L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


3 held for abducting, killing 6-yr-old
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 29
The police has arrested three persons for allegedly kidnapping and killing a child for ransom. The accused, Mukesh, Amit and Mohammad Ijaz, all migrants from Bihar, were caught by the Mundiya police while they were trying to flee after taking ransom.

Chowki in charge Varunjit Singh said the accused had abducted six-year-old boy Vikas from Mundiya on December 27 while he was playing outside his house.

The prime accused, Mukesh, was a neighbour of the victim’s family. Jatinder Kumar, father of the deceased, said to evade suspicion, Mukesh also helped him in searching for the missing boy.

It was during interrogation that the accused revealed the horrifying abduction story.

According to the police, the accused took the boy to Hajipur in Bihar and after hiding him for 10 days, they murdered him and threw his body on the track.

They then contacted the boy’s father and demanded Rs 5 lakh as ransom. Jatinder Kumar, who is working in a tyre manufacturing unit, could not arrange that kind of money and the deal was stuck at Rs 3 lakh.

They threatened him that if he informed the police, they would kill the boy. However, the police came to know about the deal from the call details and laid a trap to nab the accused. Last evening when the accused came to collect the ransom, the police arrested all three accused.

Meanwhile, the family of the deceased has gone to Bihar to perform the last rites of the boy.


Robber Raja on the loose; jewellers panic
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 29
Panic gripped jewellers after the news of the escape of notorious robber-cum-murderer, Rajeev, alias Raja, who had allegedly robbed and murdered several city jewellers reached here this afternoon.

Raja gave the slip to the police at the Barnala bus stand today when he was being brought from the Bathinda jail to a Ludhiana court for his appearance in murder cases. He was arrested by the Ludhiana police in July 2006 and he had been languishing in the jail since.

The jewellers, who had been targeted by Rajeev and his paramour, Pooja, alias Neeru, had heaved a sigh of relief when the duo were arrested.

The SSP, RK Jaiswal, said there was no reason to panic as they had stepped up vigil.

Rajeev had been involved in three major robbery and murder incidents in the city. The 28-year-old Raja, apart from being involved in the bone-chilling murder of Rajesh, owner of Raghav Jewellers, Ludhiana, also led the gang that killed city-based jeweller Darshan Singh and his wife Paramjit Kaur in their house in 2006. He had also reportedly killed Jaswant Rai of Hemraj Jewellers in July 2005.

The then DGP, SS Virk, had stated that Rajeev was one of the craftiest criminals of the state. He was a meticulous planner, a precise operator and a ruthless executor of crime, Virk had stated.

He and Neeru not only frequented the city after killing jewellers, but also would do the recce of houses of other jewellers.

Rajeev was a resident of the Tajganj area. The police had claimed that he would take up odd jobs and had even worked as a reporter for a local cable network.

Rajeev was stealing vehicles when he met Neeru. Both then decided to target jewellers for one big strike and made three jewellers their victim.



Fake don’s extortion bid fails
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 29
Taking a cue from Anupam Kher starrer film “C-Company”, a domestic help along with his uncle tried to extort money from an industrialist.

The accused have been identified as Ashwani Kumar and his uncle Rajinder Kumar.

It was in the wee hours of January 26 that Dhruv Aggarwal, son of industrialist Sudarshan Aggarwal, received a call on his mobile from a man who identified himself as Anwar Khan, a sharp shooter of D-company and threatened to kill his family if they failed to arrange for money.

The caller told the victim to wait for his call. On January 28, the accused called again and told him to arrange for Rs 20 lakh in two hours and wait for further directions.

According to the police, it tried to track the location of the caller, but the accused kept changing his mobile and sim card to dodge the police.

The accused again called at around 7 pm and told Dhruv to put the money in a polythene bag and throw it in a park in front of the Hero Heart DMC.

The police laid a trap to nab the criminals and after a wait of nearly three hours, the accused arrived at the spot to pick up the bag, but were overpowered by the police.

The police recovered the money and two mobiles from their possession.

The police said Ashwani Kumar had worked as a domestic help for the industrialist for about 25 days two years ago. He was sacked and since then he had been planning to settle score with him.

He told the police that he made an extortion bid after watching the film. The accused was working as a salesman at a department chain in a mall.



Dharna has Cong divided
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 29
The much-hyped Congress dharna at the municipal corporation’s zone-A office turned out to be a flop show as neither the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Mahinder Singh Kaypee, nor Congress committee general secretary Manish Tewari turned up for the protest.

Even some councillors, including leader of opposition Prem Mittal and Parminder Mehta, refrained from the protest that was organised on the call of the District Congress Committee chief, Jagmohan Sharma, in the wake of notices to residents and shopkeepers on the Ferozepur road and Jalandhar bypass to clear the national highway on the directions of the High Court.

The leaders said instead of chalking out plans for bringing more family members into the political power, the Badals should focus on development.

Jagmohan Sharma said the Congress would not allow the government to render residents shelter-less.

Interestingly, factions in the Congress have difference of opinion on the matter. While on January 21, Jagmohan claimed that the dharna would be held in the presence of senior leaders like Kaypee, the other faction had refuted these claims.

Talking to The Tribune, some leaders who didn’t participate in the dharna, said since the matter was in court, there was no question of participating in a protest which could be considered as contempt of court.

They said the matter could have been solved by a discussion in the Assembly and by moving a Bill where the government should be asked to adopt the policy of Haryana.



Harassment Case Dr Brar reinstated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 29
Putting an end to the uncertainty prevailing over the office of Director Students' Welfare, Punjab Agricultural University here, the vice-chancellor Dr MS Kang, today allowed Dr Dulcha Singh Brar, who was suspended following a complaint of sexual harassment by a female employee, to join back on the post (DSW).

In compliance to the order of Punjab and Haryana High Court in CM Number 1163 of 2009 in CWP number 865 dated January 20 and 21, 2009, the vice-chancellor, today allowed Dr Brar to join the post of DSW with immediate effect, during the pendency of the writ petition. The orders have been issued by the registrar PAU.

Though Dr Brar had submitted his joining report to the vice-chancellor following a stay order of Punjab and Haryana High Court against transfer of petitioner to the department of entomology on Januray 24 but authorities had not allowed him to join as the administration (PAU) had not received the official copy of the order.

Meanwhile, Dr Brar has to reply to the charge-sheet till February 5. Depending on his reply, university may or may not constitute an inquiry committee against Brar. It may be mentioned here that Dr Brar was initially suspended from the post following the report submitted on sexual harassment case by the probing committee, headed by Dr Neelam Grewal, dean College of Home Science, to the vice-chancellor. But later, action was revoked by the board of management, who had ordered authorities to let Dr Brar join his parent cadre-department of entomology.

According to the order, the High Court has directed a stay order on Brar's repatriation till February 20, the next date of hearing of the case.



Language no bar for Tulip
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 29
Tulip Joshi looked scintillating in black-grey dress and complementing her dress was her fair complexion and dark eyes. Daughter of a European father and a Gujarati mother, Tulip has the best of worlds.

She was here for the music release of her forthcoming Punjabi movie “Jag Jeondeyan de Mele”. A fan of Punjabi music, she was excited to work in a Punjabi movie in lead role against Harbhajan Mann.

She made entry into the Bollywood with Yash Chopra’s “Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai” and after working in a Malayalam film, she is set to foray into Punjabi film arena. “I choose films that appeal to my instincts. Language is no bar for me,” she smiles.

Malayalam films are closer to reality. “‘Mission 90 Days’, a Malayalam film, was the story of an Army officer and was based on a realistic subject,” she adds. While her forthcoming Hindi movies include “Daddy Cool”, “Runway” and “Nischay Kar Apni Jeet Karo”.

“Runway”, Tulip says, is based on the life of a bar dancer. “Movies generally depict the sad side of the lives of bar dancers, but this one portrays the brighter aspect of the protagonist’s life,” she quips.

She looks to do an array of roles and does not want to stick to just one kind of roles. “I am doing Hindi, Punjabi and Malayalam movies. Language is no barrier and I want to do a variety of roles so that I can get me more opportunity to showcase my acting abilities,” she adds.

Tulip terms her experience working with director Pooja Bhatt in “Dhokha” fascinating. “Although she is known to be a hard taskmaster, she brings the best out of you,” she adds.

Music of Punjabi film released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 29
The music of forthcoming Punjabi flick “Jag Jeondeyan de Mele” was released here today. The star cast of the film - Harbhajan Mann, Tulip Joshi and debutant Gulzar Inder Singh Chahal - were present at the ceremony.

Mann said the movie would prove to be a milestone in the Punjabi film industry. “We have used foreign locales and the recording has been done in best studios. The audience will see the difference,” he added.

Legends of Punjabi music Babu Singh Maan and Harbhajan Mann have also come together. “Ishq to zara bach ke raho” has been shot on Bollywood theme.

“For the first time, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has given his voice for a Punjabi movie, while the music has been composed by Sandesh Sandhilya, Aman Hayer and Babloo Kumar,” added Harbhajan.

He added that winds of change were around as more and more people were listening to Punjabi music and watching such films. “Now there is a Punjabi song in every Hindi film,” he quipped.



Two convicted of killing friend
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 29
The Additional Sessions Judge, Kishore Kumar, has sentenced Jagjit Pal (20) of Sarabha Nagar and Onkar Singh(22) of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar on the charges of killing their friend Ramandeep Singh (19) for money.

Delivering the verdict, the Judge held that the prosecution had proved the charges against the accused.

A case had been registered against the accused in 2006 following the statement of Jaspal Singh, father of the deceased. The complainant had submitted that his son had gone in his Skoda car and went missing. He appeared to have been kidnapped with the intention of murder by the accused.

A few days later, the body of Ramandeep was found and the accused were arrested on the next day of the registration of an FIR. The police had recovered several items belonging to the victim from their possession. 



MC engineers threaten mass leave
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 29
Engineers of the municipal corporation protested against staff shortage by wearing black badges to work today.

All the engineers, including JEs, SDEs and XENs, wore the badges throughout the day and threatened to go on mass leave from February 4 if their demand was not met.

They said the protest was being undertaken by engineers of all five MCs of the state.

They said the shortage of engineers was hitting work and they were being held responsible for any deficiency. The local bodies department was taking strict action against their colleagues for no fault of theirs. Work was suffering because there was not enough manpower.

Earlier, they had held a protest in December. Mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura had met them and told them that he would take up their case with the local bodies department, but nothing happened. 



Arya College teachers stage protest
Seek reimbursement of arrears
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 29
The ongoing tussle between Arya College Teachers' Union and the management, once again, was witnessed during the annual prize distribution function of college here today. The ACTU had been threatening to boycott and protest during the annual function for long, if management failed to reimburse the pending arrears of two years.

Even the chief guest Manoranjan Kalia, minister of Local Bodies, Punjab could not make it convenient to attend the function due to important commitments. In his absence, GS Ghuman, Commissioner Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, presided over and announced a grant of Rs 3 lakh to the college.

The protest was led by the president ACTU RP Sabharwal, vice-president PS Bhogal, Parveen Sharma and PL Behl. The agitated teachers raised slogans against the management and principal for not fulfilling their long pending demand of clearing arrears in the light of counter affidavit given by the Secretary Higher Education, Government of Punjab Anjali Bhawra in the High Court wherein she had stated that college had been given Rs 19.5 crore with effect from January 1, 1996.

Sabharwal added that this amount included more than Rs 1.38 crore due to the revision of pay scales. "It is important to note here that this additional amount related to the year 1996- December 31, 2000. In the recent counter affidavit submitted on January 23, Bawra had made it clear that nothing was due towards Arya College,” said Prof Sabharwal further adding that management still refused to clear the arrears to teachers.

Meanwhile, Dr SM Sharma, college principal, highlighted the achievements of college students in academics and curricular activities during the current session. Other guests included president of managing committee Vijay Sathi, and other members of management. 



Pay Commission
Pvt schools to hike fee
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 29
Privately managed unaided schools are finding it hard to cope with the heavy burden of salaries to the teachers as recommended by the 6th Pay Commission. There is no other alternative left for the schools than to increase the fee structure.

According to principal RS Patial, DAV Public School, with the implementation of the Pay Commission, there will be extra burden of Rs 16.5 lakh per month. He further added that PGT teachers will get a hike of Rs 7,491 per month, a TGT will get Rs 7,461 hike and a primary teacher will get a hike of Rs 8,500 plus. Patial said Class IV employees, including clerks and peons will also draw more than 10,000 salary per month. They are going to increase the fee from Rs 300 to 400 per month from the new academic session April 2009.

Col DB Sharma, director, Sat Paul Mittal School, said they are going to implement the Pay Commission in their school from the new academic session 2009. All formalities have been completed and they are going to charge Rs 500 extra from the students. They are not charging even a single penny from the scholarship holders. He added now a nursery teacher would get Rs 20,000 per month.

Rajesh Rudra, director, Greenland Convent schools, said they are going to increase the fee by Rs 100-200 per month, which will be implemented from the next session.

Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar, has put forward the case of implementation of the 6th Pay Commission before the management and the decision is awaited.

Meanwhile, resentment is growing among the parents over the proposed fee hike, which is going to make a big hole in their pockets.



Agro-forestry winter school kicks off at PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 29
Dr Manjit Singh Kang, vice-chancellor PAU, while inaugurating a three-week winter school on "Agro-forestry for farm diversification and carbon sequestration" here today said, “Our forest area is less than 2 per cent of the world's forest area, but it supports more than 15 per cent of world's human and nearly 14 per cent of the cattle population.”

Dr Kang said forests were neither uniformly stocked nor equitably distributed and that the productivity as well as the growing stock position was also not encouraging. He said huge tracts of Himalayas and other regions had been turned into wastelands causing soil erosion, floods, droughts, landslides, receding of glaciers, silting of reservoirs and pollution.

Dr Kang elaborated that in the 21st Century agriculture was facing serious ecological and socio-economic constraints. He highlighted that water scarcity will be one of the limiting factors in the coming decades and that the effect will be severe on the poor. To reverse this downward spiral farm forestry/agro-forestry/social forestry etc. could play a useful role. Dr Kang said forest cover in India in general and Punjab in particular was not increasing neither in area nor in volume. He projected that forest and tree cover of Punjab was only 6.71 per cent of the total geographical area. Dr Kang said the scientists from disciplines concerned with forest and natural resources participating in the winter school would deliberate on the relevant issues to find out what could be done to make India clean and green.

Dr DS Dhillon dean, College of Agriculture, said the current agricultural scenario demanded diversification where forestry could play a significant role. He presented statistics about the green cover and the policy requirement at the national level. Dr Dhillon mentioned that forest species like poplar and eucalyptus had proved their worth when grown in spatial and temporal association with agricultural crops. He drew attention towards the marketing needs to promote income of tree growers.



From Schools
600 students take part in Kaleidoscope
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 29
An inter-school painting competition Kaleidoscope -2009 was organised by The Hindustan PACE Times on the premises of DAV Public School. About 600 students of various schools participated in the competition. Kuldeep Singh, Joint 
Commissioner, was the chief guest.

In category A, Danish Mahajan and Gurpreet Kaur of DAV school stood first and second, Namica of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School stood third. In category B, Shubham and Anu of KVM, stood first and second, Anmol Kaur of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School stood third. In category C, Amanpreet of GGN Public School, Harman of Guru Nanak International and Chetna Jain of DAV bagged first, second and third positions. Annual day

Annual cultural-cum-prize distribution function was organised in BCM School, Dugri. Mahatma Satyanand Ji Munjal was the chief guest. Dr Vandana Shahi, principal, read the annual report. Students exhibited their talent by giving wonderful performances presenting regional folk dances. They were looking very attractive in the traditional costumes. Chief guest applauded students, who got prizes for their academics performance.



Lecture on genetically engineered food
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 29
Prof Jeffery Smith, scientist from the Institute for Responsible technology, Washington DC, delivered a guest lecture on health risks of genetically engineered foods at DMCH.

Dr GPI Singh, Prof and head of community medicine and convener environmental health action group, said the DNA modification process is poorly understood. Plunging headlong into the new process of genetic engineering with the existing level of knowledge, to create new GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) is like creating a voluntary Frankenstein, as the effects of such modification are unpredictable, irreversible and the product cannot be recalled.

Working with more than 30 scientists over several years, Jeffrey conducted an extensive evaluation of the health risks of GMOs. The resulting book, "Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods", features 65 health dangers.

The doctor made important revelation that genetic roulette provides a context for understanding why the Bt cotton planted around India may be responsible for the numerous reports of extensive allergic reactions among labourers handling the fibre and for widespread death and disease among sheep, buffalos and other livestock consuming Bt cotton plants and oilseed cakes.

Dr LS Chawla, former vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences and president Indian Doctors for Peace and Development chaired the session.



Rural doctors intensify stir
Shun chairs at dispensaries
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Jaspal Bangar/Ludhiana, January 29
The ongoing struggle of rural doctor intensified today as they gave up their chairs and squatted on the floor at their respective dispensaries across the state.

A majority of doctors working in 102 dispensaries in Ludhiana district sat on the mats outside their dispensaries to carry out their routine work, including examination of patients.

As many as 1,200 doctors in the state, including 102 doctors in Ludhiana district, commenced their “non-cooperation” movement against the state government’s attitude without hindering the health services in the village dispensaries.

Dr Jadeep Singh, working under zila parishad at a rural dispensary at Jasapal Bangar village, examined 20 patients suffering from common cold, hypertension, fever and other ailments followed by prescription and dispensing of medicine while sitting on the floor.

The dispensary staff too refused to sit on chairs and occupied the floor. They said it was not part of their decorum but a mark of respect for doctors.

An octogenarian, Kapoor Singh, who had come for a check-up at the dispensary, said their dispensary was “resuscitated” following the appointment of doctors under zila parishads.

Similarly, some other patients at the dispensary rued that villagers would be rendered without medical facility if doctors were not regularised before the end of their contracts. They said residents of Jaspal Bangar would go to any extent to offer their support to doctors in their struggle.

Maintaining anonymity, a doctor said the registration of criminal cases on doctors in Anandpur Sahib was condemnable.

“Relinquishing chair is a mark of silent protest and yet points towards their commitment to the community they are serving,” the doctor observed.

The Rural Medical Services Association (RMSA) will hold a flag march at villages falling under Anandpur Sahib, Mohali, Nawanshahr on February 4, 9 and 14 to make villagers aware of their rights under Public Health



Sewage strengthening work halted
No end to residents’ nightmare
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 29
Choked sewers, overflowing drains and stinking environment seem to remain unsolved problems as strengthening of the existing sewage system has been halted for indefinite period again.

Some residents of nearby Maherna village have reportedly obtained injunction orders from a court according to which the authorities have been restrained from throwing untreated sewage wastage in the drain passing near the locality.

Civic body authorities claimed legal procedure would be adopted to get the work resumed after getting the stay vacated that had been obtained by misguiding the relevant court.

Despite receipt of a grant of Rs 2 crore by the local civic body from Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal recently, residents of the town in general and low-lying areas in particular will have to live under unhygienic conditions, as work on the sewage strengthening project has been staggered indefinitely.

Investigations revealed that the work on “raising main project” had been staggered once again. Some residents of Maherna village had reportedly received injunction orders from a court.

Disposal of waste water and solid waste has remained a waterloo for local civic authorities.

Though people living in almost all areas of the town are forced to live in unhygienic conditions, those residing in the Dehliz road, Jawahar Nagar, Amar Pura, Guru Nanak Colony, Chhappar Road and Bajrang Akhara areas are virtually living in hell.

Though a grant worth Rs 5.25 cr had been sanctioned for construction of channel up to the existing Maherna drain during the Congress regime, the target could not be accomplished as the SAD government had withdrawn the grant.

Residents had urged SAD and BJP leaders of the area to impress upon the Chief Minister to direct the authorities to make necessary arrangement before an epidemic broke out in the area.

Badal during his Vikas Yatra had presented a cheque for Rs 2 crore to municipal councillors led by Usha Sood. He had also directed the authorities to start the work immediately.

Councillors Ravinder Puri and Bimal Sharma said the council had asked its legal adviser to initiate process for getting the stay vacated that had been procured by concealing facts.

“However we will make necessary arrangements to improve the sewage disposal so that residents do not suffer. We have already started work on increasing capacity of the disposal tank,” claimed Puri and Sharma.



Oil Price Cut
Too little, too late: MCPI
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 29
The Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI-U) has termed the cut in prices of petrol, diesel and LPG as much delayed, meagre and inadequate as the prices of crude had tumbled long back substantially in the international market.

To protest against the policies of the government, the party has decided to hold dharnas at district headquarters all over the state on February 5.

Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, general secretary of the party, and Kuldip Singh, state secretary, in a joint statement today said prevailing prices of crude oil in the global market were just one-fourth of those ruling a couple of months ago, and accordingly the government ought to have announced a price cut of Rs 15 per litre for petrol, Rs 10 for diesel and Rs 50 for an LPG cylinder.

They alleged that the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre had virtually given a free hand to oil companies to amass huge profits at the cost of common man.

The party had also rejected the increase of Rs 80 per quintal for minimum support price of wheat announced by the Union Government, terming it a cruel joke on the farming community.

The MCPI leaders said in view of the sharp rise in the prices of inputs, the MSP of wheat should be fixed at Rs 1,500 per quintal to provide much-needed relief to farmers.



Shiv Sena calls for unity to fight terror
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 29
The Akhil Bharatiya Shiv Sena organised a “Sankalp diwas against terrorism” at Chaura Bazar here last evening in which tributes were paid to martyrs of terrorism and a call was given to people to wage a united war against evil designs of terrorists and other anti-national forces.

Speaking at the occasion, party chief Jagdish Tangri said terrorists were striking at will in all parts of the country, targeting innocent people. The situation had assumed alarming proportions in the wake of inaction on part of the government and security agencies that were acting as silent spectators amidst blood shed.

Stressing the need for inculcating the spirit of patriotism and nationalism among people, he exhorted the youth as also other sections to come forward and fight the menace of terrorism.

Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harish Rai Dhanda and BJP legislator Harish Bedi asked people to take a pledge to safeguard the unity and integrity of the nation, while paying floral tributes to those who had laid down their lives during terrorist attack in Mumbai.

Among others, Baljit Singh Jassian, senior vice-president of the party, Sharanjit Singh Chahal, vice-president, and Telu Ram Kashyap, district president, were also present at the function.



Health team takes sweet samples
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 29
In yet another raid conducted on Prem Food at Deep Nagar, the district health authorities today took samples of “dhoda”and “patisa” being manufactured on the premises. The raid was carried out following complaints by 30 residents against the factory owner, Jagdish Dhingra.

Earlier, the district health officer, Dr SS Dhir, and the district food inspector had confirmed that the sweets were spurious, but later they reverted from their statements, saying that it would be confirmed only after they got reports of the samples from a laboratory in Patiala.

Dr Dhir said they had procured a large quantity of powdered milk and ghee that appeared to be duplicate, besides other synthetic ingredients used in the making of sweets.

Prem Sood supplies “son papri”, “patisa” and “dhoda” in bulk to small sweet shops in various parts of the city.

The street where the factory is located is flooded with water and health officials have made a note which would be forwarded to the Punjab Pollution Control Board and the municipal corporation.

A senior official, maintaining anonymity, stated that the owner of the factory had “pulled some strings” to exert pressure on officials. “This is a common practise as a majority of times, the health officials are pressured by politicians and administrative officials to not take action or make changes in reports,” the official claimed.



Speaking Out
‘A welcome decision’
The announcement to cut prices of petrol, diesel and LPG has come as a relief to all sections of society. Tribune reporter Manav Ghuman talked to a cross-section of people and here is what they had to say:

Such decisions always bring relief to commoners. The prices of LPG are still higher in Punjab as compared to Delhi. However, this will take some burden off the budget of the common man.

— Dr Sweet Kaur, a doctor

Cut in diesel prices has given a relief to farmers. As the paddy season is fast approaching, the cut will prove beneficial to them. Though the prices of pesticides and seeds are still high.

— Gurmeet Singh Sekhon, a farmer
Consumers were staying away from buying luxury goods due to high prices of essential commodities. However, the cut in fuel prices will come as a relief for shoppers as well as traders.
— Ankur Jindal, a businessman
It is a right step and will result in bringing down the prices of essential commodities. Its benefit will reach everyone. The government must ensure that prices are not increased in the near future.

— Kittu Verma, a shopkeeper
Cut in fuel prices will have an immediate effect on the small-scale industry. This bodes well for the industry. On the domestic front also, it will come as a great relief.

— Ashok Gupta, a plywood merchant



Property dealer shot at
Tribune News Service

Khanna, January 29
Kuljinder Singh (31), son of Harpal Singh, a resident of officer colony on the Malerkotla road, was attacked by some unidentified gunmen. He was shot thrice outside his house last evening at around 9 pm.

He was standing outside his house when some unidentified men in a black Scorpio came and fired gun shots. One of the shots hit him in the stomach. Kuljinder Singh was immediately taken to Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana.

Panic gripped the area after the gun shots were fired. According to the residents living nearby, three gun shots were fired by the accused who immediately fled. Senior police officials, including Khanna SSP Arun Pal, reached the spot. Cops said the victim did not receive serious injuries and was given treatment at Apollo.

SSP Arun Pal said investigations were on and the initial enquiries revealed that the victim was a property dealer and the possibility of personal enmity could not be ruled out. 



Sports mela at Dhudike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 29
Lala Lajpat Rai Janamsthan Yadgar Committee, Dhudike, organised 54th Lala Lajpat Rai Birth Anniversary Sports Mela at Dhudike village, the birth place of Lala Lajpat Rai.

SK Mohlal, deputy general manager, Punjab National Bank, Ludhiana circle, was chief guest on the occasion. The PNB donated Rs 1 lakh to the committee for organising the mela.

In the three-day mela, teams from all over the state participated in events like hockey and oxen races. Mohla inaugurated the hockey tournament and oxen races.

Mohla said Lala Lajpat Rai was one of the founder members of Punjab National Bank.

He along with other nationalist leaders founded the first Swadeshi Bank i.e. Punjab National Bank in 1895 with a small capital of Rs 20,000, which had now grown into a nationalised bank with a total business of Rs 3,16,747 cr as on September 30, 2008 and a network of over 4,850 offices across the country.

He added that the PNB had also set up a PNB Centenary Rural Development Trust at Dhudike in the memory of the martyr to provide training to rural unemployed youth.

So far, 632 boys and 618 girls had been provided training at the centre.

The training would help them set up new ventures. The bank had also provided finance to the needy youth and women for starting their own ventures.

The bank was also giving a stipend of Rs 200 per month and a tool kit to each trainee.

Mohla called upon the youth to make the best of the training facility. He added that the bank had adopted Dhudike as a model village and activities like installation of submersible pump, water cooler, solar lights, tree plantation with guards and mobile water tank for watering of plants had been initiated by the bank.



Gully Cricket
Susheel Jangira an athlete to the core
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 29
It was the discipline during my training as a national athlete that has enabled me to surpass the perseverance test to become a successful model and a television anchor reveals Susheel Jangira.

Having made a mark in remix videos, including ‘Aab ke sajan sawan mein’ and ‘Khiza ke phool pe aati’, Jangira was in the city as a host of her first cricket match (T10 Gully cricket) at GNE College.

Ambitious by nature, the young model-cum-anchor is also trying her hands as writing songs as she adds, "I have written a song 'beach café' which will be sung by Mikka who would surface as a new person in the video. But this is not all as I am all set to take a plunge into Hindi film industry through script writing."

Speaking about the role of cheerleaders and the recent controversies involving their attires, Jangira feels that there is nothing objectionable, as the cheering by those girls is something similar to a group playing dhol or whistling on every four and six in the playground.

Not in the least deterred by the 'expectation level' set up by her predecessor Mandira Bedi in the capacity of an anchor of cricket shows, Jangira oozed with confident, as she promised to bowl over the viewers with her charisma. "I take every step in life as a challenge and my confidence as an athlete on the field remain unchanged even while I am doing a video, anchoring a show or reporting cricket match," adds Jangira.

"I am happy to be part of the Gully cricket as it gives a platform to the players who are talented yet struggling to get a chance in the mainstream. I share the passion of these sportsmen as every action from the batsmen's and bowler's end is a 'lifeline' for these unexposed sportsmen," concluded Jangira.



Tiny tots take part in athletics meet
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 29
A large number of tiny tots competed in the three-day 7th Annual Athletics Meet of kindergarten at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, which began yesterday.

Dr J Kiran Gera, principal, College of Education, Doraha, inaugurated the meet. She released balloons to mark the opening of the meet. This was followed by a march past by tiny tots. A race was also organised for parents.

Results: UKG (who will bell the cat): Vikrant 1, Akshita 2 and Khushi 3; turtle race: Aastha Bansal 1, Aashna Gupta 2 and Aditya Gupta 3; pick the maximum objects: Sannidhya 1, Gurleen 2 and Vats 3; relay race: Gurtej and Daan 1, Harjot and Udhya 2, Harmanjeet Singh and Daksh 3; one-leg bird race: Nishan 1, Jai Singh 2 and Jasharpreet 3; sack race: Harsimran 1, Tejinder Pal Singh 2 and Shivam 3; watering the plants: Taranjot Singh 1, Jashandeep Singh 2 and Ketan-Shivam 3; obstacle race: Nishata 1, Saket 2 and Hardik 3; lemon and spoon race: Mehak 1, Vasu 2 and Prabhjot 3; Fathers’ race: Satpal 1, Rakesh Jindal 2 and Munish Nagpal 3; mothers’ race: Monika Sharma 1, Divya Goyal 2 and Poonam Goyal 3.



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