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Misappropriation at sub-registrar’s office
Vigilance affidavit set to open Pandora’s box
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
With the vigilance department submitting an affidavit with the High Court stating that it had found former Deputy Commissioner and several other officials having taken kickbacks from a tehsildar during investigation into a corruption case, lid is set to blow off a major scam involving the Ludhiana’s Sub-Registrar’s Office.

The vigilance had yesterday submitted an affidavit stating that startling revelations were made during the examination of tehsildar AP Verma, who was arrested in a corruption case.

He claimed that he used to pocket Rs 7.5 lakh everyday by way of illegal gratification while working as sub-registrar in the city and passed on Rs 2 lakh to city’s former DC Sumer Singh Gurjar. Another Rs 75,000 was given to former ADC, Ludhiana, Kamalpreet Kaur Brar and Rs 50,000 to former SDM Surinder Mohan Sharma, he claimed.

The allegations had been doing rounds in the district, as the sub-registrar office contributed crores of rupees to the state exchequer every month on account of registration of revenue related documents.

People had been crying foul over paying extra money to get their work done.

Complaints were made several times at different platforms. Since it was a chain of corruption, as revealed by the vigilance department, no action was taken on the ground.

When vigilance department finally caught Verma, he spilled the beans.

Though the scam was unearthed in September last year, no action was taken by the revenue department.

So much so that Verma was not suspended and sent back to work after he was released on bail. He was sent on duty in contravention of rules.

The matter came to light once against after the Khalra Mission Organisation filed a PIL in the High Court.

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Civil Hospital staff on VIP duty
Patients, docs irked
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
The Civil Hospital staff on “VIP duties” has failed to perform its job for patients. With Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, cabinet ministers and politicians from outer states frequently visiting the city for election campaigning, doctors and paramedical staff are deployed in their service instead of serving patients.

In April, the city witnessed more than 15 visits from the Chief Minister and deputy Chief Minister of Punjab followed by visits of other political leaders that engaged the Civil Hospital staff.

With a senior surgeon, a physician, an anaesthetist, a pharmacist and a staff nurse following the VIP cavalcade in the ambulance during duty hours, patients coming to the doctors concerned have no choice but to wait and return empty-handed.

Irked over the absence of a doctor who was on VIP duty with the Chief Minister yesterday, a patient said, “If doctors are absent due to such reasons, it is injustice towards the sick and the poor, who completely depend on government health services.”

A doctor said, “It is humiliating for us as professionals to sit in the ambulance for hours. We have to suffer the heat and stand the humid weather whereas the VIPs enjoy their luncheons and tea-parties in five-star hotels.”

Another doctor said the city had acclaimed medical institutions and the VIPs could be immediately rushed to a hospital if needed. He added that it was more important for the team to be present at the headquarters so that arrangements could be made in case of an emergency.

He suggested that the best option would be to engage a full- time team of doctors and paramedical staff for VIP services at the district headquarters and spare the regular doctors for the patients. 

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Suicide in Custody
Rights panel slaps Rs 1 lakh fine on govt
Tribune News Service

New Delhi/Ludhiana, May 1
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Punjab Government to pay Rs 1 lakh in compensation to the next of kin of an undertrial in Ludhiana who had died allegedly after consuming insecticide in judicial custody five years ago.

The commission also sought a compliance report from the state government along with proof of payment of compensation within eight weeks of the date of the receipt of its directions.

Amarjeet Singh, who was lodged at the Central Jail, Ludhiana, in connection with a case, had died after consuming insecticide in judicial custody on February 22, 2004.

The cause of the death could not be ascertained during the post-mortem examination but viscera report later indicated that the undertrial had consumed insecticide, the NHRC noted.

Kamaljit Singh, a jail official, said he remembered the death of Amarjeet Singh on the day he was taken for hearing.

Another official, requesting anonymity, said: “I remember he had reported uneasiness after having his dinner. He was taken to the hospital where he died.” A magisterial inquiry was conducted after his death but it could not ascertain the source from where the victim got insecticide and also the time when he consumed it.

The commission observed that the victim died in judicial custody due to the negligence of the staff.

“He would not have consumed poisonous substance and the incident could have been averted had the escort and guards kept a proper watch on him,” the rights panel observed.

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Fire Call-IV
Fire dept grapples with staff shortage
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
The fire department of the local municipal corporation has been grappling with the shortage of manpower for some time. With just 75 employees in its fleet, including fire fighters and ground staff, the department has been requesting for more manpower but to no avail. The department currently has just 86 sanctioned employees.

“The posts were last filled in 1981 and after that no recruitment has been made in spite of the fact that the city’s population has grown manifold,” said a fire-fighter.

According to the records, the fire department has 27 posts of fire tender driver out of which eight are vacant. Consequently, only 18 vehicles can be used during a fire emergency.

As only limited number of vehicles can be used due to shortage of drivers, the department has remained hard-pressed during crunch situations.

The employees have been forced to give 12-hour duty every day for the past over two years. Things are no different in terms of fire tenders and other fire-fighting equipment.

The department has 32 vehicles, out of which 26 are in working condition and only 15 are new.

Out of the 26 fire tenders, only four vehicles are equipped with two tankers, which means more space for storing water.

If fire officials say one fire station is required for around 50,000 people. However in Ludhiana, the number is one for over seven lakh people. Besides, the building of a fire station near Laxmi cinema, too, is incomplete.

In consequence of a report published in the columns of The Tribune on April 29, officials of the department said they had sent a list of tools and other equipment required by them following orders of orders of commissioner GS Ghuman.

“We hope something will come our way,” they added.

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Cleaning Budha Nullah biggest challenge: Tewari
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
Manish Tewari, who released his vision document today, has termed Budha Nullah as the biggest challenge. The open drain passing through the heart of the city needs to be immediately cleaned, he added and promised to take up the issue with the Central government.

While committing himself to the cause, he said the vision document underlines prioritising the work in a time-bound manner, setting up a benchmark for the quality work and maintaining the report for public scrutiny.

Tewari has segregated his priorities under the industry and trade, infrastructure, agriculture, women empowerment, education and the sports. Providing round- the-clock power supply tops his agenda. Manmohan Singh’s agreement with the USA on the nuclear issue has opened new avenues for future energy resources, he added.

The Congress spokesperson said he had toured each area of his constituency to apprise himself of the problems. He underlined his commitment towards getting the Central schemes for upgrading the potable water supply, sewerage and the housing. He specially mentioned about setting up of the common effluent treatment plant in agreement with the Ministry of Environment.

Stating that his plans were based on the ground-level assessment, official feedbacks and public expectations, Tewari added: “It is possible to access the government funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewable Mission and financial institutions.

I can ensure at least Rs 10,000 crore in the next five years. Elevated roads from the Jagraon Bridge to the Ferozepur Road and to Apollo Hospital will be given top priority”.

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Ludhiana  Concerns

Public feels that the election process for the ongoing Lok Sabha polls is very long leading to public inconvenience. The election fever started picking up right after the formal announcement on March 2, earlier this year. Ludhiana is scheduled to have its contest in the fifth phase on May 13 which was exactly a month after the first phase began in selected constituencies.

Ludhiana Tribune wants to know your opinion on the drawbacks of a very long drawn election process and possible remedies. Responses, in not more than 200 words, can be emailed to ludhianaconcerns@tribunemail.com or sent to our city office at Bhadaur House, Ludhiana.

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Labour Day mockery of labour class
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
For 65-year-old daily wage earner Sudarshan Lal and his family, Labour Day has no significance. Being the lone earner in the family of eight, which comprises his wife, two marriageable daughters, a widowed daughter-in-law and three grandchildren, Sudarshan Lal has no savings. It is his meager earning of Rs 200 daily, which sustains the family.

For people like him any festival or day dedicated to his lot doesn't hold significance because he has no money to celebrate.

Suffering from arthritis, old and withered Sudarshan is not only a picture of his own dismal state, but also of millions of those members of the labour class of the country for whom each day is a struggle.

In Ludhiana alone, there are over 16 lakh labourers, out of which about 50 per cent are daily wage earners. Over 90 per cent of them are forced to live a life in penury.

Under such circumstances, Labour Day or any other day, does not have any significance for these labourers. On occasions like these, one is forced to think if such days should really be observed when those for whom the day is actually meant, continue to toil hard?

Hari Prasad, a migrant labourer from UP, says, "Observing Labour Day is just a mockery of us. The government has dedicated one day in the name of the labour class. The day should be done away with, as it is only a public holiday. Does the government do something special for us on this day? Are we given any sop? It is a great way to make fun of our gloomy existence."

Hari rubbished the welfare schemes initiated by the government on Labour Day as a gimmick, the benefits of which never reach the beneficiaries.

Sunder Singh, another migrant labourer from Darbhanga, Bihar, said "Most of the schemes initiated by the government for the welfare of the poor are mere political gimmicks and have little value. Had these schemes been honest efforts of the government, the problem of poverty would have been long solved in our country." 

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Labour Day
Trade leaders target government policies
Tribune Reporters

MCPI (U) state secretary hoists the flag at KK Kaushal Memorial Hall in Ludhiana on Friday.
MCPI (U) state secretary hoists the flag at KK Kaushal Memorial Hall in Ludhiana on Friday. Photos: Lovleen Bains, Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, May 1
Trade union activists representing railway employees, construction workers, hosiery workers and farm labour today assailed the union government for pursuing “anti-labour” policies that had created social and economic disparity besides problems like poverty, unemployment and corruption.

Workers from various fields from all over the city marched in a procession to the railway station here to participate in a rally to observe International Labour Day.

A presidium comprising Rajinder Singh, divisional vice-president, Northern Railway Mazdoor Union, Baldev Singh, president, All-India Loco Running Staff Association, Mohinder Singh Seelon Kalan, president, Jamhoor Kisan Sabha, and Harbans Singh Lohatbaddi, vice-president, Dehati Mazdoor Sabha, presided over the rally.

Castigating the government for bowing to the capitalist policies and bartering away the interest of working classes, Mangat Ram Pasla, CTU president, said election campaign for the Lok Sabha elections in the country was being run on communal and caste lines rather than addressing the problems of the common people.

“The shift on focus will be possible only after doing away with capitalist system and bringing in a socialist set up.”

Prominent speakers at the rally were Shiv Gopal Mishra, general secretary, All-India Railwaymens Federation, Daljit Singh, divisional secretary, NRMU, Mohinder Singh, Hari Singh Sahni, Bagga Singh, Sham Narayan Yadav, Ghansham Singh, Ram Kumar, Avtar Singh and Ashok Kumar.

In a rally organised by the joint council of trade unions at bus stand here, union leaders alleged that consequent upon the policies of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation being followed by the government, public sector units had been rendered unviable, employees were being retrenched, wages were being cut down and contractual recruitment was being encouraged.

The speakers called for scrapping the economic regime of privatisation and globalisation and scrupulous implementation of pro-worker polices.

Paying tributes to martyrs, several labour unions, under the aegis of Moulder and Steel Workers Union, gave a call to the working classes to intensify agitation for safeguarding the rights of workers, improving working conditions and putting an end to exploitation of the toiling masses.

Doraha: The Marxist Communist Party of India (United) today celebrated May Day. State secretary MCPI (U) Kuldip Singh hoisted the flag at KK Kaushal Memorial Hall on the occasion.

Bal Krishan, who presided over the gathering, spoke on the significance of the day and the present situation of the labour class.

Pawan Kumar Kaushal, state committee member, said, “The need of the hour is that the workers should become aware of the exploitation they are subjected to at the hands of employers and unite for a common cause.”

District general secretary, MCPI (U), Lakhwinder Singh Buani, said, “The labour class is forced to work beyond its capacity and means due to which it is reeling under the pressure of poverty and starvation.”

He further held, “The laborers are forced to work for 12 to 16 hours, but are underpaid and with such a meagre pay, they are unable to sustain themselves and their families.” Members of the party appealed to the workers that they should work collectively towards the implementation of their rights and raise voice against all sorts of injustices and discriminations.

Jagraon: International May Day was celebrated by various labour organisations in the area to commemorate the Chicago martyrs.

The AITUC and CITU labour unions jointly celebrated the day at the bus-stand here. Labourers and employees of various organisations participated in the rally.

Union leaders criticised “anti-employees” and “anti-labour” laws. They also opposed the concept of job on a contract basis.

Tejinder Singh Nanni, president of the Jagraon Sugar Mill Action Committee, carried out another rally here.

Various committee leaders, including Iqbal Singh Haans, Jarnail Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Baldev Singh, Satnam Singh, DD Mishra, Gurinder Singh and Raj Kumar, addressed the gathering. They said they would continue to fight against the anti-employees policies of the government.

Raikot: May Day was celebrated at the vegetable market jointly by the AITUC and CITU labour unions. Many labour unions, including the FCI Workers Union, the Palledar Union, the Punjab Workers Palledar Union and the Grain Market Labour Union, attended the function.

Union leaders, including Mewa Singh, Mukhtiar Singh, Kartar Ram, Surinder Singh and Tarlochan Singh, addressed the gathering.

They said no union government had done anything concrete for the workers and there was need to strengthen their unions to fight for their rights.

Mullanpur Dakha: Labours and employees of the town and surrounding villages took out a rally here. Employees’ leaders, including Jasdev Singh Lalton, Rupinder Pal Singh Gill, Sukhwinder Leel, Karnail Singh, Harjit Singh and others, advised the employees to be aware of the “tricky” policies framed by politicians.

Union leaders advocated for a joint front by labour and employees union for a better society. They appealed to the workers to fight collectively against corruption, poverty, rising prices and unemployment.

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Nalwa remembered
Our Correspondent

Raikot, May 1
Residents here observed the martyrdom day of Hari Singh Nalwa yesterday. They paid tribute to him by offering flowers on his statue, which is installed in the main chowk of the town.

Jagjit Singh Talwandi, civic body chief Amandeep Singh Gill, all councillors of the Raikot Municipal Committee, Akali-BJP workers, including Kulwinder Singh Bhatti, Inderjit Singh Gondwal, Dharampal Singh Andlu, Amarjit Singh Mulakh Raj, Vijay Jain, Jatinder Pal Kaur, Parsanni Devi, Aale Devi, Neelam Rani, and others were present on the occasion and remembered the great warrior.

Addressing the gathering, Jagjit Singh Talwandi said Nalwa was a great warrior of Ranjit Singh, who sacrificed his life in the fort of Jamrud (now in Afghanistan) on April 30, 1837.

The authorities of Raikot had installed the statue on August 15, 1984. Since the installation of the statue, it was the first time that the residents of Raikot remembered the hero of Sikhs.

Bachitter Singh, a resident, said nobody had taken care of the statue during all these years and the function to remember Nalwa was nothing but an election stunt. Ashamed of the pathetic condition of the statue, another resident Paramjit Singh Pamma recently got the statue repainted on his own. 

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Nod sought for raising speed of trains
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 1
The divisional authorities of the Northern Railway have sought the approval of the Railway Safety Commissioner for accelerating the speed of trains on the Amrtisar-Delhi route after a successful trial to run the trains at a speed of 120 km per hour on the same route.

This will cut down the journey time of a number of trains on this section.

“The proposal will come into effect after the approval of the railway headquarters,” stated Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Satish Chander during his visit to the city’s railway station yesterday.

The DRM was here to address a seminar on the improvement of services and basic amenities.

He said during inspection visit of the General Manager of the Northern Railway to several railway stations in the Ferozepur division during March 2009, a train was run at a speed of 120 km on the Amrtisar-Ludhiana route and the trial was successful.

Focusing on the performance of the Ferozepur division of the Northern Railway, the DRM said safety shield and best commercial shield had been awarded to the division for recording excellent work.

The division had achieved a 12 per cent increase in the earnings from passenger traffic, freight and parcels. During the year, collections from ticket-less travellers had also gone up.

The DRM said railway employees should be courteous, efficient and dedicated towards their work. The employees should not give any chance to the passengers to complain. “Any one found negligent or lacking in discharge of his or her duty will be dealt with strictly,” he cautioned.

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Atrocities on Sikhs
SAD to talk with Centre
Our Correspondent

Samrala, May 1
The SAD will take up the matter of the ill treatment of Pakistani Sikhs by Taliban with the Centre. This was stated by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal while talking to mediapersons at Machhiwara after addressing a rally in favour of Charanjit Singh Atwal. 

The atrocities on Sikhs in Pakistan by the Taliban is condemnable and it’s the Central government’s duty to take up the issue with the Pakistan government for safeguarding the interests of the Sikhs in that country. He also condemned the demolition their houses.

While talking about Libra he said it was shameful that he betrayed the Sikhs and Panth and urged the people not to allow him to enter their villages.

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Riot Victims’ Society
Office-bearers cross swords over flats’ sale
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
Unrest prevailed in the Dugri area today when two factions of a riot victims’ welfare society accused one another of illegally selling flats meant for victims and pocketing huge amount of money.

The trouble arose when a riot victim, Amarjit Singh Rajpal, and his supporters alleged that president of the Danga Peerat Welfare Society Surjit Singh was giving possession of flats in the area for Rs 2 lakh each.

Rajpal alleged that while victims were awaiting directions from the court in a case pertaining to residential apartments, Surjeet Singh was pocketing money while he was supposed to protect the rights of the victims.

Rajpal had recently joined the Congress citing his resentment against the activities of Surjeet Singh. He was, however, brought back by senior SAD leaders. During a recent meeting with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Rajpal had reportedly complained against Surjeet. A number of riot victims staged a dharna today and raised slogans against Surjeet.

They said he had tried to pass on flats to some people last night. His bid was foiled when the other faction raised a hue and cry over the issue.

Rubbishing the allegations, Surjeet said he had never indulged in such activity.

On the contrary, he alleged that Rajpal had been eyeing the flats and trying to grab these. “I stopped them by complaining against them. That is why they are now getting back to me,” claimed Surjeet. He said former Deputy Commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar had even given a clean chit to him regarding the allegations.

“He is trying to settle a score with me as it is election time,” he said. The agitated victims staged a dharna for an hour in front of the flats. The faction led by Surjeet Singh also reached the scene. However, they dispersed after levelling allegations and counter-allegations against one another.

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Credit matters, not commuters
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
Taking political credit rather than serving public finds preference with elected representatives of the city as the Dugri bridge, constructed a fortnight ago, is not opened for traffic.

Though the bridge is ready to cater to the needs of evergrowing traffic, leaders are waiting for the elections to be over so that they can organise a function and then open the bridge.

The traffic scenario in the Dugri area is bad. Serpentine queues of vehicles are witnessed on the existing bridge everyday, especially during the office hours. It becomes a maddening race, still the bridge is not opened to people.

To ensure that the commuters do not start using it on their own, a heap of sand and huge stones are kept on the bridge. No work is going on over the bridge but it has become a casualty of greed of political credit.

Earlier, several SAD councillors had decided to write to the Election Commission for granting permission for holding a function. But then the idea dawned upon them that during the enforcement of the model code of conduct, they would not be allowed to do so. They have now kept the public project on hold not caring two hoots for the public convenience.

As the mercury is rising and it has already touched the 42-degree mark, commuters wait for their turn during the hot hours while getting stuck up on the bridge.

During the morning and afternoon hours, school buses, autorickshaws and rickshaws carrying children are seen in the queue of traffic on the bridge. Children get struck without knowing who is responsible for their plight.

A number of times ambulances carrying sick are seen waiting in the traffic. Had the bridge been opened last fortnight, it would have spared people of the misery.

‘‘This is the height. They wanted the executing authority to construct the bridge within 3 months but now they are sitting pretty, ’’ said an official.

‘‘I am really shocked the way the politicians work. Do they think by just organising a function they can win our hearts? ’’ asked Manjit Singh, a resident of the area. 

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Tewari not outsider: Forum 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana,May 1
The Ludhiana Intellectuals Forum today ridiculed SAD-BJP candidate Gurcharan Singh Galib for raking up the issue of an “outsider” against the Congress candidate Manish Tewari.

In a joint statement issued here today, members remarked, “presumed that Tewari is an outsider, but it’s always better to have an outsider as the member of parliament who can speak and articulate our problems well, than to have a snoring MP who sleeps over our problems in parliament”.

The forum members also had a dig at another former MP Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, who decided against contesting the poll.Those who signed the statement were president of the forum Dr HS Brar, Dr Gurmeet Singh Ramandeep Khaira, Arun Khurmi and Vishal Tewari, V Thapar and Gopi Kothari.

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PAU selected as ‘delivery hub’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
Punjab Agricultural University has been selected as one of the eight delivery hubs to be set up in South Asia under the Cereal System Initiative for South Asia (CSASA) for undertaking research in rice, wheat and maize.

The CSASA programme is being launched by the Bill and Melinda Foundation of the USA in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Philippines and the CIMMYT of Mexico.

Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, said there would be four delivery hubs in India, including one at Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, two in Bangladesh and one each in Pakistan and Nepal.

Under this programme, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would spend $30 m for 10 years in four countries.

Kang said Pakistan was included in the programme as one of the delivery hubs but it had to be dropped because of the disturbance in the country. The PAU was able to grab this opportunity. He said, “We will be heavily involved in this programme and take up research in three major crops of rice, wheat and maize.”

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Vehicle ferrying cops hits bike
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, May 1
A newly wed woman had a narrow escape when the motorcycle she was riding along with her brother was hit by a Scorpio car, which was part of a convoy of Punjab Chief Minister, here yesterday.

The accident occurred in the centre of the town here when a Scorpio (PB 10 CK 0846) ferrying policemen and going toward Jagraon hit the motor cycle. The Chief Minister was going to address a Akali-BJP election rally at Jagraon.

Harbhajan Singh Sidhu of Toosa village lost control of the car while saving a cyclist and it overturned, hitting the motor cycle going toward Ludhiana.

Amarjot Singh and his sister Kulwinder Kaur of Birmi village were injured in the accident. Some policemen also reportedly sustained injuries in the accident. 

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Letters
Pay panel

The fifth pay commission has recommended the formula as finalised by the sixth central pay commission. The logic of sub-summing dearness pension with dearness relief has not been accepted by the Central government. It has consolidated pension from Januay 1, 2006, to its pre-2006 pensioners /family pensioners given below :

1) Basic pension, 2)Dearness pension , 3)Dearness relief at 24 per cent of basic pension+dearness pension, IV) fitness weightage at 40 per cent basic pension.

The recommendation of the fifth Punjab pay commission to sub-sum dearness pension with dearness relief has no logic. The pension/family pension to pensioners and family pensioners is paid by the Punjab government according to the formula: Basic pension, Dearness pension, Dearness relief is paid on basic pension plus dearness pension.

Those pensioners, who are getting old-age allowance at 5 per cent and 10 per cent, are paid dearness relief on the sum total of the basic pension+dearness pension+ old age allowance vide Punjab govt orders. Dearness relief has been granted on old-age allowance from February 1, 1995, vide Punjab govt letter No. 1/7/93. IFPIII/1343 department of finance (finance personnel III Branch)- dated Chandigarh, 14-2-1995. Dearness pension will be taken into consideration for old-age allowance vide No. 3/2/97-FP-1/4035 Government of Punjab, department of finance (finance personnel-1 Branch) dated Chandigarh 1 June, 2004.

K K Sharma, Ludhiana

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74-yr-old robbed of gold bangles 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Santosh Sood shows a packet given by a salesman before robbing her of gold bangles in Ludhiana.
Santosh Sood shows a packet given by a salesman before robbing her of gold bangles in Ludhiana. Photo: IV

Ludhiana, May 1
This summer, be wary of tricksters, who in the garb of sales executives obtain entry into houses and rob the occupants. Cheats posing as salesmen of a Mumbai-based Copper and Brass company entered into a house of a 74-old-woman at Chauri Sarak and tactfully stole gold bangles worth Rs 70,000.

Santosh Sood, who served as a head mistress in a government school, could not believe that she was befooled by the two innocent-looking youths.

“All my life I taught the students not to be tricked by swindlers and look I myself was tricked by the salesmen,” she added.

According to her, the two tricksters posing as salesman entered the house yesterday and handed over a trial pack of powder that can shine copper and brass to her.

“They promised to come again with the full pack today as the copper and brass shiner was out of the stock,” Santosh added.

Today, the tricksters entered the house with the packet of the shiner. After shining the brass utensils, they told her that the powder could shine the jewellery as well.

“They came at 9.30 am today when no one was at home. On finding me alone they persuaded me to put the gold bangles in a pressure cooker and poured water, shiner and some turmeric powder in it. They instructed me to boil it and not to open the lid for at least 20 minutes. When I opened the pressure cooker, the bangles were missing. However, the youths had fled away from the spot. I tried to look for them but to no avail,” Santosh added. She lodged a complaint with the police today. 

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Teenager rapes sister’s friend 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 1
A teenager of Rasulpur village in Sangrur district allegedly raped a 10-year-old girl who had come to his house to take a book from his sister last evening. The condition of the victim, who was shifted to the Civil Hospital here late last night, is stated to be serious.

The police is on the hunt for the suspect after registering an FIR under Section 376 of the IPC on the statement of the mother of the victim.

Mohammad Hussain, Class XI student of Rasulpur village, allegedly raped Ishmit (name changed) after detaining her forcibly in his house last evening. The victim reportedly came to his house to take a book from his sister.

“My daughter went to her friend’s house to take a book from her last evening. Mohammad Hussain, instead of telling my daughter that he was alone at the house, dragged her in and raped her after bolting the door from inside,” Khatun Beghum told the investigating team led by Bimal Sharma, SHO Sadar.

The accused played music on high pitch so that cries of the victim could not be heard by villagers.

It was only when a passerby became suspicious and informed other villagers, who rescued the girl. However, the accused fled.

The victim was shifted to a private hospital here from where doctors referred her to the Civil Hospital.

According to DSP Malerkotla Gurpreet Singh, medical examination of the victim will be conducted by a panel of doctors at the Civil Hospital, Malerkotla, after her condition improves.

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Bhumika claims title
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 1
Bhumika of Alpine International School outclassed reigning champion and top seed Kritika, also of the same school, in straight sets to emerge champion in the junior girl’s singles section on the penultimate day of the Ludhiana Schools Open Table Tennis Tournament organised by Alpine International Senior Secondary School here today.

The final between the two witnessed a battle of nerves. In the first game, Bhumika managed to squeeze past (14-12). In the next game, Kritika fought back valiantly only to lose it 7-11.

The third set, too, saw both players fight for each point. Eventually, it was Bhumika who got the better of Kritika 11-7 to romp home victorious and clinch the title.

In the sub-junior girl’s section, the final will be played between two sisters, Dhriti and Yashi, both students of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Udham Singh Nagar.

In the first semifinal, Dhriti executed accurate smashes and volleys to edge out Gurleen from Alpine International Senior Secondary School in three sets 11-5, 11-6 and 11-9.

However, the second semifinal played between Yashi and Himani turned out to be a see-saw battle in which the former came out triumphant 11-8, 9-11, 11-7 and 11-5 to settle for the title clash with her sister, Dhriti.

Other results: junior boys (IInd round): Agnish b Sumit Saini 11-4, 11-9 and 13-11; Sidharth b Saransh 12-10, 11-9, 7-11 and 11-4; Sandeep b Mohit 11-7, 11-8 and 11-5; Pardeep b Harnoor 11-6, 12-10 and 11-5; Raghav Jindal b Jyoti Radilya 11-4, 11-9 and 13-11; Shubham Grover b Ishu 11-7, 15-13 and 11-6 and Abhaydeep Singh b Shubham Wadhwa 11-6, 14-12 and 11-9.

Sub-junior boys (quarter finals): Shaun b Harnoor 11-5, 6-11, 12-10 and 11-9; Jashandeep b Shubham Wadhwa 11-9, 11-8 and 13-11; Saransh b Vinayak 11-7, 11-5 and 11-9; Raghav Jindal b Sharandeep 11-9, 11-5 and 11-8.

Youth girls (quarterfinal): Kritika b Bharti 11-2, 11-4 and 11-5; Bhumika b Sahiba 11-5, 11-4 and 11-7; Aarti b Tarunpriya 11-9, 12-10 and 13-11 and Anushka b Deepinder 11-3, 11-1 
and 11-5.

Youth boys (first round): Sandeep b Amandeep 11-4, 11-5 and 11-8; Ishaan b Sidhant 11-4, 11-9 and 11-5; Fumin b Vikram 11-8, 11-5 and 11-2; Simranjeet b Pardeep 11-3, 11-9 and 12-10; Ankush b Sapinder 11-7, 8-11, 11-4 and 13-11; Mohit b Abhishek Kain 11-9, 11-8 and 11-3; Raghav b Saransh 11-9, 7-11, 11-8 and 11-4; Mukul b Raghav Jindal 11-3, 11-7 and 11-9; Shubham Grover b Nishant Kumar 11-4, 11-8 and 11-9; Shaun b Shubham Wadhwa 11-3, 11-9, 9-11, 8-11 and 11-9.

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