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Colonisers lay siege to highway
Accuse GLADA chief administrator of misbehaviour

Kuldip Bhatia

Vehicles stuck in a traffic jam on the Ferozepur road in Ludhiana
Vehicles stuck in a traffic jam on the Ferozepur road in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Photo: Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, April 1
In what could come as a big embarrassment to the BJP, a partner in the ruling coalition, particularly when the Lok Sabha elections are around the corner, Kamal Chatley, president of the Ludhiana Property Dealers and Colonisers Association and former district chief of the BJP, today led a dharna against a top official of Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) and blocked traffic on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway for more than one-and-a-half hour.

The protest sparked off after GLADA chief administrator A.K. Sinha allegedly misbehaved with a delegation of colonisers and property dealers, led by Chatley, which had gone to meet the officials in connection with the revised policy for approval of the existing colonies.

Sinha, however, denied the charges saying the colonisers were trying to bring pressure to cow down the officials.

Agitated over the treatment meted out to them, property dealers and colonisers came out of the GLADA office and squatted in the middle of Ferozepur road, blocking both the inward and outward traffic on the state highway resulting in a traffic jam.

Several persons, including family members of a critically ill person being taken to a hospital after a diagnostic scan, were seen pleading with the protesters to lift the dharna and let the vehicles move to their respective destinations without much success.

Chatley vent his ire against the GLADA official, claiming that the matter had been brought to the notice of senior BJP leaders and it will also be taken up with Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal on his next visit to the city.

Taking to The Tribune, Sinha, however, denied the allegations. He said as far as regularisation of existing colonies was concerned, it would be done strictly as per the laid down policy which the GLADA is duty bound to implement in true letter and spirit. "The protest by the colonisers is a pressure tactic aimed at intimidating the officials and make them bend rules to approve the existing colonies without fulfilment of the conditions stipulated for the purpose,” he said.

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Buddha Nullah
Respite for dyeing industry
Dyers claim getting 15-day extension to upgrade effluent treatment plants
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
Even as the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) deadline to upgrade effluent treatment plants (ETPs) for the dyeing industry polluting the Buddha Nullah got over yesterday, the dyers have managed another 15-day time to upgrade the same from the Board.

Talking to The Tribune, Boby Jindal of the Tajpur Dyeing Association claimed that the PPCB has given them 15 days time and has promised that their power connections would not be disconnected till April 15.

However, contrary to it, PPCB chairman Yogesh Goel said, “We have just sought 15 days time to go through the papers for the case regarding the common effluent treatment plant (CETP) that is with the Punjab and Haryana High Court.” He added that as far as the deadline of March 31 was concerned, the PPCB would take action against the erring dyeing industrialists according to the Water Act.

Notably, the Buddha Nullah is now entangled in two judiciary cases. While the one case is regarding achievement of standards by the dyeing industry in Ludhiana, another petition has been moved by the Tajpur Dyeing Association regarding setting up of the CETP.

The association's move to setup a common effluent treatment plant for their units has once again brought to fore the dyers lack of interest to save the Buddha Nullah. The association also claims to have collected Rs 3.5 crore and would get help from the Central and the state governments for the same.

According to experts, the 60 dyeing units situated on the Tajpur Road release 30-40 MLD of water on daily basis and to treat this much of water, a CETP at the cost of around Rs 50 crore needs to be installed. Besides, the dyers of this association who claim to maintain standards setup by the PPCB have also failed the tests conducted by the NEERI.

With the dates being extended and the politicians not ready to lose support of the dyeing industry in the upcoming LS polls, it seems no efforts would be made to save the Buddha Nullah which was once a sacred stream and has become a shame for Ludhiana.

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Encroachers having a field day
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Temporary sheds razed

The town planning wing of the Municipal Corporation on Wednesday removed encroachments in zone D. According to information, the officials removed temporary sheds on Pakhowal road. The demolition squad also removed some sheds from Passi Chowk.

However, the demolition squad left a kiosk having a computer and the matter was sent to zonal ATP Ramesh Chabbra for investigation.

Ludhiana, April 1
With the government officials busy making preparations for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, encroachers are making hay as the Municipal Corporation has suspended anti-encroachment drive in the city for the past few days.

The tehbazari wing of the MC, which was in full mode till February, has been hardly working after the elections were announced. In the absence of checks, a number of kiosks and temporary shops, which were earlier razed by the MC, have again come up in many parts of the city.

Topping the chart is encroachments near the Clock Tower which were removed around two years back in the Congress-ruled MC. The encroachers have put up corrugated shields and have been working fearlessly for the past few days raising a question on the efforts of the civic body.

Similarly, the vendors are also having a field day in “Bombay Picnic Spot” and vegetable markets as the fear created by the MC officials has vanished one again.

Talking to The Tribune, one of the encroachers said: “Till the elections are over, there will not be any problem as the politicians will not like to disturb their vote bank. If they disturb us, they would lose our support." Another encroacher said that even the officials are busy with the polls, which means no tension till the elections are over.

Notably, the MC has one superintendent each in its four zones. Since the charge in zone D had been taken away from Naveen Malhotra, it has no SI to check encroachments. Besides, the superintendents in zone A and B - Daljeet Singh and Om Prakash - also retired today and from tomorrow, the MC will have only one superintendent.

“With the MC officials adopting a lenient approach towards the encroachers, the city has become crowded and traffic jams are order of the day. The anti-encroachment drive of the tehbazari wing, which was helping to provide a relief, too seems to have vanished in the wake of LS polls as the officers and the local politicians have found an excuse,” rued a local resident.

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Clash at GADVASU hostel, four youths booked
Students’ union president beaten up by outsiders; students boycott classes

Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
It seems the students and the authorities at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) refuse to learn from the past. Brawls and manhandling have become the order of the day at the vet university.

In last evening's brawl at hostel number 8 of GADVASU, the president of the students' union was allegedly beaten up by a group of outsiders.

A case has been registered under Section 452, 427, 323, 506, 148 and 149 against four persons, identified as Deepa, Lalli, Sandeep and an unidentified youth at the Sarabha Nagar police station on basis of a complaint filed by the victim, Money Singh, president of the students' union of GADVASU.

According to eyewitnesses, four persons attacked Money, an intern, in his hostel room last evening. "All the attackers were outsiders. It seems to be a case of personal rivalry,” said Amandeep Singh, a student.

To protest against the security lapse on the campus and hostels, fifth year students of veterinary sciences today went on a strike and stopped students for attending lectures. "But we never wanted to go on a strike. We gathered on the campus to attend classes but we were literally dragged by our seniors to the office of the Dean and nobody dared to stop them,” complained Gundeep Singh Gill, a first year student.

Another student, Sukhjeet Singh Gill, said that seniors dragged one of their friends, Sukh Harmandeep Singh Shergill to the Dean's office and more than 100 students were witness to it. "Over 100 students, including 45 girls, have filed a written complaint against the seniors,” said Gill.

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Despite high toll fee, NHAI fails to recarpet roads
Lovleen Bains
Our Correspondent

Temporarily patched up sections on the NH-1
Temporarily patched up sections on the NH-1. Photo by the writer

Doraha, April 1
Even as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is thinking in terms of initiating the six-lane project on the National Highway No 1 on war footing, the existing four-lane has miserably failed to bear the tag of being a toll road with its bumpy patched up ride and dangerously broken edges.

In spite of charging such exorbitant toll from commuters for the past more than five years, the national highway has not been recarpeted even once, leaving aside the partial repair here and there.

It was on the regular persistence of the commuters and the media highlighting their plight from time to time that the NHAI finally decided to apply patches and nothing more than that leading to further worsening of the so-called toll road.

"Had it been for the clean patches, it would have brought some relief to our constant agony but contrary to this, these have been so unevenly applied that the situation has worsened still further and the road especially from Doraha towards Ludhiana is a bumpy ride, which defies the thought of it being a toll road," cried one such commuter.

“The authorities have no right to think of widening the road till it learns to manage and repair what is already in hand. Moreover, the commuters who are already shelling out substantial amount shall be forced to pay even more, in case the new project materialises. What is the use of spending crores of rupees on a project which is going to suffer from want of maintenance and up keep?” questioned another commuter.

“It seems that every time the government is intentionally thinking of destabilising common man by planning and executing those plans and projects which are going to ultimately fall back upon the common man and break his backbone in the process,” added another.

"The potholed toll road, particularly between Sahnewal and Doraha or for that matter even beyond, itself speaks of the negligible facilities being accorded by the NHAI to the commuters in lieu of the exorbitant toll fee," one such commuter expressed.

“Situation of the road is no better than the time when no toll was charged. Now despite the fact that we are paying enormously, the road is still the same," complained a daily traveller.

The commuters question the “non-functional” mode of the NHAI as far as providing of assured facilities are concerned. On one hand, they seem to be literally abashed by the toll rates, on the other hand, they fume over the merge facilities being provided by looting them openly on the highway.

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Urban woman conscious of her voting rights
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
Women constitute a major share of voters here. Today’s women have grown conscious about their rights and do not get influenced by their family members’ decision for casting votes, but the situation is not the same everywhere. In some villages, women still cast votes for candidates chosen by their husbands.

As a result a majority of the women are not interested in politics.

Women in rural areas are uneducated and have no knowledge about the political issues. So they cast their votes, as directed by their family members, whereas urban women are more aware of their rights and vote according to their own preferences.

Rohini, a doctor, said, “I will definitely discuss with my husband before casting my vote, but the decision will be entirely mine.”

Kulwant Kaur, a resident of Malmajra village, Samrala, said, “I vote every time but the choice of the candidate is made by my husband, as I do not have much knowledge about politics.”

Mandeep Grewal, a teacher in a private school, said she was not interested in politics, as for her, politics meant corruption. She further said, “Everybody wants to acquire power and we people have the power to choose the right candidate, I would try to give my vote to the one who deserves.”

Kusum Chhabra, a nurse, said, “Me and my family always vote for a specific party”.

Jeewanpreet Kaur, a resident of Maanoke village, Jagraon, said her family’s head would decide the candidate and the entire family would vote for the selected candidate. “We have no time to attend political rallies and have no knowledge about their agendas,” she added.

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Encroachments: Politicians major hurdle
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, April 1
Ludhiana-the industrial hub of Punjab- has witnessed phenomenal expansion during the past four decades and this expansion has taken place without any proper planning leading to chaos on all fronts.

There has been a spate of encroachments all around the town, resulting in congestion and serious traffic bottlenecks. Politicians of all three major political parties namely Congress, Akali Dal and BJP, who have ruled the town through the municipal corporation alternatively during the past 20 years since the elevation of the municipal committee into a corporation, are squarely responsible for the present mess. It was hoped that things would improve with the creation of the municipal corporation, but all hopes have been dashed to the ground by petty politicians.

The municipal corporation is ridden with corruption and officials of the corporation have the blessings of politicians. There are some officials who started their career as clerks and now occupy executive positions. There are certain politicians who dance to the tune of these officials.

Ludhiana town has witnessed unlimited encroachments and no serious and sincere effort has been made to get these removed. Rather the problem has become very acute. The municipal corporation authorities launch half-hearted campaigns to remove the encroachments, which further precipitate the problem, as more and more encroachments take place afterwards.

Ludhianvis remember officials of the stature of Inderjit Singh Bindra who worked as deputy commissioner-cum-administrator of the civic body and removed encroachments with “danda” in the face of opposition from all powerful Congress leaders like Sat Paul Mittal and Joginder Paul Pandey. At present, neither the politicians are so powerful nor are the officials of the calibre of Bindra. But they are hand in glove with each other, with the result that the residents suffer.

Encroachments are galore starting from Jagraon Bridge to Clock Tower to Jalandhar bypass. These are also to be found on Vishwakarma Chowk to Canal Bridge on Gill Road, Bharat Nagar Chowk to Link Road, Transport Nagar, Cheema Chowk to Chandigarh road up to Mundian Kalan. All roads have been encroached upon from 1 to 3 feet on both sides of the roads.

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Nano unveiled in city
Gets great response from residents

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
The country's "Merc City", Ludhiana, today welcomed the world's cheapest car Nano with as much enthusiasm as it has for the best of the world's luxury cars.

Tata Motors’ four-seater Nano was unveiled here today amid a large number of onlookers from all walks of life, be it students, service-class people, businessmen or style-conscious youngsters.

However, what amazed many onlookers was the craze and curiosity of the rural crowd towards the car.

Nano with an engine capacity of around 625cc will have a dealer price of Rs 1,00,000, which is about half the cost of the cheapest car in today's market, a 25-year old model from Maruti Suzuki Limited, Tata's rival.

The cost is the car's USP (unique selling point), besides factors like sleek looks and design. Confirming this, Isher, team leader, Garryson Motors, said, "Since morning we have been witnessing massive rush of people walking in to catch a glimpse of the car and take a test ride. The city surely has place for all, be it small or big. The city's response to Nano is proof enough."

Vikram Bhuchar, showroom manager, Dada Motors, where Nano was unveiled today, said, "The car has opened to a massive response from the city residents who are enthusiastic about buying it. On the first day itself within a span of mere three hours we sold 150 booking forms for the car. The numbers are sure to rise as the date of the car's booking approaches.” Nano sure has created a wave of curiosity in the market with many eager to own it.

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Worshipping account books on decline
Tribune News Service

Lending a contrasting hue to the city's business community, which has no time for traditions, there is a small segment, which still believes that worshipping Goddess Laxmi on the first day of the financial year brings good luck and prosperity.

Prem Thapar, who has a shop in the city interiors, still believes that the rituals performed by ancestors have a lot of value. "It has been generations since we have been performing this puja and I have a firm belief that my coming generation too would follow."

Ludhiana, April 1
City's business community seems to have forgotten its age-old tradition of worshipping the account books on the onset of the new financial year on the first day of April.

A survey of various city markets in the early hours today revealed that with the coming of the IT era, the age-old traditions and account books have not only lost relevance for the business community but have also been erased from memories of its members, be it young or old.

In the past, many businessmen used to close their account books and perform rituals to open their new account books for the next financial year, in order to gain prosperity in the next financial year. However, times are changing.

Krishan Thapar, a trader, who runs his business in Mandi Kesargunj of the city, said, "Who maintains log books these days when everything can be accessed by a single click of the mouse. Maintaining bahikhatas or logbooks is passé now. It was a tedious and lousy way of keeping track of one's business transactions."

Vidya Sagar Naresh Kumar, another trader, said, "Who has the time for such lengthy procedures as maintaining and worshipping logbooks when we barely get time to worship the Almighty. Moreover, chartered accountants and computerisation have rendered these books redundant."

Confectionery shop owner Harbhajan Singh, who runs his business in Meena Bazaar said, "I have not come across any businessman worshipping the account books on April 1 since many years. It seems the city does not have time for age-old traditions."

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Naina Devi Mishap
Ghumana village mourns its dead
Gurdeep Singh Maan
Tribune News Service

Ghumana (Machhiwara), April 1
Lakhvir Singh (22) hut is illuminated with the lamp lighted before the portraits of goddesses. The family is an ardent follower of Naina Devi and had been visiting the shrine for the past several years annually. Little did they knew that the sole breadwinner of the family will die on his return from the shrine.

Lakhvir was only son of Ram Das and Kamla Devi. Being the sole breadwinner of the family, he had to take care of seven sisters as well. He had left for the shrine a few days ago and was to return on Tuesday night. Instead, we came to know that the vehicle on which he was traveling had met with an accident. Today, we found that our son was among those dead, said his inconsolable father Ram Das.

Lakhvir used to work as carpenter, while Ram Das, a daily wager, managed to earn little. Together, both of them used to keep the kitchen fire burning. Three of his sisters are married and four unmarried.

Lakhvir had boarded a different truck on his way to the shrine. But on his return journey, on the insistence of driver Bittu, he sat on the truck that met with an accident. His cousin Avtar Singh of Bhamodran village too had accompanied him to the shrine. He, too, was killed in accident.

Another resident of this village, Gurjit Singh (19) had gone with his two brothers to pay obeisance. While his two brothers survived the tragedy, he was not that lucky and was killed in accident.

Sukhwinder Singh (20) of this village was among those who died. Being poor, he had started learning carpenter’s job a few months ago. Our economic condition was improving slowly. He was working hard to give the best to us. Nothing is left for me to live for, said his wailing mother.

Lalita and Udho, a couple from Jeonpur village, too had died in the accident. They were living in a hamlet located on periphery of the village. Udho, his wife Lalita and their 10-year-old son, Rahul, had gone to Naina Devi shrine on the occasion of navratras.

While couple died in the accident, Rahul survived the tragedy. Two more children of this couple, Veeru and Visha, are living with relatives.

At least eight persons from Ghumana village and others from Khanpur Bet, Satabgarh, Rahimabad, Mand Udhowal, Mahal Ghumana, Jeonpur and other villages had died in the accident.

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Accident dampens devotees’ spirit, many cancel visit
Tribune News Service

Ghumana (Machhiwara), April 1
The accident in which 23 people lost their lives after paying obeisance at Naina Devi shrine in Anandpur Sahib (Ropar) has dampened the spirit of a large number of devotees hailing from Machhiwara. Most of them have now cancelled their visit to the shrine.

A few residents of these villages while talking to The Tribune said today that they could not muster enough courage for visiting the temple after watching bodies in their villages.

“Though we are ardent followers of Naina Devi and makes it a point to visit the shrine every Navratras, but yesterday’s incident have shocked us. We have cancelled visits”, said Harnam Singh of Ghumana Machhiwara.

Amarjeet Singh of Ghumana village said, “Villagers have learnt a lesson from the accident and vowed not to board a truck fitted with temporary wooden shelves. Many of them are still disturbed and have postponed their visit to the shrine, he added.

“I have been staying in this village since 1966. People from our village and surrounding areas have been visiting the shrine twice a year, but never faced such a situation”, said another Sukh Ram of Mahal Ghumana village.

Meanwhile, a few politicians visited family members of the victims today and assured all possible help to them.

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Class V Results
School board unable to provide result details
Inderpreet tops in district
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
Inderpreet Kaur, a student of New Punjab Public School, has stood first in Class V examination in the Ludhiana district by securing 443 marks out of 500. Antima of Sihora village and Shivani Jain have stood second and third, respectively, by securing 438 and 436 marks.

According to Amarjit Kaur, DEO (Secondary), out of 53,393 students who appeared in the Class V examination in the district only 48,930 have passed.

Meanwhile, even after 24 hours of the declaration of the result by the Punjab Education Board, the district education department is unable to provide the details of the result to the various schools.

The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan wing of the Director-General Schools Education Punjab conducted the Class V examination and the result was declared yesterday. The result was uploaded on the website of the SSA http://www.ssapunjab.org. But it failed to provide any information. While a spokesman of the Punjab Education Department claimed that the DEOs were sent the result through e-mails. They were supposed to provide this information to the schools in their respective districts. But, the DEO (Secondary), Ludhiana, expressed helplessness in giving the details of the result on the pretext that her office was still compiling the results.

The schools have not received any information so far. They were having tough time in dealing with the parents who were making rounds of the schools to know the result of their wards.

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7 students to attend seminar in US
Our Correspondent

Raikot, April 1
The Global Youth Leader Council of the US has selected seven students of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha International Public School, Sarabha village. These students will represent Indian youth at a 15-day seminar to be organised by the council in the US.

The selected students are: Guneet Kaur, Navjot Kaur, Harmandeep Kaur, Jasan Kaur, Gurvinder Singh, Gurinderpreet Singh and Satjit Singh.

About 400 students from 100 countries have been invited to attend the seminar to be held at White House in Washington DC.

Principal Kuldeep Singh said the students would visit the US from July 16 to August 2 along with other students of S-6 group. He said the council demanded 10 students, but only seven were capable to meet the norms set by the council. He said the students had already received the invitation from the White House, and the US Embassy in India was directed to grant the required visa to them.

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Panjab varsity exams begin
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
The exams of various undergraduate classes, including BA, BCA, BBA, BSc, BCom, etc. by Panjab University, Chandigarh, commenced here today. Thousands of students at their respective centres appeared to take their exams. Rush was witnessed at the college campuses with the students looking confused and nervous.

The exams by Panjab University will be held in two phases in the affiliated colleges this time due to the Lok Sabha Elections. The first phase will be from April 1 to May 2 and the second phase will be from May 18 to May 28.

Though the students of BCom, BBA and BCA would be free in the first phase but the students of BA, BSc and MA will be free by the end of May.

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Fee Hike
Parents sit on hunger strike

Ludhiana, April 1
Resentment prevails among parents the kids studying in private schools affiliated to the CBSE against the hefty fee hike. The parents have formed an organisation known as Hindu Sikh Jagriti Sena for checking the rise in the fee structure.

The activists of this organisation sat on a hunger strike to express their resentment. They said every penny, which is being paid to the school, is hard earned. Due to economic slowdown, parents are also passing through the financial crisis. On the other hand the managements of the private schools had raised the tuition and admission fees, which was beyond their reach. The managements have adopted a dictatorial attitude and are not ready to listen to their problems, they alleged. — TNS

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Students awarded
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
The annual prize distribution ceremony of Everest Public Senior Secondary School, Giaspura, was organised, here today.

Hakam Singh Giaspura, Mayor, MC, was the chief guest on the occasion.

SK Sharma, manager, Everest Educational Society, and Rajinder Sharma, president, Association of the PSEB affiliated schools, Punjab, were the guests of honour.

Students performed plays on discipline and anti-corruption and presented folk dances and folk songs.

Hakam Singh Giaspura, in his address, lauded the progress made by the school in the field of education and sports. He advised the students work hard and shine in every sphere.

Rajinder Sharma said students should take character training as the first and foremost mission in life.

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Plays enacted on life of martyrs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
The Shaheed Baba Bhan Singh Memorial Trust staged various plays on the life of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev here today.

“Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh do Godi”, “Tamasha Moteyan Da”, “Sarpanchani” were the plays staged on the occasion.

Lok Kala Manch, Mullanpur, presented choreography on the present political scene. Baba Bhan Singh Memorial Library was also inaugurated on the occasion.

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Seechewal releases book
Tribune News Service

Mandi Gobindgarh, April 1
Noted environmentalist Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal released a book “Jithe jaye bahe mera satguru” here last evening. The book is authored by Punjabi writer Surjit Singh Marjara.

Speaking on the occasion, Seechewal said the writers should highlight things that could inspire people to do something good for the society. He said the writer of this book, writing about the journey of Sultanpur Lodhi, had highlighted the development at Kali Bein and also had spread the message to keep the environment pollution free.

Seechewal urged the people, especially the writers, to join hands to raise the issue of environment, which was causing serious threat to human lives.

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Suicide by old couple, man-son booked
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, April 1
The man-son duo has been booked for abetting the octogenarian couple to allegedly commit suicide on March 25.

Their son Major Singh and grandson Harjinder Singh had quarreled with the couple identified as Ujagar Singh (87) and his wife Bachan Kaur (84) over the money procured after selling off their land.

They had even beaten up the old couple on March 20 and thereafter turn them out of their house. The couple reportedly lodged a complaint with the local police.

Both parties, however, reached a compromise. But the attitude of Major Singh and his son towards the couple never changed. The couple had on March 23 dispatched written complaints to the Chief Minister, Ludhiana deputy commissioner, SSP (Ludhiana Rural) and DSP Dakha pertaining to the dispute and even threatened to commit suicide in case the government and the police department failed to intervene and settle the dispute.

Unable to bear the shabby treatment meted out to them by their son and the grandson, the couple committed suicide by consuming celphos tablets on March 27.

Both of them breadth their last at Raghunath Hospital in Ludhiana. Instead of booking Major Singh and Harjinder Singh for abetting the old couple to commit suicide, the Dakha police preceded under Section 174 of the Cr.PC on the statement of Mohanjit Kaur and Major Singh, the daughter and the son of the deceased.

Police officials, including the SHO, DSP and the Jagraon SSP refuted the allegation of inaction. Rather they state that they never received any complaint from the couple.

They, however, had asserted that the old couple had a long-pending dispute with his son and the grandson.A detailed report regarding this had appeared in these pages on March 30.

Mandeep Kaur, the daughter of Ujagar Singh also gave statement against her brother and nephew and sought appropriate action against them. The local police after procuring the last application written to the Chief Minister from The Tribune has taken it as the suicide note written by the couple.

It has booked Major Singh and Harjinder Singh under Section 306 of the IPC for abetting to commit suicide.

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Flesh trade racket busted; three held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
After the Mumbai government banned dance bars in the financial capital of India, three bar dancers made Ludhiana their next destination but were arrested by the Haibowal police from their rented house on the Jassian road here today.

The police busted the flesh trade racket with their arrest and at the same time made a startling exposure that it would soon expose politicians, industrialists and many affluent persons, who were involved in the alleged racket.

The police is confiscating the cellphone details of the girls, including Pinki Sharma (22) from Mumbai, Veena Thapa (20) and Priya Chetri (22), both from Nepal, and their accomplices Anil Sood, a resident of Haibowal, and Bablu.

The four were arrested by the police, while Bablu gave the police a slip.

The girls fell in the net of these racketeers three months ago. The girls narrated their stories, helplessly stating that they were forced by the circumstances to fell into their net. They said they never wanted to be a part of the racket.

On a tip off, sub-inspector Paramjit Singh, Haibowal, planned to raid the house. He sent a decoy customer and found the girls and their accomplices there. The police has registered a case under Sections 3, 4, 5 and 8 of the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act.

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Property dispute: 4 booked for beating up neighbours
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, April 1
Four persons have been booked for beating up two others over a property dispute. Kartar Singh of Sujapur has alleged that he along with his nephews, Gurmit Singh and Narinder Singh, was raising the boundary wall of his house when Gurdev Singh, Surinder Singh Sukhjit Singh and Jaswinder Kaur started beating them up.

The accused were armed with sharp edged weapons.

They were staking claim over the portion of land in his possession.

He asked them to get their property demarcated from revenue officials. Instead of listening to his pleas, they started beating them up.

Both of his nephews were admitted to the Sudhar civil hospital.

The Sudhar police has registered a case against the accused under Sections 452, 323, 324 and 34 of the IPC.

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Truck-petrol tanker collide; 2 hurt

Raikot, April 1
A major tragedy was averted after a truck collided with a patrol tanker near Jalaldiwal on the Bathinda road near here yesterday. Two persons sustained injuries in the accident.

A petrol tanker (PB 10 AU 3387) being driven by Gurjeet Singh of Dharamgarh (Sangrur) was on its way to Raikot from Barnala. He had hardly reached near Jalaldiwal village when the truck (PB 10 P 9397) loaded with sand collided with the tanker while trying to overtake a car.

Gajja Singh and Panna Singh, driver and cleaner of the truck, sustained injuries and were admitted to the local civil hospital. The Jalaldiwal SHO impounded the vehicles. However, a major tragedy was averted as about 6,000 litres of petrol was being transported in the tanker. — OC

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Basketball championship at Sangrur from April 6
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 1
The Punjab State Basketball Championship for sub-junior boys and girls will be held at the Police Lines Ground, Sangrur, from April 6 to 9.

More than 30 teams are expected to take part in the championship, for which around 20 technical officials have been put on duty. Entries close with Teja Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, on April 4 at Ludhiana.

According to RS Gill, president, Punjab Basketball Association, performances of the players would be taken into consideration during the selection of the Punjab teams for the sub-junior National Basketball Championship scheduled to be held in Delhi from May 24 to 31.

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Basketball trials tomorrow
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 1
The trials for the selection of district basketball teams (boys and girls) will be organised by the District Basketball Association (DBAL) at the Guru Nanak stadium on April 3 at 4 pm.

Players born on or after January 1, 1996, are eligible for these trials.

Teja Singh Dhailwal, general secretary, DBAL, said the selected cagers would represent the city in the forthcoming sub-junior Punjab Basketball Championship, to be held at Sangrur from April 6 to April 9.

Interested boys and girls can report to Dr S Subramanian, senior basketball coach, at the stadium on April 3.

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Trials for hockey academy tomorrow
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 1
Trials to select players for the Mata Sahib Kaur Jarkhar Hockey Academy will be conducted at the Prithipal Singh Memorial AstroTurf Stadium on Punjab Agricultural University grounds here on April 3 and 4, according to academy chairman Lakhbir Singh Grewal.

During this two-day trials, budding boys under the age groups of 14, 17 and 19 years will be chosen for the academy being run at Jarkhar, about 15 km from here for the last two years and produced a number of players, who represented the state in the national tournaments.

Interested players have been advised to bring with them their achievement certificates on April 3. They are required to deposit security amount of Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 as an advance for school fee. The selected boys will be provided diet, boarding lodging and playing kits, said Satinder Singh Gill, president of Mata Sahib Kaur Hockey Academy, Jarkhar.

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