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Building Collapse 
MC’s slackness comes to the fore
Fails to check illegal constructions in city 
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
The building collapse at Hira Vihar Colony, killing five persons and injuring 11, has exposed the loopholes in the system as there is no provision in the Municipal Act or the building bylaws regarding lifting of roof.

While the authorities preferred to remain silent on the matter, some officials said that one needs to have a prior permission from the civic body before carrying out any construction work and in today’s mishap, the no such consent was taken from the MC.

According to technical experts, the size of the roof that collapsed was between 600-700 square feet and weighed around 10 quintals. The building owner was trying to lift the roof with the help of jacks, which should have been ideally stopped by the civic body officials as it was illegal, but no such efforts were made.

Sources, however, claim that the construction activity had been on before the imposition of curfew, but the MC failed to check the same.

Interestingly, hundreds of such constructions are underway in the city and the failure of the civic body to keep a check on them is an open invitation to mishaps. The MC is already facing criticism for rise in illegal construction in the city in the Punjab and Haryana High Court through various Public Interest Litigations (PILs).

When the officials were asked about illegal construction, they said the MC was facing shortage of staff and most of these constructions were on at the behest of political leaders. “Be it municipal councillors or ministers, all of them are involved in illegal constructions. Besides, even the residents are to be blamed, who, in order to save money, take such risks,” said an official.

Talking to The Tribune, STP B.S. Brar, who had marked an inquiry into the incident, said: “The reports revealed that the roof was made of RBC (reinforce brick concrete) and the owner took advantage of curfew. Besides, the jacks placed below the roof were not installed properly that led to the mishap.” 

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Residents rescue trapped labourers
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
As the trapped labourers were crying for help, it was residents of Hira Vihar Colony, Banda Bahadur Colony and Subash Nagar, who came out to rescue them.

Five labourers were killed and 11 injured when an under-construction building collapsed in Hira Vihar Colony in Subash Nagar today.

The residents rescued the labourers and rushed them to hospitals well before the administration could reach the spot. Soon after the incident took place this morning, residents of Subash Nagar, led by Surinder Singh, Satnam Singh, Naseeb Chand and Fauji Shamlal conducted the rescue operation along with other residents.

“As soon as I came to know about the incident, I rushed to the spot with other residents and started the rescue work. We rescued around 15 people who were stuck under the debris,” said Surinder Singh. Some youth also helped in the rescue work.

“I heard a thundering noise and thought it to be an earthquake. But after a few minutes I realised that the neighbouring under-construction building has collapsed. I rushed to the site and tried to save the labourers trapped under the debris. However, some of them died on their way to hospital,” said area  resident Shashi Kumar. “Past five days have been full of tragedies,” said 15-year-old Gurpreet Singh. 

“I have seen violent protest and curfew for the first time in my life. And today morning, I have seen a man dying in front of me. But my friend Lovely motivated me to continue with the rescue work. Somehow, he managed to pull out some of the trapped labourers,” he added.

Sub-Inspector Gurpreet Singh also rushed the injured to hospital in his vehicle.

Naseeb Chand and Fauji Sham Lal were the first ones to reach at the spot.

They said initially the resident were reluctant to come up for help. “We decided to take the rescue work in our hand as we could not see people dying in front of us. But soon people joined us and rescued the trapped labourers,” said Naseeb Chand.

Pawan Kumar, an auto-rickshaw driver, and Jagdish Gujar also rushed the injured to hospital. Area resident also praised the efforts put in by local SHO Gurpreet Singh in rescue work.

Vikas Garg, Deputy Commissioner, announced that Rs 50,000, each, will be given from CM relief fund to families of five labourers who died while opening the lenter in subhash nagar basti jodhewal. The injured persons admitted in CMC and Civil hospital will be provided with free treatment. 

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Three of family found murdered
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 28
In a gruesome incident, lambardar of the nearby Lakha village, along with his wife and daughter, were found murdered at a roadside near Jagraon. The deceased have been identified as Karnail Singh (45), his wife Binder Kaur (34) and daughter Babbu (15).

The bodies with injury marks were found in bushes at Roomi village. Some passers-by detected the bodies at around 3.45 pm and immediately informed the police. The bodies were recovered from a link road near Akhara village.

The bodies bore several stabbing marks with sharp-edges weapons. An abandoned scooter (PB-25-5512) was also recovered from the site of the crime, most probably that of Karnail Singh.

SSP, Ludhiana (Rural), Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said that from preliminary investigation, it seemed that the family was murdered at some other place and the bodies were dumped here. The murder seems to be a hate crime.

On getting information, SSP, Jagraon, Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SP (D) Pritam Singh, DSP Mukhtiar Singh, DSP (D) Satnam Singh, SHO Gurmeet Singh and other police officers reached the spot along with CIA in charge Pritam Singh and the dog squad was also pressed into service.

Acting swiftly, the Jagraon police has rounded up the son of the deceased in connection to the triple murder of his family. At the time of filing the report, the police was questioning him for his involvement in the case.

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No check on sale of food supplements 
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
In the absence of any check by the department of health and family welfare, Punjab, the unimpeded sale of ‘food supplements’ manufactured by the multinational and national companies or pharmaceuticals is playing havoc with the health of the younger generations succumbing to the ‘gym culture’.

A large number of chemist shops and general stores in the city are openly selling protein powders, post-workout nutrition, meal replacements, weight gainers, fat burners, anabolic creatine powders and various other blends, which can only be taken under medical supervision.

It is clearly warned on all imported products that they are not approved by their food regulatory authority, which indicates toward the possibility of the presence of something more than the ingredients mentioned on the packs.

There have been reports of a lot of food supplements adulterated with hormones and steroids. These supplements fall under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act and can only be sold in licensed stores.

Dr SPS Sohal, director, health services, Punjab, expressed his ignorance on the issue. He, however, said he would call a meeting of the officials for the same so that a drive could be initiated to restrict the sale of these supplements in the market.

The influx of these supplements in the markets of Punjab point towards the strategies adopted by the multi-nationals in exploiting the fitness freak instincts of the Punjabi youth. This is a nexus between gym trainers, companies and pharmaceuticals manufacturing these products, which are being sold under the garb of ‘food supplements’ at high prices.

The catchy photographs of the bodybuilders exhibiting their muscular physiques in addition to the catch phrases like ‘the blueprint to physique success; nothing makes me grow like the MS’ entice the boys to buy these supplements without even consulting a doctor or a dietician.

Ritu Sudhakar, dietician at DMCH, said the prolonged use of supplements adulterated with steroids, hormones could be bad for vital organs and could even result in renal failure. “Fat burners are the worst and not recommended at all as they are pure chemicals that slowly poison the human body.”

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Recession-hit exporters for cost-cutting measures
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
The global meltdown has greatly affected local exporters, forcing many of them to adopt cost-cutting procedures for survival. The big players who were exporting their products to the worst-hit countries like the US, the UK and Canada, are now targeting the domestic market, but are finding it difficult to establish themselves due to indigenous competition.

There has been a continuous decline of 30-35 per cent in the export orders since January, 2009, but overhead expenses remain the same. Under the circumstances, the first step being taken by exporters has been the pruning of labour.

The units ,which had at least 10 quality control inspectors, rely on just 1 or 2 inspectors in the absence of orders. The exporters have also started looking for modernised machinery that requires less labour. Labour, being expensive and not easily available in the present scenario, is being replaced by automatic machines by the exporters.

V.K.Goel, Chief Executive, Vardhman Spinning and General Mills, said even the big players were trying to be more efficient and buyer-friendly in current times. "One can survive in the meltdown only if he works more objectively. The industry should improve their working methods to remain in the competition," he said.

Chairman of the Engineering Export Promotion Council S.C.Ralhan informed that a majority of the furnace and forging units had started working on gas heating and induction heating processes. With furnace oil/fuel being too expensive, most industrialists find it hard to use these.

"The textile, handtool, fastener, forging, auto-components and diesel engine units have no other option but to adopt cost-cutting measures. Moreover, the exporters are eyeing domestic markets in the South and West (India) as Europe and US markets are silent over export orders. 

But they find it too difficult to establish themselves in the domestic market, as there is already a tough domestic competition," added Ralhan.

Avinash Gupta of R.N.Gupta & Company said the business had come down to 25 per cent in all these months. "The cost-cutting steps have to be adopted by exporters for survival. We are certainly not getting a good response from the domestic 
market as there are already established players. The recession in the UK, the US and Canada has adversely affected us,” rued Gupta. 

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Violence Fallout
Trains still running behind schedule
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 28
Even as life limps back to normal in the region after three days of violence, the movement of most of the trains on trunk routes remains erratic. Many trains are still running behind schedule, much to the inconvenience of passengers.

Station Superintendent R.K. Sharma told The Tribune that the railway authorities were making efforts to bring the train movement back on the tracks as early as possible.

“However, it has not been possible as some of the long haul trains are still running behind schedule for reasons beyond control like the corresponding train having been delayed considerably or short-terminated,” he said. He, however, expressed hope that the situation will improve in a day or two when trains would run as per the timetable.

Official information on late running of trains revealed that among the down trains the 3050 Howrah Duplicate Express was running behind by 19 hours, the 5652 Archana Express by 13 hours, the 4650 Shaheed Express by six hours, the 8238 Chattisgarh Express by 2.30 hours, the 2474 Sarvodaya Express by one hour, while the 9772 Jaipur Express and the 414 Jammu-Mumbai Summer Special were delayed indefinitely.

The morning Amrtisar-New Delhi Shatabdi arrived here nearly two hours after its scheduled time.

As far as the up trains were concerned, the 2497 Shane-Punjab was running late by 8.30 hours, the 2469 Kanpur-Jammu Express by 7.30 hours, the 5707 Katihar Express by 7.30 hours, the 5209 Jansewa Express by one hour and the 905 Mumbai-Jammu Summer Special by two hours.

Some other trains like the 2925 Pashchim Express, the 2815 Sachkhand Express and the 333 Summer Special were also running behind schedule by 15-30 minutes. 

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Punjab Violence
Trucks start plying; veggie, fruits prices likely to fall
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
The prices of vegetables and fruits are expected to fall with movements of trucks being allowed after three days of violence in the region. This comes as a major relief for the homemakers.

Following violence in the state after the Vienna’s incident recently, the trucks bringing vegetables and fruits from Haryana, Srinagar, Rajasthan and Hyderabad were stopped on the state borders due to the security reasons. This had led to the sudden rise in the prices of the essential commodities.

Talking to The Tribune, Mohammad Ghulam Sarvar, one of the wholesale and retail vegetable and fruit dealers at Dugri, near Atam Nagar said with the trucks plying the region, the prices came down today itself, but homemakers could get much relief in two to three days. He said the wholesalers get vegetables from main market at the Jalandhar bypass and the rest procured from Malerkotla.

“But due to violence, trucks bringing vegetables were not allowed to enter the state, as a result the prices of the vegetables and the fruits increased. Once the business gets streamlined, the prices will fall automatically”, Sarvar added.

Meanwhile, spokesperson of the All-India Motor Transport Congress, SC Gupta, said: “On an average, 500 trucks are loaded or unloaded in the city on daily basis, which means 1,500 trucks failed to move during the violence.”

He said many a truck bringing apples from Srinagar, onion and banana from Maharashtra and other fruits from Hyderabad were made to stop on the state borders. “The backlog will be cleared by the evening today if all goes well. And once movement gets streamlined, the prices of essential commodities will be reduced further”, he added.

The wholesale and retail prices of vegetables today are as follow:

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Curfew relaxed for 10 hrs in sensitive areas
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
The situation in the city remained calm in sensitive areas falling under the jurisdictions of the five police stations as the administration relaxed curfew from 8 am to 6 pm today.

The curfew will, however, again be reimposed from 6 pm to 6 am tomorrow. This has been ordered by District Magistrate Vikas Garg. He said the curfew would once again be relaxed from 6 am to 6 pm tomorrow in division Nos. 4, 6, 7, Basti Jodhewal and Salem Tabri. It would completely be lifted if no untoward incident takes place tomorrow.

However, in other parts of the city, people came out on the roads fearlessly, government offices, private establishments as the market was remained opened throughout the day.

Bus services to Jalandhar that remained suspended for all these days were restored today. Many stranded passengers returned to their houses today.

The residents of Basti Jodhewal, which was under curfew for three days, were unhappy after five labourers died in a building collapse and 13 sustained injuries at Hira Vihar colony in their area.

A number of them rushed to the spot to get the latest on the incident as soon as the curfew was lifted at 8 am. ‘‘I came here thinking I may be of some help for the buried labourers. But by the time I reached here, there were already rescued and sent to hospitals, ’’ said Ram Nayak, a resident.

He said they had been passing through a difficult phase for the past several days as curfew was relaxed for only three hours yesterday. Administrative officials, who were supervising the situation in Basti Jodhewal, said during curfew relaxation, they had to rush to the spot to take part in the rescue operation.

The Deputy Commissioner met the representatives of all parties and urged people to maintain peace and harmony.

The government schools, colleges and other educational institutes that had remained closed all these days, would reopen tomorrow. 

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Campuses turn walkers’ paradise
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
While some parts of the city remained in the grip of curfew even today following three days of violent protests, the Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) campus wore a cheerful look. City residents heaved a sigh of relief after curfew was lifted from most parts of Ludhiana and were seen strolling in the lush green surroundings on the campus after three days of turmoil.

With educational institutions, including all schools, colleges and both universities, PAU and GADVASU, being closed today an the Deputy Commissioner's orders, scores of the city residents, especially youngsters, thronged the PAU campus to enjoy amid a tight security cover.

The campus had been buzzing with activity since early hours as morning walkers could be seen enjoying the serene environs of the university. As the day progressed, visitors on the campus also grew even as police personnel continued to guard the university in heavy numbers.

Youngsters could be seen enjoying themselves in groups, unfazed by the tension and fear in the outside world. Even hostellers came out lending an energised buzz to the campus.

During late evening, the varsity was full of cheers from children who had come with their families for outing.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Perneet Kaur, who had come with her husband for an evening out on the campus, said, "Last two days were full of anxiety and tension. We never thought that the times would become so intense that a curfew would be imposed in the city. 

Though it was lifted from our area yesterday, we thought of venturing out today. It's really good to be out now and enjoying freedom. The PAU campus is the safest and the most serene place we could think of for a family outing, so here we are."

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Gurdeep Singh is LIT Administrator
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 28
The state government has appointed Deputy Director, Local Government, Gurdeep Singh as the Administrator of Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) with immediate effect, relieving Municipal Corporation Commissioner G.S. Ghuman of the additional charge.

Sources, however, point out that Gurdeep Singh may not take over the charge and will prefer to wait for Ashok Kumar Sikka, who is expected to join back as Deputy Director, Local Government, here on June 1, 2009, after his medical leave of one month.

Ghuman was given additional charge of the LIT in the first week of February and his stay of little less than four months was eventful.

It was under his tenure that he, along with the Principal Secretary, Local Government, D.S. Bains, had to make a personal appearance before the Punjab State Human Rights Commission in a complaint of irregular allotment of plots to housing societies and locally displaced persons.

In a related development, the state government had frozen all allotments of plots by the LIT made from April 2007 and a stay was imposed on fresh allotments during the period Ghuman was the Administrator of the trust.

The outgoing Administrator had also invited the ire of several contractors for his refusal to release payments or impose heavy penalties on some on grounds of delay in completion of construction or development projects, or failure to adhere to the laid down conditions with regard to quality of work.

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Attack on Sant Niranjan Das
Militants in Pak: Intelligence
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 28
Ranjit Singh Neeta, chief, Khalistan Zindabad Force, has reported to have owned the responsibility for attacking Sant Niranjan Das and his deputy, Sant Ramanand, in Vienna, Austria. Later, Sant Ramanand succumbed to his injuries there.

Ranjit Singh Neeta, who belongs to Jammu, has been active in Punjab during the militancy days.

Neeta is one of the 20 most-wanted terrorists whose list was handed over to the government of Pakistan during the NDA regime. The other militants whose names were included in the list are Wadhwa Singh, chief, Babbar Khalsa International, and Mahal Singh, brother of Sukhdev Singh Babbar, who was killed in an encounter near Ludhiana in June 1992.

According to intelligence sources, Neeta and Wadhwa Singh are still in Pakistan.

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Unique way to steal power
Rakesh Gupta

Jagraon, May 28
PSEB employees seem to provide electricity to farmers by makeshift installation of transformers. Nobody knows whether it is the scare of thieves who decamp with the precious articles after breaking open the transformers or an arrangement between the farmers and the PSEB employees to provide them out of turn electricity supply.

Such a makeshift transformer is seen installed on a tricycle on the outskirts of Jagraon on Moga Road. The farmers in the morning bring along the transformer-fitted rickshaw and connect the electricity line for consuming electricity.

They guard the transformer and take along the transformer back home.

Sources, however, revealed that this was not an isolated case. Many transformer rickshaws are seen in other areas of Jagraon.

PSEB XEN Jagraon SS Sidhu refuses to have any knowledge of such practices. He said it was impossible to do this without the help of the PSEB employees. He said he would look into the matter and book the employees who had done this.

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Society to install gas crematorium
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 28
In a bid to preserve forests and natural resources, the Anti Corruption Crime Prevention Community Oriented Policing Society (ACCP) has decided to install LPG-based gas crematorium.

National president of the society Varinder Singh Sant along with Chand Singh, sarpanch of Daiya Kalan village, and other office-bearers laid the foundation stone of the crematorium in the village.

Kiran Oberai, vice-president of the society, said the elimination of forests and resources would put the human race in danger. She sought the support of villagers to plant more trees.

A large number of villagers attended the ceremony. Varinder appealed to NRIs and affluent villagers to provide financial help to the society in their project.

He said it was their third such initiative.

He sought the support of the government and nearby villages to help them in the projects so that precious wood could be saved.

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New soap plan is cast
Ekta shifts from saas-bahu saga to mother-daughter bond
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
Soap opera queen Ekta Kapoor has finally come out of her fixation with “K” alphabet. All her serials started with “K” alphabet, including the most popular “Kyunki saas bhi kabhie bahu thi”, “Kahani ghar ghar ki” etc, but this time she has decided to discontinue with her fixation and has named her new serial “Pavitar Rishta”.

The main theme of her serials revolved around the love and hate relationship of “saas-bahu” but the new serial is weaved around mother-daughter bond. The serial would be aired on Zee TV from June 1.

Protagonist, Archana, who is trapped by her own destiny, in the serial is played by Ankita Lokhande, who made her way through a reality show “Zee Cine Stars ki Khoj”.

Nitin Vaidya, COO and business head of Zee Entertainment Enterprises said: “We believe in subjects that establish a strong connect with the viewers, be it with “Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo”, “Choti Bahu”, “Betiyaan”.

“In the new serial we have highlighted the emotional bonding that every daughter has with her mother. This interesting saga brings in the flavor of the mother-daughter relationship and a mother’s search for a desirable match for her daughter. The hitch lies when instead of a prince charming, destiny presents a doormat,” he added.

Ankita said this show had been shot in a modest environment sans any glamour and grandeur. It essays a middle class household’s routine and lifestyle. “The practical nuances of the story will be felt and lived by everyone who watches the show. The various emotions that have been touched upon is something that every mother and daughter go through in their lives,” she added.

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Cooking sites getting popular among women
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
Monica has planned to organise a party next month and wants it to be special. Some exotic food would add an extra dash to her party she thinks. She settles on Mexican, which she believes will impress the guests.

But she does not have much time and can not attend the cooking classes to enhance her culinary skills. The quick option that she has is to click to one of the cooking sites on the Internet.

“Some of the sites even show demonstration so it becomes easy to cook while seeing the recipe being made. Select the type of recipe and scores of recipes are available,” she added.

At the party, she prepared enchiladas, burritos and tortillas.

Monica belongs to a growing breed of housewives who are turning to cooking sites to enhance their cooking abilities. A staggering variety of cuisines from all over the world are available at the click of the mouse. Thai, Mexican, Burmese, Chinese, Italian, and Lebanese.

Anju, who is working with a private bank said, “I love cooking but due to the paucity of time I am unable to take up cooking courses. My husband and children like to eat something new every day and the cooking sites help me a lot.”

Sites offering recipes for low calorie food are most popular among the internet surfers.

Manisha, a housewife, said, “I wanted to make my daughter's birthday party special. I found several dishes especially for children.”

Some cooking sites exclusively feature low calorie recipes which are an instant hit among those conscious about their weight.

Some popular cooking sites are www.cooking.com, www.all recipes.com, www.meals.com, www.culinary.com, www.recipecentre.com, www.yumyum.com, www.daawat.com and www.foodfit.com.

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Shakti school gets five merit positions
Our Correspondent

Doraha, May 28
Students of Shakti Public Senior Secondary School, Doraha, have grabbed a total of five merit positions, thus carving a niche for themselves and their institution in the Class XII examinations conducted by the Punjab School Education Board, the results of which were declared recently.

Principal Jatinder Sharma claimed that their school has secured five merit positions. Gurpreet Kaur has secured eighth position in Punjab by securing 403 out of 450 marks. Harinder Singh has secured 16th position by getting a total of 395 marks. 

Sukhvir Kaur got 19th position by securing 392 marks, whereas Gurpreet Singh got 28th position with 383 marks. Amarjit Singh has bagged 31st position by obtaining 380 marks.

The principal also informed that a total of 117 students appeared in humanities and 48 in science.

The result of the school has been 100 per cent.

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Three Class XII students honoured
Our Correspondent

Amloh, May 28
Three Class XII students of Government Secondary School (boys) have been placed in the merit list released by the state school education board here yesterday.

The students, Kamaljit Kaur, Arshdeep Singh and Sabodh Khullar, were honoured at a function, which was addressed by principal Navtej Inder Kumar Gupta, PTA president Ram Saran Sood and Puswic Committee chairman Dr Harpreet Singh.

Six students Kamaljit Kaur, Karanvir Singh, Arshdeep Singh, Sabodh Khullar, Jaspreet Singh and Jatinder Modi, who have passed the IIT examination, were also honoured. 

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Class XII Examinations
Students harassed as result delayed on Internet
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
While the Punjab School Education Board declared the results of Class XII examinations on May 26 evening, the gazettes for the result were supplied to the depots of the board at the district headquarters in the last afternoon and the students were put to inconvenience to know their result. Even the board failed to upload the result on the Internet.

The book sellers, who purchased the gazettes from the board did a roaring business. The book sellers charged Rs 10 from each student for giving the information regarding the result.

According to one book seller, he supplied the result to about 200 students yesterday, whereas no student turned up for knowing the result today as it was available on the Internet.

However, the heads of various schools did not know the result of their schools till today. The head of a government senior secondary school told The Tribune that he checked the result on the Internet and there was no authenticity of the same. The marks of some subjects were the same.

The DEO (Secondary), whom this reporter talked twice yesterday to know the result of the district schools, was always evasive and said, "I have deputed the staff to scrutinise the result and the same will be known after two hours."

The Ludhiana depot of the PSEB sold as many as 250 gazettes pertaining to the result of regular students and 51 gazettes of result of open school students. Each gazette was sold for Rs 925 for regular students and Rs 725 for the open school students.

The gazettes were purchased by the book sellers of the local book market. The orders for the gazettes were placed in advance according to a spokesman of the PSEB.

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No end in sight for stray cattle menace

With no caretakers for stray cattle and inadequate capacity of a number of "gaushalas" in different parts of the city, there is hardly any road, part and corner where these are not present.

Herds of bovine animals, especially bulls, roaming and sitting in the middle of the roads, busy intersections, or at times on road dividers, is a common sight.

More often than not, the stray animals obstruct the flow of vehicular traffic. Sometimes they are seen fighting with each other, causing a scare among the passers-by. With no mechanism in place to provide shelters to stray cattle and the civic body being unable to control the problem, the residents have “learned to live” with these creatures.

IPL fever over

The IPL fever that had cricket fans glued to their TV sets for the last one month concluded recently.

While some watched the final at their home, others enjoyed it in their favourite clubs and hotels. Sutlej Club, Nirvana Club, Hotel Park Plaza, Colonel’s Cabin were some of the places where cricket fans thronged for the finals.

In the times of recession the event actually proved beneficial to the clubs and restaurants and increased their profit margins.

There was no lack of excitement and heartbreak in the title clash as the 37-day tournament ended with a fitting finale between last year's two rock-bottom sides. Some of the fans were disappointed on the exit of Shah Rukh Khan, Shilpa Shetty and Priety Zinta’s team. The excitement would have reached its frenzy if the finals would have been between any of their teams. Cricket fans bid adieu to the IPL, hoping for greater excitement next year.

No birthdays in holidays

Children having birthdays in holidays feel bad as the majority of their friends fail to attend their parties.

At a parent-teacher meeting in a school here on Saturday, parents were seen getting the addresses and telephone numbers of the classmates of their children. A mother informed that her daughter's birthday was in the first week of June and the latter was adamant to throw a party. So, she had come to collect the details of her friends.

“What else can we do? I have not been able to celebrate her birthday well due to holidays. I will personally make request to parents to either advance or postpone their holiday programmes, so my child does not feel bad. Let us see how they respond,’ she said hopefully.

A friend ...indeed!

Who says that the cops in Punjab don’t “work for free” as when it comes to their personal relations they are ever ready to pay from their pockets also.

One such cop when approached by a friend in distress whose servant had run away after stealing valuable jewellery and cash left no stone unturned to catch 
the culprit.

A team of constables was sent to the native village of the servant to find the culprit, recover the stolen articles and come back within a stipulated time of three days. Interestingly, it was this senior cop who funded the whole tour. But what was more interesting in the whole case was that without any formal DDR and FIR the cops went out of their way to nab the culprit and were successful in recovering most articles.

Space constraints annoy kids

The policy of “please all” is at times quite troublesome for print media. The case in point was that recently the CBSE declared the Class XII results and most of the newspapers were thronged by crowds of meritorious students with their photographs for publication.

Considering space constraints and the fact that Ludhiana has a large number of CBSE affiliated schools, it was not possible to accommodate all of them. Resultantly, those who were obliged were naturally pleased, the remaining few were an unhappy lot. The newspapers have their own limitations of the space constraint. Heads of schools should understand this.

Roadside astrologers

Roadside astrologers and palmists are a common sight in almost every Indian city. Ludhiana is no exception.

Looking at these so-called astrologers, one often wonders if they can provide permanent solution to the problems of all their clients and ways to make them happy and prosperous, why aren't they themselves in the pink of financial and social health.

I was forced to ask one astrologer on the Ferozepur road, "Why are you sitting in the scorching sun? Can't you find some easy way out for yourself?"

The sun-tanned slim astrologer replied, "One's stars cannot be altered to change one's fate for better or worse. If I am destined to be poor, no one can make me rich. But if people get solace from some advice, what is wrong in it? It gives them a sense of security about their future and me my daily bread."

Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Manav Ghuman, Shivani Bhakoo, Anshu Seth, Sheetal Chawla and Charu Chhibber 

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Gang making fake documents busted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
The CIA staff has arrested three youths, and has claimed to have busted a gang preparing fake official documents. The trio was operating in the district court complex posing as agents.

The accused used lure innocent persons, particularly villagers, to prepare a fake university degree certificate, registration copy and driving license at a cheap price.

The accused have been identified as Harpeet Singh, Balwinder Singh, Jagdeep Singh, all residents of Shimlapuri, who were preparing these documents at rented house in Shimlapuri.

SP (D) SK Kalia said all the accused were in their mid-20s had been operating in district court complex for quite some time.

According to Kaila, the CIA-I incharge, Gurpreet Singh, laid a trap and managed to crack a deal with the trio of making a fake degree and called all of them near Dana Mandi.

The accused trio reached the spot and just when they were showing the fake degrees and driving licences to the accused, the police raided the place and nabbed the accused red-handed.

The police seized two fake RCs, two DLs and 13 stamps, two computers and a scanner, on which they used to make these documents.

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5 booked for assault

Jagraon, May 28
The Jagraon police has booked five persons for inflicting injuries on a person yesterday. Those booked are Kehar Singh, Tehal Singh, Karam Singh and Soni, all residents of Bardeke village and Gurtej Singh of Badhni village in Moga. 

The injured, Charan Singh, told that the accused attacked him with sharp-edged weapons. He was admitted to the Jagraon Civil Hospital in a critical condition.

The police booked the accused under Sections 324, 341, 325, 148 and 149 of the IPC. However, no arrest has been made yet. — OC

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Players selected for Ludhiana softball team
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 28
Following boys and girls have been selected to represent Ludhiana in the 14th Junior Punjab State Softball Championship, slated to be held on May 30 and 31 at Guru Nanak Stadium here.

The names of the selected players are: Boys: Vikramjit, Shiv Kumar, Shamsher, Amit and Komalpreet from Ramgarhia Senior Secondary School; Jaspreet, Jasbir, Manpreet and Bhramjot from Guru Nanak International Public School; Munish and Sagar from RS Model Senior Secondary School; Kirandeep and Tejinder from Teja Singh Swatantar School; Lovepreet and Navraj Singh from Guru Nanak Model School.

Girls: Sharanpreet Kaur, Shiwani, Diksha Sharma, Sakshi, Tejinder Kaur, Geetanjali and Amandeep Kaur from Teja Singh Swatantar School; Priyamani, Harjot Kaur, Sukhdeep Kaur Parwinder and Simran from RS Model Senior Secondary School; Narpinder Kaur, Deepa Pandey and Neelma Sharma from Guru Nanak Model School.

Performance during this two-day meet will be taken into consideration while selecting the Punjab squads for the forthcoming Junior National Softball Championship, scheduled to be held at Mandi in Himachal Pradesh from June 9 to 14, added Passi.

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