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4 of family shot at over water
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Bhadla Uchha (Khanna), March 14
Four members of a family, three brothers and their father, were allegedly shot at following a dispute over water here last night. Six persons, including two brothers, their father and three cousins, have been booked for firing gunshots and injuring the four.

According to villagers, water had entered their fields after two years of dry spell. The water had overflowed from a canal and started damaging standing crops.

The affected farmers at the tail end of the canal blocked the entry of water to their fields. A section of other villagers raised objections to this.

Around 8 pm yesterday, the two sides entered into a heated argument over the issue. The matter was resolved after the two sides decided to divert the excessive water to the shamlat (panchayat) land of the village.

However around 9.30 pm, some unidentified persons attacked the other group with sharp-edged weapons and fired gunshots.

The victims have been identified as Charan Singh, Tarlochan Singh, Raghubir Singh, all brothers, and their father Harnek Singh.

They received multiple bullet injuries and were taken to the local Civil Hospital, where their condition was stated to be stable.

The police officials investigating matter said the assailants were in inebriated state and attacked the victims in a fit of rage.

The accused have been identified as Harinder Singh and Satinder Singh, both brothers, their father Buta Singh, cousins Kulwant Singh, Paramjit Singh and Kulwant Singh. A case under Sections 307, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC and Arms Act has been registered against them.

No arrests have been made so far and the police is investigating the case.

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Cong leader’s murder case cracked, 1 held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 14
With the arrest of one accused, the district police claimed to have solved the blind murder of youth general secretary of the District Congress Committee Vicky Rana. The body of Rana, who was bludgeoned to death, was found along the road at Bhattian village on March 2.

The accused have been identified as Sanjeev Kumar of Vishnu Puri and Vipan Kumar of Salem Tabri. While Sanjeev has been nabbed, Vipan is still absconding.

Contrary to the allegations of the family, who were pointing fingers at Rajan Verma for making threat calls to Vicky, the accused turned out to be close aides of Rana.

Addressing a press conference, SSP Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill said the victim had usurped money of his friends and had refused to return it.

The SSP said Rana had borrowed around Rs 2 lakh from Vipan to invest it in “committees” but refused to return it due to which the financial condition of Vipan deteriorated. Vipan had to sell his auto-rickshaw to make ends meet.

Sanjeev was also hard up as Vicky had borrowed money from him as well and refused to return it.

Vipan and Sanjeev then hatched a plan to kill Rana to settle their score.

According to the plan, Sanjeev went to Rana’s house in the morning and stayed there till noon. In the evening, he invited Rana for drinks at a liquor vend. Sanjeev also called Vipan at liquor vend.

The three had liquor there but Rana’s drinks were laced with sedatives and after consuming it he fell unconscious.

The accused took him near Big Bazar Shopping Mall, near Bhattian village, where Sanjeev killed him by smashing a stone against Rana’s face.

To evade suspicion, Sanjeev made repeated calls to Vicky’s brother and asked for him.

Sanjeev even visited the house of the victim after the murder to evade suspicion. Sanjeev is already facing murder charges.

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Three held for extortion bid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 14
After three days of extensive search and scanning of mobile details and locations of the anonymous caller, the police today managed to bust the gang of extortionists who had sought Rs 2 crore as ransom from an industrialist.

The police arrested three accused - Rakesh Singh, Deepak, alias Sonu, and Mohd Anzar Kahan - while the fourth accused, Vinod Yadav, is at large.

Rakesh, son traffic head constable Paras Singh and son-in-law of an ASI Balwinder Saini, had been working as recovery agent with a multinational bank along with his friend Deepak, a resident of Gopal Nagar, Haibowal.

Mohd Anzar Khan, a resident of Dhandri Kalan, had been running a a small business.

The police has recovered a .32 bore pistol and 15 live cartridges from the accused. Two motor cycles used in the crime have also been seized by the police.

All four are said to be good friends and have reportedly studied together.

SSP Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill said on March 8, an exporter of auto spares, Sheetal Gupta, had received a two ransom calls on his mobile, first at 5.08 pm and second at 8.03 pm, from the accused.

The SSP claimed that both calls were made from Mumbai and one of the accused, Vinod, had especially flown to Mumbai to make the calls from a PCO there.

The accused claimed to be a Mumbai-based sharpshooter and demanded a ransom of Rs 2 crore from Gupta. Dr Gill said the accused spoke in Mumbai accent to sound convincing.

The callers threatened to kill the family of the businessman if he refused to pay the ransom.

Gupta rubbished the caller’s threat and did not inform the police. The matter came to light when a shot was fired at the industrialist’s vehicle.

Dr Gill said after the shooting, the accused again rang up Gupta on March 11 and 12 and threatened him to arrange the money or face the consequences.

This time, the calls were made from PCOs situated in Malerkotla and Mandi Ahmedgarh, respectively.

The accused were identified and arrested when they went to make another call to Gupta from a PCO in Mandi Ahmedgarh.

While Rakesh was arrested, Vinod managed to flee. The other two accused were arrested from a vacant plot near the house of the industrialist. During interrogation, the accused confessed to the crime.

Rakesh said Vinod and him had gone to Gupta’s house on March 11 and fired three rounds, one of which hit Gupta’s car. The pistol used in the crime was brought from Utter Pradesh.

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Agriculture Ministry Notification
NET clause zaps PAU teachers
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 14
The latest notification of the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, making it mandatory for university teachers holding PhD to clear NET has come as a big jolt to the teaching fraternity. The ministry has issued the notification on revision of pay scales, the communication on which was sent to the Chief Secretaries of all state governments last evening.

Teachers have, however, welcomed the decision on their demand for revision of pay scales.

Punjab Agricultural University Teachers’ Association (PAUTA) former secretary Dr RS Brar said teachers of state agricultural universities had already spent an extra year completing BSc Agriculture (four-year programme) as compared to their counterparts in other universities. They have been handed out a raw deal, he said.

As per previous notification by UGC (December 31, 2008) and Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR) on March 6, 2009, there was no such condition put on teachers in agricultural universities.

“But as per the latest notification, for the post of Assistant Professor and above, if a candidate has done PhD, he/she needs to clear NET as well, which is unjustified. What is more surprising is that this condition has been reiterated by the vice-chancellors of agricultural universities during their last meeting on February 16-17, 2009. This has been the biggest anomaly in this notification,” said Dr Brar.

Meanwhile, welcoming the revision of pay scales, Dr KN Sharma, professor of soils, and Dr KS Sangha from forestry department said since the Central Government had notified the pay scales, the state governments must also initiate steps to implement the decision in a time-bound manner.

“Model code of conduct has been imposed in the country, yet government at the Centre has notified pay scales. The state government should pool in its share well in time to provide relief to teachers serving in agricultural universities,” said Dr Sangha.

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LS Polls
9 counting centres for city seat
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 14
The Ludhiana constituency will have nine counting centres, spread across the city, for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, results of which will be declared on May 16.

As the voters will cast their ballot through electronic voting machines, the results are expected around noon.

Official sources said counting for Ludhiana East will be conducted at Rotary Club, Sarabha Nagar; Ludhiana South at Government College for Women, near Bharat Nagar Chowk; Atam Nagar at MGM Public School, Dugri; Ludhiana Central at SD Government College for Boys near Rose Garden; Ludhiana West at Khalsa College for Women, Ghumar Mandi; Ludhiana North at Arya College for Boys, Civil Lines; Gill Road at Lions Club, Udham Singh Nagar; Dakha at BCM Model School, Model Town, Shashtri Nagar; and Jagraon at Prithipal Singh Indoor Stadium, Punjab Agricultural University.

So far, 12,96,931 voters have been listed in the voters’ list from the Ludhiana constituency. Of these, 61,0196 are women voters.

There are 1,329 polling stations in the city, including proposed auxiliary polling stations.

Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg said election related circular, mainly from the Election Commission, was being circulated for greater public awareness. Stress was being laid on ensuring “free and fair” polls in the constituency.

Under the election commission directions, the political party concerned or its candidate is required to inform the local police authorities well in advance about venue and time of their proposed meetings.

The police needs to be been given adequate time to make necessary arrangements.

The district administration will make special efforts to disallow garnering of votes on religious platforms. Special instructions are being handed out to parties to ensure that they do not use the premises of mosques, churches, temples, gurdwaras and other places of worship as a forum for election campaigning.

The Deputy Commissioner is learnt to have sent a communication to the local SSP asking him to provide adequate security cover at the venue of filing of nomination papers. No candidate would be allowed to enter the premises with more than three vehicles.

Parties and their candidates have been asked to decide on organising their procession before hand along with the place and time of starting of procession, route and time. The organisers will also have to specify the place where the procession will terminate.

The administration and the police authorities will have to be communicated the details separately.

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Pickpockets leave 15 Cong men broke
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 14
Pickpockets made good with wallets of as many as 15 youth activists of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) at the district court complex here today.

The incident took place this morning when PPCC activists thronged the district court complex in support of former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who had to appear for hearing in the City Centre scam case.

The victims were in for a rude shock when they realised that their wallets had gone missing.

A week ago, pickpockets had taken away the purse of a stenographer from the complex.

While Congress activist Gurpreet Singh claimed that he lost Rs 4,000 along with ATM and PAN cards, Sameer Sharma claimed that he was carrying Rs 3,000 and three ATM cards in his wallet.

Also, the wallets of Jasvir Singh, Gurcharan Singh and Manpreet Singh Laddi contained Rs 4,000, Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,400, respectively, and along with important documents.

The remaining 10 activists who had come from other districts refused to divulge the details about their losses.

The complainants accused the administration of providing inadequate security at the complex.

Soon after their purses were stolen, the victims made frantic calls to their respective banks to block their ATM and credit cards.

Manpreet Singh Laddi said it was tedious process to make PAN cards and party identity cards. He apprehended misuse of these cards.

It’s not the first time that someone’s purse has been stolen from the court complex. The complex has been notorious for the presence of pick-pockets and thieves. Such incidents have become commonplace as pickpockets continue to target vulnerable litigants who travel from far-off places in hope of getting justice.

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Gutka pack found in Pepsi bottle
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

A consumer shows a sealed bottle of Pepsi with a pack of ‘gutka’ inside.
A consumer shows a sealed bottle of Pepsi with a pack of ‘gutka’ inside. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, March 14
In a blatant violation of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, a bottle of soft drink containing a pack of ‘gutka’ (tobacco) was sold to a customer in Hargobind Nagar near Samrala Chowk.

Manjit Singh, an architect running his firm in the area, had ordered cold drinks a couple of days ago from a nearby confectioner and was shocked to see the pack of tobacco in the sealed bottle. Interestingly, the name of the gutka company ‘Shikhar’ is readable through the soft drink bottle.

He immediately sent the bottle back to the confectioner, Naresh Kumar, asking him to lodge a formal complaint for the same. Naresh, who had procured the soft drink from Darshan agency, the Pepsi dealer in the area, took up the matter with the dealer. “The dealer said that this is not a big issue and such incidents are common. He even asked me to return the bottle, but I refused as I want the authorities concerned to take up the matter seriously,” said the confectioner.

The area residents objecting to the negligence on the part of the company said that such incidents can’t be ignored as they were against the interest of the consumers. They also pointed towards the possibility of adulteration in the soft drink. 

However, Dinesh Kumar, the owner of Darshan agency, when contacted said he received the lot from Pepsi on February 18, three days after the date of bottling.

Thereafter the dealer brought the matter to the notice of Santosh, the senior official of Pepsi, who when approached by The Tribune correspondent said that he was aware of the matter, but could not comment as he was out of station.

Pepsi has a bottling unit near Phillaur, which caters to the region.

Surinder Singh, customer care officer of Pepsi, while speaking on behalf of the company said that they would be able to take action only after inspecting the bottle adding, “It could be a case of spurious soft drinks, which is a common practice these days. The shopkeepers procure these spurious soft drinks from unauthorised outlets and spoil the company’s name.”

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LS Polls
Galib kicks off campaign
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, March 14
Gurcharan Singh Galib, BJP-Akali nominee for Lok Sabha constituency in Ludhiana, kicked off his election campaign from Dakha today. Scores of panches, sarpanches and Akali workers from the nearby 35 villages attended the meeting today. This was the first meeting that will be conducted zone-wise throughout the constituency.

Galib, addressing the party workers, said he was not afraid of losing the battle as he had lost it at the moment his party denied him ticket in spite of being so loyal to it. Moreover, he said now there was no chance of losing as he was getting unconditional support from the BJP-Akali alliance.

He claimed terrorism a brainchild of the Congress. He called Manish Tewari, the Congress candidate, a ‘migrant bird’ who would soon go away with the changing season. He said he was offered Rajya Sabha seat for his consent to give ticket to Tewari, but he declined the offer.

He lauded the working of Badals for their attachment with grass root-level workers. He also praised Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman of Zila Parishad, as a good worker and politician.

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Harmful distillery waste being fed to cattle
Rakesh Gupta

Raikot, March 14
Harmful waste generated by distilleries is being sold in the rural areas and fed to cattle. The byproduct, which is largely remains of maize, rice, etc. is bought from bear manufacturing units.

Distilleries usually give contract to lift and dispose of the waste to contractors who instead of dumping it sell it as feed to dairy farmers in rural areas.

The rural folk is beguiled and sold the byproduct for around Rs 300 per quintal. The waste is then mixed with cattle feed and given to healthy milch cattle by villagers.

Recently, Sukhwinder Singh of Payal was found selling the byproduct from a mini truck (PB 10 BS 7671) at Talwandi Rai village, near here.

Raikot’s veterinary officer Gurdeep Singh termed the use of the waste product harmful for cattle. He said its use could lower the immunity levels of cattle and also affect the production of milk. Its use could also lead to the death of the animal, he added.

He said only dairy development authority could take action against those selling the harmful material.

He added that distillery owners had failed to do their duty by destroying the byproduct. He would write to the relevant authorities regarding the issue, he added.

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Woman assaulted by drunk men
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, March 14
Three drunkards had reportedly attacked a woman of Maniewal village near Humbran last evening. Darshan Singh, husband of the victim, in his complaint to the Humbran police had alleged that the accused, Mukhtiar Singh and Tersem Singh, reached his house on their motorcycle with their unidentified accomplice and attacked his wife Joginder Kaur.

He alleged the attackers were equipped with sharp-edged weapons and tried to hurt his wife on her head. In order to save her, Darshan confronted them with bare hands and suffered minor injuries.

He said the attackers were annoyed with his wife as she tried stopping them from creating nuisance under the influence of liquor.

The police has started inquest proceedings in the matter. However, no case was registered till filing of this report.

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Shifting of exam centres
Authorities urged to rethink
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 14
Parents of Class V students studying in private affiliated schools of the area have urged the authorities to review their decision to shift examination centres to government schools situated miles away from their institutes.

Investigations by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the last moment decision of authorities to shift examination centres for Class V of private affiliated schools to distant state-run schools have left parents in a lurch.

Earlier, it was decided to establish examination centres at all affiliated schools. Students and their parents were now informed that they would have to reach government schools situated at distant places.

Strangely, the authorities had ignored geographical location of these schools while allocating centre to the students. Students of Anand Isher Senior Secondary Chhappar village have been asked to appear at the Government School, Pohir, situated 4 kms away from the town.

Students of GHG Khalsa Public School, Bahadurgarh, will be appearing at Government School, Chhappar.

Terming decision to shift examination centres as arbitrary and unwanted Dilbagh Singh of Andloo village near Raekot, alleged that they (authorities) had ignored proximity while allocating centres. “When they can allow examination centre for Class X and Class XII what was wrong in conducting examination of Class V students,” said Dilbagh. His grandson, like many other students will have to travel a distance of 20 km on the day of the exam.

Kartar Singh principal, when contacted showed helplessness in the matter. “Though we have arranged special conveyance for taking students to examination centre, inconvenience to the parents can not be denied,” responded Kartar.

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Inter-college quiz contest at SBS
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 14
Synetic Business School (SBS) organised the grand finale of 2nd Inter-college quiz contest here yesterday.

In the preliminary rounds conducted at different colleges and after elimination rounds, five teams viz: Arya College for Boys, Ludhiana, GTBN Dakha, Government Degree College Kathua, Kamla Lohtia SD College, Ludhiana, and SCD Government College for boys, Ludhiana, contested in the grand finale.

Cash prizes of Rs 9,000, 6,000 and Rs 4,500 were given to the first, second and third prize winners respectively. Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman Zila Parishad was the chief guest. 

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HC judges inspect sub-divisional courts
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 14
Justice Mehtab Singh Gill of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh, visited the Jagraon sub-divisional courts today to inspect the working of the courts. He was accompanied by Ludhiana District and Session Judge, G.K. Rai. Justice Gill remained for about three hours and inspected the courts along with Jagraon Bar President, Advocate Raghubir Singh Toor, vice-president, Ranjit Singh Roomi and secretary Jagpal Singh Buttar.

He had a detailed discussion with the Jagraon Bar members over their long pending issues, including the new Bar room and chambers, Justice Gill informed that the place for 80 chambers for advocates and Bar room has been sanctioned.

Regarding the memorial of two judicial officers, A.K. Parashar and P.K. Goel, who were martyred during terrorism in Punjab, he said during the inauguration of the new complex that suitable memorial would be made in their memory. He also informed that a third court of Jr. 

Division Civil Judge would be operative within a week. He asked the advocates to submit representation regarding a court of Additional Session Judge at Jagraon, record room in Jagraon court complex and police stations of Mullanpur, Dakha and Humbran with Jagraon courts.

He assured that no chambers of the court complex would be demolished before the completion of new chambers for advocates. He gave directions to the Jagraon police on the demand of adequate police security at the court complex and asked Judge Mandeep Kaur Bedi to follow the demand of 24 hours hotline supply of electricity to the court complex.

SSP Ludhiana Rural, Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, and SDM Jagraon, Mukand Singh, accompanied Justice Gill during his visit to Jagraon.

Justice Gill, District and Session Judge, G.K. Rai and the Judges Mandeep Kaur Bedi and Ranjeev Kumar Vashist planted saplings in the new court complex. 

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