit the first instalment of the tax by January, 2009.

In addition to this, while rest of the states are paying 4 per cent tax, hoteliers in Punjab have to shell out 12.5 per cent VAT. In the wake of the imposition of the latest tax, the industry will now have to pay 35 per cent taxes in all.

"During the ongoing recession when the government of every country is providing concessions to the industry, our government has made a mockery of the situation by imposing the luxury tax on the hotels," said N.S. Nanda, patron of the association. The small hotels and restaurants had come up here to cater to budget class tourists who wished to pay moderate room tariff.

Suresh Kapoor, senior vice-president, added that if the government wanted to impose the luxury tax on the hotels, it should be imposed on the pattern as in Haryana and Chandigarh. The luxury tax there is imposed for rooms the rent of which is above Rs 2,000.

Another member Jagdish Anand said it would be the first time in the history that hotels would be shut. "While the Central government is giving relief to the hotel industry, the state government is giving them a step-motherly treatment by imposing more taxes," he added.



‘Miracle drops’ cure eye ailments
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
Miracle is not to fly in air or to walk on water but it is to achieve extraordinary with your feet on earth, according to a Chinese adage.

Iqbal Singh, a resident of Kulianwal village in Ludhiana, is the man known for having cured minor and major eye problems with herbal medicine since 1980.

The medicine having cured every eye-related problem of the people from Ludhiana and far off states across India has travelled overseas. The “sewadars” at various gurdwaras in UK, USA, Canada and Australia are administering the eye drops to people suffering from short sightedness, far sightedness, glaucoma, cataract and partial blindness.

Interestingly, some of the senior officials from district administration and their family members have also taken the medicine.

Octogenarian Iqbal Singh claimed that the eye drops were extracts from flowers and herbs prepared with honey as per a formula of Ayurveda. “I got this from a saint at a historic gurdwara in Macchiwara who took a promise from me to give the medicine free of cost and I have done my best to give my services to the mankind," said Iqbal Singh.

Kamal, a resident of Salem Tabri, stated that he wore spectacles with number 2.5 two months back, but now his eyesight is normal and he can see clearly without spectacles.

Similarly, Nancy, a student of Khalsa College for Women, said: "I had become weary of wearing spectacles and contact lenses for years but having taken the medicine for a month I can already do without my lenses.”

When asked, Dr Ravinder Vatsyayan, a city-based Ayurveda doctor, said that such cases of mass following can be termed as “mass hysteria”. "Acharya Sushrut wrote 19 chapters on eye diseases in Ayurveda 2000 years ago, thus there should be transparency about the product following the claims. The medicine must be sent to Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic and Siddha so that its authenticity can be confirmed and if it is good it should be made a patent," said Dr Vatsyayan.

Dr G.S. Bajwa, head, department of ophthalmology, at DMCH said that it is a farce and such practices should be banned. "The authorities should take strict action against people who are carrying on with unethical practices as they don't have any credibility. They just mislead people in the name of free medicines,” he added.



Deaths 4 months ago could be murders: Report
Rakesh Gupta

Jagraon, December 23
About four months ago, nine persons were found unconscious near Nanaksar.

Two of them died at Civil Hospital, Jagraon. Now, the viscera report suggests something fishy. Traces of chemicals used as poison are found in the viscera report of the deceased.

The matter goes back to August 28-29 this year when nine persons were found unconscious near Nanaksar. The reported victims were devotees, who had come to attend a religious function at Nanaksar, a religious place.

The victims were bought to Civil Hospital. One was referred to Ludhiana. Two of them were identified as Jagir Kaur and Gajjan Singh. Nahar Singh was referred to Ludhiana.

The Jagraon police earlier termed it to be a case of heart attack and then proceeded under Sections 174 Cr PC on the statements of the relatives, terming it to be a case of dehydration.

Things took a sudden turn when in the viscera report of Jagir Kaur, traces of organo phosphorus compound (a kind of pesticide used as poison) and pesticides were reportedly found. What compounded the situation was the fact that the viscera report was delivered to the Jagraon police station in the first week of November. However till date, no investigation has been started by the officials concerned.

SSP (Ludhiana Rural) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar and DSP Jagraon Bhupinder Singh expressed their ignorance about the existence of such report. Moreover, the SHO concerned Pritam Singh was also unaware of this report.

However, all these officials assured a prompt inquiry.

A senior official, on the condition of anonymity, said they received the viscera report on December 5 and inquiry in this matter had started, but the family members of the deceased do not blame anybody and do not consider this a murder. Rather they term the incident to be a case of pesticide inhalation.

The matter does not end here. One wonders how the Jagraon police termed the nine as isolated but similar cases to be that of massive dehydration or heart attacks. Now in the light of the recent case, it could be considered a major lapse on part of the police, in which five persons completed the term of life imprisonment for murdering a person when he never died.

The viscera report of Gajjan Singh is still awaited as per records of Civil Hospital Jagraon.



DC-Gosain Row
Residents’ faith shaken
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
The ongoing tiff between Vidhan Sabha deputy speaker Satpal Gosain and Ludhiana deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar has belied the claims of transparent governance by the state government.

The issue started during Diwali festivities when Gosain levelled allegations of corruption against Gurjar stating he wanted to be bribed for allotment of cracker sites in the city.

While both the parties are engaged in levelling allegations and counter-allegations, none of the government functionaries has tried to intervene and solve the matter.

The issue reached Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal also, who ordered an inquiry by divisional commissioner, Patiala division, when the post was lying vacant. It took some time for an official to be posted as the commissioner and the inquiry to be initiated.

Soon after the inquiry started, the DC, too, levelled allegations against Gosain that he wanted 100 cracker stalls from him for his supporters and he could not oblige him. This angered Gosain who termed him a “corrupt” official.

Washing of each others' dirty linen in open has made the city residents angry. “We are made to feel that nobody is upright. Everybody is out to make money. We are shocked at the reports that many political leaders had their share in the cracker sites. Was it for this that our freedom fighters laid down their lives? It is shameful. We are disturbed,” said S.S. Chana, a retired bureaucrat.

The residents said every other day, there were media reports about one levelling allegation against the other. “The government is silent? It should have taken some measures so that the issue was solved immediately. It is a blot on the face of government,” said a resident.

He added the entire issue spoke a million words that nobody in the government was bothered about allegations of corruption against a public servant even though Gosain was shouting on the top of his voice about it. “The government was well-equipped to find out who was wrong and where. It should have intervened and saved the image of district administration,” said another resident.



In Retrospect
2008, a year of ups and downs for industry
Charu Chhibber

The year 2008 brought with it unprecedented ups and downs. Till now an alien phenomenon, the global economic meltdown badly hit the backbone of Ludhiana industry. Things turned devastating when the economic crisis in the US and Europe started to cast its ugly shadow on other countries as well and hit the domestic industry hard.

Whether it was the textile industry, hosiery, steel forging, yarn, spare parts, engineering goods, cotton industry, realty or the stock market, the industry had to face a tough time with negative growth, losses, numerous units facing closure, forced lay offs, slashing of production and cost cutting.

The stock market crash upset the finances of investors around the world, in which city investors also lost crores of rupees. In some cases, individuals lost as much as Rs 50 crore. However, the meltdown proved to be a blessing in disguise for the common man as the prices of essential commodities dipped, drastically, in some cases. Fuel, metals, both yellow as well as white, automobiles, realty prices fell.

The industry had witnessed brisk business as usual in the first half with fat kitty of orders from all quarters, overseas as well as domestic, with the last three months bringing in uncertainty and fluctuations. Worst hit were Ludhiana exporters with importers from the two major markets, namely US and Europe, cancelling orders and no fresh orders trickling in.

The slowdown raised serious doubts whether Ludhiana's identity on the world map as Asia's largest cycle and hosiery industry was shortlived with the meltdown resulting in as much as 55 per cent dip in business over the last couple of months. Trade pundits expressed concerns that if conditions remained the same, a large number of units would be forced to close operations and nearly two to three lakh workers of the cycle industry and almost the same number in hosiery industry would be rendered jobless in the coming months.

However, the industry managed to pull through the crisis of 2008 as the global conditions failed to influence the demand in the domestic market. But the exporters faced harrowing times due to the slowdown in the international market.

The small-scale industry lost much in terms of numbers. Almost 30 per cent units in Ludhiana became sick in the wake of the present global scenario, with the government doing very little for the sector. The financial packages announced by the government have failed to take care of the small scale industry which is struggling for survival.

"The year 2009 will be the worst year for the industry. So far, no damage has been done. The real crisis will come next year when the industry will be forced to resort to lay off at a much larger scale, production will fall further and more units will be forced to shut operations. Whatever has happened in the last two months, will happen on a much larger scale," says Manish Awasthi, managing director, Sportking Knitwear, Ludhiana.

He added that in order to save the economy, the government should focus on stimulating the domestic market instead of focusing on exports. "Things will go from bad to worse in 2009 and I don't see any improvement in the situation before 2010," he remarked.

President of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industries P.D. Sharma is also of the view that things would worsen in 2009. "At present, we are just under the shadow of the global economic meltdown, the real crisis is still to touch India, which will happen in 2009," he said.

He added that the Central, state and local governments have been very apathetic towards the industry this year. "In order to bail the industry out of troubled waters, the government should provide adequate finance, raw material at reasonable prices besides the fiscal stimulus packages. The government has, so far, not done anything for the industry, let's hope it will come out of the deep slumber and provide some relief in the New Year," he opined.

Expressing a different view, Charanjit Singh Vishivkarma, president of the United Cycle Parts Manufacturers' Association, said he thinks there was no need to panic and the New Year would see India emerging unscathed by the global slowdown, as he says, "The industry mainly caters to the domestic market so it won't be affected much by the happenings in the international market. Yes, exports will be affected but the domestic market will continue to do business as usual."

He added that the government's endeavours to save the economy will surely bear fruit but "A little more is needed in the form of financial help and the industry will be just fine," he added.



Canadian MPs for change in visa policy
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 23
To impress upon the Canadian government to withdraw certain amendments in its visa policy that has “complicated” the procedure for Punjabi immigrants, five MPs, led by Sukh Dhaliwal, will approach the Canadian high commission soon.

This was disclosed by Canadian MP Sukh Dhaliwal during a function organised by residents to felicitate him at Ghabadi village on Monday. Paramjit Singh Ghabadi, director milk plant, Ludhiana, presided over the function.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Dhaliwal admitted that the recent amendments would complicate the procedure for entry into Canada. “Now, when people from our homeland have approached us to do something to make the regulations lenient, we have decided to take up the issue with authorities concerned in the Canadian government," said Dhaliwal, adding that he along with four other parliamentarians would visit the Canadian high commission on January 5, 2009.

Acknowledging concern of the people for Punjabis settled in Canada, Dhaliwal called upon the people of the border state to follow teachings of Guru Granth Sahib and other holy books of the Hindus and Muslims. He regretted that natives of land of Guru had failed to understand significance of universal brotherhood in preservation of economy of their states.

"It is surprising that people settled in Canada have adopted teachings of Guru Granth Sahib and live like brothers, but natives of this land of Guru continue fighting on petty issues, thus affecting the economy of the state," commented Dhaliwal.



Insurance staff hold rally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
Insurance employees under the banner of the Northern Zone Insurance Employees’ Association, Class-I, went on strike against the introduction of two separate Bills in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha yesterday. The employees staged a rally in front of LIC Divisional Office, Dugri. LIC pensioners and leaders of Class-II Federation joined them.

Addressing the gathering, Amarjit Singh, divisional secretary, termed it as “Black Law.” He said when there was a need for regulatory regime in the wake of global financial meltdown; the government was trying to deregulate the sector. He said the government was betraying the legacy of Indira Gandhi and Jawahar Lal Nehru, who were all for the public sector undertaking. He said the government was trying to help the multinational companies at the cost of the public sector undertaking through this Bill.

B.L. Bhatia, secretary, LIC Pensioners Association, said the proposal to change the investment norms would jeopardize the safety of the funds of the policyholders. “The decision to allow the public sector general insurance companies to approach the capital market is aimed at privatisation of the successful companies,” he added.



Bairagi mandal to field nominee from Sangrur
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 23
Accusing the successive governments of ignoring interests of their community, office-bearers of the All-India Bairagi Mahan Mandal have declared to field their candidates in coming Lok Sabha elections.

The organisation has staked claim on the Congress ticket for the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat. Decision to field candidates was taken at a meeting held at Jandali road here last evening. Krishan Kumar Bawa, chairman, Housefed, Punjab, presided over the meeting.

Claiming that constituents of the organisation had been playing a vital role in the election campaign of candidates fielded by the Congress in various elections, the office-bearers of the outfit declared that they would launch candidates in certain segments, including Sangrur parliamentary constituency. The Bairagi leaders claimed that at least 1 lakh members of their fraternity lived in area falling under Sangrur parliamentary constituency.

The organization also demanded 33 per cent reservation for candidates from the backward classes, whose population exceeded 40 per cent of the total population of the state.

Justifying the decision to contest election, Krishan Kumar Bawa maintained that the office-bearers of the organization had found that genuine demands of the community could not be fulfilled.

"We have been impressing upon the successive Chief Ministers to declare a holiday to commemorate the sacrifice of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur and help us construct a bhawan in his memory. But nothing was done in this direction," rued Bawa, adding that the organization had decided to manage resources to construct Banda Bahadur Bhawan on its own.

He threatened that employees and students, owing allegiance to the organization, would proceed on mass leaves in case the government did not declared at least one holiday on either of the three days; Sirhind Fateh Diwas (May 12) Martyrdom Day (June 9) and the birth day of the martyr (October 16).



From Schools
City schools celebrate Christmas with gusto 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
Students of Ram Lal Bhasin Public School, Phase I, Dugri, organised a colourful programme to celebrate Christmas. It reflected upon the teachings of Jesus Christ and his life. The tiny tots of KG wing sang carols and delighted everyone. The students attired as Santa Claus attracted the attention of the audience. Tarannum Fatma, headmistress, appreciated the students for their performance. S Verma, director, wished the students Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Swiss International Public School celebrated Christmas with great fervour. All the children came dressed as Santa Claus. Sweets and gifts were distributed among students. Principal Daisy Pruthi explained the importance of the day to the children.

Tiny tots of Tagore Public School, nursery wing, celebrated Christmas with great zest and zeal. Children were told about the importance of children and gifts were distributed to them.

This day was celebrated with abundance of joy and zeal at Ryan International School and Saraswati Modern School.

Christmas was celebrated at Little Champ play way school, where children decorated the Christmas tree. The animated Christmas movie was shown to the children. Kuldeep Kaur, Principal, explained the significance of the festival. She laid emphasis on the all round development of the students.

The pre primary wing of GNIP Public School celebrated Christmas with great fervour. Childre danced and sang Christmas carols. P. Kahlon, Director blessed the children and B.Gulati, Principal, distributed sweets among them.

Children of Small Wonders Nursery school celebrated Christmas today. Gaiety marked the occasion with school's activity room specially decked up with Christmas tree, bells, balloons and colourful buntings. Neeti Dewan, principal, distributed sweets among the children.

Little Blossom Nursery School and GRD Academy also celebrated Christmas with great enthusiasm.

Meanwhile, Christmas carnival was organised at MGM Public School. Various stalls of interesting games, including eatables stalls were set up in the school. The students and parents were in a festive mood. Gajjan Singh Thind, director, appreciated the efforts of the students as well as teachers.

Kids’ carnival

To bring out the hidden talent in tiny tots, Jesus' Sacred Heart School, south city, organised a kids carnival at its campus. Around 300 students from 15 eminent palyway and pre-nursery schools had been invited for the same. They participated in various competitions like fancy dress, best hair style etc. The winners were given trophies by Amarjit Kaur Sehgal, Chairperson. There were exciting games like scooter ride for the little ones. Pawan Sehgal, Director, congratulated the winners and Anju Banga, Principal, thanked all the guests and parents for being the part of the occasion.



Cop thrashing: Congmen meet SSP
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 23
A delegation of Congress leaders led by Raikot MLA Harmohinder Singh and Gurdeep Singh Bhaini met Ludhiana SSP (rural) Gurpreet Singh Bhuller and apprised him of the case in which a cop was beaten up for arresting a proclaimed offender.

They stated that the former sarpanch and a Congress worker of Lakha village, the main accused, were around when this incident took place. Whereas Maha Singh, another accused, was at Samana village when this incident took place. They urged to get a probe conducted and trace the exact locations from where the accused had made calls. They added the case was politically motivated. Darshan Singh, Maha Singh and Mohan Singh along with their accomplices were booked for beating up Jugraj Singh, a cop, who was appointed in the proclaimed offender cell at Jagraon on December 19.

Jugraj Singh has in a complaint lodged with the police alleged that the accused had beaten him up because he was instrumental in arresting Malkait Singh, a proclaimed offender.



Land Dispute: Five injured in group clash

Ludhiana, December 23
Five persons, including two women, sustained injuries in a group clash that took place at Jageerpur on the Hambran Road today. Lakhwinder Singh is in legal possession of the 2 kanal at Jageerpur.

Lakhwinder alleged, “I along with my family members and wife were at home when Jageerpur sarpanch Inderjeet, Jyoti Ram along with 20 to 25 persons brandishing sharp-edged weapons entered the house and assaulted us.” He alleged that though the land dispute case was going on in the court, even than the other group tried to grab the plot by threatening them.

However, Bimla Rani from the Jyoti Ram group revealed that a few days ago Lakhwinder’s men robbed his son off his belongings and Rs 20,000. “We got a case registered against Lakhwinder and his men, so he attacked us today in retaliation. Besides, Lakhwinder’s uncle also fired four rounds in air to threaten us,” she alleged. — TNS



Study circle activists vow to fight social evils
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 23
Twenty functionaries of the Guru Gobind Singh study circle from Gurdaspur took a pledge to fight against social evils of female foeticide, dowry, drug addiction, corruption and obscenity and a concerted drive for this purpose will be launched from Bhaini Mian Khan in Kahnuwan block of Gurdaspur soon.

The study circle activists were attending a two-day camp to develop organisational skills and leadership qualities here today.

In his opening remarks, chief organiser of the body Ram Singh and deputy chief organiser Jatinderpal Singh dwelt upon a purposeful life and service activities. Dr Pushpinder Singh spoke on organisational inspiration in the context of the Sikh history while exhorting the volunteers to serve with dedication and devotion.

Director of youth services Satnam Singh Sallopuri recounted qualities of good leaders and workers.



Blood camp in martyr’s memory

Ludhiana, December 23
The Ivanna Institute of Fashion Technology and Hotel Management in association with the Red Cross blood bank organised a blood donation camp in which 35 units of blood were collected.

This camp was conducted with an aim to enlightening the youth and reminding them of their responsibilities towards the nation. Blood donation is a cause that evokes patriotism and compassion towards fellow brothers. — TNS



Navaldeep shines

Doraha, December 23
Navaldeep Singh, a student Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, has brought laurels to the institute by winning gold medal in the Panjab University Inter-College Power Lifting Championship organized on the university campus recently.

He secured the first prize in the heavy weight (95 Kg) category by lifting a weight of 657 Kgs. Navaldeep is now eagerly looking towards the inter-varsity competitions that are approaching and for which he has already started his regular practice. — OC



Hockey League
Mixed luck for Roomi lads
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 23
Roomi XI lads had a mixed luck as they outplayed Amloh 2-0 in the u-14 years’ section, however, lost tamely 1-6 against Faridkot in the u-16 years section in the ongoing Punjab State Inter-District Hockey League for Boys being organised by the Punjab Sports Department at the Prithipal Singh Memorial AstroTurf Stadium of the Punjab Agricultural University campus here today.

In the first match of group B, Roomi XI surged ahead in the 28th minute through a field goal scored by Harpreet Singh. Sukhdev Singh converted a penalty corner in the 45th minute to help their team to wrap up the issue 2-0. In another group B encounter (u-16), Faridkot lads proved too good for Roomi XI whom they outclassed 6-1.

Roomi XI went ahead in the 10th minute when Ramandeep Singh scored a field goal. They squandered away the lead three minutes later as Anmol found the target to level the score.

Faridkot boys pumped in five more goals through Ravi (22nd minute), Amandeep Singh (38th minute), Karamjeet Singh (40th minute), Amandeep Singh (53rd minute) and Amrinder Singh (59th minute) which sealed Roomi XI lads' fate 6-1.



Punjab TT Meet
Vineet, Manisha emerge champs
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 23
Vineet Chopra of State Bank of Patiala and Manisha from Patiala registered victories in the men's and women’s section, respectively, in the 49th Punjab State Inter-District and Open Table Tennis Championship organised by the Ludhiana District Table Tennis Association (LDTTA) that concluded at the indoor hall of Punjab Agricultural University here today.

In the men's final, Vineet trounced Vikram Aditya of Amritsar 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8 and 13-11 to clinch the title, whereas in the women's final, Manisha scored a win in straight sets against Mandakini from Amritsar 11-8, 11-9, 11-7.

In the cadet section (girls), Neha of Jalandhar defeated Sania of Ropar 11-8, 11-5 and 11-9 to bag the top honours while the boy's section, Roopam of Jalandhar faced a stiff resistance from Karanvir from Patiala whom he overpowered 4-11, 11-6, 11-8 and 12-10 to lay his hands on the winner's trophy.

In the junior section (girls), Lovepreet from Ropar beat her city mate, Kanchan 11-7, 11-9 and 11-8 to bag the title and in the boy's section, Kartik Dogra from Ropar got the better of Vishal Kapoor of Amritsar 11-8, 11-9 and 11-9 to emerge as champion.

In the youth boys section, Hitesh Dogra outplayed Rahul Malhotra of Amritsar 11-7, 11-8 and 11-9 to win the title and Ankansha of Amritsar outplayed Lovepreet of Ropar 11-8, 11-8 and 11-9 to clinch the title.

Pramod Ban, Commandant, IRB distributed the prizes while Surinder Singh Ryait, managing ddirector of G S Auto International was the chief guest on this occasion.

Dr Tejwant Singh, Director, Students Welfare, PAU, Surinder Dhir, former assistant director, sports, Punjab were also present at the prize distribution function.



Gagandeep to lead Punjab squad
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 23
Gagandeep Singh Jarkhar, a Jarkhar Hockey Academy trainee, has been named captain of the Punjab squad for the forthcoming 54th National Schools Hockey Championship (u-17) to be organised at Nellore in Andhra Pradesh from December 26 to December 31.

After the coaching-cum-training camp for the 30 probables organised at Mata Sahib Kaur Stadium, Jarkhar, concludes the selection panel headed by Rupinder Singh Ravi, assistant education officer (sports), Ludhiana, picked up 16 members for the championship.

The names of the selected players are: Gagandeep Singh Jarkhar (captain), Navjot Singh Grewal, Navtej Singh and Gurpreet Singh from Jarkhar Academy, Harsimarjit Singh (vice-captain), Harjot Singh, Simran Singh, Bachhittar Singh, Harmanjot Singh, Tarandeep Singh, Gagandeep Singh junior, Sukhdev Singh, Sports Authority of India (SAI), Patiala, Rakesh Kumar and Devinder Singh from Grewal Hockey Academy, Kila Raipur, Manpreet Singh from Moga, Balvinder Singh from Ropar.

Ravi Kumar from Faridkot, Lala Singh from Moga have been chosen as extras. Gurvinder Singh (Kila Raipur), Dalvinder Singh Minhas (Jarkahr) will accompany the team as coaches while Amrik Singh Koomkalan has been appointed manager.



Jagjit Singh to lead Ludhiana
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 23
Jagjit Singh of Kila Raipur has been selected to lead Ludhiana in the Senior Punjab State Hockey Championship to be held at Hoshiarpur from December 23 to 27, according to Ajay Pal Singh Punia, general secretary, District Hockey Association (DHA), Ludhiana. Ludhiana play its first match on December 24 against Taran Tarn.

Other members of the team are Inderjit Singh, Gurvinder Singh, Sumit Pal Singh, Simranjit Singh, Harminder Singh, Ramanpreet Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Sukhbir Singh, Gurdev Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Manjinder Singh, Tarunpreet Singh, Tejinder Pal Singh, Prabhpreet Singh, Hirdaypal Singh, Karni Grewal and Malkit Singh.



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