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LS Poll
PU not to hold exams from May 3-17 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Panjab University, Chandigarh, will not conduct examinations for undergraduate and postgraduate courses from May 3-17 due to the coming Lok Sabha elections. There will be a long breather for BCom, BCA and BA students, who will be having their last exam in the end of April. However, thousands of BSc and MA students would finish off with their exams by May 25.

Jaipal Singh, president, Government College Teachers Association (GCTA), Punjab, said since hundreds of teachers all over the state would be put on duties for the elections, the university had decided not to hold the exams during that period.

“The university authorities have taken a good decision. There would have been utter chaos otherwise. Earlier, during elections, the exams were postponed and the new date-sheet was announced much later,” said professor Jaipal.

Kuldeep Singh, a senior lecturer, said weak students faced several problems during examinations. The teachers worked day and night to clear their doubts during the preparatory holidays. Since the teachers would remain busy and unavailable due to their election duties, it would become difficult for the students to get answers to their problems.”

Swati Duggal, a postgraduate student, rued that they would be under the "examination fever" for almost two months. 


Parents, children protest fee hike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Hundreds of parents, children and other residents, under the banner of the Hindu-Sikh Jagriti Sena, today held a protest demonstration against fee hike and “school mafia”.

The protesters raised “wake-up district administration and wake-up deputy commissioner" slogans. The protesters also burnt an effigy of "school mafia".

President of the Hindu-Sikh Jagriti Sena Pravin Dang said the councillors, political leaders and MLAs were fighting with each other by levelling allegations and counter allegations. But no one was interested in providing relief to the common man. The fee hike in private schools has become a burden on parents. He said that district administration must take stern action against the "school mafia" to provide relief to parents.

The protesters will sit on a hunger strike on April 1 and 2 against the fee hike. 



Unfinished projects stare MC in face
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Unfinished projects seem to have become a trademark of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation which has a long list of pending tasks, raising a question mark on the working of the civic body.

Excuses are all that one gets after questioning the completion of a project.

Be it projects concerning the public or the MC itself, the dilly-dallying approach of the officials is a reason for the delay.

There were many decisions and directions which the MC officials were asked to obey. However, till date the officials have failed to do so.

In December 2008, the Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) had decided to install CCTV cameras at dumping grounds and the GPS in MC vehicles to keep a check on employees, as there were regular complaints of fuel pilferage. However, till date the grounds have nothing except waste.

Similarly, the local bodies department had directed the Municipal Corporation to regularise the employees of mohalla sanitation committees in August last year, but the MC has failed to find a solution. The deadlines given by the higher authorities too expired in November, but the MC has done nothing so far, despite the fact that the new financial year will begin from Wednesday.

The hot-mix plant of the MC was sealed by the Punjab Pollution Control Board last year, as it failed to adhere to the prescribed norms. The MC had decided to upgrade it, but nothing has been done about it.

The sterilisation programme of stray dogs also remains pending. An MoU was signed in November, 2008, and was to be implemented from February 1, but nothing has been done. The stray cattle menace, too, has been brought to fore many times, but to no avail.

Even wok on the installation of gates on public streets remains. Recently, the episode of Kitchlu Nagar proved that the MC prefers to be in a dilemma rather than coming up with solutions.



Dyeing Industry
Funds arranged for treatment plant
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Leaving no stone unturned for obtaining a nod from the Punjab and Haryana High Court for setting up a common effluent treatment plant, the local dyeing industry has managed to arrange the required funds as directed by the court, even before the stipulated time.

The dyeing industry, mired in controversy over discharge of toxic waste into the Buddha Nullah, has collected Rs 3.15 crore by way of contributions from the affected industrialists.

The court had asked the industry to arrange for Rs 3.5 crore before March 30. However, the date of hearing was postponed today to April 1.

Spokesman of the Tajpur Dyeing Units Association Bobby Jindal said an affidavit along with bank statements regarding the funds had been submitted in the court on March 28.

It is pertinent to mention here that the local dyeing industry had decided to set up a common effluent treatment plant after being directed by the high court to ensure zero discharge into the water body by May 31, 2009.

The project cost is Rs 15 crore out of which Rs 7 crore will be given by the Central and state governments as subsidies. 



Thieves in the guise of waiters?
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
For Jalandhar-based Sneh Lata and Kuldeep Chand, hiring a marriage palace near the Jalandhar bypass for the marriage of their children became an ordeal as they alleged that their jewellery and cash were stolen during their marriage parties.

Both victims alleged that there was a gang of thieves operating in these palaces in the guise of waiters, which was behind all thefts.

The modus operandi by the thieves in both cases was the same.

Sneh Lata said, “I organised the wedding party of my son at Amar Resort on February 22. After the wedding, the whole family gathered for lunch and I put a bag containing 18-tola gold, a mobile phone and Rs 60,000 at the back of my chair. Suddenly, lights were switched off and my bag was stolen. I tried to call at my cellphone to locate the bag, but it was switched off.”

She suspected a waiter for stealing the bag.

She alleged that it had been more than a month now that the police had not registered an FIR.

She alleged that despite strict instructions by the police, CCTV cameras were intentionally switched off by marriage palace authorities.

She said the report was registered when DSP Parampal Singh had come to know about the matter.

On the other hand, Kuldeep Chand, who was in the city to attend the reception party of his daughter at a resort on March 16, said a gang of thieves in the guise of waiters was operating in these palaces.

The thieves fled away with 10-tola gold and a diamond ring. He alleged that it had nearly been two weeks still the police had neither nabbed the culprits nor they had registered an FIR.

SSP Sukhchain Singh assured him that necessary action would be taken by the police.

On the other hand, the palace authorities alleged that the victims found waiters an easy target and blamed them for committing theft. But in most cases, it was actually relatives of the victims, who committed the theft.



Row Over Plot
Cop beats up deputy mayor’s nephew
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Deepak, nephew of senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal, was allegedly beaten up by a head constable in Shimlapuri here today.

According to information, Deepak had gone to the Shimlapuri police station to solve a row going on between two parties over a plot in the same area. Both parties claimed that they had legal documents of the possession of the land and a case was still pending in the court.

The parties started arguing in front of the police and Deepak tried to intervene when police personnel in civil dress appeared on the spot. This led to an argument between Deepak and the police officer and he was allegedly taken in the police station and thrashed till he became unconscious.

Meanwhile, people accompanying Deepak were gathered outside the station and raised slogans against the police. Later, after the intervention of Bansal and the SSP, the issue was resolved.



3 booked for kidnapping
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 30
The police have booked three persons, including a woman for abducting a women, with an intention to kill her.

Manjit Kaur, a resident of Burj Kalala, left her husband, who was a drug addict. Since then she was staying with her parents at Daherka village.

Her three children were staying with her in-laws.

On March 9 she went missing, while returning back home from Akhara village.

Her stepbrother Harcharan Singh searched her everywhere and on March 24 lodged a missing complaint at the Jagraon police station.

On March 9 Harcharan came to know that she was seen on a rickshaw in an unconscious state with accused Jatinder Pal Singh, Kiran Bala and Amritpal Singh, all residents of Jagraon.

Harcharan immediately reported the matter to SHO Gurmit Singh, who booked all the three accused under Sections 364 and 34 of the IPC.

Harcharan Singh also informed the police that Manjit Kaur had lent Rs 5,000 to Kiran Rani and she was not returning it back, which led to a dispute between them.

DSP Mukhtiar Singh said the police was looking into the matter and would soon nab the culprits.

Raids are being carried out at all the possible hideouts.

The SHO, Gurmit Singh, said there were possibilities of Manjit Kaur being killed, but no action could be taken until the arrest of the accused.



Rs 61,000 snatched from cloth merchant
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Three motorcycle-borne youths snatched Rs 61,000 from a businessman by splashing a chemical in his eyes at street number 18, Madhopuri, here today.

The victim was identified as Sohan Singh, a cloth merchant. He runs his business at the Gaushala road.

The incident took place around noon when the victim was crossing the road.

The snatchers, after splashing the chemical, cought hold of the victim and took Rs 61,000 from his pocket and fled away.

The victim was rushed to a hospital.

The police is investigating the matter.



Kanwaljit's demise shocks city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
The tragic death of Punjab Cooperation Minister Captain Kanwaljit Singh has come as a big shock to political, educational and social circles in the city and has been termed as an irreparable loss for Punjab.

In a condolence meeting organised by the Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, the chief organiser of the body Ram Singh and the chief secretary Inderpal Singh while recalling the services of the leader said he was an honest, truthful and dedicated politician who had contributed a lot towards the development of the state.

Praying for his eternal peace, the study circle activists said the country, state, society and the community had suffered immense loss due to the sudden and untimely death of the minister.

Bharti Kisan Union president and chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board Ajmer Singh Lakhowal said the farmers of Punjab had lost a true friend and champion of their cause.

Addressing a condolence meeting, Lakhowal further said that during his stint as the finance minister, and now as the cooperation minister, the leader had worked tirelessly to improve the lot of farmers and solve their problems.

Congress legislator from the Kila Raipur assembly segment Jassi Khangoora termed the sudden death of the minister as shocking and a huge loss to the people of the state. “Political differences apart, Captain Kanwaljit was a politician with a spotless track record, a dynamic leader and a great visionary,” he remarked while praying for eternal peace to his soul.

The management, staff and students of the educational institutions run by the Nankana Sahib Education Trust, including Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College and Guru Nanak Dev Polytechnic College, paid tributes to Captain Kanwaljit Singh and observed two minutes’ silence to pray for peace of the departed soul.

In a condolence meeting at Guru Nanak Girls College, deep sorrow and grief was expressed at the death of the minister. Principal of the college Dr Charanjit Mahal described the cooperation minister as a seasoned politician, an Able administrator and a person committed to the cause of progress and all-round development.

Cong seeks probe

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee secretary Parminder Mehta has condemned the Punjab government's decision of appointing Patiala Divisional Commissioner J.S. Bir to probe into the accident in which Punjab minister Captain Kanwaljeet was killed.

Demanding a high-level probe by an agency, Mehta said if media reports on the accident were to be believed, various doubts had come to fore. He said Captain's name had been taken many times during the tussle for present Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) party posts and this raised a question in public's mind whether the accident was politically motivated. Besides, asking a Punjab government official to inquire into the probe once again gives birth to suspicion.

Expressing grief over the sudden demise of the minister, Mehta said, "Captain Kanwaljeet was one of the strongest pillars in the state and a politician with mass appeal."

A conspiracy?

In an apparent attempt to create controversy, senior BJP leader and former state president of the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha Sukhminderpal Singh Grewal said the tragic death of the minister was not due to a car accident, but was an outcome of a deep-rooted political conspiracy. Demanding a probe by a central intelligence agency into the matter, he said people could not even think to what extent the reigning “political mafia” could go to retain political power and eliminate their opponents.



Cong nominations come under attack 
Khalsa panchayat opposes tickets to Tytler, Sajjan 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
The Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat has condemned the Congress decision to give tickets for Lok Sabha election to Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, saying the party has shown its true “anti-Sikh” colour by this reprehensible move.

In a statement here today, convener of the body Bhupinder Singh Nimana said the nomination of the duo as Congress candidates and a clean chit from the CBI was tantamount to rubbing salt on the wounds of the Sikh community. "The Sikhs are feeling deeply hurt over the Congress decision to field both Tytler and Sjjan Kumar,” he said.

Nimana maintained that scores of human rights organisations had indicted the two Congress leaders in their reports for inciting mob to massacre Sikh during the 1984 riots. Not only this, in the report of Sarkaria Commission, set up to probe into the anti-Sikh riots, names of these Congress leaders were repeatedly mentioned and proof of their involvement was also placed before the inquiry commission.

Charging the Congress leadership with treating the Sikh community in a shabby manner, he alleged that the government was adopting double standards. "While the Congress leaders involved in the massacre of Sikhs have been given a clean chit, Devinderpal Singh Bhullar, lodged in the Tihar Jail, had been sentenced to death despite lack of solid evidence and eye witnesses,” added Nimana.



Hooliganism by Akalis not to be allowed: Cong
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Congress councillors today vowed to prevent the hooliganism by Akali and BJP workers during the elections.

They said they would ensure massive victory in the elections as a revenge on the ruling Akali-BJP alliance for the excesses and atrocities they had committed during the Municipal Corporation and other local body elections.

Participating at a meeting with candidate of the party Manish Tewari at his residence in BRS Nagar today, the councillors pointed out that they could not do much during the municipal elections since there was use of force by the administration controlled by the ruling alliance.

"Now, with the Election Commission has direct control, we will not let them commit any wrong", the councillors said.

Prominent among those who attended the meeting were senior councillors Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Sanjay Talwar, Balkar Singh, DK Rampal and others. The councillors assured Tewari that they would set a record as far as the margin of victory was concerned.

While appreciating the enthusiasm among the councillors and extending his gratitude to them for the support, Tewari advised caution and restraint.

He said the Akali-BJP alliance was capable of doing all mischief and provocation.

"But we have to be cautious not to be provoked, while at the same time meeting every challenge with extra force and vigour", Tewari said.

He said given the confidence among the councillors and workers, he was sure that the Congress would establish a record victory margin this time in Ludhiana.

He said he had been receiving warm welcome from everybody, particularly the youth, who identified themselves with him. 



Bank staff hold protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
On the call given by the All-India PNB Employees' Federation and the All-India PNB Officers' Association, demonstrations were held today at all 58 circle offices of the bank throughout the country.

At the Ludhiana circle office, more than 400 employees held demonstration which was addressed by PR Mehta, PK Nayyar, Baljinder Singh, SK Mahajan, AK Awasthi and others, denouncing the anti-employees’ acts of the bank management and threatening to intensify the agitation through strikes and protests.



Propagate culture of Punjab globally: Nijjar 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
California-based Sikh leader Surinder Singh Nijjar has asked the NRI community to contribute for the upliftment of the school education, extend charity works and accelerate culture-sports of Punjab.

"Punjab has a tremendous tourism potential, thousands of foreigners are keen to visit the state, but the need of the hour is to propagate the heritage places and village life of Punjab, so as to attract these foreigners to the holy land," said Nijjar.

Nijjar was felicitated with the Virasat award by the Punjab Cultural Promotion Council (PCPC) for his contributions in the field of community development and culture-sports in Punjab and California.

Nijjar urged the state government to introduce subjects of Gurmat education, human rights education, moral education in Punjab schools and utilise the tool of sports for the development of education, so as to save younger generations from falling prey to drug addiction.

PCPC director Davinder Singh Chhina has announced to appoint Nijjar as the coordinator of the PCPC chapter in California.



Rajewal elected education council chief
Our Correspondent

Samrala, March 30
BKU President Balbir Singh Rajewal and 14 office-bearers were elected for the Malwa Education Council by Jagmohan Singh, returning officer, and Baldeep Singh, assistant returning officer. Balbir Singh Rajewal was unanimously elected, Baldev Singh Bondli became senior vice-president, Jaspreet Singh junior vice-president, Kamaljit Rattan general secretary and Satinder Singh Bajwa was elected as the treasure. Apart from this a 10-member executive, including Anil Kumar Gupta, Rachpal Singh, Narinder Kumar Sharma, Alamjeet Singh Malmajra, Ujagar Singh Jaggi, Parmjit Singh Bhuller, Kamaljeet Singh Bondli, Gurinder Singh Samra, councillor Lala Mangat Rai and Jaiwant Singh were also elected.

Rajewal said although the college was in debt yet 10 students of Bondli would be imparted education free of cost and they would also try their best to release the pending pay of college staff. 



Students honoured at annual celebration
Our Correspondent

Khamano, March 30
The annual celebration of Sarvhitkari Vidya Mandir was organised here today. Students presented several colourful programmes.

Tarsem Bahiya was the chief guest on the occasion. Citing a survey made by Punjabi University, Patiala, he expressed his worries regarding the educational backwardness of Punjab. He said the talent of a student must be developed and directed accordingly.

The results of the classes up to VII were announced by the school staff.

Principal of the school Prem Pal Pathania presented the annual report. The students excelling in education, sports and other activities were awarded for their achievements. 



176 B.Ed students awarded degrees
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
The 10th annual convocation of BCM College of Education, Chandigarh, was held in the college premises today.

As many as 176 students of BEd and 23 of MEd were awarded degrees on the occasion. The degrees were awarded by Dr SS Gill, Vice-Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot.

Ramanjit Kaur of MEd topped in the PU annual examination, whereas Mini Sharma bagged the fourth position and Parvesh Kumar bagged the 11th position in the university, respectively.

All BEd students of the college got first division, 60 students were placed in the university merit list.

Parveen Kumari bagged the sixth position in PU while Sonia Goyal, Paramjit Kaur, Rumani, Aarti Arora and Sonia bagged the ninth, 11th, 12th, 17th and 19th positions, respectively.

Satyanand Munjal, co-chairman, Hero Cycles, was the guest of honour. He blessed the degree holders and also congratulated the principal and staff for getting "A" grade by 
the NAAC.

The college colour was awarded to Ramanjit Kaur for her excellence in academics and Shipra for histrionics in the inter-zonal youth festival, PU, Chandigarh.



56 kg poppy husk siezed, 1 held
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 30
The Jagraon police arrested Sukhwinder Singh of Manuke village with two bags of poppy husk containing about 56 kg of the contraband goods.

ASI Randhir Singh along with his patrolling team intercepted Sukhwinder at Lakha village when he was coming from his village today.

The accused on his bicycle tried to escape on seeing the police, but the police nabbed him and recovered poppy husk from his possession.

The Jagraon police registered a case against him.



Thieves strike at 4 houses in Ranjit Nagar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Thieves struck at four houses in Ranjit Nagar near Shinghar Cinema and fled with mobile phones and cash.

According to residents, the thieves struck in the wee hours and first entered the house of Ajit Singh and stole Rs 13,000 and three mobile phones.

Then they entered the house of Pritpal Singh and took away a mobile phone.

After committing theft in two houses, the thieves entered the house of Sunni Mann and got away with Rs 6,000 and soon after sneaked into the house of Vijay Kumar and stole Rs 5,000.

The matter came to light in the morning when the victims complained the matter to the police.

Surjit Singh Nagra, in charge, Shinghar Cinema chwoki said the police was investigating the matter.



3 held for setting man afire
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 30
The local police has arrested three persons for allegedly setting afire Karan Sharma, a resident of the Jandali Road, over five months back. Kuldip Singh of Bhai Bir Singh Nagar area, his brother-in-law Jagdev Singh of Janta Nagar in Ludhiana and nephew Karamjit Singh were arrested by a police party led by Harinder Singh today. They had absconded after allegedly assaulting and setting afire Karan Sharma on October 12.

Malerkotla DSP Gurpreet Singh Sikand said the accused surrendered after the local police had tightened the noose around their friends and relatives. The police had also sought the help of higher authorities in preventing the accused from fleeing the country and declaring Kuldip Singh and his accomplices proclaimed offenders.

The DSP said though the police had also identified those who were called by the accused before setting Karan afire, action against them would be initiated after corroborating facts. Kuldip Singh and his accomplices have confessed to the crime. Karan had sneaked into Karan’s daughter's room on the fateful day, the DSP added. The accused attacked the victim with sharp-edged weapons and when he resisted the attack, they sprinkled petrol and set him afire, the DSP added. The police is, however, yet to recover the weapons used in the crime. A Malerkotla court had declared the accused proclaimed offenders after they failed to appear before the judge in response to a public notice issued two months back. 



20 booked for beating

Mullanpur Dakha, March 30
The Dakha police yesterday booked about 20 persons for beating a man of Talwandi Khurd village. Jarnail Singh has complained to the police that he had gone to a marriage at Virk village where the accused Yadwinder Singh of Gureh village along with his accomplices attacked him with blunt and sharp edged weapons.

The Dakha police booked the accused under Sections 323, 452, 148, 149, 506, 294 of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far. — OC



Prof Murder Case
Accused says he is falsely implicated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Mandeep Singh, one of the accused in the murder case of PAU Prof C.S. Malhi, has said he had been falsely implicated in this case.

Mandeep surrendered before the police and was later produced before a local court which sent him in 14-day judicial remand.

Talking to the media, Mandeep said he was being falsely implicated in this case by the professor's son Simrat Singh. He claimed that he was not in the city when the incident took place.

He alleged that Simrat, in order to get himself free of the murder charges, was implicating him in the case.

Meanwhile, Hardeep Singh, another accused, who surrendered before the police yesterday, has been sent in one-day police remand.

According to the police, both Mandeep and Hardeep, residents of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and Millergunj, respectively, were classmates of Simrat and were absconding after the murder.

The police has also recovered a knife used in the crime.

Dr Charanjit Singh Malhi, a professor of Zoology at Punjab Agriculture University, was murdered in cold blood allegedly by his son at his 290-D residence in BRS Nagar.



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