L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


ATPs join work, ‘violate’ Commissioner’s orders
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
In spite of MC commissioner GS Ghuman ordering Area Town Planners (ATPs) not to take charge of their newly appointed zones without submitting the list of under-construction buildings to him, most were witnessed working in their new zones today.

According to sources, Ghuman had directed STP BS Brar and MTP Hemant Batra to ask ATPs to submit the list of all under-construction buildings on main roads in their zones to him.

At the time of passing of the orders, zone-A was being looked after by Ramesh Chabbra, zone-C by Harpreet Singh Ghai and zone-D by SS Bindra.

Since ATP Raj Kumar of zone-B was suspended due to non-compliance of Commissioner’s orders on January 12, building inspectors were directed to prepare a list.

Sources confirmed that the Commissioner had not received the lists yet.

When the Commissioner was asked about the lists, he said: “I have not got any lists of the buildings that are under construction. If ATPs have joined their new postings without submitting the list, it is surely a violation of my orders. I will ask Batra on how ATPs have taken charge when I haven’t received the lists.”

On the other hand, ATPs claimed they had sent the lists almost a week ago.

Talking to The Tribune, ATP Chabbra said there were 41 building under construction in zone-A and he had forwarded the list to MTP Batra a few days ago.

Similarly, ATP Bindra said he took charge on February 3 after identifying all buildings in zone-D.

ATP Ghai added that he had identified seven under-construction buildings in zone-C and had sent the list to the MTP over a week ago.


Police-leader nexus alleged in cheque bounce case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
In yet another case of “nexus” between the police and politicians, Baljit Singh Jassian, president of the state unit of the Shiv Sena (Rashtravadi), is walking as a free man, even after a court issued arrest warrants against him in a cheque bounce case.

The complainant alleged that the accused was let off by the Haibowal police after being detained for two hours. He claimed that the police succumbed to pressure.

Not just this, Jassian was nominated president of the state unit of the All-India Shiv Sena (Rashtravadi) by its national president Jagdish Tangri at the Circuit House yesterday.

Jassian had reportedly taken a loan of Rs 1.25 lakh from Brij Mohan of Haibowal. Jassian gave him post-dated cheques, but when the complainant tried to encash these, they bounced due to insufficient funds.

The complainant did not appear in court even after bailable warrants were issued by the court of the Judicial Magistrate, following which the court issued arrest warrants against him.



Industrialist shielding son: Councillor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
The day after real estate developer Gushan Kumar raised allegations of blackmailing against the area councillor, Manvinder Singh Makkar, the councillor lashed out at the industrialist and alleged that instead of helping the nine- year-old boy, the industrialist was busy affecting a compromise.

Kumar Sahil, son of the industrialist, was driving an SUV when it ran over the leg of the boy.

Makkar questioned the content of the compromise letter signed by rickshaw-puller Suresh Kumar. He wondered how a man who could barely sign his name in Hindi understand the content of the letter written in English.

The negotiation letter shown by Gulshan Kumar yesterday was in English, while Suresh could not understand English.

Makkar said: “I am witness to the entire incident as it took place in front of my office. Gulshan Kumar is trying to shield his son as he was driving the vehicle,” adding that instead of helping or consoling the rickshaw-puller, Gulshan Kumar and his supporters pressured the victim’s father to sign on the letter.

Suresh said he was in shock and did not read the letter. “I cannot understand English. The doctor told me that in order to save my son, they need to operate on him. For that purpose they need my signature on a document.

Makker said: “Kumar Sahil cannot go scotfree after crippling a nine-year-old boy for life.” The councillor said he would collect Rs 51,000 from his ward and help the child.



Saying I do on Valentine’s Day
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, love is in the air and couples have decided to marry on this day. Astrologers are also considering the day auspicious for marriage.

Even the astrologers are considering this day auspicious for marriage. According to them, Jupiter would be in “uday” and to make the marriage fruitful, couples must give kesar in silver pack in a sweet box to be gifted to friends and relatives.

There are about 250 marriage palaces and resorts in the city and all are booked for the purpose. Even community centres are booked for the day. Caterers, band masters and DJs are finding it difficult to keep pace with the offers and are busy making preparations for the day. Bar tenders are charging double the amount for the special day.

“We think this is the best day to get married as St Valentine will shower his blessings on us,” a couple says.

Ashok Thapar from a band said he was flooded with offers. “I have only eight teams and can attend only take care of 24 functions in a day. Many offers have been rejected due to paucity of staff,” he says.

Horses have also been booked for the day and one horse would be taken to nearly three-four weddings.

A caterer adds that their kitty is full of orders. The local flower market would not be able to manage the rush and so, flowers would be flown in from Delhi and Kolkata.

Parminder Singh, a wine trader, says there would be shortage of liquor in the city on February 14.

“I have received 10 wedding invitations for February 14. I am sure there will be traffic chaos on roads on that day,” Ramesh Maggo, a businessman, states.



Farmers to gherao Parliament on February 18
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, February 10
A meeting of the Bharti Kisan Union, Punjab, was held here under the presidentship of Ajmer Singh Lakhowal here today. The leaders of the union were asked to prepare themselves to take part in the protest rally at Parliament House on February 18.

Lakhowal, taking to mediapersons, said the union government had failed to watch the interests of farmers while fixing the MSP of rice and wheat. An increase of 80 paisa per kg on wheat was eyewash. The prices of crude oil had come down in the international market, but the government had still not decreased the prices to that extent.

Bhupinder Singh Mahesari, general secretary, said almost all major kisan unions had decided to fight for their rights. “We are all set to gherao Parliament on February 18. In this struggle, even truck unions and transporters have extended their cooperation,” he said.

Token protest by kisan unions

The proposed “rail roko” agitation by the Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta) and several other bodies of farmers and farm workers to press their demand for reduction in oil prices turned out to be a damp squib as protesters failed to block the track and staged a token demonstration at the Kila Raipur railway station for about half hour when no train was to cross that area.

The BKU-Ekta, along with the Punjab Kisan Sabha (Taggar), Kirti Kisan Sabha (Bhangu), Punjab Kisan Sabha (Sambhar) and Kisan Sangharsh Committee (Pannu) had given a call for a two-hour rail and rasta roko against the failure of the government to slash the prices of petroleum products in proportion with the fall in prices of crude oil in the international market.

Addressing protesters at Kila Raipur, the BKU district president Darshan Singh Koohli, Balwant Singh Ghudani and other activists of farmers organisations said the government had failed to pass on the benefit to consumers.

They also said subsidy on diesel for farmers should be hiked to 50 per cent and heavy taxes on petrol and diesel must be cut. According to the SHO of the government railway police, no action was called for against the protesters as they had not disrupted the movement of trains.



Naib Tehsildar Case
Affidavit justifies vigilance action
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
In a boost to the vigilance department whose action against Mullanpur Dakha naib tehsildar, Sailander Singh, is being probed by the ADC of Patiala, APS Virk, an affidavit signed by 21 persons has been submitted saying that the action was correct.

According to sources, the affidavit was submitted to the ADC on February 6. The affidavit, a copy of which is with The Tribune, stated that the raid by the vigilance on January 2 was justified. They said neither any scuffle took place nor any slogans were raised on the raid site. Besides, till 6 pm, documents were read and inquired into, after which the vigilance staff arrested Sailander and Mall Singh.

Residents said an enquiry against Sailander Singh should be done at his Mullanpur office so that the truth could come to the fore. They alleged that he was a corrupt official and applauded the government for arresting him. On February 5, Virk had conducted an inquiry into vigilance action against the naib tehsildar, who was caught while taking a bribe.

He had summoned Sailander Singh and the DSP, vigilance, Banarsi Dass, and witnesses. He was asked to probe the matter by the Chief Minister when revenue officials had proceeded on a strike against the vigilance action. They had said the witnesses on the vigilance panel had not accompanied the team during the raid.



Three killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, February 10
Three persons were killed and three seriously injured when an empty mini school bus and a Scorpio met with an accident here today.

Jaspal Singh, driver, and Ashwani Kumar, conductor, were going towards Gahour village to pick up students of Guru Nanak Model School, Baddowal, when the bus rammed into a Scorpio coming from the Moga side.

Gurmail Singh of Moga, travelling in the Scorpio, was killed on the spot. The police visited the spot and took the injured, Jagmail Singh and Amandeep Singh, both occupants of Scorpio, bus driver Jaspal Singh and conductor Ashwani Kumar to hospital.

Jagtar Singh was referred to the DMCH, Ludhiana. Later, Jagmail Singh and Jagtar Singh succumbed to their injuries. The condition of the other three injured is still stated to be critical.

The vehicles have been impounded and a case has been registered.



12-yr jail for possessing poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 10
The court of the Additional Sessions Judge, Ashok Kumar, has convicted Ajaib Singh of Rasulpur village, Ludhiana, on the charges of possessing huge quantity of poppy husk. He was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 12 years.

The judge held that the prosecution had proved the charges levelled against the accused beyond any shadow of doubt. A fine of Rs 1.5 lakh was also imposed on the accused.

The accused was booked under Section 15 of the NDPS Act at the Jagraon police station in 1994. According to the prosecution, more than 6 quintal of poppy husk were seized from his possession when the police raided his house following secret information.



IT raid on business houses
Our Correspondent

Raikot, February 10
At least 10 teams from the income tax zone of Moga raided business houses here today. The teams started the raids in the afternoon and till the filing of this report, the accounts of the firms were being investigated.

The focus of the raids included a deed writer, commission agents and rice millers. The market was deserted in minutes as shopkeepers suspecting raid on their establishments fled after shutting their showrooms.

The in charge of the raiding teams, Pal Kaur, said it was a routine verification and they had seized documents pertaining to huge tax evasion.

Though no official outcome of the raid was revealed, sources claimed that more than Rs 2 crore black money had been surrendered by owners of these firms.



Computer parts worth Rs 4 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
Thieves decamped with computer parts worth Rs 4 lakh from a shop in Model Town Extension here today.

According to the shop owners, the thieves broke open the locks and fled with the parts, besides laptops and other accessories.

The incident came to light when some residents saw the shutter of the shop half-open. The police and fingerprint experts, along with a dog squad, inspected the site of the crime.



Trust that takes care of meals of needy, labourers
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
The Dream and Beauty Charitable Trust near Vardhman Mills on the Ludhiana-Samrala road here provides two meals to needy and labourers working in the area, free of cost. People who eat meals here are only required to maintain cleanliness and hygiene.

A board displayed outside the venue reveals the Trust was being run by NRI from the USA Anil Monga along with members, including Subhash, Manjit Singh, Sanjeev Kaushal, Naresh Sheetal, Amarjit Singh and Amrit Bhambri. Those, having meals here for several years maintain they had not seen till date their benefactors but the blessings coming from heart were endless.

Shriram, a migrant labourer from Uttar Pradesh said no needy person was allowed entry, if he or she was not neat . "But we have to be neat and clean. A number of nail cutters have been kept outside the hall. Before entering, one has to pare nails, wash hands with soap and wipe with towels, to get food, dal, vegetable and curd . One can eat one’s fill", said Shriram adding waiters were there to serve food on tables.

Two cooks and eight to 10 assistants have been appointed for this. The media is not allowedas the trust does not t want publicity. A worker said even he had not seen the real master, who runs the whole show. ‘It is pure charity. I think, we must respect the feelings of trust members who want to keep it secret’.

Rajiv (12) working at a shop near the trust said children were given great respect by all workers. "Earlier they used to take Re 1 from each person but that practice has been stopped since three years now. I along with my brother visit here. We used to be scared our entry would be stopped as we had become regular but we were welcomed ", told Rajiv. This charitable kitchen, which fills thousands of hungry stomachs each day.



Cong leaders root for Galib
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
Alarmed by the prospect of senior Congress leader and two-time MP Gurcharan Singh Galib joining the SAD, Congress councillors met him here today and impressed upon him not to leave the party.

Led by leader of the opposition in the municipal house, Prem Mittal, the councillors said they would urge the party high command to give ticket to a local person like Galib rather than fielding a “five star candidate” like Manish Tewari.

“If the party fields a stranger who does not know anything about Ludhiana, the Congress is going to repeat the history of 2004 when sitting SAD MP Sharanjit Singh Dhillon defeated Tewari with a considerable margin,” the councillors said.

“The Congress has already lost the municipal house in the city and had to sit in opposition. Similarly, if the parliamentary seat from the city is also lost, it would affect the party image,” they said.

Some senior leaders, including Capt Amarinder Singh and Ambika Soni, had been backing Galib, they added.

Congress leaders like councillors Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Mamta Ashu and Raju Thappar, along with former councillors Jai Prakash, Teja Singh and Asha Garg were ready to take upon the responsibility for the victory of Galib in Ludhiana as he had a mass appeal.

They said since Tewari belonged to New Delhi and Ludhiana seat was important, the party should not take any risk while deciding its candidate from here.

When Galib was asked about his plans to join the SAD and the media reports of him approaching the SAD chief, he said his options were still open.

He said he would be able to say something only after the Congress cleared its stand on his candidature.



Mills & Boons still catch girls’ fancy
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
Though many avenues for entertainment are there but what still remains the same is that Mills & Boons epitomises the genre of romance novels and continue to delight innumerable readers worldwide, especially the teenage girls.

Linguistically, the books reinforce their traditional views of men and women, with the women being described using stative verbs concerned with feelings and thoughts and the men with dynamic verbs, verbs associated with actions.

These are specifically written for the lady readers by novelists, who understand the dilemma of women in love much better than their male counterparts. Mills & Boons novels make one wonder, where would the world have been, had there been no love in the air. What if, there was no love in the most unexpected quarters.

A doctor by profession, Jasneet Mangat, said she was always fantasised by Mills & Boons. “I have been reading them since my school days and I am still fond of them. The novels depict the pressures of the present medical world, where life is always uncertain and exceedingly strenuous,” she adds.

Sharing his views about the popularity of these novels, Upinder Singh from Academic Book Shop, here, said apart from young girls, these novels are extremely popular with women also. Though the time has changed but Mills & Boons are exceptionally popular among the women hitherto.

Another ardent reader, Minnie, said Mills & Boons dealt with love in contemporary times. Though the writers belonged to different parts of the world and so in their writings, the flavour of the local life and customs were found.

“My choice lies with the Modern Romance category where there is more intimacy between the couple,” she adds.

Though very few men read these novels but bank employee Suresh shares his experience that, “Before reading Mills and Boon I used to think that there is no need to make an effort to know and understand women, but after reading these novels I could know certain behaviourial patterns about them. And, this makes the relationship healthy as the couple gets to know each other well.”



Price Watch
Fruits, veggies stabilise
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
With nearly a month after truckers’ strike came ended, prices of fruits and vegetables seem to have stabilised.

Not registering much change in prices, potato continued to be stable at Rs 5 per kg even as tomato went up by Rs 3 from Rs 12 per kg last week to Rs 15 now.

Onion, however, went down from Rs 20 per kg last week to Rs 15 today. Cauliflower and cabbage were available at Rs 10 and Rs 15 per kg, respectively while lady’s finger registered a remarkable dip from being available at Rs 40 per kg last week to Rs 20 today.

Ginger remained the same with prices varying from Rs 50-60 per kg, as did garlic that today stood at Rs 20-30. Capsicum was available for Rs 30 per kg today against the last week’s price of Rs 25 per kg.

Mushroom remained the same as last week at Rs 75 per kg whereas bitter gourd recorded a hike of Rs 10. It went up from Rs 40 to Rs 50 per kg this week but brinjal remained at Rs 20 per kg. Turnip also continued to be available at Rs 10 per kg.

Among fruits, there has been a slight rise in the prices of some while a slight dip in those of others. Apple this week went down Rs 60 per kg from Rs 70 last week, so did banana from Rs 30 per dozen to Rs 25 today.

Grapes (black) also came down from Rs 80 per kg to Rs 60, while the green variety was available at Rs 50 per kg.

Pineapple cost Rs 50 per kg, almost the same as last week, while cheeku registered a hike of Rs 10 per kg since last week from Rs 30 to Rs 40 today.

Kinnow was now available for Rs 30 per kg and oranges stood at Rs 80 per dozen.



Menace of eve teasing on rise
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
Complaints of eve teasing are pouring in different police stations from areas like Model Town, Sarabha Nagar and Civil Lines, where the educational institutes are located.

The menace is on a rise and it becomes a problem for girls to go back home when their classes get over.

The parents complained the girls had to go for their tuitions, as the examinations are near but the miscreants followed them and passed indecent remarks and harassed the girls.

The parents have lodged complaints with the police but no effective steps are being taken to curb the menace, as the parents of the boys claim to have a strong political clout.

Recently, a businessman and his wife were beaten up in a multiplex at Sarabha Nagar when they objected to the activities of rowdy fellows who were teasing the girls. The miscreants claimed the support of the political wings.

RK Jaiswal, senior superintendent of police, said the police patrolling had been increased in front of the educational institutions in the city and no leniency would be shown to the miscreants irrespective of how influential their parents might be.



Village school goes hi-tech
Pupils get first online lessons

Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Hambowal (Machhiwara), February 10
In another step towards bringing IT to the grass roots, students of Government Senior Secondary School here have started getting their first lessons online from trained professionals sitting in Mohali, thanks to the online education programme launched by the government under its Sarva Siksha Abhiyan.

Under the programme, teachers and professors teach students with the help of a plasma TV screen, dish antenna, webcam and generator.

The students got their first online lecture at the school on February 5. Students are now getting used to the concept as they get their daily dose of information online.

Teachers say all senior secondary schools of the state will be included under the programme.

“The programme will be beneficial especially for students of classes X to XII for they will get lectures on various chapters of physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and English,” say schoolteachers.

Though students will continue to get lessons from schoolteachers, online education will add to their knowledge on various subjects and help solve their problems.

A school lecturer, Ravinder Kaur, says online education is useful for students who are keen on learning more.

Students can make online queries about various subjects from experts present at Mohali headquarters.

Principal Gurdeep Singh Rai says poor students of government schools will now be able to get education equivalent to other schools in big cities.

He says students will also be imparted free coaching for PMT, IIT, CEC and other courses soon.

Manjeet Kaur, a student, feels the programme will not only help provide education but also boost morale of students. “It will also improve our communication skills,” she adds.



US scientists visit PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
A team of scientists from Dopont, a US based company, visited Punjab Agricultural University today to explore potential areas for collaborative research especially in the field of biotechnology and transgenic crops.

The team had a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Manjit Singh Kang, director of research, Dr PS Minhas and other senior scientists of the university. PAU had invited Dopont as part of its ongoing programme to encourage public-private partnership in research and extension programmes.

Team leader from Dopont Dr Richard M Broglie, manager crops genetics research and Dr Vai Ramanathan, rice research director Asia, presented in brief the activities of their company. Dr Broglie elaborated upon the research programme for improving crop productivity and sustainability through developing new seeds by combining transgenic and native traits of different crops. The team also visited department of biotechnology, and plant breeding.



Workshop on industrial safety
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
A national workshop on Occupational Health and Industrial Safety was organised by Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College in collaboration with Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi, here yesterday.

The main purpose of this programme was to create awareness about the importance of safe environment at workplaces. Bhupinder Singh, deputy director-general (North) of the Bureau of Indian standards (BIS), and DL Sharma, MD Vardman Yarns and Thread Ltd, were the chief guests.

Amarjit Singh, who is an alumnus of the college, was the guest of honour. Principal Dr MS Saini explained the need and significance of safe working environments in industries and other places. He congratulated the mechanical engineering department for taking initiative for conducting this workshop. Prof Deepinder Singh and Prof Jatinder Kapoor, organising secretaries, said around 50 participants from the Industry and educational institutes had participated in workshop. The proceedings in the form of expert lectures were distributed among participants.

Dr Sehijpal Singh, head of the department, while introducing the structure of the programme said a team of four experts from the standards promotion and consumer awareness department (SP-CAD) of BIS were invited to deliver expert lectures during the workshop.

Prof Paramjit Singh conducted technical sessions during the workshop. Subhash Awashi, former joint director of factories, Labour Department, Punjab, spoke on the role of legislations, particularly the Factories Act in mitigating accidents, fatalities and disasters in the operation of various industrial activities. Dr BS Sidhu proposed a vote of thanks.



Placement Drive
Reliance Communications at RIMT
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 10
Reliance Communications Ltd visited RIMT Institute of Management and Computer Technology at the ongoing placement drive on its campus, here today. The team was led by HR manager of the company Tej Mann to select the final semester MBA students.

The chairman of the institute, Hukam Chand Bansal, said Reliance Communication had carved out a niche in the vast telecommunication market with its innovative strategies. It was a privilege to have such a reputed organisation as apart of the drive.

Mann said his team was quite impressed with the quality of infrastructure and the caliber of the students. He also appreciated the paedagogical tools being used for academic excellence in the institute.

A rigorous selection process was followed by the company, which witnessed a tough competition among the students. In all, 18 students from the RIMT institutes were selected. The selected candidates included Ashish Kumar, Surya Kant, Damandeep Kaur, Ravi Sharma, Sandeep Kalra, Hitesh Gupta, Akshay Narang, Tarundeep Singh, Anuj Kumar Gupta, Vikas Kumar, Amrinder Singh, Deepak Gautam, Varun Puri, Gaurav Singla, Runit Chatural, Anil Malhotra, Manish Lau, Navdeep Sharma.

Dr BS Bhatia, the director-general of the institute, he was hopeful that this year also, the RIMT institutes would be able to achieve 100 per cent placements despite the recent financial meltdown. Dr SP Singh, the director of the RIMT group, said the selected students would get a gross package of Rs 2 lakh and they would be joining the company from June, 2009.



Upgrade of institutes
Government to involve private players
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
The new industrial policy of the Punjab Government, has laid emphasis on the upgradation of the existing ITIs, in the state through the involvement of the public private partnership (PPP).

The draft industrial policy has emphasised that the department of technical education has recommended that it is important to build skills to match the demands of the industry in the changing scenario. The strategy of involving the private sector in the upgradation of existing vast infrastructure of government institutions will be adopted. Existing curricula would be changed and new courses will be framed to meet the requirement of the industry. Better training equipments and staff will be deployed to improve the quality of technical education in the state.

According to official sources, the Government of India has announced a programme for upgradation of infrastructure of the ITIs based on PPP. An outlay of Rs 120 crore has been made available through the Government of India for 30 ITIs to the level of centre of excellence. Similarly, 77 ITIs shall be upgraded in PPP mode by 2012 with the total outlay of Rs 192.50 crore.

The scheme of skill development initiative under modular employable skills of Government of India shall be fully exploited by the state through private industries and industrial associations.

The policy has proposed that industry may be encouraged to utilise existing infrastructure in ITIs to impart training to the students as per their requirement.



Committee seeks panel on minority education
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
The National Monitoring Committee on minority education, has sought the establishment of a commission, to look into the matters of minority education in the country and more freedom for deemed universities.

The recommendations made by the standing committee of the National Monitoring Committee on minority education were discussed at a meeting held with Arjun Singh, Union HRD Minister in the chair. Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, former pro Vice-Chancellor Guru Nanak Dev University, and a member of the standing committee of NMCME who made the presentation at the meeting told The Tribune yesterday that the standing committee recommends financial assistance to the Christian institutions of Khanda-nal districts in Orissa that were destroyed during the riots.

The committee also suggested that the state-level committee to set up to monitor the minorities education and a minority cell should be set up in the AICTE, UGC, CBSE and various units of the ministry of HRD. To increase the representation of minority students in institutions like IIT, IIM and IIFT, proper reservation may be made for minority students in such institutions.

The committee felt that the minority community students are not finding proper place in the non-conventional professional courses like hospital management, foreign trade, tourism management and finance management. Such courses should be sanctioned in the minority institutions by the AICCTE and the universities. The committee further recommended that government should consider to scrap the existing scheme and introduce a new scheme to modernise Madrasas and to bring about some modern Madrasas, a Central Madrasa Board may be established which could establish Madrasa schools on the lines of Central Schools where normal education could be provided.

Prof Kapur disclosed that the committee also recommended that the institutions set up by the minorities a century ago, like the Khalsa College, Amritsar, Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Milla Islamia University, Delhi, and Christian institutions like St. Bedes Cottage, Shimla and Loyala College, Chennai, should be treated as heritage institutes and accorded the status of deemed universities wherever possible.

The committee pointed out that complaints regarding the erratic use of funds under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) scheme by some states have been received and in particular Bihar and UP. These complaints need to be looked into.

The committee recommended that a legislative backing be granted to the National Monitoring Committee on Minority Education (NMCME) by an act of Parliament.



For once, some support for V-Day
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 10
Sehajdhari Sikh Federation’s national president Dr PS Ranu in a letter written to the President of India has criticised organisations like the Bajrang Dal and the Ram Sene for issuing threats in the media over the Valentine’s Day celebrations.

The federation said such statements were issued to gain cheap popularity. They were against the Constitution and a serious threat to the sovereignty and integrity of the country, it added.

Quoting Articles 19(1)(d) and 21 of the Constitution, Dr Ranu said every citizen had the right to freedom and no one could be deprived of their life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

He asserted that the state administrations were bound to provide protection to their citizens and to maintain law and order so that no untoward situation arose.

Referring to Article 25, he said no one had the right to impose any religious bindings on anyone.

He said the spirit of Valentine’s Day was to spread the message of love and love should not be misinterpreted.

The statements and actions of such organisations had created panic in the minds of the younger generation. The move could prompt bad elements to meet their vested interest in the grab of such organisations.

The federation has requested the President to take action against such organisations and direct states to make arrangements for maintaining law and order.

The federation has also decided to depute vigilant groups to provide security to youngsters and counter moves by anti-social elements.



Municipal House meeting on Feb 13
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
The municipal house will meet on February 13 to pay tributes to municipal councillor Krishan Lal Chabbra, who died on February 7 due to a heart attack.

The meeting has been called upon by mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura to pay condolence to the aggrieved family and pray for the departed soul, who was an elected representative of the public.

Chabbra, who was an Akali councillor from Ward 57, was serving his second term in the local municipal house. Industrialist Chabbra had won the municipal seat for the first time as an independent candidate, which made him quite popular among the public.

The councillors revealed the house would be adjourned after paying tributes and no official proceedings related to the routine work would be undertaken.



Kisan bodies stage protest
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 10
Activists of five kisan unions of the area staged a protest in the area and blocked rail traffic at Kilaraipur railway station, near here, this afternoon.

The protesters were demanding further cut in prices of petroleum products used for agricultural purposes. They demanded subsidy in other inputs also.

Accusing the government of ignoring demands of farmers, the protesters regretted that the peasantry had ceased to be a profitable profession.

Kuldip Singh (Kirti Kisan Sabha), Rachhpal Singh (Punjab Kisan Sabha), Laimber Singh Taggar (Punjab Kisan Sabha Taggar), Darshan Singh Kuhli (Kisan Sabha Ekta Ugrahan) and Baldev Singh Latala (Zamhoori Kisan Sabha) spoke on the occasion.



Income Tax
Details of new commercial buildings sought
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
With a view to tighten the noose around owners of newly constructed commercial complexes in the city, the income tax department has written to the municipal corporation Commissioner demanding a list of all buildings constructed 2007 onwards along with the names and addresses of their owners.

In a letter, the IT department has sought details of the buildings, completion certificates of which have been issued by the Ludhiana municipal corporation in 2007-08.

The department has demanded names and addresses of building owners, promoters and builders with a view to check their annual returns.

Sources in the income tax department say in case of anomalies in the tax records of building owners, the department will take strict action.



Free check-up camp tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 10
A free medical camp for heart diseases and cancer will be organised at Gill Hospital, Ayali, on Humbran Road on February 12.

The camp, organised by city-based Grecian Hospital, will be inaugurated by Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harish Rai Dhanda, while Manjit Singh Ayali, chairman, zila parishad, will be the chief guest.

Dr Shivpreet Singh Samra, along with his team of doctors comprising Dr Asif Raheem, interventional cardiologist, Dr Navdeep Singh, medical oncologist, and Dr Rajinder Gupta, non-interventional cardiologist and medical specialist, will examine patients at the camp and render follow-up advice.

Free diagnostic tests like ECG and blood sugar level will be conducted and free medicines will also be distributed to needy patients.



MC to meet rly officials in Delhi today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
With nothing concrete being achieved out of the Lakkar Bridge till today, MC GS Ghuman has decided to meet the railway officials and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Atwal, in New Delhi tomorrow.

According to information, till date two meetings have been organised between the railway officials and Ludhiana MC, in which generally SE Dharam Singh and XEN HS Khaussa were the representatives from the civic body. Though Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura was present during the first meeting, sources revealed that MC is not satisfy with the results.

Talking to The Tribune, Ghuman said, "I would be going to New Delhi tomorrow to interact with railway officials and see that work on the bridge is started immediately, as it has become a necessity in view of the increasing traffic."



Homoeopathic training workshop from March 16
Tribune News Service

Khanna, February 10
The Punjab branch of Indian Institute of Homoeopathic Physicians (IIHP) is going to organise a seven-day practical training workshop PRERNA-09 for homoeopathic doctors and interns from March 16 to 22 here. Faculty of national and international reputed speakers will impart training to the participants during the occasion.

Cardiologist, neurologist, radiologist, pathologist and yoga expert will also train in various modern diagnostic tools.



2 held with opium, stolen vehicle
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 10
The local police has arrested two persons, including a proclaimed offender, from two separate places. At least 1 kg opium and a stolen 407 Tempo were recovered from their possession.

Buta Singh of Sangowal and Hardeep Singh of the Dehliz road area were arrested by police teams led by Harinder Singh and Mahavir Saini from roadblocks set up at night.

The two were booked under NDPS Act and Sections 379 and 411 of IPC, respectively, for allegedly possessing opium and stealing a 407 Tempo.

Buta Singh had been declared a proclaimed offender in connection with cases registered at Sidhwan Bet and Mehatpur police stations. Huge quantities of poppy husk had been seized from his possession earlier.

Hardeep Singh Deepa on the other hand was arrested at a roadblock near Bajrang Akhara area here.

The 407 Tempo belonging to a diary owner, Bimal Sharma, was recovered from his possession.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Deepa had stolen the vehicle from Dehliz road a few days ago.

He was going to Ludhiana city to dispose of the stolen vehicle when the police caught him.



Rs 80,000 snatched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
Two motorcyclists snatched Rs 80,000 from an employee of the Singapore Airlines near Vishvakarma Chowk here today.

The incident occurred when Khushi Lal, employed with the agency owned by Kuldip Sondhi, was going to the Union Bank of India office at around 4 pm to make the daily deposit. When he reached the Jagroan Bridge, he fell a sudden jerk on his shoulder. Even before he could react, the motorcyclists had sped away from the site.

Till the filing of the report, the police was still investigating the matter.



Theft at jeweller’s house
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
Thieves decamped with jewellery, cash and computer appliances worth lakh of rupees from the house of a jeweller at New Kundan Puri on Sunday night.

The thieves entered the house of the owner of Kirpa Jewellers by scaling the wall in the wee hours and broke the locks of the almirah.

They took away jewellery, cash and computer appliances from the house.

DSP Varinder Brar said the security guard of the street had been detained for questioning as he had been reported to be absent from duty when the incident took place.



Hockey Tournament
Kila Raipur eves romp home victory 3-2
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 10
The girls of Khalsa Girls Senior Secondary School, Kila Raipur, had a mixed luck on the opening day of the Ranjodh Kaur Grewal Memorial Ludhiana District Hockey Tournament for Women held at the Sukhdev Thapar Government Girls Senior Secondary School, here today.

Kila Raipur girls quelled a strong challenge from GNM Girls Senior Secondary School, Doraha, before romping home victorious 3-2. However, in the second encounter, Kila Raipur players went down fighting 0-1 against Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, here.

Earlier, in the inaugural match, GNM Girls Senior Secondary School, Doraha, scripted an easy 3-0 victory over Khalsa Girls Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana.

In another match, Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar Chowk, faced a challenge from Government College for Women, Ludhiana, whom they outplayed 2-0.

Olympian, Hardeep Singh, inaugurated the tournament. Surinder Dhir, former deputy director, sports, Punjab, Teja Singh Dhaliwal, honorary general secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, former international hockey star, Sukhvir Grewal, Jagbir Grewal and others were present on this occasion.



Global recession hits rural olympics
Mohit Khanna/Anil Datt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
The global recession has not only unsettled the industries and their functioning, but it has hit the rural Olympics too.

With an approximate amount of Rs 11 lakh at stake as the prize money, the organisers of 74th edition of Kila Raipur Sports Festival are asking the government for support in order to conduct this mega event smoothly.

Chief organiser Sukhvir Grewal said the Kila Raipur games were declared the national festival around 12 years ago, but it has not been treated as a national festival so far.

One of the organisers said, while Rs 2,50,000 was given by the Centre, the same amount was ought to be given by the State Tourism Ministry, but the successive governments failed to provide the promised amount, the reason best known to those sitting at the helm of affairs.

The total amount is to the tune of Rs 60 lakh. “We want to conduct this event on the lines of Suraj Kund Mela of Faridabad, which is famous for its craft fair. But the global economic meltdown has affected the whole process,” said Sukhvir.

An insider said the Mumbai-based event management company, Relay World, proposed to sell the organising rights of the festival in the market for Rs 2 crore but found no takers for it. Even the sponsors, who used to shell out money readily, back tracked this time and did not agree to give even half the price that used to be given earlier.

Companies like Nokia, Parle-G also backed out at the last moment. Finally, the last year’s sponsors, Ambuja cement, has bailed them out of the crisis.



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