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Reema Murder Case
Accused won’t turn approver; alleges torture by SSP
Court orders medical examination
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, February 11
The sensational Reema Jain murder case today took a new turn when one of the accused, Tarsem, alias Bony, withdrew his application for becoming approver, alleging that he was tortured and pressured to move an application by the SSP, Ludhiana.

The court of the Additional Sessions Judge, Kishore Kumar, dismissed the application after recording the statement of the accused.

Tarsem made serious allegations against the SSP, RK Jaiswal, that he beat him up twice at Central Jail, where he was lodged. He alleged that he was given beatings as he refused to give a statement in the court in favour of the prosecution and against the co-accused.

Tarsem showed injuries allegedly caused by the SSP to the Judge. He also moved an application before the court levelling allegations against the SSP. He stated that on Feburary 3, 2009, and also yesterday, the SSP came to the jail and slapped him several times and beat him up with a stick. After some time he stopped and his body guards started beating him.

The court ordered that Tarsem be medically examined at the Civil Hospital. The court also ordered to place on record a copy of the medical examination by doctors. The orders were passed on an application moved by Daljit Kaur, sister of the accused.

She alleged that police officials had beaten up her brother as he had not agreed to become an approver. He was constantly pressured to make a statement against the co-accused in order to ensure conviction in the case at the instance of Bhanu Partap, son of the deceased, Reema Jain.

In this regard, she had moved applications to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court as well as the Human Rights Commission at Chandigarh.

In her application, she alleged that the police also visited her house in order to pressure her for not moving applications against senior police officers.

Reema Jain was murdered in 2005. Her body was not found, but after some months, the police claimed to have solved the case with the claim that it had recovered the badly damaged skelton of Reema from a factory owned by the accused, Anil Jain.

According to the police, Anil Jain hatched the conspiracy and got his brother’s wife murdered by hiring the killers.

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Vigilance arrests man for fake complaint 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
The vigilance bureau today arrested Ravinder Singh who had alleged that a probationary officer of the Punjab and Sindh Bank, Sherpur, had demanded a bribe of Rs 30,000 for passing his house loan of Rs 5 lakh.

Talking to mediapersons here today, vigilance SSP Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu said: “Ravinder had approached us and said Harminder Singh, a probationary officer of the bank, was asking for money to clear his loan.”

A trap was laid on his complaint and Ravinder was directed first to submit the application for the loan and then hand over the amount to Harminder. He was told to give a signal when he gave the amount.

“However, what happened was contrary to our directions. Ravinder first gave Rs 25,000 to Harminder and then tried to put application on the table side which was noted by both witnesses and the police party,” Sandhu said.

On investigations, it was found that Harminder and Ravinder were relatives and the latter had borrowed Rs 70,000 from Harminder's mother Ishwar Kaur by mortgaging jewellery, on the condition that he would return the money along with the interest. Later, the jewellery was found to be fake and despite repeated requests, Ravinder failed to return the money. After the intervention of Ravinder's brother, Ravinder and Harjinder both agreed that the first instalment of Rs 25,000 from the total amount would be paid in cash while the rest in form of cheques.

Sandhu said: “It was the first amount that was being handed over by Ravinder which he told us was a bribe.” Sandhu revealed that the raid was conducted by DSP Gurcharan Singh and his team in the presence of witnesses Naveneet Joshi (BDPO, Ludhiana-I) and Hardeep Singh (VDO, Ludhiana-I). Urban estate resident Heera Teer too was taken as a shadow witness.

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Kingpin of drug peddlers heldOur Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 11
The kingpin of a gang of drug peddlers that had been supplying drugs to youths in this part of Malwa has been arrested and 2 kg opium was seized from his possession.

The accused has been identified as Ratan Lal, alias Rajesh, of Sarvar village in Jhallawar district of Rajasthan.

According to the Malerkotla DSP, the police arrested the accused while he was going to hand over the drugs to a local agent on the Jagera road last night. The cops got suspicious when the accused tried to speed away on seeing them.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the accused had been running a gang for many years. He used to shift the contraband by train and hence, was not caught.

The contraband, purchased from Rajasthan at a rate of Rs 30,000 per kg was to get him Rs 1.40 lakh. It was to be retailed at Rs 1 lakh per kg to consumers.

Students, drivers, heart patients and prosperous farmers were stated to be their permanent clients.

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Pollution clean chit to 60 dyeing units
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
A team of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) visited 61 dyeing units whose power was disconnected by the PSEB last week and gave a clean chit to 60 units, stating that they were discharging effluents in the municipal corporation’s sewer.

Talking to The Tribune, the superintending engineer said: “The team found that except Jeevan Rishab Dyeing on Tajpura road, all the other units had been discharging their dirty water in sewers.” He said the report would be sent to the PPCB chief, Yogesh Goel.

Interestingly, the PPCB took the step today after it was directed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to do so during a meeting with industrialists and the PPCB chief in Chandigarh yesterday. The meeting was arranged by Local Bodies chief secretary Harish Rai Dhanda.

Rubbishing media reports published today that the CM had asked to restore the power to 61 units, Dhanda said: “The notices to these units were given by the PPCB for discharging effluents directly into Budda Nullah and not matching specifications. When industrialists agreed to adhere to both the terms, the CM decided to refer the matter to the advocate-general for legal opinion.

The High Court’s recent orders are yet to be received and after going through those and the PIL, the next step would be decided.” He said the decision on power connections to these units would be taken only after official reports were received.

BJP district president OP Bhardwaj has come to the rescue of these dyeing units, despite the fact that these units have played a major role in the pollution of the nullah.

It is not for the first time that politicians have been approached by the units and the former have always tried to “bail” them out.

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DC to hold monthly review meetings 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg would be reviewing the work of officers in the district on a monthly basis. The meetings, which are mandatory, had not taken place in the district for several years. Certain officers welcomed the step as everyone would be accountable for his/her work while some others feel that there was no need for such meetings as officers were responsible enough to handle things on their own.

The first meeting would be held tomorrow at Bachat Bhawan in which officers, including SSP, Additional Deputy Commissioner (D), SDMs, Civil Surgeon and District Revenue Officer are likely to attend.

A senior officer in the district administration told The Tribune that this practise had stopped long ago and certain officers had started taking the public for a ride by not clearing files for months. They had adopted a casual approach towards work.

Court cases and other works of District Revenue Officers, recovery by tehsildars/naib tehsildars, issues relating to encroachment of land, pending department inquires, completion of service book of employees, midday meal schemes, etc. had taken a back seat as officers were not held accountable for their casual approach.

Terming the meeting to be a “waste of time”, one of the officers said when they were working as responsible officers, what was the need to hold “school-like sessions”.

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Hiccups mar PAP convocation
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, Phillaur 11
The ninth convocation held at Punjab Police Academy (PAP), Phillaur, was marred by uncertainties as rain played spoilsport and the venue was changed at the last minute.

Earlier, the programme was scheduled to be held on the campus but due to incessant rain last night the venue was shifted to Sutlaj Hotel at the eleventh hour.

The organisers of PAP, Phillaur, who are known for punctuality and smooth conduct of convocation ceremony, threw protocol to the air by getting late by one hour.

The programme was scheduled to start at 11.15 am and the visitors were request to take their seat by 11 am, but the chief guest arrived 45 minutes late.

Even the organisers rushed through the ceremony even as Dr David Bayley curtailed his convocation address.

David Bayley, from America, became the first chief guest in the history of PAP, Phillaur, to delivered convocation address while sitting on a chair as he was suffering from backache. But later on he went a step further when he removed his hat and refused to wear it again in spite of repeated requests made by GND varsity Vice-Chancellor Jairup Singh.

Even guests and relatives of degree recipients faced tough time parking their vehicle as the hotel parking was reserved for the VIPs.

The worst hit were the security personnel who manned the areas since early morning.

“We have been here since early morning and have been made to stand throughout the programme. We know this is our job, but seniors could have practiced punctuality,” said a policeman on condition of anonymity.

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IT surveys on 7 firms
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
The income tax department conducted surveys on seven firms here today.

The surveys are being conducted under the supervision of Range 1 and Range 5 Additional Commissioner Rupinder Brar and Range 3 Additional Commissioner Rakesh Goel.

Sources in the IT department said the department was expecting to unearth undisclosed income worth crores from the firms.

The firms under the IT scanner are SK Reclamation Private Limited (Focal Point), Poonam Textile (Focal Point), Gurmail and Sons, Asian Cranes (Gill Road), National Soap Factory (near Sahnewal), Mitar Fastner (Janta Nagar, Doraha) and a unit of Octave.

The surveys were being carried out till the filing of this report.

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City Concerns

The railway station is one of the most congested areas of the city. Hundreds of migrant labourers land here daily or travel back home. As a result, it gets impossible to commute on adjoining roads at several points during the day.

A number of trains, including Howrah Express, Amarpali, Jan Seva, Himgiri and Garib Rath, besides several others, add to the rush. A cross-section of residents are seeking a station at an alternative location, particularly for handling traffic of the migrant population.

Sources say that the railway authorities are already considering Dhandari Kalan as the best possible alternative venue. The traffic outside the station, particularly the rush of autorickshaws, would be handled well, making space for other vehicles and commuters.

What suggestions would you make to improve the railway station and its neighbourhood?

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

— City Editor

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City Concerns - II
Dog Menace: Extermination no solution

If we voice concern over the right of survival of stray dogs then we must also remember that we should also think the same before killing mosquitoes and cockroaches. They are also living beings who create nuisance and also are the cause of a number of diseases. And if we talk of animal rights then Maneka Gandhi is also right when she says cow’s milk is the sole right of its calf.

Nevertheless, we cannot think of exterminating stray dogs because, somehow or the other, it will amount to cruelty and also because we have to respect the statement given by the Supreme Court. The municipalities should make arrangements for sterilisation of female dogs so that such dogs do not multiply and also ensure its proper implementation. However, stray dogs with rabies should killed as they are a threat to human life.

Gurleen Kaur, Ludhiana

Sterilisation is the key

Stray dogs are becoming city’s largest animal issue. Such dogs roam through the streets and parents have to keep their wards indoors to avoid any undue happening. Further, city residents are also torn between love or hate for them. Moreover, howling by stray dogs disturbs the sleep of most residents at night. News of biting children in some localities has been in newspapers recently.

Sterilization is utmost necessary to get rid of stray dogs. And, after the process, the dogs are tagged by the organisation. Sterilisation is important as it will not only control population but also reduce aggression among dogs.

Sterilisation also helps reduce the mortality rate in dogs as well as the incidence of prostate cancer in males and controls uterine problems in females.

Prior to 1998, people were not aware about sterilisation and it w3as hard convincing and educating them. Stray dogs were electrocuted in order to control their population.

However, after the framing of law to stop the killing of stray dogs in 1998, people have become more aware and concerned now.

It has become imperative to adopt sterilisation process to solve the problem.

Ravi Chander Garg, Ludhiana

Remove food source

There are three solutions to overcome the stray dog menace. One is to get rid of female dogs. Second option is to remove food source i.e. remove rubbish from streets. And, the final one is to neuter and release.

Removal and killing of dogs should never be considered as the most effective way of dealing with the problem. And, it has no affect on the root cause of the problem. So neuter and release, policy advocated by the World Health Organization and the World Society for the protection of animals, solves the problem permanently, although it will take three to five years for it to succeed. It is, however, a permanent and humane solution to which politicians can be proud of.

Further, stray dog population depends solely on the degree of food available. Nature adjusts the population to the carrying capacity of the territory. If, however, the carrying capacity of an area is filled with sterile animals, the population will gradually die out.

Bhawna Garg, Ludhiana

Establish organisation

Stray dogs encompass not only feral dogs, which stay at a safe distance from human beings, but free-roaming dogs or inadequately supervised dogs that are occasionally or regularly fed by human beings. These often cause road accidents and nuisance, wake residents at night, disturb rubbish, frighten children and usually cause complaints to municipalities.

Further the sight of hungry, sick dogs foraging desperately for food, bodies on city roads because of accidents distress visitors and residents at regular course of intervals. Though we are unable to find exact figure of dogs in the city, we can find these at every nook and cranny in the city.

To tackle the problem, an organisation must be established to handle the population management project effectively on the lines of private participation. The executive board should consist of the chief executive, logistic director, purchasing director, chief accountant, personal director and chief vet.

The board should also employ a veterinary surgeon and two assistant vets/veterinary nurses in each clinic in addition to student vets/volunteers. And, an expatriate chief executive, experienced in managing public service companies or project, should also be appointed so that no question should be there of corruption or political nepotism.

He should be accountable to a board consisting of a representative of the Governor or relevant ministry, a representative of a respected world body, an appointee of municipal corporation and a representative of an animal protection organisation. A commercial sponsor for the overall project should also be appointed as a member of the board.

The chief executive should be assisted by high-calibre graduates so that they could take over as chief executive in the due course of time. The financial records should be audited by a firm of internationally respected accountants who appoint a full-time chief accountant to eliminate any danger of corruption or financial waste.

Shivanshu Garg. Chandigarh Road, Ludhiana

Form dog squad

It is cruel to kill stray dogs. Sterilisation of stray dogs is crucial in putting a tab on their population growth.

All pet dogs should be given anti-rabies shot as per the requirement from authorised hospitals and the owner should maintain a record.

Also, a dog squad under the supervision of the municipal committee equipped with a vehicle and a telephone (one-way) must be formed.

The PAU (vet) wing can act as the immunisation point. A compound for stray dogs can also be set up on the PAU campus.

After immunisation, dogs should be marked with a collar and a record kept. Those that need to be put down must be dealt with humanely.

Maj Kuljit Singh Sidhu, Ludhiana

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A day of demonstrations
PSEB staff burn effigy
Our Correspondent

Raikot, February 11
Employees of the PSEB’s Raikot and Bassian subdivision burnt the effigy of the board management here today.

The joint forum of the board employees had given a call for a rally against the “anti-employee” policies of the PSEB, the state and central governments.

The activists burnt the effigy of the management as a mark of protest.

Addressing the gathering, Harbhajan Singh, president of Ministerial Services Union, Punjab, said the PSEB management was working as a puppet at the hands of the Punjab government and was evading its pact with the joint forum of the employees.

He said the government was deliberately delaying the implementation of recommendations of the new pay commission.

He asked the PSEB board and the government to clear their stand on these issues, implement the agreement with the unions and give pay scale to PSEB employees as per other departments of the state.

He warned that if their demands were not met, a state-level rally would be held in front of the PSEB headquarters at Patiala on March 4.

Union leaders Billu Khan, Jaswinder Singh Heran, Mukhtiar Singh Chappa, Avtar Singh Bassian, Mewa Singh, Murad Ali, Mohinder Singh Manpreet Singh Aulakh Paramjit Singh Cheema were present in the rally.

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Power cuts prompt dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Members of the United Small Industries Association, New Janta Nagar, held a dharna in protest against unscheduled power cuts being imposed in the city by the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) here today.

Addressing the gathering, United Small Industries Association president Avtar Singh Azad said numerous small units had been operating in the area for the past 40 years and surviving on small machinery installed on the premises.

He said the small industry that was already reeling under the global economic crisis was facing closure due to the long power cuts in the city.

He demanded that unscheduled power cuts being imposed in the area be revoked and the areas be brought under category 2.

Union leaders demanded fulfillment of their demands at the earliest failing which they would be forced to go on protest.

Shopkeepers, traders and residents from New Janta Nagar, Guru Angad Colony, Amar Nagar, Dhaba Colony, Dhaba Road, Chimney Road, Gurpal Nagar, Ranjeet Nagar, Durga Nagar and Kot Mangal Singh Colony participated in the dharna.

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FCI unions seek pay revision
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
The Food Corporation of India Class IV Karamchari Sangh along with four other unions staged a dharna in front of the office of area manager, FCI, in support of their demands here today.

Addressing the gathering, general secretary of FCI Executive Staff Union Vinod Kumar Verma rued that on the one hand the central government had implemented the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission and hiked the pay scales of its employees, while on the other the FCI was exploiting its staff by not revising the pay scales.

He warned the management to take up the wage revision case pending since January 1, 2007 soon, failing which the unions would be forced to protest.

FCI Class IV Karamchari Sangh president Mangal Nath Bali said the monthly pension of Rs 700 being given to FCI employees was a joke and the amount be raised to at least Rs 7,000 per month.

He also urged the government to provide jobs on compassionate grounds to the next of kin of the deceased employees.

Brij Mohan Prashar, chairman, FCI Quality Control Technical Association, said in the wake of numerous employees opting for VRS, many posts had fallen vacant that should be filled immediately.

Hundreds of members of the FCI Executive Staff Union, FCI Class IV Employees’ Union, FCI Class IV Karamchari Sangh and FCI Quality Control Staff Association and FCI SC/ST Employees’ Welfare Association took part in the protest

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Dharna by patwaris
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
The Revenue Patwar Union (east and west), Ludhiana district, held a dharna at Mini Secretariate here today. They demanded early implementation of their outstanding demands.

During his address, Roopinder Singh, president (east), said their colleagues in the west zone had not been paid salaries for the past two months. He alleged that the district administration was not paying attention to the problem.

He said a delegation of patwaris had met the SDM (west) recently on the issue but to no avail.

He said if salaries were not paid soon, patwaris would be forced to go for indefinite dharnas.

Amongst others who spoke on included Toor Singh, Kuldeep Singh Maan, Sukhwinder Singh Virk, Dalip Singh and Darshan Kumar. 

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March for healthy environment
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
As part of the national environment awareness campaign, the Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha, Ludhiana, organised a healthy environment march today.

The marchers went to the mini-secretariat and presented a memorandum to the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner.

Hundreds of citizens, including school students participated in the event starting from opposite Khalsa College for Women, Ghumar Mandi, carrying banners and placards campaigning against indiscriminate felling of trees.

The jatha also called upon to take effective measures to control environmental pollution and ecological disturbance, which is causing climate change and affecting our health.

Various speakers who addressed the gathering said trees are a big source to clean the environment.

Ludhiana is amongst the highly polluted towns in the country that needs greener cover, but ironically trees are felling in large number. Referring to the felling of trees, in old court complex and other places, jatha activists said the place should be used to make parking and green belt for the area.

The present move will only spoil the environment, as it has already started affecting the flora fauna by depriving the birds of their natural habitat.

It is estimated that three saplings should be planted if one is uprooted. But nothing has been done in terms of plantation.

There is also a need to introduce cleaner technology for public transport in the city to prevent several diseases caused by air pollution.

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Over 4,000 house tax cases pending 
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Though the municipal corporation has been able to get Rs 37.39 crore as house tax till February 10, there are more than 4,000 cases pending in all four zones where the assessment has still to be approved by house tax committees comprising councillors and zonal commissioners.

With less than 50 days left for the financial year to end, doubts are being raised whether the MC would be able to meet the estimated target of Rs 75 crore.

According to house tax inspectors, more than 2,500 house tax cases are pending in zone-B alone while the number varies between 600 and 700 in zone-A.

Highly placed sources in the MC revealed that the revenue potential was still unexplored due to delay in the disposal of pending cases.

They said: “Big house tax amount cases are maximum in zone-D and the delay in assessment is surely hampering the MC’s revenue earnings. Being an important source of money, house tax plays an important role, but due to pending assessments by house tax committees, a heavy loss could be expected.”

Interestingly, joint commissioner Davinder Singh, overall in charge of the house tax department, had written a letter to all zones a day ago, asking them to submit a list of pending cases.

However, no list has been received from even a single zone till today. The matter of assessment cases being pended was also highlighted during a review meeting with the municipal commissioner, GS Ghuman, yesterday and he was expected to take a serious view of it.

As far as comparative statement of recovery from April 1, 2007, to February 10, 2008, and April 1, 2008, to February 10, 2009, the civic body has surely made a gain of Rs 2 crore. While the maximum increase was witnessed in zone-D, where there was an increase of Rs 1 crore, the least was witnessed in zone-A, where the amount was just Rs 1.29 lakh.

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Blaring music falls on police’s deaf ears
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
In violation of the Supreme Court ruling, various religious organisations and groups continue to play blaring music and use loudspeakers during late evening or wee hours.

A large number of such organisations have been creating nuisance in the name of religion and community as they commence their festivities on a “loud note” way beyond the relaxation hours of 6 am to 11 pm. With examinations round the corner, students are bearing the brunt of constant noise pollution even as the district administration has failed to take action against the guilty.

Complaining against the nuisance, a resident of Kitchlu Nagar said: “A religious group has been celebrating the birth anniversary of a saint for the past 10 days amidst blaring musical band and songs. They start playing music half-past three and carry on with their festivities till late night.”

He also stated that in spite of repeated requests, the police at the Haibowal’s labour chowk has ignored the ongoing practice. Ironically, the police does not even object to the fact that this particular group has been using “bus stop” for their religious function by covering it with white sheets.

Rohila, a class XII science student, termed the situation as lawlessness, adding: “Early morning is the best time for revision but the blaring noise of loudspeakers is an obstruction.” However, SP City I Harsh Bansal said: “People can approach us with specific complaints and we will initiate necessary action.”

A large number of temples and gurdwaras in the periphery of the city and adjoining villages have failed to abide by the Supreme Court directives as they continue to use loudspeakers for early morning prayers.

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Manch honours historian, NRIs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 11
A noted historian from Canada, Patrick Green along with NRIs Pritam Singh Grewal, Binder Grewal, Jaish Bains and Richie Bains were felicitated by the Baba Banda Singh Bahadur International Manch at a function organised at Rajguru Nagar here today.

Manch president Krishan Kumar Bawa, state chief Hari Das Bawa and propaganda secretary Surjit Singh Bairagi presented a shawl, a portrait of Banda Bahadur and books depicting life history of the saint soldier to the Canadian scholar and NRIs.

Green said he had studied the Indian history and Indians ought to take pride in the rich heritage and culture of the country. “The Indian history is a virtual chronicle of great sacrifices in the world for the cause of the country and its people.”

Paying tributes to Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, Pritam Singh Grewal stated that unparalleled sacrifice by the saint soldier had shown people a way to live a life of dignity. “It was Banda Bahadur who had set up the first Sikh empire and had gone on to issue commemorative coins of Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh.”

He lauded the initiative of the manch in taking up the construction of Baba Banda Bahadur bhawan at Rakba village.

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Gifts galore for Valentine’s Day
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Gifts are a special part of Valentine’s Day. With couples wanting to gift something special to make this day unforgettable, most marketplaces have been flooded with these. Painting the market red, shops have been decorated with roses and hearts.

When it comes to gifts, the list is endless. Starting from teddies to flowers and chocolates, there is plethora to choose from. Chocolates are in huge demand on Valentine’s Day. “The best gift for the day is chocolates and red roses. Every year I gift these to my husband. There is no ideal gift than roses on the day,” says Gurpreet Kaur, a homemaker.

While one stick of red rose is available for Rs 10 on usual days, on February 14 the cost can go up to Rs 100. “To avoid last-minute rush, I have already booked my flowers in advance,” adds Harsh, a college student.

Even cosmetic companies have launched new products for the day. Nature’s Essence, a personal care product brand, has introduced “Aromatic Facial” to make women look special on the Valentine’s Day.

Kirtilals has announced a week-long celebration of love. Its collection includes solitaire pendants and chains, rings, diamond jewellery sets and more.

With Valentine’s Day round the corner, men are thronging female stores like never before! Buying clothes and accessories for their loved ones is the main reason behind them visiting female stores.

Says Akhil Duggar, director, Madame: “We’ve seen high level of male activity this February as compared to past years. Part of the reason also being heavy discounts on offer.”

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BJP cell seeks cut in bus fares
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
President of the Punjab unit of the BJP Investors’ Cell Sukhminderpal Singh Grewal in a letter to Transport Minister Master Mohan Lal has demanded the state government to reduce bus fare following cut in diesel prices.

The prevailing rates of fuel were applicable in September, 2005, he said. Grewal said the SAD-BJP government was committed to serving people and should immediately reduce bus fares to provide relief to the common man.

He added that the decision would reiterate the “Raj Nahi Seva” slogan given by SAD-BJP alliance before Lok Sabha polls especially when most of the private fleet of buses were owned by companies promoted by Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

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Teachers demand transfer of DEO
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Three teachers’ unions and one non-teachers’ union today staged a rally in the mini-secretariat to demand transfer of the district education officer (secondary), Sudesh Bajaj, and protested against her alleging dictatorial attitude towards the teachers.

The rally was jointly organised by the Punjab school government teachers’ union, democratic teachers’ front and clerical staff union.

The general secretary of the democratic teachers’ front said there were a number of inquiries pending against the DEO.

He said the chairman, PSEB, had also ordered an inquiry against her for allegedly deputing the superintendents of the examination centre.

The democratic teacher front had also submitted a memorandum to the Punjab Chief Minister at the sangat darshan and he had ordered an inquiry.

The teachers’ unions were also critical of chief Parliamentary secretary, Harish Rai Dhanda’s support to the DEO.

Despite attempts Sudesh was not available for comments.

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PAU employees seek more salary
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
A meeting of the PAU employees’ forum federation and employees’ sewa dal was held near Students’ Home at PAU today.

DP Maur, former president PAU employees' union, while addressing the meeting, said 7 per cent rate of annual increment be given to employees and demanded that pay be fixed in the revised scale after merging interim relief, vacant posts be filled on regular basis, employees working on contract basis be regularised, departments given under control of zila parishads be taken back and prior pension scheme instead of contributory pension scheme be implemented.

Maur further demanded that state government should grant a minimum pay scale of Rs 13,000 to Class IV employees. He also said all employees working on adhoc basis in education department, roadways, universities and in other departments be regularised and 25 per cent rent be sanctioned and implemented to residents of Ludhiana on pattern of Chandigarh.

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Khalsa College girls get US scholarship
Our correspondent

Jagraon, February 11
About eight students of Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, got scholarship of Sikh Human Development Association of USA organised by Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council, Delhi.

These students appeared for a written moral test and interviewed by the expert team. The test was conducted on November 30 on the college campus in which about 17 students had appeared.

Three students of BCA (III), one student of BCA (II) and one student of the PGDCA are awarded Rs 6,000 each, and two students Sandeep Kaur and Navneet Kaur of BCA (III) got Rs 7,000 each, and Kirandeep Kaur of BCA (III) got Rs 1,5000.

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Mind your buses, schools told
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
In the wake of three major accidents involving school vans, which have claimed three lives and left several injured, the police is taking steps to ensure a smooth ride for schoolchildren.

The SP (Traffic), Rupinder Singh, has passed strict guidelines to the school authorities following a steep rise in accidents involving school buses.

He said every school vehicle would require a permit to carry children and vehicles should carry insurance certificate.

The driver should have at least five years’ of driving experience and must wear a uniform and a badge. The vehicle should also have a conductor.

All schools should provide parking space inside the boundary walls of the school premises and buses should drop children inside the premises. Overloaded vehicles would be challaned, the SP added.

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Seminar on impact of computers
Our correspondent

Jagraon, February 11
The computer department of Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, conducted a seminar on the impact of computers on our life. The seminar was a joint effort of KCW and IT. Experts Amit Sharma and Ritesh Kapoor narrated the various dimensions of computers, its impact and uses in various fields in daily life. Students participated in the interactive session and satisfied their quarries.

Principal of the college Paramjit Kaur, said not only students, even the teachers also gained from the seminar.

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UGC sponsors seminar at Malwa College
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
A two-day national seminar-cum-workshop, sponsored by University Grants Commission started at Malwa Central College of Education for Women today.

The seminar on ‘journey towards self-culture’ has dimensions, including physical culture, integrating diet and yoga, knowledge culture-bridging the gap between philosophy and IT, aesthetic culture etc. Today's sessions stressed upon physical culture -Integrating diet and yoga. The resource persons were Dr GD Sharma from department of yoga H P University, Shimla, and Dr Subhashini Verma, head of department food and nutrition, PAU, Ludhiana.

The second theme was social culture and the resource person was Dr Yoginder Verma, director Academic Staff College, H P University, Shimla.

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One held with opium 
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 11
The Dehlon Police has arrested a person and recovered half kg opium from him. The accused is identified as Paramjit Singh of Raikot.

He was going from Gujjarwal to Kila Raipur when the Gujjarwal Police intercepted him near Phallewal village turning and recovered opium from his possession late evening yesterday.

The police registered a case against the accused under sections 18/61/85 of the NDPS Act and obtained one-day remand from Ludhiana court to inquire further.

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Commission agent booked for embezzlement
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, February 11
The Sudhar police has booked a commission agent for criminal breach of trust for embezzling Rs 3.95 lakh.

Mal Singh in his complaint to SSP Jagraon Gurpreet Singh Bhullar accused Rajinder Singh of Saholi Village of embezzling his money given to him in good faith. He said his daughter was married to Laxman Singh of Saholi village and Rajinder Singh was the cousin of Laxman Singh.

Rajinder borrowed Rs 3.95 lakh from him for a few days on January 1, 2002 but he delayed the repayment on one pretext or the other. Rajinder ran a shop of commission agent at Grain Market, Mullanpur Dakha. In March, 2008 Rajinder refused to repay the amount and he approached the SSP. His complaint was verified by EO wing, Jagraon, and the allegations were found true. After consulting the DA legal, the SSP ordered the registration of an FIR at the Sudhar police station. The Sudhar police has now booked the accused under Section 406 of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far.

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Youngsters caught for impropriety, let off
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, Ludhiana 11
Just three days before Valentine’s Day, the police caught a group of boys and girls in a compromising position at a cyber cafe here.

A police team headed by SHO division No. 5 Sandeep Wadhera raided a cyber cafe near Ansal Plaza and arrested a group of boys and girls allegedly in a compromising position. After reprimanding them, the police let the youngsters off.

Wadhera said: “We will take action against the cyber cafe owner. In order to make quick buck, such people encourage these practices on their premises.”

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Goods worth Rs 4 lakh seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
A team of mobile wing of the Excise and Taxation department, on the directions of Assistant Commissioner Excise and Taxation, mobile wing, Tejbir Singh, seized cosmetics and readymade garments worth Rs 4 lakh from the railway station today morning.

The goods were being brought to the city from Delhi, Calcutta and other cities and were seized by a team of sleuths led by BM Gupta, ETO-cum-designated officer.

A detailed inquiry into the matter is on and the department would carry out searches, if need be, on the premises of certain local firms, said Tejbir.

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Sukhdev Thapar pip Khalsa College
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 11
A brace each by Reena and Jaspal Kaur enabled hosts, Sukhdev Thapar Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana, to pip Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, 5-0 to emerge as champions in the Ranjodh Kaur Grewal Memorial Ludhiana District Hockey Tournament for Women which concluded at the Sukhdev Thapar Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar Chowk, here today.

The last league fixture turned out to be a mismatch as Thapar School girls gained an early lead in the fifth minute through a field goal scored by Reena Kumari. Three minutes later, they enhanced the lead, when Bubbly found the target and in the 10th minute, Jaspal Kaur struck to make it 3-0. She converted a penalty corner in the 19th minute to increase the lead 4-0.

In the second session, Reena again sounded the board in the 39th minute, to help her team to wrap up the issue without being challenged (5-0).

Earlier, in another league encounter, Khalsa College for Women faced a stiff challenge from Government College for Women, Civil Lines, before romping home victorious 1-0. The all-important goal came off Nadia's stick in the 38th minute.

Balkar Singh Brar, senior town planner Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, gave away prizes.

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