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7 killed, three injured in accidents
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, April 8
The Wednesday morning turned out to be black for five families, as four people were killed and one was seriously injured when a truck (PB 08F4807) ran over them around 9 am near Basti Jodhewal here today.

According to eyewitnesses, the five victims were waiting at Kailash Nagar Chowk on their bicycles to cross the road when a speeding truck hit them, killing three on the spot. Later the truck stopped at some distance and the driver managed to escape. However, he was later caught, said the police.

The eyewitnesses said, “The impact was so strong that the heads of two bodies were completely crushed and the cycles were dismantled. Even after hitting them, the truck went on moving and it was after a little distance that the lower portion of the truck hit the unlevelled road and it stopped.”

The police revealed that no one among the public came forward to help the injured.

Later, labourers from various localities of Basti Jodhewal were called to identify the bodies in the Civil Hospital mortuary. Only three bodies were identified as Dinesh, Deepranjan Das (22) and Ramesh Pal (31) till the filing of this report. A seriously injured victim was still undergoing treatment at the hospital. All of them were stated to be migrant labourers.

The SHO, Basti Jodhewal, revealed that the truck driver, Gurvinder Singh, has been arrested and a case under Section 304 A of the IPC has been registered.

The preliminary investigations revealed that the axle of the truck broke due to which the driver lost his control over the vehicle. The truck was loaded with bricks and had been impounded.

Raikot: Three members of a family lost their lives while two sustained serious injuries after a maruti car, a bus and a tractor trolley collided with each other on the Barnala road on the outskirts of Raikot today.

The victims have been identified as Major Singh (50), his wife Sarabjit Kaur (45) and his uncle Mohan Singh (65). All of them died on the spot. While his nephew Harpinder Singh (30) and daughter Rani (32) sustained serious injuries and were admitted to the local Civil Hospital. All of them are residents of Lamme Jatpura village. They were going to attend a bhog ceremony of a relative at Dhanaula village in Barnala District in their car (RJ 142 C 1091) when a Pepsu Roadways bus (PB 11 Y 4803) coming from Barnala side rammed into their car.

Later on, it also collided with a tractor trolley. The impact of the accident was so severe that the tractor trolley was pushed into the agriculture fields. Naib Tehsildar Balwinder Singh, Raikot SHO Gurdial Singh and chowki in charge of Jalaldiwal Mohan Dass reached the spot and rescued the accident victims. The conductor and a few passengers on board the bus also sustained injuries. All of them were discharged after the first aid. The bus driver is absconding. The Raikot police has registered a case against him.

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Parties take Election Commission for a ride
Banners resurface on Ferozepur road
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
Despite strict directions issued by the election commission, the SAD-BJP alliance continue to violate poll code of conduct.

Once again banners of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal along with BJP leader Lal Krishan Advani have come up on the Ferozepur Road alluring voters through announcements already made by them.

The promises made by these leaders in the posters are the ring road and flyovers to connect every city of Punjab, ensuring 24-hour electricity with new power plants, which are coming up, and domestic and international airports to connect Punjab with the world. Besides this, they have also urged people to vote by stating, “Lets build Punjab together”. The banners pasted on billboards also carry party symbols of the SAD and the BJP.

However, one of these billboards is right at the entrance of the mini-secretariat from where the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer along with a few election officers pass and it’s ironical that till yesterday afternoon no action was taken for removing these boards. It seems that the election officers are waiting for the media to highlight the poster and only than they would spring into action.

It’s not for the first time. The Tribune has brought the poster and the banner put up as poll violation many times since the code of conduct has come into force and whenever and after revelation only the posters are removed. Irony is that till date the election officers in Ludhiana district seem to have failed to formulate any concrete and strict policy to keep a check on these. The biggest example is these three billboards, which are in just 1 km stretch and have not been noticed so far.

With the parties taking the election commission for a ride by not obeying their directions and rules, questions are raised that what is the use of directions if they couldn’t be followed or implemented properly.

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Commissioner returns 35 bills
Contractors threaten to go on strike from Saturday
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
In a major setback to the nexus between municipal officials and contractors, municipal commissioner GS Ghuman has returned almost 35 road construction bills the payments of which are still pending. He had returned the bills after raising objections under Section MW-4.

According to sources, the commissioner returned the files with a note that 10 per cent of the total amount to be paid to the contractor should be subtracted, as most of the work has not been completed within the stipulated time. Another reason cited is irregularities committed in bitumen quantities.

The sources revealed that the files sent to the commissioner had cited quantities of bitumen more, while the bills showed it to be less.

Giving details, the sources said, “Every contractor gets bitumen from Indian Oil after a government department gives in writing the quantity required by him.” They revealed that from the quantity received by the contractors only 2/3rd per cent of bitumen was being used for the road construction. Apart from it, the contractors have submitted only part of the bills and not ones citing total quantity, which the civic body has allotted to it. It’s because of this that the contractors are now facing the municipal commissioner’s ire.

The sources told The Tribune that the objections could not be set aside easily due to which the contractors and the municipal officials have become panicky. Besides, the contractors are also alleging that the commissioner was adopting pick and choose policy.

On being asked, Ghuman said: “I have returned the files after I came across some irregularities. I have also directed the officials of the road branch to submit the files to me only after the objections raised were fulfilled.” Denying the allegations that the pick and choose policy is being adopted by him in clearing bill payment, Ghuman said similar directions on bills of roads was also handed over to the Ludhiana Improvement Trust.

Meanwhile, a few contractors have threatened to go on an indefinite strike if their payments were not made within three days. In a press note issued here yesterday, their spokesperson Vinod Jain said: “The decision of going on strike was taken during a meeting. We would go on strike from Saturday if our bills till March 31 were not cleared.”

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Congress ticket to Tytler, Sajjan
SSF activists block rail traffic for over 3 hrs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 8
Rail traffic on the Ludhiana-Delhi trunk route was disrupted for more than three hours today with several trains either getting delayed or being terminated as hundreds of the Sikh Students Federation (SSF) activists squatted on the rail track near Giaspura on the outskirts of the city in protest against the Congress move to give ticket to Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar for the Lok Sabha elections.

Responding to a call for the statewide move to stop the rail and the vehicular traffic against the Congress move to give the ticket to the alleged “masterminds” of the 1984 anti-Sikh, the protesters blocked the Ludhiana-Dehi rail track at Giaspura level crossing from 10.45 am to 2.30 pm.

As a result, a number of up trains from Delhi had to be stopped midway to the city at places like Khanna, Sahnewal and Doraha. Some of the down trains were either delayed for hours together or diverted from a different route.

According to railway officials, New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express was detained at Doraha for about four hours; New Delhi-Amritsar Shane-Punjab Express was terminated at Khanna while Amritsar-Bandra Terminus (Mumbai) Pashchim Express and Pathankot-Delhi Express were diverted via Dhuri to their respective destinations two to three hours behind schedule. Similarly, Indore-Jammu Tawi Malwa Express was stopped at Sahnewal till the protest continued.It arrived here five hours late.

A large number of passengers, holding reserved tickets and others waiting at the railway station for their onward journey to Jalandhar, Amritsar and Jammu were stranded for hours together with no one to turn towards while many others traveling by the Ludhiana-bound trains were put to a lot of inconvenience as they had to cover a part of their journey by buses or private vehicles.

Addressing the protesters, SSF (Mehta) functionaries Paramjit Singh Khalsa and Major Singh Khalsa lamented that even after 25 years families of the riot victims had not been given justice. On the other hand, the Congress had been patronising all those charged with inciting the mob violence against the Sikhs.

“The clean chit given by the CBI to Jagdish Tytler and nomination of Tytler and Sajjan Kumar as the party candidates for the Lok Sabha poll amounts to rubbing salt on the wounds of the Sikhs, which will not be tolerated,” the SSF activists said while adding that the Sikh bodies would intensify their struggle against the excesses and highhandedness of the Congress.

Meanwhile, protesters led by functionaries of the Grewal faction of the Sikh Students Federation also blocked the vehicular traffic on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla Road for more than three hours.

The protesting students, raising slogans against the Congress, marched from Guru Nanak Engineering College to the Canal Bridge on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla state highway and also staged a dharna. Hundreds of vehicles were stuck in the traffic jam on both sides of the road for several hours together.

Gurjit Singh Gaggi, Manpreet Singh Bunty, Surinder Singh, Bhupinder Singh Nagoke, Joginder Singh Begoana, Kuljit Singh Dhanjal, Harkamaljot Singh and Jagdeep Singh Bhutta were among those who spoke on the occasion.

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3 get life term for double murder
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, April 8
Three youths in their 20's have been sentenced to undergo rigorous life imprisonment on the charges of killing a couple after committing robbery at their residence in BRS Nagar, Ludhiana.

The youth had killed Jasveer Kaur, a boutique owner, and her husband Ajit Singh at their residence when the couple tried to resist their act. The trio had succeeded in taking away an Activa Honda, mobile phone and some other articles, which were later recovered by the police after they were arrested.

Those convicted have been identified as Rajesh Kumar(28), Sourav Kapoor (22) of Gulchaman Gali and Vikas Kumar Kaushal (21) of the Shangla Wala Shivala Road, Ludhiana.

Delivering the verdict, Additional Sessions Judge Kishore Kumar held that it was proved beyond doubt that the accused had committed henious crime. The court also dismised their plea of leniency.

A case under Sections 302/380 and 120 B of the IPC was registered at the Sarabha Nagar police station on March 5, 2006, following the statement of Amarjot, a neighbourer of victim couple. The complainant had stated to the police that a sewadar of nearby Gurdwara Sahib knocked at his door. When he came out, he was told that someone was crying in Kothi no: 115 E.

In the meantime, a clean shaven person came out from the said house on a scooter. He tried to stop him but he ran away. During the investigation, police found these persons to be involved in the commission of offence on the basis of statements of the witnesses.

However, all accused had pleaded innocence. But they have not taken any specific stand, as to why they were implicated falsely. Nor they could prove that they were not at the spot when the incident happened.

After appreciating the evidence on record and convinced with the submission of the Additional Public Prosecutor, the court found them guilty and sentenced accordingly.

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Ex-SAD councillor joins Cong
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
Former Akali councillor Niranjan Singh Toor today joined the Congress along with several supporters. A function was organised by local councillor Hemraj Aggarwal to welcome him at Haibowal.

It was attended among others by Congress candidate from Ludhiana parliamentary constituency Manish Tewari, former minister Harnam Dass Johar and others.

Toor said he had been feeling suffocated in the SAD and it prompted him to leave the party.

He said there were so many others like him who were simmering with discontent and were awaiting the right opportunity to leave the party and join the Congress.

He said there was no place for the common workers and only those who remained loyal to a single family were promoted and encouraged.

Welcoming Toor into the Congress, Tewari said he had been receiving messages from Akali leaders who wanted to join the Congress.

He said the Akalis were upset with the party leadership who had made it a private company.

Moreover, he said, there was a lot of resentment among Akali workers over the party opposing a Sikh Prime Minister and voting against him in spite of claiming it to be a party of the Sikhs. He said Akalis would never be forgiven for this.

Meanwhile, Tewari started the second leg of his padyatra in ward Nos 42 and 43. He was accompanied by former parliamentary secretary Surinder Dawar, councillors Ashok Prashar, Sushil Prashar, Pappi Prashar, Jasbir Jhony and Vinod Bharti.

Tewari was accorded a warm reception by the residents. People came out of their houses to greet him.

He assured them of doing his best to live up to their expectations.

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Sikh activists block traffic for 2 hours
Tribune Reporters

Jagraon, April 8
Activists of Sikh Students Federation and the Akali Dal today protested against the clean chit given to Jagdish Tytler, the 1984 anti-Sikh riots accused, by the CBI. The protesting bodies felicitated the act of Jarnail Singh who hurled a shoe at the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.

The activists gathered today on the national highway and seized it for more than two hours. Amidst full police security they burnt the effigies of Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar.

DSP Mukhtiar Singh and SHO Gurmeet Singh remained stationed at the protest venue to maintain law and order.

The protest was lead by Gurcharan Singh Grewal, Bhag Singh Malla, Har Surinder Singh Gill, Kamaljit Singh Malla, Chand Singh Dalla, Mohinder Singh Sidhwan Bet, Dr Rajinder Sharma and Gurdeep Singh Gidderwindi among others.

KHANNA: A large number of activists from various local parties today burnt the effigy of Tytler in protest against the clean chit given to him by the CBI and a Congress ticket to contest Lok Sabha elections from Delhi. The protesters also stopped the trains at local railway station due to which Shaane Punjab train was to be cancelled and many others were delayed.

The protesters held a march in the city and accused the Congress of not initiating any action against the accused in the 1984 riots wherein innocent Sikhs were killed by mobs led by various senior Congress leaders, including Sajjan Kumar and Tytler.

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Youth body flays Cong over Tytler
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
The dirty politics being played by the political parties would hamper free and fair poll in the state. This was stated by the Youth Organisation of India (YOI) in a press note issued here today.

They said the ongoing controversy of allotment of tickets to 1984 riot accused Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar had taken a new turn in Punjab and they had written a letter to the Prime Minister to intervene into the matter and resolve it amicably.

“We are satisfied with the policies of the Congress, but are highly against their movement of allotting tickets to Tytler and Sajjan. Besides, it has also encouraged anger within the Sikh community,” they said adding that some anti-social elements were trying to disturb peace and harmony in Punjab.

They said leaders of various political parties should stop issuing inflammatory statements and come together to work for social welfare of the public by bringing the crime rate down. They added that the public needed a clean and fair environment and political parties should emphasise on this.

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Youth leaders for infusing young blood
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
With the Lok Sabha elections round the corner, leaders of major parties are trying hard to grab the attention of the youth by offering them “lucrative” opportunities. They realise that youth form a significant portion of electorate and may prove decisive for candidates. However, youth leaders feel that they must not be “used” as a mere tool and rather be given a chance to prove their mettle.

Punjab Agricultural University Students’ Association (PAUSA) president said he would support the candidate with a positive approach.

“The system needs to be revamped and youngsters with constructive policies in mind should come forward. Youth should not be used by the vested interest as a means to accomplish their goals. Leaders like Obama, chosen from the common lot, must be given a chance for the welfare of the country. Seasoned politicians have not lived up to the expectations of people at large,” said Brar.

National Student Union of India district president Jaspreet Singh said educated leaders were the need of the hour today.

“Young leaders can better understand the issues concerning the modern times. Time has come when countrymen have to decide their own fate by electing suitable candidates. I feel we must choose right people, who are responsible enough to run the country smoothly and take it to further,” he said.

Students’ Union of India’s legal adviser Harkanwal Singh said young and educated leaders were vital for country.

“Illiterate people must not form the government. Honesty and transparency can come if leaders are well-educated. They can think better about the country,” said Harkanwal.

Sandeep Kapoor of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Ludhiana, however, felt the nation needed strong and experienced leaders to make the right, and at times, tough decisions.

The nation was set to elect the 15th Lok Sabha and voters, especially the young and first-times, who are over 10 crore in number, must realise the issues at stake.

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Campaign to target youth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
Bhartiya Jantaa Yuva Morcha, Ludhiana, feels that no one could match the BJP/NDA prime ministerial candidate, LK Advani in conviction, integrity and record of service to the nation.

Addressing a press conference on Advani@Campus, Sandeep Kapoor, president of BJYM, Ludhiana, said it was a campaign to mobilise the voice of student community for change that would usher in ambitious initiatives to transform the economy with massive increase in employment and good governance reforms.

“We are trying to connect with youth to create awareness to bring reforms. We have received an excellent response from youth on this campaign,” said Kapoor.

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Ex-servicemen rally behind candidate
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 8
Ex-services’ League candidate for the Lok Sabha elections Col Bhag Singh Tihara (retd) organised a rally at Lala Lajpat Rai municipal park, Jhansi Rani Chowk, here today.

The rally was attended by a large number of people, including various retired men from the armed forces and leaders of various organisations that are supporting the league on the issues of development and redressal of outstanding demands.

Brig PS Toor, Col RS Sohi, Col DS Grewal, Col Mohan Singh, Col Zora Singh, Lt Commander Bhag Singh Dukhia, Meharban Singh, Harvinder Singh Rana and others declared their support for Bhag Singh and asked voters to vote for the candidate.

The rally passed through the busy markets of the town. The activists presented agenda of overall development of the town.

Addressing the gathering, Col Bhag Singh advocated the overall development of the town through long-term planning.

He said the industrial area should located away from residential areas to minimise pollution and raise the standard of living of residents.

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MCPI seeks relief for farmers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 8
The Marxist Communist Party of India-United (MCPI-U), while expressing its serious concern over massive crop losses caused by unseasonal rains and hailstorm in many parts of the state, has urged the Punjab Government to grant adequate and immediate compensation to farmers.

In a statement here today, Kuldeep Singh, member of the state committee of the party, said the amount of compensation announced by the government at the rate of Rs 5,000 per acre was far too less in view of high cost of input and it ought to be raised to at least Rs 10,000 per acre.

He said the Election Commission of India should not raise any hindrance in announcement and disbursement of compensation to the affected farmers.

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Duping of Customers
Cops, magistrates get power to verify records
DM orders bills for sale above Rs 99
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 8
Taking cognizance of reports of alleged nexus between sales tax authorities and owners of commercial establishments, in duping customers, the district magistrate at Sangrur has passed orders to issue bills for all sales for Rs 100 and above.

In order to ensure total compliance of his orders, promulgated under Section 144 of the Cr.PC, the district magistrate has authorized executive magistrates and police officials of the rank of the inspector and above to verify the stock statements and sale and purchase records of establishments located in their respective areas. All shopkeepers, irrespective of their turnover have been asked to maintain records.

A large number of customers, purchasing consumer goods and durables from shops situated in this part of Malwa had been cheated during past months. Despite receiving complaints against certain establishment, the administration could not initiate action against manufacturers or retailers, as the customers had not received bills for the said purchases.

The customers had been made to pay the taxes on the transaction but they were not issued bills. The practise could not be checked as a few sales tax officials were hand and glove with the erring shopkeepers.

With an intention to prevent fresh cases of cheating VK Ohri, using his powers as the district magistrate, promulgated special orders under Section 144 of the Cr.PC and directed shopkeepers to issue bills for all sales worth Rs 100 and above.

“It has been brought to my notice that shopkeepers had been supplying spurious and defective goods, including household consumer goods, durables, fertilizers and pesticides to the customers. Using my powers as the district magistrate I order all shopkeepers and traders to issue bills for the sales worth Rs 100 and above,” reads copy of orders sent to all police stations falling under Sangrur district.

Gurpreet Singh Sikand, Malerkotla DSP, had directed SHOs of all police stations of the circle to coordinate with the duty magistrates of their respective areas and ensure that orders were complied with in latter and spirit. Violators would be booked under Section 188 of the Cr.PC, said Sikand.

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SMO calls for better emergency services
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
The district health authorities, city hospitals and the Indian Medical Association(IMA), organised orientation programmes followed by special medical camps to observe the World Health Day 2009 with the theme “Save Lives: Make hospitals safe in emergencies” here yesterday.

A special programme was organised at the civil hospital in which nursing students recited poems on drug addiction, female foeticide and healthcare facilities. Civil surgeon Dr SP Sharma and SMO, civil hospital, Dr Harvinder Singh, called upon healthcare professionals to improve emergency services in the hospital.

As a part of the World Health Day celebrations, the unit of the IMA organised a free check-up and awareness camp for economically weaker section at EWS Colony. People were told about prevention of anaemia, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.

Dr Hardeep Singh, senior vice-president, IMA, said terrorism and political conflicts around the globe had led to great human suffering and stretched healthcare services to the extreme.

Meanwhile, Dr DP Singh Arora, secretary, IMA, and Dr PS Jassal, ENT specialist, attended a health awareness meet at Gurmat Gian Missionary College, Jawadi.

Arora talked about general diseases like malaria, gastroenteritis, dengue, typhoid and their prevention in summers and monsoon.

Dr PS Jassal and Dr Karamveer Goel, vice-president, IMA, were also present. Also, SPS Apollo Hospitals observed the day with the launch of “Healthy workplace initiative” for industries. Under this initiative, the hospital will offer preventive and allied healthcare services to employees and dependents of industry and organise regular camps, health awareness talks, workshops for the workers.

The hospital will launch a healthy workplace benefit card in May, where in, the employees of the industry would be entitled to exclusive benefits.

The College of Nursing (CMCH) organised a poster-making competition followed by an exhibition to create public awareness. The students of nursing college also performed a play.

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Pvt firm lifting effluents, say electroplaters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
Members of the Ludhiana Electroplaters’ Association have said the effluent of all association members is being lifted by JBR Technologies Private Limited, the operator of the common effluent treatment plant (CETP), Focal Point, Phase VIII, Ludhiana, and is also being treated there.

President of the association Joginder Kumar and secretary Chander Prakash Sabarwal said in a press note issued here today that not even a single drop of effluent of the association members was being discharged into the sewerage.

Rajinder Singh of JBR Technologies Private Limited said they were not using the old machinery installed at the CETP by PSIEC.

“We have installed an additional machinery to treat effluent as per the advice of the PPCB, to achieve the desired parameters. We are lifting approximately one-lakh litres of effluent from different industries of the association and treating it to make it zero liquid discharge. It is first-of-its-kind in the country,” he stated.

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Chief secy assures reservation for mentally challenged
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
The industrialists in Ludhiana should come forward to create employment for the mentally/physically impaired persons who are undergoing vocational training at special schools in the city, stated Chief Secretary, Punjab, Ramesh Inder Singh.

The Chief Secretary was in the city to attend the annual function of Nirdosh, a school for the mentally challenged children.

Referring to the absence of concern amongst general public for the physically/mentally impaired, the Chief Secretary also agreed to the violation of the reservation policy wherein the government departments were refusing appointments to handicapped. “Soon after the elections, I will personally ensure implementation of three per cent reservation in every government office,” added Ramesh Inder.

Each one of the guests present on the occasion lauded the efforts of the specially abled children who performed on patriotic songs, including the latest hit by AR Rehman ‘Jai Ho’.

Seema, mother of a 13-year-old boy, was overwhelmed to see her child on stage as she said, “It is like a dream come true for me. The time has come to a standstill. I just want to live in this moment.”

The Nirdosh School today inaugurated a vocational training centre for the disabled children which will be fully operational in July.

As many as 49 mentally challenged students are already getting basic education followed by specialised vocational training in candle making, envelope making, pot making and rakhi making.

Surat Duggal, principal of Nirdosh School, added that students with physical disability would be admitted in the new wing and imparted education and training in various other spheres, including paper bag making. Also, the school would emphasise on occupational therapy programmes.

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Relief for dealers, buyers as SBI stir called off
Nano booking from today
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
With the All-India State Bank Officers’ Federation (AISBOF) calling off the strike scheduled for April 8 and 9, city residents are upbeat about the booking for the world’s cheapest car, Nano, that begins tomorrow.

The call for a strike by the bank staff was being considered a hindrance in the booking process of the car.

Confirming that the strike had been called off, GPS Bakshi, deputy general secretary, All-India State Bank Officers’ Association, Punjab, said the strike had been called off following acceptance of “certain demands of the employees”.

Elated that the bank strike had been called off, Rishi Dada, CEO, Dada Motors, Ludhiana, said: “The booking process will now be carried out smoothly, as there were apprehensions among general public about the bank strike on the first two days of the car’s booking process.”

Avinash Dwivedi, who intends to book the car on the first day itself, said he was happy that the bank staff had called off the stir, making things easier for the common man.

Bakshi said the federation had called for the strike opposing the setting up of new single-man branches without adequate infrastructure, and had been demanding minimum of two officers at all existing core banking branches.

He added: “The management’s assurance that each single-man branch will be given a senior clerk along with the officer, and the clerk will be given the charge of an officer, has come as a relief to the bank staff.”

“The State Bank of India will accept booking forms from tomorrow,” said Bakshi, adding that at least 1,350 branches of the bank in 850 cities would assist the booking process.

Tata Motors has tied up with the State Bank of India as the sole booking agent for Nano, launched on March 23, while Tata group’s units like Croma and Westside store and Tata Indicom outlets will also accept booking forms for the car.

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Fee Hike
Stir continues as talks fail
Hindu-Sikh Jagriti Sena, parents rally in front of DC’s office
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
The second round of talks, on the issue of the hefty fee hike and exorbitant charges for accessories between the parents and school managements, failed to provide any solution. Thus, the talks arranged by Additional Deputy Commissioner Kuldeep Singh remained inconclusive.

Meanwhile, the Hindu-Sikh Jagriti Sena and the parents intensified their agitation against the fee hike. A big rally was organised in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in the district administrative complex. Those taking part in the rally marched from the Jagraon Bridge to the mini secretariat.

Seven activists of the Hindu-Sikh Jagriti Sena led by its president Parveen Dang got their heads shaved as a mark of protest.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Kuldeep Singh today met the principals of GMT Public School, Shivalikwala, Doon Public School, KVM, Sat Paul Mittal School and Delhi Public School. They presented their records to the Additional Deputy Commissioner for justifying the fee hike. Kuldeep Singh told The Tribune that he was examining the records and studying the CBSE guidelines.

Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg, when contacted by The Tribune, said the negotiations were going on and the Additional Deputy Commissioner was holding an enquiry, whatever possible would be done. There was no law under which he could intervene, Garg added.

Challenging the assertion of the Deputy Commissioner, Parveen Dang said they had presented the documents pertaining to the CBSE schools to Garg under which he as a representative of the state government could intervene in the matter. No school could get affiliation from the CBSE without the NOC obtained by the state government, Dang added.

He alleged that the managements tried to hide one fact after the other. The school principal told the Additional Deputy Commissioner that they were charging Rs 12,000 as the school fee. At this, a parent who said he had deposited Rs 25,000 immediately rebuffed her. On hearing this Additional Deputy Commissioner reprimanded her, Dang added. According to Dang, the Additional Deputy Commissioner also rebuked the management of another school for compulsory selling of the calendar to each student. Parents want that expenses on the luxuries should be curtailed. Dang alleged that the managements were charging the re-admission fee every year from old students, which was unjustified. Parents allege that the school authorities realise three-month fee in advance whereas teachers are paid salaries monthly and the service class parents also get salary at the end of each month. What is the justification of getting the fees in advance?

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Pitcher continues to hold ground
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
Nothing tastes as sweet as earthen pitcher’s water. In this age of science and technology, which has seen growth in leaps and bounds, this still seems to hold good. Which is the reason why Phool Mohammad, who resides at Bullara village, has been surviving in this business for the past 15 years.

It was almost 15 years ago when Phool Mohammad migrated to the city to try out his luck. “I learnt the art of pottery making from Prem and now my children are learning it from me,” he added.

He daily makes a good amount of pots, “surahi”, “chaati” and pitchers. His day starts at 4 am and he continues making pottery till the evening. In between, he goes out to bring mud for pottery.

“I go to nearby Kheri Chameri village to get the mud required for making pottery,” he added. By the end of the day, he is ready with nearly 25 pots.

“Though people now have refrigerators and freezers, a few still have a liking for water of a pitcher.

“We have customers from all sections. While our customers largely comprise not-so-rich people, we are flooded by orders from people coming in swanky cars too,” adds Aruna, his wife.

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First Row brings plethora of designer labels
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
Style came to Ludhiana with “First Row” exhibiting designer labels for discerning fashion conscious people at Sutlej Club. Garments, bags, shoes and accessories by renowned designers like Ashish Soni, Rohit Bal, Shantanu & Nikhil, Mandira Wirk, Malini Ramani were displayed at attractive prices.

While Shantanu & Nikhil’s ensemble was a hit among men, Indian ethnic garments were the pick of the day. Fusion was the mainstay of Mandira Wirk’s collection. Her clothes exuded class and wearability that was reflected in her easy silhouettes, minimal embroideries in straight and structured cuts.

“Embroideries are a statement of the complete story and they emerge in her clothes as textural strokes like a signature that defines the canvas,” added one of the visitors at the exhibition.

Malini Ramani’s design philosophy was visible from her collection. She believes in vibrant colour, plunging necklines, and loads of glamour. But the best way to identify a Malini Ramani piece is through the shine, sparkle and sexy look.

The collection of leading designers that had sparkle on the cocktail circuit from Mumbai to Monte Carlo to Beirut to Moscow today magnetised the people of this industrial city.

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City Concerns
Voters decide nation’s fate

With elections around the corner, voters, once again, become a witness to colourful election speeches, which promise stability, reforms and development giving reasons why has progress eluded the country. Allegations against political foes, blaming each other for everything wrong in the countries continue to form a major part of the political debates. The voters have a strong opinion against unkept promises made in elaborate agendas. This is what a cross section of the city voters say on the issue.

The dates for the forthcoming elections have been fixed and the public needs to be alert as it is going to determine the fate of the country.

We have reached at a juncture where we need to be on guards with our ears and eyes open. The city residents must know how to distinguish good from bad and they should choose the right candidate. We should take into consideration their background and their attitude towards the people.

The person who can overlook his personal interests and is ready to serve the society,should be selected.

Kuldip Singh Kreer, Ludhiana

Poor suffers most

The lifestyle of Indians is certainly changing. And they want to change their way of living overnight. Because of the callous attitude of politicians poor people suffer the most.

The public is witnessing false promises being made by the contesting candidates. They have failed to address the grievances of the poor. One can see garbage heaps lying on the roadside, non- maintenance of roads and poor condition of flyovers etc in the city. There’s no scope of improvement in the city as per the working of the government. There’s still a ray of hope that things will change and our leaders will take appropriate steps in order to make this city a better place to live in.

Rahul Arora, Ludhiana.

Men of vision needed

The role of a MP in the city is limited, as he/she is primarily concerned with the functioning of the Centre as a whole. The role can be effective if one gets a berth in the Union Cabinet. City problems, including traffic chaos, sewerage, water supply, roads etc are the main concerns of the corporation and the local body department. The MP can only bring certain important projects in the area that can effectively engage a sizeable chunk of the unemployed population in the constituency.

The local MP can be an effective voice for raising the issue of lowering of central excise duty on imported goods and subsidiaries for export goods. Ludiana, being an industrial hub, this is one of the major areas of concern.I will like to point out that once elected MPs and MLAs become non-accessible, as they remain busy in attending social functions. It is high time to realise that a MP/MLA should be a man of vision, understanding, high dignity and honesty.

Sher Singh, Ludhiana.

Encourage educationists

As we know that a dentist can not cure lung cancer, thus, how a celebrity or someone having an experience in other fields is expected to look after the local public grievances at the state and national level. In fact, capability and efficiency are the two factors that an educationist can better showcase

In India, very few politicians are educated. In a nutshell, people like Lincoln, Kiran Bedi, Amartya Sen and Manmohan Singh should be welcomed unanimously to come forward, who can run the system efficiently.

Kuldeep Singh, Ludhiana.

Candidates must set priorities

I expect the candidates in fray for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections to prepare a paper on the issues that they consider important for the city.

Each problem should be highlighted, exclusively instead of giving general election speeches. Each issue should be supported with factual details on the basis of technical and financial implications.

The contesting candidates, once elected, need to assure the voters that they would keep them regularly updated about the development on different projects.

A date in every month should be fixed when the MP can issue a press release through the public relation department informing citizens about the progress on different projects. Instead of making haphazard expenditures out of the MPLAD funds, the candidates should inform their charter of action to the public during the election rallies and meetings

Maninder Singh Gurm, Ludhiana

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