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Attack on Congress workers
SAD councillor, 50 others booked
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
An SAD councillor and 50 others were today booked by the police in the first case of pre-poll violence in the state.

The campaigning, which had been going on smooth, took an ugly turn last evening when around 50 supporters of the SAD headed by ward councillor Kamarjit Singh Karwal allegedly attacked women workers of the Congress, led by Dr Amrit Kaur, mother of party candidate from Ludhiana parliamentary constituency Manish Tewari, in ward No. 61 in the Simlapuri area.

According to complainant Neetu Bala, a party worker, the incident took place around 5.30 pm when their workers headed by Dr Amrit Kaur were campaigning in the area.

Duppattas of women were removed, alleged Gurdeep Kaur, area councillor, who was also an eyewitness.

Once the women workers alerted other party workers about the attack, the Akalis fled the scene.

The victims alleged that when the they reached Chimini Road, supporters of Karwal attacked them with stones and other weapons.

Amrit Kaur, who was heading the campaign, had to run into a shop for cover.

The Congress supporters alleged that SAD supporters even beat up women supporters of their party.

Neetu alleged that the workers also threatened them with dire consequences if they held their campaign in the area.

Two vehicles of Congress supports were flipped over by the accused and his accomplice.

Karval and his accomplices have been on the run ever since the incident happened.

Several workers suffered mild injuries while a number of vehicles were damaged in the attack.

Midnight drama

Soon after the incident, supporters of the Congress from all over the district headed by Jagmohan Sharma reached the scene and staged a dharna at the Gill road.

The supporter blocked traffic till 12 pm and demanded action against SAD workers.

Dharna was lifted after the police assured action against the accused. The protesters were further requested by Tiwari to lift the traffic jam.

After the dharna was lifted, a cavalcade headed by Tiwari and his supports took a round in Shimlapuri area. The SAD demanded action against Congress supporters for creating traffic jam at the Gill road.

They allege that people had to suffer for hours together due to the traffic jam.

After the Shimlapuri incident, the entire police machinery was pressed into service. Top officials were called to the scene. Officials of the district administration reached the scene. The police held a flag march to check the security scenario in the area today.

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Crowd scare drives stars away
Amidst appeals from organisers to fans to make way for the stars, Sunny Deol and Jitendra  refused to get out of the car and sped away
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
Bollywood stars, including muscular Sunny Deol and “jumping jack” Jitendra, failed to twinkle for SAD candidate from Ludhiana Gurcharan Singh Galib when they could not reach an election rally venue after their car was mobbed by hundreds of fans here last night.

Ironically, Sunny Deol, who in his reel life handles a number of people singlehandedly, was scared away by a sea of humanity.

Amidst appeals from organisers to make way for the stars in the absence of adequate security arrangements, the two refused to get out of the car and sped from the scene.

Their fans, who had swarmed the entire stretch in Bajwa Nagar on the Kakowal Road, where a political rally was organised in Galib’s favour, did not leave an inch of space for them to walk on and reach the venue.

Their black Bentley car waited for 15 minutes, as the organisers made frantic appeals to people to make way for them.

They even warned them that the two stars would have to go back if they failed to do so.

However, this did not deter fans who refused to budge. Seeing things get out of hand, organisers apprehended a stampede during announcements.

Anticipating that there was no way that they could reach the function stage, Sunny Deol came out of the car’s sunroof and waved to his fans, who comprised mostly teenagers from all over the city.

Later pacifying the people, who were left high and dry as they waited for their stars, who arrived two hours late, Galib reprimanded the organisers for choosing a road for organising a function.

He said they should have organised it in a ground.

Eyebrows were also raised as inadequate security was provided at the venue.

Sunny and Jitendra did not even address voters at Ashok Nagar, Hargobind Nagar and Sherpur village, where they were scheduled to go, and instead checked into a hotel and stayed there.

The SAD could not make use of their presence even in the morning today. They remained in the city till 12 noon and were flown by a helicopter. There too they did not speak to the media.

Yesterday while talking to a team of mediapersons at Neelon before reaching the city, Sunny had said that he was the “son of the soil” and a true Punjabi. He said he belonged to a village in Ludhiana district and had come to garner votes for Ludhiana’s candidate, Galib.

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Monthly tests introduced in govt schools
Teachers to face music if students fail
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
The government school teachers should be ready to face the music if their students fail to bring good results in the monthly tests introduced by the Director-General Education, Punjab.

To upgrade the education level in government schools, the department concerned has introduced monthly tests for students from classes 6th to 10th, and the teachers whose students will not be able to get the pass percentage, will be asked to explain the reason for the poor results.

Teachers, however, feel that if the procedure is not streamlined and clear instructions are not given well in time, such tests will hold no importance.

The monthly tests of maths, English, science and social studies of 6th to 10th class students will be taken every Monday on the school premises.

The first test of mathematics was conducted today at government schools. The tests of all subjects will be of 20 marks each and the students will have to take the exam in an hour's time. The assessment report will be sent by all schools to the DEO (P), who will ultimately submit it to Director-General, Education.

According to sources, the question-papers sent by the District Education Officer (Primary) as per instructed by the department, will be opened at the time of test only. A Block Primary Officer said this decision had sent a shock wave among government school teachers.

"The level of education was going down with each passing day and nobody was ready to own the responsibility. Poor results of schools had already brought much disrepute. There was an emergent need for such a step," said the official.

But the teachers on the other hand feel that they fail to understand the motive behind holding monthly tests. They said they were not clear whether tests were being taken to bring improvement in education system or to take action against teachers whose students fail in exams.

Parveen Sharma, general secretary, Government School Teachers Union, Punjab said it was good to assess the students on a monthly basis. "But we should have been given clear instructions on this issue. How can we take tests in conditions when syllabus is not sent to us on time? The explanation of teachers is another drawback in this decision. You cannot simply blame the teacher if his/her students fail to bring good results. There can be several other reasons for the failure," he said.

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MC Projects
Blue-eyed officials take lion’s share
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
The way the municipal corporation has been handling its affairs lately has raised many an eyebrow. The delegation of a majority of projects to just a handful officials during the past few months has left many officials fuming and red-faced.

The civic body has a long list of officials who are sitting with very little work and despite that the it has been asking for more manpower from the local bodies department.

Talking to The Tribune, officials, on the condition of anonymity, alleged that “favouritism has always been there in the municipal corporation and those who please bosses are generally put to work. It’s not that we don’t want to work, but when officers don’t trust us how can they expect performance from us”.

They added that the treatment meted out to them was one of the reasons why the municipal corporation had always been at the receiving end of criticism.

“You would never like to work in an environment where you don’t get a chance according to your capabilities,” they said.

Citing examples, they said Joint Commissioner BK Gupta had many projects and many of them were hanging fire.

Be it programme on sterilisation of dogs or installation of CCTV cameras at the main dump yard of the corporation, both projects are yet to be brought to an end.

Also, the project of covering Ganda Nullah in the old city area is under him and the official seems to be too busy to think seriously on the project.

In the engineering branch, the municipal corporation has SEs in both building and roads branch and operation and maintenance cell.

But most of the work and all important projects are being handled by SE Dharam Singh.

He is in-charge of engineering wing of B & R branch of zone B and D, tender inviting cell, Gill Road flyover project, Lakkar Bridge and handles execution of various JNNURM projects.

Besides, he has been in-charge of projects under the BOT system. Similar is the case of superintendents.

The officials said the working of the civic body had been affected due to opportunities for only a few.

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Death in Cell
Jail inmates assault pharmacist
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
Angered inmates of the central jail assaulted a pharmacist while he had gone to a cell to give medicines to ailing inmates, here this morning.

According to jail sources, some inmates of the BKU cell were infuriated over the death of an inmate allegedly due to the lack of timely treatment in the jail yesterday.

The incident happened when the pharmacist, Balbir Singh, came to the jail this morning. Jail sources said inmates were looking for an opportunity to retaliate and soon after Balbir arrived in the jail some inmates of the BKU cell complained of fever. The pharmacist reached the BKU cell to give treatment the ailing inmates.

As soon as he entered the BKU cell, 12 inmates pounced on him and beat him up.

On hearing the commotion, jail officials reached the cell and rescued Balbir Singh from the clutches of the inmates.

Balbir sustained serious injuries, including a fracture in the left leg, in the assault. He was taken to the local civil hospital, from where he was referred to the CMC Hospital.

The jail sources claimed that that some jail staff, who had been trying to settle a score with Balbir, had instigated inmates against the pharmacists. The prisoners were infuriated after an inmate, Amarjeet Singh, died of cardiac arrest in the jail cell yesterday.

The prisoners claimed that the life of the inmate could have been saved had timely treatment been given to him.

Balbir, who was absent yesterday, had not been informed about the death of the inmate. The jail authorities, however, refused to speak on the issue but insiders said the authorities were initiating action against the inmates who assaulted the pharmacist.

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Ludhiana Calling

The stretch of Pakhowal Road from Sidhwan Canal bridge up to Lalton Kalan, which almost has a dozen marriage palaces, is virtually becoming a nightmare for city residents.The whole section of the road, just beyond the abandoned octroi post where the road width becomes narrower, has become a major bottleneck for vehicular traffic, with traffic jams extending to several hours during late evenings, especially when there is a rush of people going to marriage palaces. To make matters worse, both sides of the road have been dug up for some time now. Stone metals, bricks and sand have been piled up, which further obstruct the free flow of traffic on the road. A few days ago when almost all marriage palaces on this road were booked, several city residents reported to have come back without attending the functions after being caught in the traffic jam for three to four hours. Is somebody listening ?

Slogan-shouting

In the surcharged political atmosphere, rabble-rousing seems to have become a fashion. Political parties and leaders do not spare any chance to score over their rivals or at least make it seem to have scored over the rivals. No wonder, during the elections these days there are so many press conferences in support of one candidate or the other. Recently, the Danga Peerit Welfare Association president, Surjit Singh, held a press conference in Model Town Extension Gurdwara in support of Shiromani Akali Dal . This was followed by slogan shouting like Parkash Singh Badal Zindabad, Sukhbir Singh Badal Zindabad, Gurcharan Singh Galib Zindabad. However, there was pindrop silence after someone shouted Sonia Gandhi Zindabad. This shocked and surprised everyone. Not that the person who raised the slogan was a Congress supporter, but only he thought that Sonia Gandhi is also a leader so there should not be any objection to say Sonia Gandhi zindabad. There were so many like him who were hardly concerned about what was exactly going on and wanted to be there just for the heck of it.

Munda Amritsar da

Hailing from the nondescript village of Bhikki Pind in Amritsar district, singing sensation of Punjabi music industry, Amrinder Gill, recently visited Ludhiana as part of a promotional campaign for his upcoming film “Munde UK De” in which he is playing the main role. He has to his credit various hit numbers that include “Mel Kara de Rabba Soni Kudi De Naal”, which dominated the music scene for quite some time, not only in the state but in the Punjabi diaspora in countries like Canada, the UK and Australia. Incidentally, the heartthrob comes from a village, which was once known for its various outlaws during militancy in the state. Sarabjit Singh, lodged in a Pakistani jail for alleged espionage, belongs to the same village. The singer is also a successful bank manager in a reputed corporate bank. Youngsters are now pinning their hopes on his acting talent in his forthcoming movie.

Club trials in the dock

The Sutlej Club has been seeing a series of trials for caterers these days, tickling the taste buds of members. However, it was a shocking trial for a senior member of the club over the weekend. The member, a pure vegetarian, excitedly placed the order for veg kababb. But to his utter shock and dismay ,the member was served non-veg kababb. Fluming over the mistake of the waiter, the member took the waiter and the caterer to task for hurting his religious sentiments. The ire of the member was so much that he filed a complaint to the Deputy Commissioner, who happens to be the president of the club. Members said such caterers should not be allowed in the club, even for trials as they say “Haathi ke dant dikhane ke aur khanne ke aur”

Babli, Billo & Badshah

Recession has taken its toll on everyone and our actors are not immune from it. With no business being generated in the film industry in current scenario and the producer-distributor multiplex row making things worse, Shahrukh Khan, Bipasha and Rani turned to public performances to generate some money for themselves and earned a heavy sum from their half-an-hour performance in a marriage ceremony of a Mumbai-based builder’s son. It reminds me of an incident when a few years ago, Om Prakash Munjal, managing director of Hero Cycles, celebrated his 50th anniversary by inviting Rani Mukherji, Anil Kapoor and Hariharan on the occasion, who were specially flown to the city to entertain the Ludhianvis. What was common was the fact that even then the film industry was going through a bad phase. However, fans of stars think it is bad on part of the stars to offer themselves for such performances, which only equate them with street artists. The bride, however, happens to be from Ludhiana!

The ‘mobile’ servant

The "mobile mania" has gripped everyone these days. Be it a leading industrialist or a daily wager, everyone carries a mobile phone. A servant of a friend of mine had been pressurising the latter to provide him a mobile phone, as he had to talk to his parents back in the village. Bowing to the pressure, at last she purchased a second-hand mobile phone for him. But the phone seems to have become a big headache for my friend. "He usually comes at 8:30 in the morning, but now he calls almost everyday to tell that he will be late by an hour or so. Today, he gave me a call at 6:30 and said he would not be able to make it as his relatives from the village had come. He even asked me to wait for his next call!”

No strings attached

Laughter is the best medicine. It goes without saying. Trying to catch up with the fast life, people have forgotten how to laugh. So much stress has crept into our lives that we have forgotten to enjoy the light moments. In an effort to combat stress, several youngsters observed World Laughter Day at Leisure Valley on Sunday. They organised laughing sessions and motivated many others to laugh without a reason.

Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Rajesh Bhambi, Rajesh Bhambi, Rajesh Bhambi, Rajesh Bhambi, Shivani Bhakoo, Kanchan Vasdev

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Rice-millers oppose ‘PAU 201’
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, May 4
The All-Punjab Rice Miller Association has stood up against the recommendation of 201 variety of paddy by the PAU.

Tersem Saini, president of the Punjab and All-India Body of Shellers Association, today said that they would not use or purchase PAU 201. In the last season, 10 per cent farmers had sown this variety and the results were not good, he claimed.

The use of PAU 201 would pose a threat to the industry, he said.

Though PAU 201 was a high yielding variety, rice-millers were not willing to purchase or even stock it. Also the food supply agency was reluctant to purchase it for human consumption, he added.

He further said that the Food Corporation of India and Food and Civil Supplies Department supported the millers and had made a three-member committee to view the legal aspects regarding their reluctance to use PAU 201.

Though the PAU authorities had assured that they would get the damage percentage raised from the Central government, it would not solve the problem because PAU 201 had no marketing value. Faulty policies of the Central government had already caused Punjab shellers a loss of more than 100 crore, he held.

The shellers are in favour of using the 114, 127, 147 and Pusa 44 varieties of the paddy. 

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475 applications received for GLADA flats
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 4
The Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) has received around 475 applications for its proposed multi-storey housing complex to be constructed in Sector 40 on the Chandigarh Road by May 2, the last date of receipt of applications.

The three-storey housing complex will have 144 two-room flats to be built under self-financing scheme.

Initially, the response to the proposed housing scheme was lukewarm as just around 150 applicants had applied for the flats till April 8, which was the last date for applying fixed earlier.

The GLADA authorities had no choice but to extend the date and grant another three weeks to the prospective applicants.

It was officially stated that draw of lots for allotment of flats would be held sometime in June when the ongoing process of Lok Sabha elections would be completed and all applications would be scrutinised.

According to officials, the flats being offered to those with a monthly income of less than Rs 15,000, would have a floor area of 58.89 sq yd.

There would be no construction on ground floor, would will be made available for parking of vehicles to the owners of the flats.

The built-up area would have one bedroom with attached bathroom, one living room, one WC and a balcony.

The sale price has been fixed at Rs 8 lakh, Rs 7.5 lakh and Rs 7 lakh for first, second and third-floor flats, respectively.

In fact, GLADA had chalked out plans to construct 144 two-room flats in the first phase and at a later stage, some 350 more flats were to be constructed in an adjoining complex at the same site.

Also, a project was in the pipeline for construction of 150 two-bedroom flats in Dugri, Phase II, which were to be sold at a tentative cost of Rs 16 lakh.

Although officials were non-committal on other housing projects in the pipeline, there were clear indications that keeping in view the response to flats now being offered for booking, the subsequent projects might be put on hold, at least till a turnaround in the realty sector takes place.

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MC swimming pool to open today
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, May 4
The Municipal Corporation Swimming Pool at Ragh Bagh here is set to open for the season, tomorrow. The pool was usually thrown open on April 13 every year and was delayed this time due to repairs taken out to make it perfect for the swimmers.

Nachhattar Singh, the senior divisional officer of the Ludhiana Municipal Corportion, incharge of the pool informed that the tiles at the deep surface as well as shallow have been repaired to make it convenient for the swimmers.

More than two hundred swimmers including those from schools, colleges besides beginners enroll every year with the swimming club. Around sixty swimmers including amateurs have registered with the pool office bys this afternoon, added Rajinder Boparai, coach at the pool.

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Today is World Asthma Day
‘Inhalers helpful in tackling asthma’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 4
With the aim of spreading awareness about bronchial asthma, May 5 will be observed as the “World Asthma Day”.

"Today, we are living in an environment, conducive to asthma and allergies with factors such as lifestyle, food habits, obesity, lack of exercise and urban indoor air pollution. Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases, affecting more than 300 million people worldwide and about 25 to 30 million in India," said Dr Jagdeep Whig, vice-principal and head of department, pulmonary medicine, DMCH.

With proper treatment, most asthma patients can achieve good control over the disease. The control means no or very minimal symptoms and very infrequent asthma attacks. A person whose asthma is under control can go to work or school, exercise and participate fully in life, he added.

Dr Whig further said that as far as the treatment of bronchial asthma was concerned, inhalational therapy was the definitive answer. Relievers and controllers were the two pillars of therapy. Relievers relieve the patient from the symptoms immediately, but controllers were the drugs which prevent the disease from progressing. "We may not yet have a cure for asthma. But we do have the inhalers to make a normal, active, symptom-free life possible with asthma. It is up to us to arrest the growth of asthma through education, avoidance of risk factors and proper management.”

Dr Whig also said that a majority of asthmatics in India had a poor fate. Myths, inadequate information and general lack of awareness made people neglect the disease. The recent death of a 17-year-old child in a school in Delhi due to an asthma attack was an example. Even though enough scientific knowledge and the right medicines were accessible, asthma remained wrongly diagnosed and poorly managed. He said in order to spread the awareness of asthma, the DMCH was observing Asthma Week.

A free medical check-up camp for asthma patients was held in the OPD on May 3. Dr Anil Kashyap, assistant professor, department of pulmonary medicine, will deliver a lecture on asthma for the nursing staff on May 5, followed by a workshop for private practitioners on May 10, which will focus on spirometery interpretation and management of asthma. Other programmes to be organised during the week include asthma quiz, slogan writing and poster competition for the MBBS and nursing students. 

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Vet scientists’ mee inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
The 16th annual scientist meet of the Project Directorate- "Animal disease monitoring and surveillance" was inaugurated at the department of epidemiology and preventive veterinary medicine, GADVASU, today. Dr Simrat Sagar Singh, Dean, College of Veterinary Science, welcomed the guests.

GADVASU VC Dr VK Taneja, Deputy Director-General, Animal Sciences Dr KM Bujarbaruha, Assistant Director Animal Sciences Dr Lal Krishan, Project Directorate Dr K Prabhudas, and Extension Education Director Dr OS Parmar participated in the meet.

About 35 scientists from all over India presented the disease monitoring and surveillance status in their respective states.

Dr Prabhudas highlighted the objective of the project, which was to organise the national network programme on monitoring and surveillance of diseases, to develop control strategies for livestock health coverage at national and state level and to impart training in human resource development.

Dr Bujarbaruha said forecasting models of animal diseases should be developed on the basis of data like rainfall, temperature, relative humidity and wind direction etc. He stressed that collaborative efforts with the state animal husbandry department should be made so as to control the diseases.

The financial support for the project was given by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

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Tewari woos lawyers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 4
Congress nominee from the Ludhiana constituency and All-India Congress Committee spokesperson Manish Tewari today sought votes from the legal fraternity in the name of Manmohan Singh, with the plea that the future of the country was secure in the hands of the Prime Minister.

Lashing out at his opponent, SAD candidate Gurcharan Singh Galib, he said: “Someone who ditched his mother (party), which made him a Member of Parliament twice, cannot be trusted.” He was adressing a gathering of lawyers at the district court complex.

Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana chairman Balwinder Goel, District Bar Association president Parupkar Singh Ghumman, secretary Kamaljit Sharma, PPCC legal cell chairman Dharmjit Singh Khera, convener Ashok Bhakri, DBA vice-president Anil Kaushal and other office-bearers of the association welcomed the Congress nominee to the courts complex.

Majority of speakers said it would be honour for the legal fraternity in ensuring the victory of Tewari, as he hailed from the fraternity and knew the difficulties being faced by lawyers.

Ghumman urged Tewari to impress upon the law ministry to consider lawyers practising at district courts and not just lawyers working at the High Court at the time of elevation as High Court Judge.

Former DBA presidents Naval Kishore Chhibber, Jagmohan Singh Warraich, former secretary Rajneesh Gupta also declared suport to Tewari.

Former minister Harnam Dass Johar, Malkiat Singh Dakha, senior lawyer Trilok Singh Sood and several other lawyers also spoke.

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Attack on Cong women workers condemned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
A cross section of the city residents today criticised the attack launched on the Congress women workers at Shimlapuri on Sunday.

Capt Sharanjit Singh, a retired officer, said, “It is an irresponsible act, such wrangles hamper the code of conduct.”

Rakesh Aima, a bank manger said, “Such incidents tarnish the image of the city. Today when we are looking forward to metros and superhighways, such acts spoil the image of the progressive city.”

Rakeshwar Malhotra, a businessman said, “People have the right to campaign and canvass for their candidates. If the Congress women workers were seeking votes in the Akali dominated area, nobody had the right to treat them in such a manner.”

Devinder Singh, a school teacher, said “The electoral officer should probe the matter. The culprits should be dealt with firmly. The police should be deployed at the sensitive areas, as Shimlapuri has always been a sensitive area during the elections.”

Amarjit Kaur, a medical practitioner, said every political party should disown those workers, who resort to violence.

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English comes back to haunt cops
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
The Punjab Police, which has always struggled with the English language, has been put to test by the Election Commission.

For, while communicating with commission officials, higher-rung police officers are being made to double their effort in sharpening their communication skills and at the same time maintaining law an order in their respective areas.

Consequently, professionals have been hired, exposing the Achilles’ heel of the police.

The clerical staff, who are overburdened with election duties, are running helter-skelter to rectify grammatical errors and learning to write basic sentences in English language.

The police department is flooded with a flurry of poll-related enquiries and it is the clerical staff that is feeling the heat.

The clerical staff, who cannot even write the crime file properly, are being forced to answer at least 10 to 15 queries of the election commission every day.

Being relatively good in Punjabi is certainly not helping them. Since the commission is a central entity, the correspondence is being done in English language.

And police chiefs, who do not want to cut a sorry figure, are going through minute details while sending a response letter to EC officials.

The top brass, especially in peripheral districts, has devised an innovative way to tackle the problem. For, they are taking assistance from English professors to make an impression on the EC team.

An officer who was left scratching his head while trying to understand what was written by his subordinate said: “I know it is difficult for the clerical staff to write letters in English language, as they have been using Punjabi language for correspondence for years.

However, they are good at the clerical jargon, but when it comes to dealing with EC officials, things are different. Query can be asked on any issue. Unfortunately, what the clerical staff write in response cannot be understood by EC officials and that is why I have to give it a final look.”

A reader to an IAS officer said: “Everyday we receive around 15 to 20 enquiries by the EC officials. Answering to all of them is not an easy task, so I have hired an English professor who is writing letters on my behalf.”

A clerical employee of a top police official said: “We have struggled in English language since our childhood and that is the reason why we opted for a job in the Punjab Police. We did not know that even here the ‘devil’ of English will come and haunt us.”

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Having lost voting rights, residents feel isolated 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 4
Having lost the power of exercising their franchise for electing MP from the district headquarters, residents of this town, known for manufacturing agricultural implements, have started feeling isolated, both administratively as well as politically.

Since those residing in the town and surrounding villages have no or little role to play in electing MP from Sangrur and MLA from Malerkotla, leaders of SAD, BJP and the Congress, including former parliamentarians and legislators have virtually stopped visiting the area.

Though candidates for the Fatehgarh constituency and aspirants for election to the Ahmedgarh assembly segment do come to the area, they seem to have little influence among bureaucrats at Sangrur and Malerkotla.

Situated on the border of Sangrur and Ludhiana districts, the town was made sub-tehsil three decades ago and the block development office were established in Amarpura later on. On the persistent demand of the residents, a DSP was also posted here. But all these offices were later shifted to Malerkotla.

While residents from about 24 villages of the block used to purchase goods of daily use during their visit to government offices, traders lost customers as now they have started making purchases from Malerkotla.

The situation worsened when the government included some area of this town and surrounding villages in Fatehgarh Sahib parliamentary constituency and newly constituted Amargarh assembly segment, due to which leaders of various parties of Sangrur district started ignoring the development work in the area.

Jagjit Singh Jajjie, a social activist, apprehended that officials at district and sub-division offices would pay no heed to the requests of the residents and leaders of the area as the MLA and MP would take no interest.

“When we will have no role to play in electing MLA and MP, then why will they bother about our grievances and demands. And representatives, who will be elected, will not easily be accessible to us,” argued Jajjie.

Accusing the successive governments of ignoring the genuine demands of the residents, a few rued that the leaders could not even maintain nomenclature of the block in the administrative records.

“What to talk of upgrading the town to the assembly or subdivision level, the authorities did not accede to restoring the name of the block as the Ahmedgarh block. It is rather called Malerkotla II,” lamented a resident.

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Liquor meant for poll use seized
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 4
The local police seized 133 cases of liquor, including whiskey, allegedly meant for distribution among voters of the areas falling under the Sangrur Lok Sabha constituency yesterday. Liquor vends are to remain closed during the polling on May 7.

The accused were identified as Sukhbir Singh, alias Sukhi, and Jasdev Singh, alias Soni, of Dugri village. The origin of the seized liquor is yet to be established.

According to Malerkotla DSP Gurpreet Singh Sikand, a police party led by Sadar SHO Bimal Sharma seized a Tata 407 (PB 04 F 9720 ) carrying 133 cases of liquor without a valid permit at a roadblock on outskirts of Kanganwal village last night. Preliminary investigations revealed that the liquor was to be distributed among supporters of certain candidates contesting elections from the Sangrur constituency.

The accused disclosed that the suppliers of the illegal stock had told them to wait for their men at Kanganwal bridge on Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal.

“We were told to reach Kanganwal village from where certain men were supposed to pilot us to the destination. But we were arrested before the supplier’s men could reach the spot,” Sukhi and Soni told the police.

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JE unhappy with pay panel report
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
Junior engineers today staged a dharna outside the Deputy Commissioner's office against the report presented by the Fifth Pay Commission.

The call was given by the Council of Diploma Engineers, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

The engineers handed over the memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner. Adressing the dharna, BS Gill, convener of the association, said the salaries had been lowered. He said, “After reading the report of the commission it seems that nobody has taken care of our interests.”

Pargat Singh Grewal, advisor of the association, said they would continue their struggle till the grades given in the Fifth Pay Commission would not be revised. Apart from diploma engineers, elementary teachers and staff nurses were also unsatisfied by the commission’s report.

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Bhajan sandhya held
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 4
The diamond jubilee celebration of “bhajan sandhya” was held by the Sai Bhajan Mandal here last evening. Hundreds of devotees from Punjab and surrounding states visited Jagraon Bhaderkali Mata Mandir where the sandhya was held.

Ajay Soni, president of the association, and Naveen Khanna chanted bhajans and “jyoti pujan” was done by Jolly Khanna, Shekhar Verma and Sanjeev Verma.

The mandal has been doing voluntary services in conducting “bhajan sandhya” and spreading the message of brotherhood and simple living throughout the state.

Sony said a visit to the temple of Sai Baba in Shirdi (Maharashtra) on June 16, 2007, made them constitute the Sai Bhajan Mandal.

Chairman Bhag Singh Malla, Kavita Tula, Anish Singla, Subhash Khanna, Ashok Singla, sarpanch Baldeep Singh, Sukhwinder Sharma, Dr Jagmohan Mittal, Shanti Pal Jain, Anil Kansal, Ajay Grover, Chaman Lal Gupta were also present on the occasion. 

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From Schools
Role of balanced diet highlighted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
A lecture on “Importance of balanced diet and physical activity in school children” was organised at the Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar today. The lecture was delivered by Krishma Virk, dietician, Hero DMC Heart Institute. Addressing the children, Virk said, “One gains 25% of adult height, 50% of adult weight and 40% of adult bone mass during adolescence. As such the need to cultivate the right habits during ones formative years cannot be over-emphasised. One’s energy intake should balance one’s energy expenditure.”

“Snacks like fresh fruits, sprouted beans and nuts offer a good alternative to unhealthy junk food, which is high in calorie, fat and sodium and low in fiber. While having their meals children should avoid viewing TV or reading and instead relish the meals by eating slowly and chewing properly. Small frequent meals are better than eating a lot at one go,” she added.

Speaking on the importance of physical activity, Virk said walking, climbing stairs, cycling and household chores were good means of physical activity. In addition, one should exercise for about 30-60 minutes a day for at least four days a week. It was not necessary to exercise continuously and one could divide the period into 10-15 minutes sessions. Excessive TV viewing was associated with weight gain especially with increased snacking of junk food and aerated drinks.”

Workshop

Ryan International School conducted a motivational workshop by Rev Amitabh Singh from the USA, a motivational speaker and author of 14 books. He has served as a consultant to many multinational companies. The workshop was based on personality, evaluation and development. It was a thought provoking session for the students. The workshop emphasised on the judicious utilization of time by the students, which could be the first step towards victory and that a sincere endeavor could lead them to the realms of glory. Success never comes on its own, we have to strive for it, he said. He quoted instances from his own life to show the value of contentment and elation in life.

The founder chairman of the school, Dr A F Pinto and the management designed the motivational workshop that was encouraging as it instilled and revitalised the energy of the students.

Debate

The auditorium of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Udham Singh Nagar, resounded with different views of 26 participants on the topic of debate "Parents should send their children to the boarding school" here today. There were varied responses, some were in favour, stressing on the discipline and regularity developed by boarding schools. Those against the motion emphasised on moral values and bond of affection between child and home. The Principal, Sunil Arora, gave away the prizes and appreciated the endeavors of students in expressing their views.

Creativity Day

Guru Nanak Public School celebrated Creativity Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of Jagat Singh, founder secretary of the management committee today. It was inaugurated by Jasbir Singh, president, school managing committee. R S Gill, principal, Manjit Kaur, vice-principal and staff of the school were also present at he exhibition and lauded the potential of the students. The students from classes VI to IX came out with their creative instincts through various models. About 50 models were displayed.

Quiz Contest

Sanatan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School organised an inter House Quiz contest for the senior classes today. Rajesh Kashyap, president of school managing commitee and Sadhna Sharma, principal, welcomed the chief guests HJS Khera and Kuljit Khera. The programme started with the lighting the ceremonial lamp by the chief guests followed by holy hymn. Students from classes VI to XII took part in the competition. There were three teams, Nehru, Gandhi and Tagore, of seven students each. There were four rounds in total.

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Seminar on Punjabi language
Our Correspondent

Amloh, May 4
A seminar for Punjabi language teachers concluded at Government Secondary School (boys) here today. Twenty three teachers from high and secondary schools of the Amloh block participated in the seminar that began on April 28.

It was attended by circle education officer Ashok Kumar Bhalla, diet principal Kanwaljit Singh Ghuman and Sarv Sikhya Abhyan officer Dharam Singh. Topics pertaining to new methods in teaching Punjabi, grammar, moral education and role of multimedia in teaching Punjabi were discussed on the occasion. 

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Indian scientist honoured for research work
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
The Colorado State University (CSU) recently announced Dr Rajiv Khosla as the recipient of the Monfort professorship.

The Monfort Family Foundation has established a programme in which it employs faculty at the CSU and announces two members as Monfort professors.

Khosla will receive $75,000 each year to support teaching and research efforts.

The details were given by Dr Nithya Rajan of the department of plant and soil science, Texas Technical University, Lubbock, in his mail to Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, today.

Rick Mirandam, the CSU Interim Provost, said, “The recipients symbolise the excellence of the Colorado State’s faculty.”

Kang said Khosla had established a wide-ranging research programme in agriculture.

Kang added that Indian scientists had contributed immensely in generating scientific output aimed at addressing the emerging food-related issues internationally. He said such achievements would inspire young scientists to excel in their respective fields.

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Students attacked by robbers on train
Remain holed up in luggage cabin for 4 hrs
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 4
A group of students of Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar, hailing from Haryana were attacked by armed robbers at the Ludhiana railway station around 9 pm yesterday.

They remained locked in a luggage cabin to save themselves from robbers travelling in the train but received no help till their fellow students rescued them at the Jakhal railway station after midnight.

At least five students were injured and fate of one, who was allegedly thrown out of the running train by the miscreants, was unknown.

Valuables and cash belonging to some students were snatched by the miscreants.

The incident has exposed ineffectiveness of the GRP, which remained conspicuous by its absence between Ludhiana railway station in Punjab and Jakhal railway station in Haryana, despite information to the divisional office at Ferozepur.

As the news about attempted robbery spread, groups of social activists and mediapersons reached railways stations of various towns of the area, but the train kept running with victims waiting for help and authorities passing on the responsibility of rescuing them to officials at the next station.Officials at local railway station said they had tried to rescue the victims but they did not open the cabin.

Ankur of Hissar, a student of LPU, alleged that a gang of miscreants attempted to rob them when the train left from the Ludhiana railway station.

The miscreants beat them up when they refused to hand over their belongings, including valuables, laptops and cash. Ankur, Kulbir, Anup and Narinder received injuries with sharp-edged weapons.

While Ankur, Anup and Kulbir were admitted to a hospital at Hisar, the fate of Narinder was not known as he, students alleged, was thrown out of the running train somewhere between Ludhiana and Kilaraipur stations.

In spite of repeated calls to help centres, the injured students did not receive any help at any of the stations in Punjab and Haryana.

The nightmare continued for around four hours till the train stopped at Jakhal junction and the victims were rescued by their fellow students travelling in other compartments of the train.

However, the authorities refused to register any case there also, as the incident had occurred in Punjab.

“Though I had informed the police control room at ‘100’, the official instead of informing the authorities concerned, asked me to ring at a particular number belonging to GRP officials. We kept receiving calls from journalists and social activists but received no police help till Jakhal, when our fellow students rescued us,” said Ankur, adding that some of the miscreants had followed them till Jakhal and others left the train at various stations in Punjab.

The victims were receiving medical assistance at Hisar when the TNS talked to them in the morning.

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Another bid on assault victims
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
The accused, who have been on the run since November 6 after injuring five youths with sharp-edged weapons near Hero Bakery at Pakhowal Road, made another attempt to inflict injuries on the victims by hitting them with a speeding vehicle near the Civil Lines area on Saturday night.

Vishal Joshi, one of the victims in the assault case, alleged that it had been done in connivance with a policeman, Tara Singh, who is posted at division No. 5 police station.

Vishal claimed that two accused — Ashwani Kumar Chotu and Karan Bharadwaj — had surrendered in the court yesterday and were remanded in police custody by the court.

Vishal had gone to the police station in the evening to check the progress made in the case. There he allegedly found the accused being given VIP treatment by the police.

He said other accomplices in the case were also sitting with the accused. He requested the police to arrested the remaining accused, but they were let off by the police. Further, the accused tried to hit the victims with a speeding vehicle, while they were returning home.

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VAT tribunal judgements bring relief to industry
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 4
Two important judgments pronounced by the VAT Tribunal, Punjab, Chandigarh, on the issue of delayed submission of “C” forms as well as on undervaluation of goods, have provided relief to traders, industrialists and other registered dealers in the state.

Stating this here today, Ashok Juneja, vice-president, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, said the tribunal, considering the provisions of Rule 12(7) of CST and Rule 40 of Punjab VAT Act, 2005, held that “C” forms could be submitted even at the appellate stage even for the periods after application of PVAT Act, 2005.

The tribunal further observed that as such higher rate of tax was not chargeable even if “C” forms could not be submitted within stipulated time or within extended periods, and no loss was going to be caused to the state if the forms were taken into consideration in appeal.

Juneja added that in another judgment, the tribunal, having in the view the provision contained in Section 51 of the PVAT Act 2005, held that if there was under-valuation of goods, penalty could be imposed only on the amount of under-valuation and not on the whole value of goods.

These judgments, he remarked, had been appreciated and welcomed by various trade and industrial bodies of the state as they had been demanding extension of dates for submission of “C” forms in the past.

He said the second judgment on under-valuation of goods would also provide relief to dealers since penalty during checking of vehicles on way or at barriers would only be imposed on under-valuation and not on the whole value of goods being carried in the vehicles.

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CJ inaugurates new judicial complex
Tribune News Service

Phillaur, May 4
Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur inaugurated the new judicial complex, constructed at a cost of Rs 4 crore, here yesterday.

He said the second phase of construction of the newly built courts complex here would be started at a cost of Rs 2 crore to provide requisite facilities.

The Chief Justice said the construction of 14 court complexes in six districts at a cost of Rs 75 crore was already going on, whereas approval for constructing three new district court complexes at Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur and Ferozepur had been granted.

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SDP Model, BCM Arya register wins
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 4
SDP Model Senior Secondary School outplayed St Thomas Senior Secondary School by 46 runs on the third day of the first edition of the Ludhiana District Inter-School Rajgadh Estates Prize Money Cricket Cup Tournament (U-19) being played at the SDP College for Women, Circular Road, here today.

Batting first, SDP School scored 141 runs for the loss of eight wickets in the allotted 20 overs with main contribution coming from Vipin, who cracked 73 runs off 47 balls. His innings included 11 boundaries and a six. Sameer made 13 runs while Narinder scored 10.

For St Thomas Senior Secondary School, Khushwinder was the pick of bowlers. He scalped four wickets.

In reply, St Thomas Senior Secondary School was bowled out for 95 runs. The main scorers were Lovish and Abhishek, who made 23 and 15 runs, respectively.

For SDP School, Anil and Dinesh excelled with the ball, claiming three wickets each, while Vipin grabbed one wicket.

In the second match of the day, BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School recorded an emphatic six-wicket win over SAN Jain Model Senior Secondary School.

SAN Jain School won the toss and opted to bat first. They were all out for 131 runs in 18 overs. Ravinder contributed with 41 runs and Nitish scored 25 runs.

For BCM Arya Model School, Akisht was the most successful bowler. He took four wickets, while Mandeep captured two wickets.

BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School made the required runs in 19 overs after losing just four wickets. The batsmen who anchored their innings were Mandeep and Nikhil, contributing 57 and 22 runs, respectively.

Lalit and Omkar took three and one wicket, respectively, for SAN Jain School.

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40 probables shortlisted
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 4
Forty probables were shortlisted from over 70 aspirants who attended the trials conducted by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association (LDCA) at MGM Public School, Phase I, Dugri, here yesterday.

These probables would attend a coaching-cum-training camp prior to the selection of the Ludhiana squad for the forthcoming Punjab State Inter-District Katoch Shield Cricket Tournament to be organised by the Punjab Cricket Association from the third week of May.

The selection panel was headed by LDCA chairman Chaman Lal Malhotra and former cricketers, Sham Lal, Naresh Marwaha and Pawan Pandey.

The shortlisted probables have been asked to report to coaches TD Singh or Charanjit Bhangu at Arya College grounds on May 11 at 5 pm.

The names of the probables are: Ankur Kakkar, Gagandeep Singh, Karan Goel, Gaurav Marwaha, Bharat Malhotra, Chinton Sehgal, Deepak Bansal, Tarun Passi, Geetansh Khera, Varun Chitkara, Gagandeep Dhand, Rahul Singla, Akhil Aggarwal, Chander Shekhar, Varun Verma, Ashish Kumar, Gurinder Hara, Karan Puri, Pushpinder Singh, Rahil Nanda, Talwinder Singh, Shakun Jindal, Lalit Malhotra, Yogesh Kumar, Darashpreet Singh, Shehzada, Gurjeet Walia, Jayant Batra, Jasdeep Singh, Chetan Sharma, Jagarpreet, Sanchit Gosain, Tarunpreet, Vivek Kumar, Tarun Dhiman, Mohit Sharma, Raghav, Lalit Walia, Harjeet Singh and Kamal Sharma.

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Santosh Trophy: Punjab eyes hat-trick
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 4
Punjab has been looking to complete a hat-trick in the prestigious Santosh Trophy Football Championship slated to be held from May 24 to June 14 at Chennai.

In this national football tournament, Punjab had got the better of West Bengal 2-1 at Gurgaon two years ago to clinch the title. Last year, they had prevailed over Services by a solitary goal at Srinagar to retain the title.

According to Arjuna awardee and honorary general secretary, Punjab Football Association, Inder Singh, 35 players drawn from JCT, Punjab Police, BSF and Punjab State Electricity Board have been shortlisted as probables for a preparatory camp to be organised at Guru Nanak College, Phagwara.

The camp is being organised to prepare for the forthcoming tournament.

Punjab, along with last year’s runners up, Services, West Bengal and Karnataka have been given direct entry into the quaterfinals.

Punjab play their first match on June 2. Jagir Singh has been appointed coach of the squad, Inder Singh added.

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