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40 shops go up in flames
2 hurt; goods worth crores gutted at Jain Plaza
Tribune News Service

Fire Brigade men struggle to control fire at Jain Plaza in Ludhiana on Tuesday.
Fire Brigade men struggle to control fire at Jain Plaza in Ludhiana on Tuesday. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, June 9
More than 40 shops were burnt, reducing material worth crores to ashes and injuring two persons during a fire in a four-storey building, Jain Plaza, in Talab Bazaar here today.

The injured have been identified as shop owner Surjeet Singh and fire officer Kishan Kumar.

Fire department officials revealed that more than 100 water tankers had been used and fire tenders from Jalandhar, Gobindgarh and Khanna had also been pressed into service keeping in view the gravity of situation in mind. 

They said, "Being the old city area and narrow streets, entering of the fire tenders was the toughest job. Besides, the net of low-lying power and telephone cables were hindering the movement." They added that power supply was also shutdown in wake of rescue operations. Till the filing of this report, fire officers were busy dousing flames.

The building was closed from two sides and the fire department officials were breaking shutters of shops from middle to carry on their operations as there was no place to enter the building.

Talking to The Tribune, some shopkeepers said the fire was first noticed by Surjeet Singh in his shop around 11.30 am and the place was filled with smoke.

"As soon as Surjeet saw fire, he started dousing flames with the help of hydrants and got burns in his hands and eyes. Meanwhile, we called up the fire department and the tenders arrived around 11.45 am," added a shopkeeper.

Another shop owner Jang Bahdur said, "The plaza houses shops and godowns of wholesalers, who deal with undergarments and thread. Since the material is both synthetic and cotton packed in plastic and cardboard boxes, the material caught fire easily."

He added that panic gripped only those shopkeepers who had shops in the row, while the nearby markets were still bustling with activity with people ignorant about fire.

Municipal Commissioner GS Ghuman said, "We have already prepared estimates for various materials to be bought for the fire department, including small firebrigades for the old city area. The budget needs to be passed by the Finance and Contracts Committee meeting and the vehicles will be purchased soon."

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Stamp Paper Scam
Registered revenue documents to be scanned
Exact loss to state exchequer to be calculated
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
The Special Investigation Team (SIT), constituted to look into the stamp paper scam, would scan the registered revenue documents of the residents in the district who bought stamp papers from the scam kingpin, Ravinder Pal, and evaluate the exact loss to the state exchequer.

The SIT is preparing to issue a public notice in this regard, asking the people to bring their registered documents for examination and help the state.

The public notice would be inserted in newspapers and pasted at different revenue offices in the district. The SIT would also issue a warning in the notice, asking people to report themselves, failing which they would themselves summon the residents, who bought the stamp papers from Ravinder Pal.

‘‘We have already collected the record from treasury office and are in the process of preparing lists of the residents who bought stamp papers from him. It will not take us long. If the residents fail to show up themselves, they would be summoned, ’’ said a senior police officer.

‘‘We do not want to be strict with people. We know it is not their fault. But we have to investigate the entire racket properly. Otherwise also, it is very simple for us to find out whose stamp paper is fake,’’ he said.

The police officer added that the treasury office kept a record of the stamp papers issued to a stamp vendor and the record of persons whom he sold the papers along with the stamp paper number. The matching of both datas would reveal who exactly has a revenue document registered on the fake stamp paper.

Meanwhile, the SIT is also going to take the help of a revenue officer who will help them reach to the entire nexus. ‘‘He will tell us how to find out fake stamp papers. Moreover, he would also help us in the investigation, ’’ said an officer.

The fake stamp paper scam in the district was unearthed by Major G.S. Benipal, Sub-Registrar (Central) when he came across a fake paper worth Rs 20,000. He investigated and found more such stamp papers that were a coloured xerox of original ones.

He reported the matter to Deputy Commissioner, who directed the SSP to register a case.

Stamp vendor, Ravinder Pal, and typist Jyoti were booked by the police. Both are absconding.

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Life term in murder case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 9
The court of Additional Sessions Judge G.S. Saran has convicted Bant Singh, alias Jaswant Singh (40), of Harrian village, Koom Kalan, Ludhiana, for committing the murder of Amodh Ram.

He has been sentenced to undergo rigorous life imprisonment. The court held that the prosecution had successfully proved the charges levelled against the accused. A fine of Rs 3,000 was also imposed on the convict.

A case was registered at the Machhiwara police station on April 12, 2004, on the complaint of Muktiar Singh of Takhran village.

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Four-year-old raped
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
A 32-year-old-man allegedly raped a four-year-old girl at Joshi Nagar. The man is identified as Guldeep Singh, father of a two-year-old child, who was staying in a rented apartment at Joshi Nagar street No 1.

The victim's mother, a widow, who is also living in the same house as tenant, alleged that the accused Guldeep raped her daughter while she was away for work.

Guldeep Singh committed the crime when he found the girl alone in a room on June 7.

The victim's mother alleged that her daughter tried to describe the whole incident, but the wounds were telling the whole story. "She was reeling in pain and was crying profusely," alleged the victim's mother and further said even the Haibowal police did not register her complaint.

It was only after the girl was taken to the civil hospital for medical examination today that the city police woke up from their slumber and started the investigation.

DSP Varinder Brar visited the civil hospital later in the evening and ordered immediate action in the case.

Guldeep Singh and his wife Gagan Kaur are on the run ever since the incident took place.

The police is learnt to have registered an FIR and started investigation.

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Missing girl found from Jammu 
Alleges rape by neighbour
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
A 15-year-old girl, who had gone missing under mysterious circumstances 28 days ago, was found from Jammu. She was brought home by the family members last night.

The girl, a student of Class X of government school, Civil Lines, astonished everyone when she alleged that she was kidnapped by the neighbour, who further raped her and then abandoned her in Chandigarh.

The victim’s family filed a complaint at the Division No 5 police station last night.

She alleging that Ajit Singh (40), a resident of Civil Lines, served him cold drink laced with sedative. After consuming the cold drink, she fell unconscious and Ajit Singh took her to a hotel in Chandigarh, where he raped her and later deserted her.

Narrating her tale of woes, the victim alleged that Ajit raped her several times and even threatened to kill her brother if she posed resistance or try to run from the hotel.

As Ajit could not pay the hotel bill, he fled and left the victim behind.

She alleged that in order to pay up the hotel bill, she worked in a hotel and later she, along with some other girls, managed to reach Jammu from where she called her family members, who further took her home.

The police has started the investigation. The medical examination of the girl would be conducted today.

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Corruption Charges
SAD-BJP leaders pull up Improvement Trust staff
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 9
Today will continue to haunt several senior officials and staff members of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) like a bad dream, as they were at the receiving end from the trio of Harish Rai Dhanda, SAD legislator and Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Sat Pal Gosain, Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, and Kamal Chatley, both from the BJP.

The senior leaders of the ruling alliance severely reprimanded and even hurled abuses at LIT officials in the presence of a large number of members of public in the office of the executive officer (EO) Dr Gurinder Singh Sodhi.

The EO, along with some others, was charged with corruption, causing harassment to people and withholding files pertaining to the registration of conveyance deeds, allotment, change in ownership or payment of dues of the allotted properties to force the affected persons to pay bribe.

Virtually mobbed inside the office of the EO, Dr Sodhi himself, a couple of superintendents and clerks of the sales branch of the Trust, were subjected to humiliation and public ridicule by indignant leaders of the SAD and BJP.

For nearly two hours, the three leaders demanded to be shown file after file pertaining to specific properties in different schemes of the Trust and asked the reason for keeping the files pending, or why certain other files were missing from the Trust record.

While Dhanda and Gosain served veiled threats to the officials and staff of the LIT and told them to be prepared to face serious consequences if they failed to mend their ways, Chatley, a general secretary of the district unit of the BJP and a property dealer by profession, was rather aggressively blunt and vituperative, at times, during the commotion continued in the office of the EO.

Pointing fingers at the staff and officials of LIT, he termed them a bunch of thieves and dacoits. "People are fed up with your corrupt activities. All of you are bringing a bad name to the SAD-BJP government in the state.

If you do not mend your ways and attend to public work honestly and diligently, we shall blacken your faces and drag you on the streets," Chatley warned the speechless and shocked Trust functionaries.

Deputy Director of Local Government Gurdip Singh, who had just arrived to take over the additional charge of the administrator of the Trust, was told by the SAD-BJP leaders to sit in the office for the whole day, attend to the members of public whose works were pending, get a list of all pending files prepared and fix the responsibility of the staff members who were sitting over the files.

Later talking to mediapersons, Gosain and Dhanda said they were fed up with the flood of complaints against officials and staff members of the LIT, which had become a cesspool of corruption. "No work is done in this office until one moves through a middleman and greases the palms of concerned staff of official."

When asked why they had suddenly woken up to the prevalence of corruption and grievances of the public after two and half years of coming to power, they said officials of the Trust had been repeatedly asked to put their house in order several times in the past without any effect till now. "So we have resorted to sort of direct action, which we shall not confine to LIT alone. Officials and staff members of other government departments will also have to face the music if they did not become receptive to the plight of the masses.

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India’s help needed to fight terrorism: Pak team
Tribune News Service

Machhiwara, June 9
A leader of an anti-terrorist organisation, the Green Signal, and general secretary of the PNCC Rana Sharif Ur Rehman today said Pakistan would succeed in combating terrorism only with the help of the Indian Government. He said the help extended by the Indian government could bring peace in the entire Asia region.

Rehman was interacting with president of the Bhartiya Kisan Union and chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board Ajmer Singh Lakhowal in Lakhowal village.

Members of the delegation said “Pakistan is suffering due to the terrorist attacks and our country should not be blamed for the terrorist attacks”.

He said under the Pakistan-India Farmers Exchange Programme, he had brought 20 prospective farmers from Pakistan. Indian farmers were given more benefits by the government and their situation was much better than their counterparts in Pakistan. The tour was aimed to exchange ideas among the farmers and to know more about the ways of farming and cultivation of various crops, he said.

The members said the consumption of potato was much more than its production in Pakistan and the production of kinnow was less than its production as compared to India. If the farmers of India and Pakistan would interact with each other than they could meet with their demands and production as per their requirements. The delegates assured farmers all possible help of Punjab. The delegates also visited the houses of their ancestors. 

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150 saplings planted
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, June 9
“We all know the World is going through a crucial stage of its existence.” To convey this message, students of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School displayed various items to celebrate World Environment Day here today.

JPS Jolly, managing director, stressed the need to be aware of the present scenario of the environment. He asked students to plant more trees, avoid polluting the environment and contribute in a little way to save the earth.

Skits were performed by students to convey the message that even by killing a butterfly, one had to face drastic consequences in a long run.

The entire programme concluded with the plantation of 150 saplings on the school campus.

Joseph Mathew, chairman, and Saji Jacob, principal, congratulated students on their performance.

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City loses sheen for migrants
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
There have been enough reasons for migrant workers to leave this industrial city for better fortunes. These include less wages being paid by private industries, enough opportunities back home, better working conditions in Baddi units and industry coming in good numbers at Hardwar and nearby areas.

For both skilled and unskilled workers, this city had always been a preferred destination for getting good returns, but of late, workers have started looking for better options outside the city.

Trade Union leader Ramesh Rattan told The Tribune that workers had all the reasons to leave the city. At present, a number of migrant labourers were living in pathetic conditions in colonies like Dhandari, Sherpur, Giaspura, Daba Road, Janakpuri, Mundian and Gobindgarh villages. They were not getting safe drinking water. There were no facility of sewerage in small, dingy quarters, where they lived.

“In one ‘vehra’, several rooms are constructed by landlords and in one room, six to seven workers are generally accommodated. In the times of epidemics, migrant population suffers the most. Except for big houses, who have registered their workers, others working in small-scale units are not even paid good salaries. The highly skilled labourers are paid about Rs 3,000, whereas others are not paid more than Rs 2,000,” said Rattan.

Dr Arun Mitra, a social activist, said due to lack of awareness among workers, they were being exploited by the industry. 

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PSEB staff stage dharna against unbundling
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 9
Led by activists of the circle committee of the suburban circle of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), employees staged a dharna at Ferozepur Road circle headquarters here today to protest the proposed privatisation and unbundling of the board. The call for protest was given by the Technical Services Union of the PSEB.

Trade union leaders, including circle president Naurang Singh, vice-president Hakam Singh, assistant secretary Ranjit Singh and finance secretary Bikkar Singh, alleged that after enactment of the Electricity Act 2003, successive governments had been targeting the public sector units for privatisation under the pressure from multinational corporations as also global institutions like the World Bank and the IMF.

They demanded that proposed unbundling of the PSEB for which the government had fixed the deadline of June 15 now, should be called off. 

Other demands put forth at the rally were scrapping the policy of purchasing power from other states and creating own sources of power generation through new projects, restoration of recruitment on the compassionate ground, filling of thousands of vacant posts, putting an end to outsourcing and contractual hiring for works like cash collection, bill distribution, meter reading and laying of new power cables and revision of pay scales of employees through bipartite talks.

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State of Health - II
Laddowal centre ill-equipped for delivery cases
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana/Laddowal, June 9
The appointment of safe motherhood consultants (SMCs) in government health centres under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHC) to promote "institutional deliveries" is a lost cause at the mini Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Laddowal.

In complete paradox to the 24X7 status given to the health centre, the government has failed to provide enough funds to the centre to set up a fully functional labour room.

There is just one SMC, two staff nurses, one part-time class IV employee and one lab technician for day and night working under the NRHM at Laddowal health centre. The whole staff leaves at 2 pm, but the SMC has to stay back on days when there is a delivery case and handle everything on her own.

So much so that there is no peon or even a watchman if the SMC has to come and handle a delivery case during odd hours.

The primary health centre is catering to 24 villages and has a pregnancy registration rate of 20-22 every month, but missing infrastructure adds to the reluctance of the people to come to the health centre for childbirth.

Stated Sherminder, a village elder, "The status of 24X7 is the most welcome step, as people in adjoining villages are poor and can't afford to go to private doctors in Ludhiana or the satellite towns. They, thus, end up availing the services of unqualified midwives in villages. But to make available best services to the rural populace, it is must to upgrade it the in the real sense of the word," the resident went on to add.

To add to the problems, there is no spotlight in the labour room and even the oxygen cylinders have not been provided, which can jeopardise the lives during emergency situations.

Missing ambulance at the health centre further gives an insight into the impractical approach and lack of coordination between the NRHM and state government.

Shocking though but it is true that the doctors and staff employed under the NRHM at this PHC did not have a room for almost five months and they were running their OPD under a tree.

It was only last month that two rooms were constructed in the PHC, which still have a "kutcha" floor.

The staff in order to maintain the decorum of the health centre has covered the dusty floor with a rug as a doctor said, "It is unethical to examine the patients in unhygienic conditions and the room filled with dust will aggravate the problem of a person coming for treatment of some sort of allergy."

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Skyrocketing Labour Charges
Farmers set to work on their own
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
Farmers, who had become dependent on labour from other states for agriculture during the last two decades, are all set to work with their own hands due to a fivefold rise in labour charges.

Ahead of paddy saplings transplantation, most of the farmers are feeling that they would have to get down to work this time.

Earlier they used to sign up labourers a fortnight in advance. This time not many have arrived and those who have want a “princely sum.”

From Rs 500 for the transplantation of paddy in an acre in 2007 to a whopping Rs 2,500 this year, the labour charges have spiraled five times in two years due to shortage of labour.

Last year the labour had demanded Rs 1,500 for the work and the farmers had hesitantly agreed owing to manpower shortage. This time they feel if they would succumb to the labourers demand, the input cost would increase manifold.

“But this time they have crossed all limits. What would we do? There seems to be no solution,” said Sant Singh, a farmer of Baniewal village in Ludhiana.

He said there were difficult times ahead as they would have to shell out Rs 25,000 for 10 acres of land. “Look at the cost. It is skyrocketing. We cannot do anything but thinking of getting down to the work ourselves. Three persons can transplant paddy in an acre in a single day,” said Gurcharan Singh of the village.

Better amenities and employment facilities in Bihar is holding the migrants back, who used to reach the state in hordes during every paddy season. Their availability had made the farmers take over supervisory job only while the labourers used to work manually for them.

“It has become difficult for us to even think about working in scorching heat. I took over the reigns of my agriculture business when the labour was plenty. Things have changed now. I am planning to diversify now,” said Tejbir Singh Sandhu, a farmer.

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Election Duty
MC owes transporters Rs 22 lakh
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
A month after elections, private transporters, whose buses were used to ferry poll staff on the election day, have not been paid by the district administration that owes them nearly Rs 22 lakh.

As many as 300 buses and 250 mini buses were hired by the administration for two days on May 12 and 13. While the poll staff was remunerated the same day, the transporters are still awaiting for their due.

The big buses were hired at the rate of Rs 7,500 and the mini buses were pressed into service for Rs 5,000 for two days. The transporters are waiting to be remunerated but to no avail.

They have given several representations to Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg asking for their due that was already overdelayed. Today, they shot off letters to the Chief Election Commissioner of India complaining against the administration.

‘‘We have learnt that the Election Commission had directed the administration to pay remuneration on the day of discharging the duty. The commission directed that nobody should be made to wait for any sort of payment related to elections. But look at the way we are being harassed, ’’ said J.S. Grewal, an office-bearers of the private bus operators union.

He said they were not able to know what was the reason behind the delay. ‘‘The election staff was paid in front of us on that very day. We were, however, asked to wait. We understood that we had to submit the bills before claiming the money. We did not raise any hue and cry. But now it is too late,’’ he added.

This time buses were used to ferry election staff to different polling stations on the eve of polling day and then back from stations on election day. Earlier, the employees were taken in trucks only. The Election Commission had then directed that trucks should be made to carry on polling material and buses for polling and security staff. 

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Development Projects
Tewari seeks status report
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
Within less than a month after getting elected to Parliament, Manish Tewari has sought status reports of various projects sponsored by the Government of India for the city and the district from time to time from the Deputy Commissioner and the Commissioner, Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.

Tewari pointed out that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government between 2004-2009 has sanctioned and disbursed substantive sums of money to various state governments, including Punjab and Ludhiana, for the implementation of its flagship progarammes, including the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP), Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), National Horticulture Mission (NHM), National Rural Health Mission, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY), Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (APDRP), Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and the Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDM).

Similarly, Central funds were also made available to state governments for various other allied programmes.

He asked as to how much funds under which scheme had Ludhiana district received over the past five years and how much had been physically spent on various developmental activities connected with these programmes.

He has sought year-wise charts, elucidating the funds received, head wise, and the details of their spending. He also sought a detailed report on the projects pending with the Central Government for approval/disbursal of financial assistance.

He said this would enable him to have a holistic view of the central contribution to the development of the Ludhiana District/Parliamentary Constituency as also help him to effectively discharge his responsibility as a Member of Parliament.

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PAU Notes
Faculty members visit Moscow varsity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
As a step towards strengthening the activities defined under the MoU already signed between Moscow State University of Environment Engineering (MSUEE) and the PAU, a group of three faculty members Dr PS Minhas, director of research, Dr MP Kaushal, head, department of soil water and engineering and Dr CS Pannu, research engineer, visited the MSUEE, Moscow, during May 17 to May 28.

Dr Minhas, group leader, said the mission of this visit was to develop scientific programme for promoting technical cooperation between the two universities.

During the visit, the group held discussions with scientists of departments of land reclamation, integrated water resources management, agricultural water supply and waste water treatment, machinery for land reclamation and construction, hydro technical constructions, hydrology, geo-hydrology and centre of geo and hydro informatics, said Dr Minhas.

He said based on these discussions, it was emerged that a PAU-MSUEE Consortium may be established on “Natural Resource Management and Environment Protection” that would cater to the activities of both the universities.

He said as per already signed pact, human resource development and capacity building were integral components of the collaboration.

He further added that short-term and long-term goals of the consortium would be two-fold with a focus to develop a network of PAU-MSUEE scientists for collaborative research programmes under the identified areas. 

The areas being considered for this include: mechanised land reclamation technologies with special reference to salinity and water logging control, enhancing resource and input use efficiency for improving environmental quality, including the use of modern irrigation systems, use of simulation models in water resource-agricultural-eco-system management.

There was also a proposal to develop MS and Ph D Sandwich Degree Programme where the students would specialise in the Natural Resource Management and Environmental Protection, said Dr Minhas.

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Canada student plays good Samaritan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
Rising to the cause of sponsoring the treatment of Rakesh Kumar, a victim of chronic renal failure, a Canada-based student Guninder Singh Gill paid his medical expenses incurred in the last four months.

Following the appeal carried in Ludhiana Tribune in February this year, Guninder, who is living in Surrey (BC), Canada, came forward to help Rakesh Kumar, who is the sole bread earner of his family. The student did his best to help the family in distress by sending money till now but owing to his student status, he is unable to extend further help to the patient.

Despite having undergone kidney transplant in the PGI in December, 2008, Rakesh is still undergoing treatment but is unable to bear the expenses which amounted to Rs 10,000 per month. The family is desperate as the members, in spite of their best efforts, have failed to garner financial support.

People who are keen to lend a helping hand are requested to get in touch on the mobile number 094636-68627 . The contributions can also be sent to account number 30675119540 at State Bank of India , Tagore Nagar, Ludhiana.

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Students excel in BCA, BCom exams
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 9
Students of Swami Ganga Giri Janta Girls College, Raikot, have excelled in BCA examinations conducted by Punjab University in April 2009. The pass percentage of the college in BCA I was 87 per cent, while the pass percentage of BCA II and BCA III was 100 per cent.

In BCA I, Ragini Jain bagged the first position with 75.1 per cent marks, while Sonia Singla with 74.7 per cent marks and Ramandeep Kaur with 74.5 per cent marks bagged the second and the third positions, respectively.

In BCA II, Ritu Rani with 73.8 per cent marks clinched the first position, while Manbir Kaur with 71.7 per cent marks and Soneet Rani with 71.4 per cent marks secured the second and the third positions, respectively.

In BCA III, Jaspreet Kaur with 80.2 per cent marks secured the first position, while Nitika Sacher with 78.3 per cent marks and Sandeep Kaur with 76.5 per cent marks secured the second and the third positions, respectively.

Dr Savita Uppal, principal, and managing committee of the college congratulated the staff and students for this achievement.

Students of KCW, Sidhwan Khurd, also secured excellent results in BCA and BCom examinations held in April 2009. 

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Yogurt food festival organised
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
A Yogurt food festival was organised at Ivanna Institute of Hotel Management here today. It highlighted on the use of yogurt in the making of beverages, appetisers, snacks, salads and main course food items.

Stalls were put up in which various food items prepared by students of BSc and MSc hotel management catering technology and tourism, PTU were displayed.

The food items prepared from yogurt were beverages like alley and smoothies, salads, including greek salad, witch craft salad, potato scoops and grenadine salad, raw mango and roasted capsicum salad, belgian coleslaw and macaroni peanuts in curd cocktail.

In the appetiser mishti doi, shrikhand, aamrakhand and dahi ka kabab were prepared.

The main course included burrani-e-nawab, assorted raita, daur-e-tafreeh, dahi ka parantha and Punjabi karih.

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Ghuman visits Barewal sites
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
Municipal Commissioner G.S. Ghuman today visited two sites at Barewal belonging to the MC here today.

According to information, the MC has around 14 properties with it that could be mortgaged to get loans and out of these two were looked after by the commissioner. 

These properties are worth Rs 30 crore and are situated at Barewal. The MC has been already running short of funds and still has to make payments to many contractors. Besides, the Rs 40 crore loan given by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal under the name of Sangat Darshan too turned out to be an added burden for the civic body.

The MC has been asked to give one property each to the PUDA and PSIDB in lieu of Rs 20 crore contributed by the departments in total amount of Rs 40 crore. 

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Singer's wife alleges assault
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
The wife of Punjabi singer Ravinder Grewal has alleged assault by her husband and brother-in-law.

Kulwinder Kaur alleged that she has two daughters from Ravinder Grewal, and that was the reason behind the inhuman treatment being meted out to her.

She alleged that her in-laws had always criticised her for giving birth to girlchild.

She alleged that now her in-laws were not letting her enter house.

She is demanding police action in the matter.

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Tehsildar's car stoned by lawyer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
A few days after Tehsildars protested against misbehaviour by a councillor, the Sub-Registrar (E) today alleged an advocate, accompanied by his friends, stoned his car when he refused to oblige his brother for doing his work while jumping the queue.

Naib Tehsildar-cum-Sub Registrar (E) Jagsir Singh alleged that he had refused to favour an advocate's brother out of the turn. This angered the advocate's brother.

When they were indulging in hooliganism, Jagsir Singh escaped from his office in his friend's car. His car remained parked in the parking lot. When Jagsir asked his friend to bring it back, the advocate and his accomplices threw stones at it thinking Jagsir 
would be inside.

‘‘They misbehaved with me in my office. I kept my patience and told them that their work would be done but right and legal procedure would be followed. This angered them taking the rule of the land in their hands,’’ said Jagsir.

Following the incident, Naibs and Tehsildars of the district held a meeting to discuss the issue. They criticised the attack and said the lawyers who were helpful in getting justice delivered behaved in such a way today.

The revenue officials also met the Deputy Commissioner and complained against the attack on him.

‘‘This is the height. After all we are doing the government's duty. We are always facing the wrath of people from different walks of life. We will not take it lying down,’’ said Tehsildar Kanwar Narinder Singh.

They demanded a case against the lawyer and said they would protest if their demands would not be met.

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Newly wed dies mysteriously
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
A newly married woman died in mysterious circumstances in Islamgunj last evening. The deceased has been identified as Bholi Kaur (25), who was married to Goldy, 16-months-ago.

Amrik Singh, brother of the deceased, alleged that soon after the wedding, the husband and his family started demanding dowry, failing which they used to torture the deceased.

Amrik Singh further alleged that on June 5, Goldy and his family thrashed his sister due to which she succumbed to injuries.

On the other hand, relatives of the accused claimed that the Bholi Kaur died due to appendix attack.

Meanwhile, the police has booked Goldy, Pappu, Bhajan Kaur, Shanty and Mani in a dowry death case.

According to the police, the exact cause of the death will be known after receiving the viscera report.

All accused are on the run.

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Ludhiana well-placed against Bathinda
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 9
Hosts, Ludhiana (151 for 3) were well-placed against Bathinda (196) on the first day of the second match in the ongoing Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament for the Katoch Shield being organised by the Punjab Cricket Association on the Punjab Agricultural University campus ground here today.

Bathinda won the toss and elected to bat. They were out for 196 runs in 52.2 overs.

The highlight of their innings were two fruitful partnerships, first of 61 runs between 
Haqiqat and Anil Kumar for the second wicket, then for the fifth wicket between Manil Bajaj and Mandeep Singh (54 runs).

Haqiqat faced 48 balls and made 47 runs with the help of 10 boundaries while Manil Bajaj scored 38 runs. Karan Kumar chipped in with 21 runs and Mandeep Singh contributed 20 runs. Other notable contributors were Ranjit Singh and Anil Kumar who made 19 and 12 runs, respectively.

For Ludhiana, skipper Ankur Kakkar was the pick of bowlers who sent down 17.3 overs out of which two were maiden and grabbed six wickets after conceding 40 runs. Gagandeep Dhand scalped two victims for 40 runs while Deepak Bansal and Varun Verma captured one wicket each for 33 and 29 runs.

Ludhiana began their reply on a sound note, making 151 for the loss of three wickets after 42 runs. At the draw of stums, Karan Goel (67 n.o) and Gaurav Marwaha (29 n.o) were at the crease. Varun Chitkara made 16 while Geetansh Khera was out for 36 runs.

The three wickets that fell were taken by Ranjit Singh (1 for 50), Sandeep (1 for 14) and Karan Kumar (1 for 31).

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Baseball trials from June 13
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 9
The Punjab Baseball Association will conduct trials to select the state teams (senior boys and girls and sub-junior girls and boys) at Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujarkhan Campus, Model Town, here.

Harish Kumar, general secretary of the association, said trials for senior and sub-junior girls would be held on June 13 at 9 am, while for the senior men and junior boys trails would be held on June 13 from 9 am onwards.

The selected players will represent the state in the Seventh Federation Cup Baseball Championship for senior men and women to be held at Cuttack from July 12 to 14 and the 19th Sub-Junior National Baseball Championship for boys and girls to be held from July 2 to 6 at Solan, HP.

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