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Cavalcade carrying Baba’s ashes passes peacefully
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
The procession carrying the ashes of Baba Rama Nand, deputy head of Dera Sachkhand, passed through the city peacefully.Thousands of followers lined the routes and paid tearful tributes to their departed religious master.

The ashes were taken to Hardwar and the cavalcade, guarded with tight security, passed through Dana Mandi, Basto Jodhewal Chowk before leaving the city in Sherpur Chowk.

Emotional devotees gathered on the roadside to have a look at the ashes for the last time. The cavalcade did not make a halt. It stopped for a few minutes at Basti Jodhewal Chowk where many residents were seen breaking into tears.

The disciples had erected small tents on either side of the road from where the cavalcade had to pass to offer water and other eatables to the disciples accompanying the ashes.

The hot and sultry weather did not deter their spirit, who remained on their toes and ensured that everybody in the convoy tasted whatever they had to offer.

Small children and women braved a huge rush to reach the vehicle. A near-stampede was witnessed at Basti Jodhewal Chowk, where the disciples came out in huge numbers. Many removed the flowers from the vehicle and were seen kissing these. Others were bowing in front of the vehicle. The police had a tough time in controlling the crowds. They remained on their tenterhooks to check any untoward incident.

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2 govt officials in soup
Kanchan Vasdev/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
Two government officials are embroiled in a controversy for getting a message inserted in a vernacular newspaper for paying tributes to ‘‘martyrs of Ghallughara’’ and calling Operation Bluestar “an attack on Golden Temple by the then Indian government’’.

Pictures of two officials, including DSP Vigilance, Gurcharan Singh and Tehsildar, J.S. Tiwana, were carried in the newspaper yesterday along with a message that Operation Bluestar was a planned attack by the then Indian government.

Getting a step further, the message by the duo also reads that they were paying rich tributes to the martyrs of “Ghallughara” on its 25th anniversary on June 6.

The message has created ripples in government offices, as officials claim that no government official could term a security operation as an attack by the government. He cannot even criticise the government on its any decision.

‘‘This is in contravention of government rules. While joining the service, officials vow that they would work as servants of the government and not challenge or comment on its decisions. I am surprised how could they do so,’’ said a Vigilance official, requesting anonymity.

He added that action could be taken against these officials for their act. It was just a matter of time.

Tehsildar Tiwana, when contacted, feigned ignorance about any such message. He said the representative of the newspaper had just asked for his picture and he was not told where he would put it.

When he was narrated the message, he said he was shocked to know about its contents. He admitted that he was not allowed to comment on the government's decision like this. ‘‘I do not know what would happen now, ’’ he said.

DSP Gurcharan Singh could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

The message was carried in a marketing supplement of the newspaper to congratulate Manish Tewari for being elected as Member of Parliament from Ludhiana.

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More billboards to dot city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
The Municipal Corporation's move of allotting advertising rights to Greenline agency is all set to make the city full of advertisement billboard banners as the agreement signed between the municipal official and the agency clearly states that 200 new unipoles could be erected.
A billboard that has come up on Malhar Road.
A billboard that has come up on Malhar Road. Photo: IV

These extra billboard poles are going to come in addition to present 220, raising the total count to 420. Apart from it, the agency has been also fully permitted to put advertisement of various sizes on over Head Signage's, Foot Over Bridges, Garbage Collection Centres, Kiosks on street light poles and pillars to elevate roads and the roundabouts.

Interestingly, the Municipal Corporation had given this contract at Rs 8.25 crores under the garb of stopping mushrooming of illegal "media". Besides, the move is well known to the MC officials, but not to the municipal councillors.

Congress councillor Parminder Mehta said, "Due to the Lok Sabha elections, no meeting of the Finance and Contracts Committee was held and there had been no agenda of additional 200 unipoles being erected ever coming. The matter was not that simple and permission of more billboard poles should have been passed in the house before signing the agreement." He added that matter would be taken in the coming house meeting.

The residents, near whose buildings the new billboard poles are being erected, are not digesting the fact that the civic body has given the road space adjacent to their buildings without taking their permission.

The residents, on the condition of anonymity, said, "We are being threatened by the contractor and the MC officials when we stop them. We know the corporation owns roads of the city, but that does not mean that they could sell the space near our houses without consulting us."

Residents on Malhar Road said they wanted to bring the matter to the notice of Municipal Commissioner and seek his statement what he has to say about it. However, since the Commissioner is on leave for more than a week, their problem is still unresolved.@@Photo on page 3

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Tubewell rooms being rented out illegally
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
Tubewell rooms of the Municipal Corporation have become a safe haven for the poor these days. One just has to do certain jobs assigned by the tubewell contractor to get a roof along with power connection.

A visit to a number of tubewells in the city brought to fore many startling facts. While most of the tubewells are being given free to the poor, some are also being rented out.

These rooms accommodate all types of household articles like beds, TV sets, radios, gas, utencils, etc and junior engineers of the Municipal Corporation are aware of it, as they often visit these tubewells for inspection.

Santa Ram (name changed) said, "I have been living in this room for the past 15 years along with my wife and son. I have a cycle repair shop just adjacent to the tubewell and the contractor has assigned me the job of switching on the tubewell from 5 am to 9 am, 12 pm to 2 pm and then 5 pm to 9 pm in the evening. He does not take any money from me, as I do some jobs for him in return.”

Interestingly, department officials revealed that the rooms should be absolutely neat and clean and there is no provision of someone to stay inside the room. "Since it provides water to a large number of population, the contractor has to recruit one or two persons on a shift basis, but most of them flout norms," he said.

Investigations revealed that the Municipal Corporation gives Rs 3,100 per tubewell to the contractor and these contractors further sub-let the work either by paying Rs 500 to Rs 1000 to these vendors. 

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For many cops, notorious criminal Raja still missing
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
The police officers must be heaving a sigh of relief after the arrest of notorious Rajiv Raja, but for the lower rung city cops, Raja is still a dreaded criminal in hiding and a possible threat for city jewellers.

The poster of Rajiv Raja could be easily spotted at the top of the list of wanted criminals in a majority of police stations. Ironically, most of the cops are not even aware of his arrest by the Haryana Police.

"This man is a dreaded criminal wanted in many cases of murder and robbery. He had brutally murdered and robbed many jewellers of the city", said a constable at city Kotwali, indicating towards a poster of Rajiv Raja.

Raja escaped from police custody while being taken to Ludhiana from Bathinda jail for a hearing in a case earlier this year.

A cop posted at Division No 7 said, "Such criminals once escapes from police custody are difficult to be nabbed again."

He further said his girlfriend was in Central Jail, Ludhiana, and he would try to free her also and only then he could be nabbed.

When the cop was told that Raja was nabbed by the Haryana Police, he was astonished.

In order to save embarrassment, another cop, posted at the same police station, said, "Already we are working overtime. Many of us have not taken a holiday for months, first due to the elections and later due to clashes. We do not know what is happening around."

The Haryana Police yesterday announced the arrest of a notorious criminal, Rajiv alias Raja, in connection with the sensational highway kidnappings and subsequent robberies at the residence of Lalit Behl in Sector 33, Chandigarh, and the Sector 12 residence of Shyam Lal Sachdev.

A huge cache of arms, comprising 75 revolvers and pistols, one carbine and 10 shotguns, which Raja and other members of his gang had stolen from an arms shop in Hoshiarpur, has also been recovered.

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Mobile of Oswal snatched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
What to talk of common man, even the VIPs and top industrialists are not far from the reach of snatchers. In a latest incident, three motorcycle-borne youths snatched a mobile of Kamal Oswal, son of noted industrialist Jawharlal Oswal, here this morning.

The snatching took place this morning, when Kamal was standing outside his house, situated on the College road and was waiting for morning walkers. In the meantime, three youths on a motorcycle came close to Kamal and snatched his mobile phone.

Before the security guards deputed at the house could react, the snatchers fled.

It is learnt that the Oswals, who have recruited private security guards, have instructed their family members not to leave the house without security.

Jawharlal Oswal said, "It was a very unfortunate incident as important numbers were stored in the mobile." It is learnt that Kamal Oswal lodged a complaint with the police.

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Summer camps in full swing at schools
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
Gone are the days when students used to relax at home during the summer vacations. Now come holidays, each parent is anxious to develop one or the other extra skill in his child, whether it is painting, singing, dancing or yoga. Every school is humming with one or the other activity.

Bal Bharatians are enjoying the summer camp bonanza with full gusto and zeal. More than 150 children in different age groups are attending the camp to learn the basics of dance, art and craft, music, games and cookery. The training is being imparted by experts.

A number of beautiful artistic creations like sceneries, file covers, bangle stands and glass paintings are being taught to the children.

A special attraction of the camps is providing culinary tips to make them learn to prepare delicious food items without the use of fire like peanut chaat, mocktails, strawberry shakes and vegetable sandwiches.

Printed recipes are given to them so that they can try these recipes at home to please their parents.

In lawn tennis and badminton, NIS-trained coaches are helping children to focus on these games.

Some schools have organised classes in art and craft, yoga, swimming, western dance and folk dance.

A school has organised classes in “Art of Living” for the teachers.These classes are for self-development, growth in mental health and attitudinal change of the teachers.

Baljeet Sandhu, a teacher, told The Tribune, "We are taught various yoga exercises to get rid of tension. Special emphasis is laid not to brood on the past or worry about the future but to live in the present. Many people from nearby colonies have also joined the classes.”

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Education policy discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
A special educational promotion meeting was held yesterday between Deputy Director (s) Shashi Sharma, along with the officers Dr Davinder Singh and Vijay Kaushal on one side, and Rajinder Sharma, president, Association of the PSEB affiliated schools, Punjab , along with R L Sewak, N.K. Bangia, S S Bedi and other office-bearer of the association on other side.

At the meeting, the education policy of India, especially regarding the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan programme, the V and VIII class examination in Punjab were discussed. There is no V and VIII class examination being held throughout India under the pattern of CBSE, Delhi.

The members of the association requested the authority of Punjab Education Department not to conduct the Class V and VIII examination in the light of national educational policy of the India and to promote the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan programme in the state.

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Foundation stone of girls’ hostel laid
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 7
The foundation stone of a girls’ hostel was laid down here yesterday. The UGC had released a grant of Rs 80 lakh for building a girls hostel at local Lala Lajpat Rai DAV College. The foundation stone was laid by Sant Baba Gurcharan Singh and Sant Baba Sewa Singh of Nanaksar Kaleran. The principal of the college, Satish Sharma, said the hostel would be a state of art with all the modern amenities and would be completed within 15 months.

Satish Sharma said the college was going to complete 50 days of its establishment.

He further added that the college would celebrate Golden Jubilee year with various seminars, cultural programs to mark the occasion. Project director Tersem Sagar, Gulshan Kumar, Santosh Puri, Raj Kumar Bhalla, Daya Chand Jain, Karamjit Singh Sandhu, Pushpa Jhanji, Jagmohan Mittal, Raj Kapur, Sukhdev Brar, Veena jain, Anand Saroop and Sukhdev Brar were among those present on the occasion.

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NSS camp at Guru Nanak College ends
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
A valedictory function was organised today on the concluding day of the NSS camp at Guru Nanak Girls College. Prof M.S. Bains, programme coordinator, NSS unit, Panjab University, was the chief guest of the occasion. He motivated the NSS volunteers to always keep in mind the motive of the NSS and try their level best to make this society a better place to live in.

Parminder Kaur, programme officer, presented the report of the camp. Prizes were distributed to the best volunteers and winners of various declamation and poetry contest were organised during the camp. Dr Charanjit Mahal exhorted the volunteers to ensure their maximum participation in such camps as they play a vital role in creating awareness among women folk.

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Punjab Board Class X Results
Police school student shines
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 7
A student of Police Public School, Bharowal Khurd, excelled in the matriculation exams conducted by the Punjab School Education Board.

Harmandeep Kaur of Purain village topped the school by securing 89.09 per cent marks and got a merit position. The chairman of the school, DGP Dr RK Bhatti, principal Khushwinder Singh Toor and other officials of the schools congratulated the staff.

Students of Sanmati Vimal Jain Senior Secondary School, Jagraon, bagged top 11 positions among the 21 of Jagraon.

Gagandeep Kaur and Manpreet Kaur bagged the top position by securing 88.2 per cent marks.

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Prize distribution function held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
The prize distribution function for the students, who got excellent positions in annual examinations of Classes V, VIII and X in PSEB examinations, was held in March, 2009.

Madan Lal Bagga was the chief guest. He asked the students to work hard in their future plans and guided those students to further work hard, who could not get prizes this year. Bharat Dua appreciated the efforts of students and parents for showing 100 per cent results in matriculation examination held in March, 2009. Jeevan Mohindru, lecturer, DAV College, Amritsar, was the guest of honour.

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Summer camp students felicitated
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 7
Over 200 students of Victoria Public High School, Lehra, showed their potential in various skills during the first phase of the annual summer camp organised at the school near here.

Dev Raj Sofat, chairman the institute, felicitated outstanding performers, including Monika, Punit Sharma, Rahul, Ekamjot, Karun Sharma, Chirag, Chetan, Tapinder, Parveen, and Mohit Goyal.

According to SP Sofat, coordinator of the event, a team of experts, led by Sukhjinder Singh, imparted fundamental training in various arts to the students. Students showed interest in learning tips in martial arts, music, kitchen gardening, folk dance (bhangra and giddha), mehndi application, choreography and best out of waste.

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T20 World Cup may hit films’ release
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
After two months of empty seats at multiplexes, the owners are happy that their stand-off with producers-distributors over revenue sharing ended on Friday. But at the same time, the upcoming T20 World Cup is likely to affect new releases and it is assumed that big films would release only after July.

Multiplex owners are mum on their losses due to content blackout, but according to estimates, the losses are close to Rs 2 billion. “The losses hurt hard. It would still take nearly 15-20 days more for the release of new films. Marketing and promotion campaigns would take more time,” the manager at the PVR said.

Big budget films like Sajid Nadiadwala’s “Kambhakth Ishq” and Yash Chopra’s “New York” have been long due. The first film to release would be Vashu Bhagnani’s “Kal Kisne Dekha”, slated to release on June 12.

Sources in the film industry reveal that big banners would release their films only after the T20 World Cup and in addition to this, advertising, marketing and promotional campaigns would also take some time. Movie buffs are also happy that the stand-off is over. As vacation is on, everybody is anxiously waiting for the release of films. “At last, the row is over and we will watch some movies,” Chitwin, a resident, says.

A manager at another multiplex added: “The strike was a bane for us. It was loss all the way. Thank God it is over.” Though producers did not face any immediate financial losses, the release dates for several big budget projects were disrupted, including UTV’s “Main Aur Mrs Khanna” and “Kaminey” and Boney Kapoor’s “Wanted”. Almost Rs 2.5 billion was blocked due to the delay in the release of these films.

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Sewing centre opened
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, June 7
A sewing centre was inaugurated to provide training to a batch of girls of rural area at Manupur village near here today. The camp was organised by the Nishkam Kirtan Sewa Society. The chief guest Inspector Devinder Attri landed the efforts of the society, which has organised 94 marriages of the poor girls, beside other social activities.

Medical officer Navdeep Singh Brar spoke about the health problems of the rural people. Society chief Karamjit Singh pointed out that sewing machines were provided along with material and a sewing teacher to the centre in a village to provide training to a group of 40 students free of cost.

As many as 450 students have passed the four-month course so far. Among others, Sarpanch Bhupinder Singh, Vice-President Ravinder Singh “Ravi”, Cashier Ravinder Singh “Dhanna”, Press Secretary Ashok Chopra, Rajinder Singh Raju also spoke on the occasion.

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Shortage of porters: Railway passengers suffer
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 7
The railway passengers here are facing harassment for last more than a year due to acute shortage of licensed porters at the railway station, while authorities are looking the other way and, except for making repeated announcements about new recruitment, nothing worthwhile has so far been done to mitigate the suffering of travelling public.

With just a fraction of the required porters available, the passengers are made to carry their luggage themselves while boarding the trains or disembarking at one of the busiest railway stations in the region with a daily traffic of some 150 mail, express and passenger trains and generating an annual revenue of more than Rs 100 crores.

At times, some of the passengers, carrying heavy pieces of luggage, have to make several rounds between the platforms and main gate of the railway station and there have been instances when passengers commencing their journey from the local railway station have missed their trains for not being able to locate their coaches and board the train in time, a task that porters are well trained to perform.

Till first quarter of last year, the railway station had an effective strength of some 160 licensed porters. But after the railways offered regular jobs of gang men to the porters, a majority of them opted for the secure jobs and were recruited. With this, the number of licensed porters at the railway station was reduced to around 25, and working in day or night shifts, not more than a dozen porters are available at the railway station at any given time.

If frequent travellers are to be believed, a few porters on duty at the railway station take full advantage of the situation, and instances of the porters charging many times more than the stipulated rates for carrying luggage, are not uncommon.

According to railway officials, some 30,000 persons undertake railway journey every day. Even if most of the railway passengers travel light with an overnight bag or luggage, which they can easily carry themselves, there are quite a few other long-route travellers, including elderly and sick people, who need to have their luggage carried by the porters.

The divisional railway authorities had stalled the process of enlistment of licensed porters, initiated in the second half of last year due to the fact that many of those recruited as railway gangmen, were said to have been keen on quitting, have their licences back and go back to the job of being porters.

Even though the divisional headquarters of the Northern Railways at Ferozepur are said to have received a new policy for recruitment of licensed porters, but no further action seems to have been taken to recruit new licensed porters till now.

Sources at the railway headquarters told The Tribune that the process for inviting fresh applications for grant of licences to 60 new porters is to be initiated very soon.

For this purpose, preference will be given to local candidates and those porters, who had joined as gangmen, will also be given the option to come back, if they so desire.

Till such time that the railway recruits more licenced porters and adequate numbers of porters are made available at Ludhiana, the passengers will have to carry their own luggage and railway journey will remain an arduous task.

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Stray cattle, dogs trouble people
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
The cattle and dog menace in the city has become a common problem with the Municipal Corporation failing to taken any steps except giving statements and signing agreements.

The growth of these animals in the past few months has further aggrieved the problem and municipal officials and councillors are now tightlipped as they don't have any concrete action plan or funds to initiate any projects.

Despite the fact that residents have made several complaints about it, especially from kids and elderly, things have remained unchanged. While the dogs are giving a tough time to walkers, cattle cause roadblocks.

The road stretch from Domoria Bridge to the MC's zone-A office is often witnessed with cattle roaming and traffic police personnel struggling with them.

Talking to The Tribune, Vineet Baweja said, "I have to pass through this stretch and often traffic jams are witnessed due to cattle. Sometimes, the situation is tough with vehicles pressing horns and cattle baffling and moving here and there which sometimes even hurt those walking and moving on two-wheelers."

She added that the traffic police, which are already struggling with vehicles on this stretch, are running to shoo away these animals.

Similarly, Ram Avtar said, "Even Kailash Chowk, Subzi Mandi on Pakhowal Road and Dandi Swami road are witnessed with cattle movement. Sometimes, vehicle drivers are so insensitive that they hit these creatures, who bleed and then there is noone to take care of them." He added that officials should talk to Gaushalas to find shelters for cows.

Even dogs in the city have become a nuisance. While there are various streets where hoards of them could be found, Model Town, Sarabha Nagar and Punjab Agricultural University are some favourite spots.

Talking to The Tribune about the dog menace, Shweta said, "Everybody knows that sterilisation is the only way to control number of dogs and the direction of the Supreme Court has become a shield for eco-lovers, who have not taken general population in consideration."

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Relief for jewellers
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
Jewellers heaved a sigh of relief after the news of the arrest of dreaded criminal Rajiv Raja flashed on television channels. The jewellers are feeling relieved as Raja was a constant threat for them.

Anand Sikri, president of the Ludhiana Jewellers Association, expressing happiness over the arrest of the criminal, said, "Raja's arrest is very significant development as his escape gave jitter to the jewellers. Now, the police should make sure that he should not escape from the custody again."

It is learnt that Raja started targeting the jewellers soon after escaping from police custody.

His name was figured in a robbery at a jeweller shop in Jalandhar. Further, he, along with his accomplice, stolen weapons from a gunhouse in Hoshiarpur.

Rajiv Duggal, a city-based jeweller, said, "My joy knew no bound when I read it in the news that Raja was arrested by the Haryana Police. Ever since Raja escaped from the police custody, I was living in a constant fear of being a target."

Recently, SP-D SK Kalia held a meeting with city jewellers. Kalia asked them to install CCTV cameras and siren in their showrooms. He also told them to deploy a security guard and a night watchman at their showrooms.

Cops had even distributed digital photographs of Rajiv Raja in different appearances. As the cops were busy on election duties, the jewellers had been told to upgrade the self-defence mechanism.

Rajiv Raja, arrested for the gruesome killing and robbery of city jewellers in 2005, was on the top list of dread criminals of the state.

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Officials threaten action
Farmers ridicule ban on paddy transplantation
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 7
Ignoring the ban on the transplantation of paddy before June 10, some farmers of the area have started sowing the crop in their fields in this area falling under Ludhiana and Sangrur districts.

However, the district administration has decided to initiate strict action against the violators. Besides ploughing back the transplanted saplings, officials in the agricultural department recommended action against owners of the fields today.

Investigations by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that a substantial number of farmers of villages situated in this part of Ludhiana and Sangrur district had started transplanting paddy during the past few days.

These farmers argued how they could transplant paddy after June 10 especially when there is a shortage of labourers? Even weather conditions will not be conducive to the growth of the crop.

State agriculture department officials justifying the ban said the decision had been taken on the basis of intensive research undertaken by Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, and other institutes.

Manjit Singh, Assistant Development Officer, Doraha, said announcements by various gurudwaras were regularly made in every village of the area asking farmers not to transplant paddy before June 10. Though the ban was not applicable in those areas where the underground water level has not deeply receded, say seven feet from the ground level.

Separate teams led by Pal Singh and Manjit Singh carried out inspection of fields situated in all the villages of the area. Baljit Singh (2 acre) and Amrik Singh (6 acre) of Mangewal village were made to plough fields where paddy had been transplanted.

Some farmers who had planned to start transplanting today stalled their programme after receiving reports that officials had launched a move to initiate action against the violators.

Officials maintained timely sowing of paddy would give a good yield. The educated farmers of the area know the importance of this, they added. A majority of the farmers assured the officers of not transplanting paddy before the scheduled date. 

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Jaipur man to cough up Rs 32 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
The excise and taxation department conducted raids here on Friday and detained documents for verification. Excise and taxation commissioner Tejbir Singh Sidhu said: “We came to know that a person from Jaipur has entered the state with Rs 63 lakh without getting his credentials noted at the informatics centre. 

After receiving the report, he was caught and a penalty of 50 per cent along with one per cent VAT was imposed on him. The total arrears to be paid by him to the department were around Rs 32 lakh.”

He added that the man belonged to Dwarka Gems in Jaipur. Besides, two raids at Mercury Cycle Industry and another at Shelly General Store at Ghumar Mandi were conducted where the documents were detained for enquiries and stock verification.

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Govt schools improve on previous results
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
The performance of government as well as private schools has been good in the Punjab School Education Board Class X examination this year. As top positions have been grabbed by private school students, government schools cannot be called laggards as they have their own limitations.

Government and private schools work under different set-up and use different methods of teaching.While government schools have to strictly adhere to the rules and regulations laid down by the government, private schools are comparatively under few bindings. A majority of the students in government schools are from economically weaker sections and the uneducated labour class. Contrary to this, students in private schools come from upper middle class and rich families.

A teacher of a government school said, "We admit students from the poor and migrant families.They rarely come to the school well dressed and teachers have to make them look good."

Said Kamaljit Kaur, principal, Shaheedeaazam Sukhdev Thapar Government Senior Secondary School for Girls:”Teachers of government schools have to perform various duties like maintaining fund, mid-day meals, census of below the poverty line families.”

Barjinder Kaur, principal, Government School for Girls, Jawahar Nagar camp, said a large number of girls in senior classes work as a domestic help before coming to the school, despite that our results are 100 per cent.

Sanjeev Thapar, principal, Government Senior Secondary Model School, PAU, points out that government teachers have to attend the seminars — each teacher attends a 21-day seminar in a year, whereas the private school teachers are not required to attend any such seminar.

Besides, government schools do not have the proper environment and basic infrastructure. With the introduction of Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyaan, the government schools have started getting the latest technologies like EDUSAT and Broadband Internet facilities. On the other hand, private schools have already better financial status and better environment as they have well maintained buildings. 

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Desilting
Deep digging of pond annoys villagers
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
Desilting of a pond at Baniewal village here has become a bone of contention among villagers and the panchayat department as the villagers are protesting against “excessive” digging and distribution of silt to farmers without accepting money and causing losses to the panchayat.

Villagers claimed that the digging was as deep as 7-8 feet and it could be risky for villagers, especially children, who could drown in the pond. Moreover, the silt was being disposed of in an unplanned manner, when it was the panchayat’s property and could be sold.

They also alleged that machines were used to dig the pond while the department could have used village labour under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act/Scheme (NREGA), under which the government provides wage employment to poor for at least 100 days.

Desiliting work started two-three days ago, after the department sanctioned an amount of Rs 1 lakh for it. Tractors and digging tools were used and the silt was deposited in fields.

Sant Singh, a villager, shot off a letter to the District Development and Panchayat Officer, Mahinder Singh Grewal, alleging that desilting was done in contravention of norms. He also demanded a probe into the earth, which he claimed was sold.

“I have learnt that the earth which is known to be very fertile was sold by certain people involved in the project. We will not keep quiet,” he said.

The DDPO said there was no provision for limiting depth while desilting a pond. Deep digging was recommended as it helped in recharging of ground water.

About the dug earth, he said the panchayat had the powers to spread it on a low-lying area and even in the fields. “It is the panchayat’s property and it can do anything with it,” he said, adding that he had received a complaint.

Earlier also, Sant Singh had complained against the alleged embezzlement of Rs 1 lakh by the department that was released for preparing a drain for the land. But nothing was done to bring the guilty to book. 

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Shop burnt at Burj Hari Singh Wala
Our Correspondent

Raikot, June 7
A shop was burnt down at Burj Hari Singh Wala near here over a minor altercation the last night. The shopkeeper had asked for his previous arrears from his debtor. Satbir Kumar, in his complaint to the police, has stated that there were some outstanding money towards Prem Singh of the village.

Yesterday, when Prem Singh asked the shopkeeper to give him some cigarettes on credit, Satbir Kumar asked him to pay his previous arrears. On this, Prem Singh started abusing the shopkeeper and even threatened to kill him.

He then came to his shop in the night, along with some of his accomplices, and the irritated customer tried to burn the shop of the complainant by sprinkling kerosene oil on the shop. The timely intervention of neighbour saved his shop in burning down to ashes as they collectively extinguished the fires.

Satbir Kumar, later on, lodged a complaint to the police, but the parties to the dispute were stated to reach out at a mutual compromise with the accused paying up of the damages incurred by the shopkeeper.

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DMCH doc awarded
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
Dr Manish Munjal from department of ENT at the DMCH was recently honoured with Dr Anoop Raj Award and certificate of honour at the annual national meet of the All-India Rhinology Society in Mumbai for his presentation on his varied experiences in endoscopic surgery of nose among new-borns and adults.

The Rhinology Society of India consists of super specialists with special interests in the surgery of the nose.

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Attacks on Indian students in Australia
Effigy of Oz govt burnt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
A motorcycle rally was taken out by the Hindu Sikh Jagriti Sena here today against the racial attacks on Indian students in Australia here today.

Protesting against the racial attacks on Indian students, the Sena burnt the effigies of the Australian Government. The sena called upon the people to boycott the Australian and American products. They further said the Indians should consume national drinks like lassi and lemon water, and not Pepsi and Coke.

They urged the Australian government to take severe action against the mischievous elements and put an end to the racist attacks on Indian students in Australia.

Those, who attended the rally, were Parveen Dang, president, Baljit Singh, Rakesh Sharma, Rajesh Sharma, Manohar Singh and many others.

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5 held for thefts
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 7
The police has nabbed five persons belonging to three separate gangs, involved in anti-social activities in the area for past many years. Goods worth thousands of rupees have been recovered from their possession.

Balkar Singh, a resident of Narotam Nagar locality, was nabbed by a team of cops, led by Varinder Pal Singh, SHO (city), Khanna, during a naka organised on national highway yesterday. He was trying to leave the area on motorcycle (no. PB-10-CM-3452), which had been stolen from the city on Friday.

Three motorcycles, stolen during the past months, were recovered from his possession. Unlike other gangsters, Balkar Singh used to steal vehicle alone, parked at deserted places.

Ashok Kumar, alias Soni, was booked under the Copy Rights Act, for preparing and distributing pirated CDs. As many as 1,147 pirated CDs, including 35 obscene CDs, were recovered from his possession.

A large number of expensive mobile phones, which had been snatched and stolen from various persons in the area, were recovered from Jagjit Singh , Khushwant Singh and Gaurav Kumar, who had been arrested by the police a few days ago.

The gangsters were booked under Section 382 of the IPC on the complaint of Narinder Kaur on last Monday.

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Ludhiana Hawks defeat Sher-e-Punjab
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 7
Continuing with their winning streak, Ludhiana Hawks overwhelmed Sher-e-Punjab Club 8-0 in the annual Ludhiana Hot Weather Six-a Side Hockey Tournament being organised by the District Hockey Association at the Prithipal Singh Memorial AstroTurf Stadium on Punjab Agricultural University campus here today. The winners established 3-0 lead at half time.

After five matches in the double leg league, Ludhiana Hawks maintained their lead over others in a pack of four teams. Kings XI, who defeated PAU XI 5-2, continue to follow Ludhiana Hawks at second place.

PAU XI and Sher-e-Punjab Club occupy third and fourth places from as many matches.

Today, the first match played between Ludhiana Hawks and Sher-e-Punjab Club turned out to be a mismatch as the former came out triumphant without being challenged (8-0).

Tejpal Singh and Taranjit Singh contributed two goals each, while Ajay Pal Singh Roomi, Hardeep Singh, Sachin Saroj Singh and Ram Pal chipped in with one goal apiece to complete the rout.

In the second match, thanks to a fine hat-trick by Gurdeep Singh, Kings XI defeated PAU XI 5-2.

Tej Pal Singh Bhalla and Malkit Singh scored one goal each to complete the tally, while Jagjit Singh Kila Raipur and Ravinder Kaka reduced the margin for the losers.

President of the Punjab State Ministerial Services Union, Sukhwinder Singh, was the chief guest today.

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170 take part in swimming trials
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 7
Braving the scorching heat and high temperature, around 170 aspirants attended the trials conducted by the Punjab Swimming Association (PSA) at the Municipal Corporation Swimming Pool near Rakh Bagh here today.

The trials were conducted to select Punjab swimmers (boys and girls) and waterpolo (boys) for the forthcoming Junior National Aquatic Championship, slated to be held from June 23 to 27 at Jaipur.

Young boys and girls, accompanied by their parents or guardians, turned up for the trials. Trials witnessed some keen tussles as aspirants tried to give their best and find a place in the Punjab squad for the national event.

Trials were organised in the Group I (15-17 years), in which boys and girls born in the years 1992, 93 and 94, took part and in Group II (13-14 years), aspirants attended the trials, who were born in the years 1995 and 96.

The honorary general secretary of the PSA, Balraj Sharma, who along with Apinder Singh Grewal, president of the association, coordinated the trials, told The Tribune that the aspirants competed in free style, back stroke, breast stroke, butterfly stroke, individual medley, free style relay and medley relay races during the trials.

"More than 40 boys have enrolled for the waterpolo trials, out of which 18 to 20 swimmers, will be shortlisted, who will attend a coaching cum-training camp to be held at Sangrur from June 10 to 20, prior to their participation in the upcoming championship," added Sharma.

The selection committee, constituted by the PSA, with Gurbhagat Singh Sandhu from Faridkot as its chairman, conducted the trials.

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