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Caste politics in MC office
Certificate of sanitation staff sought

Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
While the municipal corporation has failed to regularise the services of employees of the mohalla sanitation committee despite the Punjab government directions, a “lollipop” has come from the civic body for these employees, asking them to submit their caste certificate.

The decision of inviting these certificates was taken at a meeting held by Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura at his camp office.

The meeting was attended by various officers and councillors. While it is being debated if the meeting was violation of the code, sources said the decision of inviting certificates had been taken in the wake of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Terming it to be a political move, the sources said the decision had been taken to ensure the support of mohalla sanitation employees. “The Ludhiana parliamentary seat has around 15 to 20 per cent population from the SC/ST categories. The decision has come after a faction of the safai karamcharis warned the Punjab government that they would not support the SAD-BJP alliance if their demands were not met,” the sources said, adding that the matter had been lingering on for the past more than six months and the move had come at a crucial stage.

A resident of the city had asked the MC some months ago to disclose him with the details of the number of SC/ST employees in the sanitation committee under the RTI. However, the civic body failed to provide him with the information.

More than 3,000 persons are working with the sanitation committees and these committees, throughout Punjab, had been disbanded last year on the orders from the department of local bodies. The department had ordered the MC to regularise the services of these employees.

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Contestants ‘hiring’ dummy candidates
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 26
Supporters of almost all candidates contesting the Lok Sabha elections will receive more than one “bastas” for deputing extra polling agents at each polling booth in their respective beats this time.

This step has been taken due to the appointment of dummy candidates who have been placed by official contestants.

Many people have put their money at the stake for the elections and are willing to lend their constitutional rights to the official candidates for handsome returns.

Though the Election Commission has announced that it will take stern action against those found propagating for official candidates, the menace seems to be beyond the control of authorities.

Supporters of almost all official candidates have started deputing a large number of polling and counting agents. Blank authorisation letters, signed by a few Independent candidates will enable them to depute extra manpower inside and near the polling booths. Those deputed on the basis of authorisation received from dummy candidates will specially be trained for watching the interests of official contestants hiring their original candidates.

We have been asked to search for aggressive boys who can handle tough situations on their own. These youths will help our men if needed, said a local leader.

A few years ago, the Election Commission of India had imposed a limit on the number of vehicles in the candidates’ convoy for providing a level field to all. But, politicians are now putting up dummy candidates as Independents so that they can use their vehicles to campaign for official candidates without inviting the ire of the authorities.

This trend will also allow the candidates to misuse vehicles and other facilities provided by different parties. Extra force will also be required for accompanying these candidates.

Sources revealed that at least 100 dummy candidates had filed their nomination papers from Ludhiana, Fatehgarh, Ferozepur, Bathinda, Patiala and Sangrur constituencies of Malwa. At least 40 candidates filed their nominations from the city alone. Though a few candidates were reported to have withdrawn their candidature, significantly large numbers of nominations were filed from Ferozepur (34), Bathinda (30), Patiala (31) and Sangrur (22).

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Poll lolly for farmers, traders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal spent the whole the day in Ludhiana meeting local leaders and addressing election meetings in various parts of the city.

While discussing details about the election campaign with the local leaders, he stressed that a strong wave was prevailing in Punjab in favour of SAD-BJP candidates.

He advised the leaders that they must exploit the opportunity and there was no scope for any complacency. “We should locate weak links, if any, in our campaign and make efforts to remove these,” he said.

People need to be told that without the installation of the NDA government at the Centre, it would be difficult to realise dreams of modern Punjab, since most of the big projects were to be completed with the help of the Central grant.

“Development of the industry and agriculture is our priority. We will waive agricultural loans and provide farm loans at an interest rate of 4 per cent. Similarly, Punjab trade and industry will be given concessions and facilities that are given to its neighbouring states”, said he.

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Poll outcome vital for country: Badal
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 26
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said that the Lok Sabha elections were a testing time for the people as the outcome would have a significant bearing on Punjab and the country.

Addressing a series of elections meetings here to campaign for party candidate Gurcharan Singh Galib, he asked voters to reject the Congress nominee who was an outsider. “The Congress candidate does not belong to the city and has no attachment to the state of Punjab. Hence, he will not be able to do any good to the city or the state,” he claimed.

He said the Congress had no agenda for these elections and no plans for future development. It was essential that it should not be allowed to retain power at the Centre. “The Congress-led UPA government had not only failed to provide basic needs to over half the population in the country, but also failed to provide internal security. Terrorist attacks in various parts of the country are becoming routine and there is a growing feeling of insecurity among people,” he said.

Badal listed the achievements of the SAD-BJP government, claiming that work had been taken on several major infrastructure development projects like state highways, river and rail overbridges, power generation projects and international airports.

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Photographer held for uploading nude pictures
Tribune News Service

Amloh, April 26
The Fatehgarh Sahib police arrested a Patiala-based photographer yesterday for uploading nude pictures of a woman on Orkut.

The accused has been identified as Khushbir Malhotra, owner of a photo studio at Patiala. Family members of the woman had given her photographs to the studio for matrimonial purpose three years ago.

The woman got married at Mandi Gobindgarh a few months ago and the photographer manipulated those pictures. The pictures, in different poses, was morphed by him and uploaded on the Orkut.

The accused had also been circulating the Orkut address to the near and dear ones of the woman, besides his own friend circle.

A complaint was lodged in this connection by the family of the woman and a case under various Sections of the IT Act was registered.

The police enquired about the IP address of the computer by which the photographs were uploaded. It was traced to a Patiala studio and the accused was arrested.

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Shoe-hurling at PM
Residents react angrily over shameful act
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 26
City residents, irrespective of political leanings and affiliations, have expressed an angry reaction at the incident in which a young man hurled a shoe at Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in his election rally at Ahmedabad in Gujarat today.

Almost everyone was of the view that such acts had no place in a civilised society and needed to be curbed with a heavy hand.

Ramesh Lakhanpal, a senior advocate in the district court, said the person who had inflicted an insult on a politician like Dr Manmohan Singh should be put behind bars under the National Security Act so that the punishment could act as a deterrent to others with intentions of gaining cheap popularity or rather notoriety.

A retired PAU employee, AC Goyal, remarked that what started as a misdemeanour by a journalist, who hurled a shoe at Union Home Minister P Chidambaram at a press conference in New Delhi, seemed to be now becoming a favourite game of disgruntled and frustrated people across the country. "Politics apart, throwing a shoe at the Prime Minister is a disgraceful act and it should be condemned by all right-thinking countrymen."

Veena Malhotra, a homemaker, was of the opinion that such actions went on to show degeneration of moral and political values in the country, for which the political leaders of different parties were more or less responsible.

"However, stooping so low as to insult the Prime Minister manifested mental sickness of the person responsible for such action."

A retired chief reservation supervisor and chairman of the Northern Railways Pensioners’ Welfare Association Sher Singh said hurling shoes at the political leaders to display one's feelings was a reprehensible act which should have no place in a democratic set up. There could be differences of opinion over policies and ways of working of the political parties but there were sensible and decent ways and means available to express one's opposition.

"In the wake of number of such incidents taking place in different parts of the country in the course of electioneering for the coming Lok Sabha elections, all political parties need to address this problem to discourage the people to express their frustration in such a manner, or else each and every senior political leader should be mentally prepared to become the target of a shoe in days to come," commented Dr Rajinder Chawla, an academician.

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Tewari campaigns door to door
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Congress candidate Manish Tewari, along with senior party leaders and workers, took out a march in the Ludhiana West assembly constituency and went from door to door.

Tewari also took out padyatra with former Minister of State Harnam Dass Johar in Sham Nagar and appealed to people to support him in elections. DYC president Dimple Rana, D.P Randhawa were also present on the occasion.

During Tewari’s padyatra in Gandhi Nagar Market, leader of SAD Kamal Pushp Narang joined the Congress, along with his supporters. Tewari addressed a series of public meetings in various areas, including Ward No: 6 Mayapuri, Ward 44 Muradpura and Basant Vihar.

Addressing meetings, Tewari said in these elections, opposition parties were left with no issues and fearing their defeat they were giving senseless statements against the Congress and prime ministerial candidate Dr Manmohan Singh. He said the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L K Advani had no right to term Dr Manmohan Singh as weak leader.

He advised him to first set their own house in order. Tewari further said the BJP was divided over the issue of prime ministership. L.K. Advani is facing rebellion from his home state. The BJP’s strong lobby was busy making efforts to project Narendra Modi as real prime ministerial candidate, which clearly reflected that BJP leaders were not unanimous and also divided over the candidature of Advani as PM.

Tewari said there was consensus on the name of Dr Manmohan Singh among the UPA constituents. He advised the opposition parties to learn a lesson from the fact that during confidence motion, even Akali MPs, acting on his conscience, voted in favour of the UPA government.

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Polling officials at ease with EVMs this time
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 26
Expressing pleasure over the enthusiasm to learn functioning of EVMs by officials on poll duties, the administration has claimed that the poll process will be smoother this time.

As almost all members of polling parties, including presiding and polling officers, will be fully trained about the functioning of voting machines, voters will not have to wait for long, the authorities claimed.

Observations revealed that the officials on election duties were more enthusiastic about learning the functioning of EVMs this time. Almost all presiding officers and polling officials, who had been asked to attend special training classes during these days, not only reported at subdivision level training centres, they also tried to learn all elements of the functioning of the equipment.

According to Jaspal Singh Jassie, SDM Raekot, almost all officials, who attended the first rehearsal on April 22, were imparted knowledge about the functioning of an EVM during an intensive training programme.

A coaching centre was established at the office of the Municipal Council.

SDM Payal Neeru Katya Gupta maintained that their presence during training classes had been cent per cent during past days. Referring to feedback provided by in charges of various batches, Katyal maintained that all officials had given in writing that they had acquired full knowledge about functioning of EVMs.

Similar feedback was received from Samrala and Malerkotla subdivisions.

Investigation by The Tribune revealed that the Chief Election Commissioner had directed the authorities to ensure that all members of the polling teams should have full knowledge about the machines.

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Encouraging poor to go green
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Whenever it comes to change, people always target either children or educated people expecting them to be pioneers in changing the society.

Whereas, the Haryali Lao Desh Bachao Welfare Society is an organisation that has come up with an idea of making economically weaker section people as seeds for change.

Implementing their ideology through a unique effort, a medical camp for poor was organised and, along with free medicines, plants were given to patients to encourage them to keep their surroundings green.

Vishnu Dev, society president, said: “I learnt this lesson of saving environment from my child who is studying in Class VIII. After reading a lesson in his book, I felt that an effort is required in this regard and, along with a few friends and area residents, I formed this society.”

He said the society had planted around 5,000 plants in Ropar, Anandpur Sahib, Nangal and Nurpur Bedi. “We want to take such efforts for the polluted city of Ludhiana too,” added Dev.

“Our aim is to save the earth and that is possible only if we have green environment which is on the verge of extinction,” said society member Ramesh Adya.

The society was formed six months ago and is trying to create awareness among the people.

Describing their plans, the society members said festivals were another best way to encourage people to plant more trees and contribute in initiatives for saving earth. “We plan to distribute plants on festivals too as it is the best time to ask people for a change,” said society members.

They further said they would like to take their movement to Rajasthan.

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Rs 135 cr spent on development: MC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
The financial statements prepared by the municipal officials have revealed that Rs 75 crore from the councillor quota and Rs 60 crore from the general quota have been spent between September 2007 and mid-February 2009.

However, taking into consideration the common complaints of broken and partially-carpeted roads, water shortage, lack garbage dumps and chocked drains, it’s anybody’s guess where all money has been utilised. The civic amenities still remain a distant dream for a common man.

According to the statements, SAD councillor Sunita Rani Lohara has spent maximum money from the councillor quota, amounting to Rs 2.29 crore followed by BSP councillor Dharmjit Singh Garcha, who has spent Rs 2.22 crore, in the past two years.

There are 26 more councillors, including Rattanjeet Kaur Sibia, Gurpreet Singh Gora, Sakshi Julka, Pal Singh Grewal, Sukhwinder S Ballu, Sukhdev S Gill, Parminder Singh Soma and Sher Singh Garcha, who have spent more than a crore on development projects in their wards. Interestingly, these councillors are either SAD councillors or had been elected as Independents.

Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal tops the list in the local BJP squad. Congress councillor Bharat Bhushan Ashu from ward NO. 54 has spent around Rs 1.44 crore.

Coming to general quota, Deputy Mayor Sunita Aggarwal has set new standards as she has spent around Rs 4.42 crore in just two years on development in ward No. 13. Others who have spent more than Rs 3 crore include SAD councillor Ranjit Singh Dhillon and Congress councillor Pritpal Singh Gayal.

While these councillors were busy with the expenditures, some of them didn't bother to get money from the general quota. These are Congress councillor Sham Sunder Malhotra, SAD councillors Jagbir Singh Sokhi and Swaran Singh Mohali.

Notably, apart from these Rs 135 crore, the councillors have also got works sanctioned in crores from Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during his sangat darshan.

The expenditures are heavy but where the money has been used is still an unanswered question.

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Fifth Pay Commission
Excise and taxation officers burn report
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Excise and taxation officers, excise and taxation inspectors, ministerial staff and Class IV employees met at the Pensioners’ Bhawan, Mini Secretariat, Ludhiana, yesterday.

The 5th Pay Commission report, as submitted to the Government of Punjab, was discussed threadbare. The employees said the Pay Commission had not gone into the merits of the demands put forward by the officers, inspectors and other staff.

They said the Department of Excise and Taxation, which had contributed more than Rs 9,000 crore to the state exchequer during the last financial year, had been given an empty bowl.

It was decided at the meeting that the Confederation of Excise and Taxation Department would strive to get the upgraded pay scales which had been neglected by the 5th Pay Commission and strict action would be taken if the government did not respond in a positive manner.

A copy of the 5th Pay Commission report was also burnt on the occasion. The confederation had decided to approach the review committee for the implementation of the report under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, Punjab, so that the excise and taxation officers be given parity of pay scales with the SDOs of various departments, veterinary officers, assistant architects, ATPs and DSPs, the excise and taxation inspectors in other departments and pay protection on promotion and the improvement of work environment, better infrastructure, adequate manpower and police protection during field operations.

The confederation had convened another meeting of the executive committee on May 1 to decide the next course of action.

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Attack on Jagraon MC chief condemned
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 26
People yesterday condemned the attack on the local municipal committee chief and the superintending engineer. Baldev Krishan Telu, president of the Jagraon civic body, was going on his car towards Chandigarh for some official work. He was accompanied by SE Harish Chander and driver Ladi.

When they reached near Katani Gurdwara on the road beside the canal near the Neelon bridge, five youths in an Indica car stopped their car and attacked them. They also damaged the car.

However, the municipal chief managed to flee from the spot. He was trailed by an assailant for some time, but he managed to escape. Harish Chander was seriously injured in the attack. The assailants were equipped with sharp-edged weapons and iron rods.

Teli said councillors Satish Kumar Pappu and Davinderjit Singh Sidhu, along with municipal inspector Amrinder Singh, were also accompanying him in a Scorpio car. The assailants attacked when their car was out of sight. However, the assailants fled when some other cars reached the spot. Harish Chander was admitted to Doraha hospital with fractured limbs and a head injury.

Harish Chander said he had joined the Jagraon office just a fortnight ago and had stopped all development works as the residents had raised suspicion over the way the constructions were going on in the city. He said the contractors were unhappy with him and it could be the handiwork of any of the affected party.

On the other hand, Telu rued that he had already raised his apprehensions before SSP, Jagraon, Gurpreet Singh Bhullar that he might be attacked and demanded security from him, but it was not provided to him. The attack was condemned by the SAD, BJP, RSS leaders besides by a number of social, political and religious associations that demanded arrest of the assailants at the earliest.

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Bakery Assault Case
Six months on, accused walks free
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
It has been six months since the city witnessed the brutal show of strength by armed miscreants in which five persons were mercilessly attacked with swords and other sharp-edged weapons near the Hero Bakery Chowk on the Pakhowal Road.

Despite, being booked in an attempt to murder case, the assailants are walking as a free man and threatening the victims to withdraw the case.

However, due to mounting political pressure and public resentment, the police acted swiftly and arrested Gurjot Singh, alias Sherry, Gurvinderpal Singh, alias Captain, and Manish Rai, alias Tony. Later, Manish Rai Tonny got bail from the court.

While, Ashwani Kumar Chuttu, Taranvir Singh, Indervir Singh, alias Nihang, and Karan Bharadwaj are still absconding.

Vishal Joshi, a victim is cursing the day, when he showed faith in the police. Joshi said, “He and Vaibhav Verma are being threatened by the goons of Jasvinder Singh, a financer, who is also booked in an attempt to murder case.”

Joshi alleged that the police was not taking any action as a top police official in Chandigarh was backing the accused.

The victims alleged that the accused who were well connected were intentionally delaying the case.

In the earlier inquiry conducted by then Hoshiarpur SSP, Sukhchain Singh Gill, held the accused responsible for committing the crime near Hero Bakery and recommended immediate arrest of the accused.

However, the assailants still managed to mark another inquiry in the case and this time from Kapurthala SSP Ram Singh.

Joshi alleged it had been over a month since the second inquiry in the case had been initiated SSP Kapurthala. But nothing had been done so far.

Now, the victims are planning to knock at the door of the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the police atrocities.

“Vaibhav Verma (21), who spent nearly a month in the ICU of DMC Hospital, after being assaulted by the attackers, is yet again receiving threats from the assailants.

Vaibhav is the only brother of three sisters. His father had died 10 years ago.

He is the only hope for aging mother. His mother Asha Verma is also quite perturbed by the continued threats by the accused.

“Ever since the incident took place their have not been a single moments of relief for us. Already lakhs of rupees have been spent on the treatment of Vaibhav, and such threats have further made our life miserable. I don’t know why the police has not arrested the accused as yet.”

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Wheat glut in grain markets
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Against 8.50 lakh metric tonnes till May 15, 2008, approximately 7.52 lakh metric tonnes of wheat has arrived in various mandis of the district till yesterday evening. The trend, this time, has bit changed with production coming in lesser amount (as compared to the last year) from some places? The district officials of the mandi board here maintain that due to natural calamities, there has been less production from certain areas.

Rajpal Singh Dhaliwal, district mandi officer, told The Tribune that areas like Machhiwara, Samrala, Khanna and Sahnewal had shown comparatively less wheat production. The overall production, this year, was decreased to 27 per cent, 24 per cent, 18 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, at these places.

“Neighbouring districts like Fatehgarh Sahib and Ropar have also recorded less wheat production. There has been less yield due to the strong windstorms, hailstorm and rains, that occurred in the region in the second week of April. The production in Moga district has, however, increased to 5 per cent this year,” the officer said.

The wheat arrival from Khanna, Machhiwara, Sahnewal, Samrala, Maloud and Hathoor is almost complete. Arrival is still expected from mandis in Ludhiana, Mullanpur Dakha, Raikot and Sidhwan Bet areas. The procurement process is expected to complete in six to seven days.

Though everything is going on in a smooth manner, still lifting of production has become a problem to mandi officials due to the labour shortage, the officials maintained.

“We are facing acute labour shortage. The lifting is being hit, as we are not getting sufficient number of migrant labourers. Secondly, means of transport is also limited with us. Still, we have been able to clear all our stock”, said Dhaliwal.

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Recession fails to affect apparel business
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Clothes reflect one’s personality and when it comes to dressing up nobody wants to make a compromise. Although the world may be passing through severe financial crisis but despite this those involved in the garment business are making quick bucks. OCM today launched its new garment line “Splenza” amidst much fanfare. Models Deepak Wadhwa, Rashmi Tyagi, Nav Khanna and Himanshu Bhasin will walk down the ramp wearing the new collections.

These models from Mumbai today tag the meltdown part of the economy as superficial when it comes to the fashion market. “The fashion shows are held regularly and designers are as usual launching their new collections. People, nowadays, are judiciously spending their money but it remains a fact that they are not compromising on their clothes,” all models agree with this.

Subodh Sharma, senior manager, OCM, while interacting with The Tribune said the recession had not affected the garment business till date. “Punjab contributes to 12 per cent to the total turnover. Ludhiana holds an important position in this. At present we have five stores in the city,” he added.

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Devotees pay obeisance to Lord Rama
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 26
Thousands of devotees paid obeisance to Lord Rama and Lord Hanuman and listened to bhajans recited by renowned devotional singers, Ram Avtar Sharma, Bhagwan Dass Dikshat and their accompanists, at an annual jagran organised by Sri Bala Ji Trust at MGMN Senior Secondary School yesterday.

Jhanki presented by Suresh Kumar Sharma also fascinated the devotees.

While addressing the gathering, Sharma and Dikshat said religious functions were the only occasions where political party leaders interacted with each other irrespective of their political affiliations.

“Contrary to the common belief that religion causes division among various communities and their leaders, including politicians, events like jagrans and nagar kirtans bring people from all sections of society closer,” said the devotional singers.

They pointed out that representatives of Hindu, Sikh and Muslim organisations had come to attend the jagran.

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Coca-Cola announces national quiz
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Coca-Cola in India has announced the launch of the Limca Book of Records Quiz, 2009. After a huge success of the Limca Book of Records, 2008, this year the quiz is being organised to continue its journey of promoting knowledge and awareness amongst young minds of the country.

The multi-city initiative has been launched in partnership with “Know & Grow with Derek” and involves participation of young geniuses from classes VIII to XII.

As part of the initiative, a series of quiz competitions is being organised in 3,000 schools across 75 cities.

The quiz competition is divided into four zones- North, South, East and West.

The quiz is being organised in three stages i.e. inter-school level, semifinals and national finals from April to December. The quiz aptly takes its lead name from the Limca Book of Records (LBR), as the record book celebrates the outstanding achievements of Indians across the globe and is a source of inspiration especially for the country’s youth.

According to Mansoor Siddiqi, director, Integrated Marketing Communications, Coca-Cola India, “The Limca Book of Records, now celebrating its 20th illustrious year, is a tribute to Indian achievers from across the globe. The book truly catalogues India at her best and provides us with the opportunity to learn in an engaging manner. And what better way to ignite young minds than to make them all a part of a quiz.

We received an overwhelming response to the Limca Book of Records Quiz last year. This year we are proud to take this initiative to the next level by organising it in over 3,000 schools across 75 cities.”

Derek O’Brien, a renowned quizmaster and founder “Know & Grow with Derek”, will host the national finals.

The entire database, including content, research material and quiz software, is being provided by “Know & Grow with Derek”.

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51 donate blood
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 26
Around 51 volunteers donated blood for thallassemic children at a blood donation camp organised by Salam Zindagi Foundation, an NGO, at Pindi Dayal Dharamshala in Civil Lines here today.

Pritpal Singh, president, Gurdwara Sri Dukhniwaran, inaugurated the camp and appreciated the efforts of the NGO in promoting voluntary blood donation camps.

A team of doctors and supporting staff from the department of transfusion medicine at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital led by Dr Amarjit Kaur, head of the department, facilitated the collection of blood at the camp.

Meanwhile, more than 700 patients were examined by the team of specialists at a free super-specialty medical camp, organised jointly by Rising Youth Association (RYA) and Naujwaan Sewak Jatha at Gurdwara Baba Banda Singh Bahadur near Samrala Chowk here today.

Dr Akashdeep Singh, pulmonologist, Dr Paramvir Singh, medical specialist, Dr KC Mukherjee, cardiac surgeon, Dr Harpreet Singh, ophthalmologist, conducted the check up and free medicines were also distributed to them.

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Dr Sharda to get Kenyan Robe of Peace
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 26
"The warring world can be developed into a haven of peace and friendship with the motivational understanding through inter-faith activities, meetings, etc." said Dr Ram Sharda, a philanthropist and an ambassador of peace, who left India, when he was only 15-year-old.

He was on a short visit to Jagraon, his native town.

Dr Sharda, who propagates Guru Nanak’s teachings, said he was educated in London, had settled in Kenya in about 1950 and being a man of theatre served as a coordinating producer and principal director, Cultural Education Media with the Government of Kenya, and after retirement joined the Universal Peace Federation (New York), an affiliate of the UNO, as senior inter-faith coordinator for teaching peace, love and harmony at the international level.

Dr Sharda was honoured for his contribution in making world a peaceful habitat. He was presented with a copy of originally handwritten “Sikh Gurbani Shabad” by Guru Gobind Singh.

An apostle of peace declared that Dr Sharda would be honoured with the Kenyan Robe of Peace and he would be appointed as the first President of the Punjab Chapter of Universal Peace Federation to be established soon.

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Surprise checks by health dept
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
With three deaths following the consumption of adulterated gol gappas in New Gautam Colony in Basti Jodhewal, the health department is conducting surprise checks on gol gappa vendors to find out if they use sulphuric acid, as alleged by some health experts.

Teams led by senior health officials are visiting the areas near Basti Jodhewal to monitor the sale of the roadside food. DHO Dr SS Dhir stated that he along with his team checked almost 10 vendors but could not find any trace of usage of sulphuric acid.

“Even if they are using sulphuric acid, they must have thrown it away. But the department will keep a watch on these vendors, who, if found guilty, will be dealt strictly, as the chemical is permitted for the industrial use only,” said Dhir.

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Harrison launches range of products
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Harrison, a pioneer in locks and hardware trade in India, launched its new range of products during the company's Punjab dealers' meet held here today.

The range includes door handle sets, Euro profile cylinder, concealed rose handle sets, glass door pull handle sets, bathroom latch applications in various finishes and sizes.

All door handle sets are electrophoretically/ catalysed lacquered and come in different finishes like nickel silver, antique, gold silver and BPL to match door décor.

The dealers from far flung areas of Punjab attended the meet and widely appreciated the range.

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13 booked for demanding dowry
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 26
At least 13 persons have been booked for demanding dowry in three cases. Rajni Bala of Geeta Colony, in her complaint lodged with the SSP, accused her husband and in-laws of beating her up and demanding more dowry.

The SHO said the woman had given an application against her husband Deepak Kumar, brother-in-law Pankaj Kumar, father-in-law Inder Lal and mother-in-law Basra Rani on May 8, 2008.

She had accused her in-laws of turning her out of the house after beating her up on May 6.

She got married to Deepak Kumar of Samana on January 15,2008. In her complaint, she had stated that the accused used to beat her up and demanded Rs 50,000.

SP (D) Pritam Singh probed into the matter. After consultation with the DA (legal), the SSP ordered the registration of a case against the accused under Sections 324, 406, 498A and 120B of the IPC.

Investigations revealed that it was the second marriage for both Rajni Bala and Deepak Kumar. Deepak had two children from the first marriage, while Rajni Bala had one son from her previous marriage.

She wanted to keep her son with them but her in-laws objected to it.

They often quarrelled over the issue. Her husband had even turned her out of the house and asked her to send her son to her parents, as agreed at the time of marriage.

She then returned to her home and lodged a complaint with the SSP.

In another case, the police had booked five persons on the statement of Baljinder Kaur of Manuke village which includes her husband Gurdeep Singh, father-in-law Randhir Singh, mother-in-law Kuldeep Kaur, sister-in-law Sandeep Kaur and her husband Baljit Singh. She said she was married to Gurdeep Singh of Gahila village on February 18, 2007, and alleged that her parents had given 300 gm gold and Rs 11 lakh in cash besides other expenses and gifts.

In yet another case, on the complaint of Satinder Kaur of Rasulpur Malla, the police had booked her husband Davinder Singh, father-in-law Harbans Singh, mother-in-law Baljeet Kaur, mother of Harbans Singh, Dalip Kaur of Bagaha Purana for demanding dowry.

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55-yr-old man commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 26
A man died when he reportedly jumped before a train. The deceased, identified as Baljit Singh (55), was a resident of Gondwal village near Raikot. He apparently jumped before a Ludhiana- bound passenger train coming from Ferozepur near the crossing of Aligarh village drain.

Baljit had returned from Abu Dhabi a few months ago. The railway police had recovered a bottle of liquor beside his body and it appeared that he waited for the train while drinking liquor. A case had been registered under Section 174 of the CrPC on the statement of the family members.

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Cops seize drugs, weapons
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 26
The police department is all set for the coming Lok Sabha elections and has ensured the maintenance of law and order during the elections.

SSP (Ludhiana Rural) Gurpreet Singh said the police was committed to ensuring free and fair elections on May 13.

The district police had already stepped up its movements in compliance with the instructions issued by the Election Commission.

He further said the police had seized 5.1 kg opium, 7 gm smack, 2.8 quintal poppy husk, 1.4 quintal green poppy plants, 157 lt liquor, 3.7 quintal lahan, including one pistol of .32 bore with four cartridges, one pistol of .315 with six cartridges, one pistol of .38 bore with five cartridges and three knives from miscreants.

The police had arrested six proclaimed offenders from the region. As a preventive measure, 776 barriers were set up to check smuggling of contraband substances and unlicensed weapons. As many as, 502 were challaned under various provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act.

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Thieves decamp with products worth Rs 70,000
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Thieves decamped with grocery and milk products worth Rs 70,000 by breaking the shutter of a grocery shop in Rishi Nagar here today.

The incident took place in the wee hours when some thieves broke the shutter of Manu General Store and stole a canister of desi ghee and expensive cosmetic material.

To evade suspension, the thieves even disconnected the streetlights.

The police has registered a complaint and started investigating the matter.

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2 boxes of liquor seized, 1 held
Tribune News Service

Machhiwara, April 26
The Machhiwara police today confiscated two boxes of liquor from a gypsy near Garhi Tarkhana village.

The police stopped the vehicle but the driver tried to flee away from spot.

The police immediately took over the vehicle and on checking found two boxes of liquor. Its driver Harnam Singh alias Nama, a resident of Garhi Tarkhana village, was also arrested.

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Mini Star XI win by 54 runs
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, April 26
Mini Star XI comprising old students of Arya College defeated Ludhiana Media XI by 54 runs in a 20-20 cricket match played at the college grounds here today.

Batting first, Mini Star XI made 263 runs for the loss of eight wickets. Rajeev Gagat scored 78 runs, which included 10 sixes and three hits over the ropes. Sushil Kumar made 72 runs and Varun scored 25.

Ajit and Lahiri picked up two wickets each for Ludhiana Media XI while Mohit Khanna and Tarsem Devgan chipped in with one wicket each.

Chasing the target, Ludhiana Media XI's innings finished at 209 runs in 18.5 overs. The main scorers were Arashdeep Samar and Sunny who scored 52 runs each while Tarsem Devgan contributed with 25 runs.

For Mini Star XI, Arun was the pick of bowlers. He grabbed four wickets, followed by Vicky and Gurmeet Singh who took two wickets each to enable their team wrap up Ludhiana Media XI's innings at 209 runs.

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ML Markan Trophy
Minor District Zone B pile up 394 runs
Our Sports Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 26
Jaipreet with 174 runs and Harmanjit Singh with 66 runs helped Minor District Zone B (Ropar) to pile up 394 runs against the Ludhiana team in the first innings of the second match of the two-day Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament (U-16) for ML Markan Trophy. The match was played at MGM Public School, Dugri, here today.

Minor District won the toss and opted to bat first. They could not survive for their full quota of 95 overs, however, they managed to score a mammoth total of 394 runs in just 73 overs.

Players who contributed significantly in their innings were Harmanjit Singh (60), Manpreet Singh (31), Jaipreet (174 n.o), Joyaldeep (25), Karan (58) and Kunal (15).

For Ludhiana, Gaurav Sharma sent down 19 overs and captured 4 wickets for 119 runs. Sandeep Singh scalped three victims for 88 runs in 18 overs while Sunny Pandey consumed 2 wickets for 85 runs in 16 overs. Lekh Raj grabbed one wicket for 26 runs.

The Ludhiana team hit 69 runs for 2 after 29 overs. Tejus Taneja and Sandeep were out for six runs.

At draw of stumps, Abhinav Bhatia and Sunny Pandey were at the crease with 28 and 18 runs.

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Prithipal XI clinch title
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 26
Prithipal XI registered 4-1 victory over Mohinder Partap Singh Grewal XI to emerge champions in the annual Six-a-Side Hockey Tournament organised by the Ludhiana Sportsmen Welfare Association at the Prithipal Singh Memorial AstroTurf Stadium on the PAU campus here today.

The final began on a brisk pace with players of both teams trying to rattle each other. After wasting a couple of scoring chances, Prithipal XI surged ahead in the 11th minute through Taranpreet Singh. Two minutes later, they enhanced the lead when Sachin found the target.

Damanbir Singh struck in the 15th minute to read it 3-0 while Ajay Pal further consolidated the lead to make it 4-0. However, with few seconds to go for the long whistle, Balwinder Singh of Mohinder Partap Singh Grewal XI sounded the board (4-1) to salvage some pride for his side.

In the match for hardline cup, Gurbhej XI pipped Jagtar XI of Jarkhar 3-1 to secure the third position.

For the winners, Gurdeep Singh scored a hat-trick (15th, 19th and 30th minute) while the lone goal for the losers came off Jagroop Jarkhar’s stick in the 16th minute.

Amrik Singh Minhas, president of the Ludhiana Sportsmen Welfare Association, gave away the prizes. Office-bearers of the association, along with members of the PAU sportspersons association, were also present.

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Chance to meet Kings XI players
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
The IPL fever has already gripped youngsters of the city and to further aggravate the same, Pepsi yesterday held auditions to select the youngsters, who would get a chance to meet the players of Kings XI Punjab at South Africa.

Punjabi singer Sukhwinder Sukhi judged the participants. Enthusiasm was to be seen among those who danced to the tunes of peppy numbers to show their worth.

Aman, one of the participants, said it was his dream to meet his favourite cricket stars. "I have given the auditions and hope to get selected," he added.

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