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Tehsildar Assault Case
Police remand for Akali councillor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
Akali councillor Kamaljit Karwal, accused of stripping and launching a murderous attack on a Sub-registrar (Central), Tehsildar Major G.S. Benipal, was remanded to the police custody till June 27, along with another co-accused Ravi Sharma alias Neetu.

Karwal and Neetu were produced in the court of Duty Magistrate J.P.S. Wehnipal here today. He was produced amid heavy police security and Akali leaders.

Accepting the police plea of remand of Karwal and Neetu, Duty Magistrate Wehnipal directed the police to call a doctor to the police station, if Karwal complained of any ailment, instead of taking him to the Civil Hospital.

Interestingly, the defence counsel pleaded to the Duty Magistrate that Karwal was “overcharged” with an attempt to murder due to political vendetta.

Further, the defence counsel claimed that his client was not present at the spot when the incident took place.

While seeking police remand for both accused, the public prosecutor said another SAD councillor and Youth Akali leader Simarjit Singh Bains and other accused persons had deliberately launched a murderous attack on Major Benipal.

But they left him when they thought that he succumbed to his injuries, said the prosecutor, adding that Karwal even fired at the tehsildar which showed that his intention was to kill him. He alleged that Karwal and his accomplices also took away Benipal's licensed revolver along with six cartridges, a cash of Rs 10,000 and a gold chain.

Replying to the arguments of the public prosecutor, Karwal's defence counsel Sidhu said the theory of Karwal firing at Major Benipal was “made up”. He said there was no mention of firing on the tehsildar in the FIR and even the police did not find any bullet shells from the spot.

The defence lawyer said that Karwal did not have any weapon with him. About the theft of Benipal's cash and gold, the defence counsel said that Karwal hailed from a rich background and also had a good source of income. He did not need to resort to petty acts of snatching.

A number of SAD leaders, including SGPC member Balwinder Singh Bains, Jagbir Singh Sokhi, Narinder Singh Malhi, Parminder Singh Soma were present in the court.

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KPS Gill visits Benipal

Ludhiana: Former Punjab DGP and IHF chairman KPS Gill has expressed resentment over the alleged assault on tehsildar Maj G.S. Benipal in Ludhiana on Friday. Gill was in the city today to enquire about Benipal's health, who is admitted to DMC Hospital following grievous injuries sustained in the incident.

He remarked that had the police acted swiftly, the incident could have been averted. He further said the police and administration should not succumb to unnecessary pressure from politicians, whether in power or not.

Recalling one such incident that had taken place during his tenure as Punjab DGP, Gill said, "During the Congress regime in the state, one MLA had slapped a cop. I had sought strict action against the erring MLA for it. I think the police should deal strictly in such matters."

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Students likely to face hardship
Proposed strike by govt staff today
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
Students are likely to face hardship tomorrow if government officials strike work to protest against the attack on Tehsildar Major G.S. Benipal. The students, who are seeking admission to various colleges, universities and professional colleges, are already making rounds of offices to get domicile certificate and caste certificates.

If government offices remain closed tomorrow, students would not know where to go. Last dates for admissions to various courses are approaching and they have to provide these certificates for admission.

‘‘These certificates are attested by area councillors and are issued by patwari and tehsildar concerned. With the revenue officials staying away from work, what would these students do?’’ asked Parminder Mehta, a Congress councillor.

He went on to add that that he already knew a number of students from his ward, who were waiting since Friday to get their work done.

He said he was writing to Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg to find out a solution for the students. Otherwise they would be made to suffer.

A number of students have also urged upon the authorities to satisfy the agitating government officials and employees so that they call off the stir.

They said they had sympathy with the Tehsildar, who was assaulted. Justice should be meted out to him as soon as possible. But public works should not be made to suffer.

Many government officials and employees have extended their support to agitating tehsildars, who will go on strike from tomorrow to press for action against culprits in the Tehsildar assault case.

Chief Patron of Revenue Officials Association K.S. Randhawa said they would not return to work till the police arrests all accused, including SAD councillor and Youth Akali leader, Simarjit Singh Bains.

He said the officials and employees were not satisfied with the action of the police that had arrested councillor Kamaljit Singh Karwal and spared Bains. Randhawa said the PCS Executives Association had also extended their full support to them and would not function till justice was meted out to Benipal.

Besides, members of Panchayati Raj Union, Block Development and Panchayat Officers Union, PAU Workers Union, Motor Workshop Workers Union, CMC and DMC Employees Union, Waseeka Nawees Union and Ex-servicemen Union had extended their support agitating tehsildars.

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BSNL data card users rue  non-delivery of bills
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
Data card users of BSNL are a harried lot as the local BSNL authorities are not delivering the bills of the former at their addresses.When the subscribers fail to pay their bills on time, they face Internet disconnection without any intimation. Then starts a painful journey from exchange to exchange for getting back the Internet connection even after paying the bill.

Bhupinder Singh, a subscriber, rues:”The authorities fail to provide him the bill at his address, resulting in disconnection of the facility for no fault of mine. Repeated requests to the authorities to deliver the bill at my address have been of no use."

The problem does not end here.Even after depositing the bill the subscribers have to make rounds of the offices to get the connection working.

Though BSNL has started the Internet facility, the staff is still not well conversant to solve the problems of customers. The staff must be acquainted with operating knowledge of the system, he added. Another subscriber said he never got the bills for his data cards at his home. "After every few months the facility is disconnected for no fault of mine.”

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Power Cuts
Industry up in arms
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 21
Hit hard by global meltdown and recessionary trends, industrial units here have decided not to take lying low the drastic power cuts and other restrictions imposed on power supply like compulsory weekly offs and peak load hours.

While the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association (UCPMA) has announced to observe a mass chain fast from 10 am to 5 pm tomorrow in front of the office of the association on the Gill Road, other industrial bodies, including the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) and the Jammu Colony Small Industries Association, have also made scathing attacks on the government as well as the Punjab State Electricity Board for pushing the small and tiny sector of industry towards deep crisis by denial of regular power supply.

UCPMA secretary Varinder Kapoor said the industry was already reeling under grave recession, which had threatened the very survival of small-scale industrial units. As a result of acute power shortage, the industrial production had virtually ground to a halt and the industrial houses were not in a position to fulfill their commitments for supplies both in the domestic and international market.

He said the association had decided to stage a token hunger strike on Monday (June 22) and if things did not improve within next week, the suffering members of industry would be forced to resort to fast until death as even otherwise, the industry was facing tough time and utter collapse in the prevailing situation of power supply.

Echoing similar views, DS Chawla, president of Jammu Colony Small Industries Association, said that the PSEB and the state government appeared to be pursuing a policy of pushing the industry towards closure by denying the required power supply.

He said a meeting of the association, convened on Saturday, had resolved to hold protest dharnas and demonstrations against erratic power supply and drastic power cuts, followed by some members of the body offering themselves for self-immolation if the government failed to mitigate the suffering of the small and tiny industrial units.

CICU general secretary Avtar Singh charged the government with a rural bias, which had led to free power supply to the agricultural sector at the cost of trade and industry. He said the farmers, getting free power supply for tubewells, were reported to be taking undue advantage by putting unauthorised load, whereas the trade and industry in urban areas was made to suffer by way of power cuts of long durations and other restrictions on power supply.

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3 booked for seeking dowry
Our Correspondent

Raikot, June 21
The Raikot police yesterday booked a man, including his parents, for seeking dowry from his wife. In a complaint to SSP Jagraon, Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, the complainant Kulwinder Kaur of Burj Naklian stated that her husband and in-laws were demanding more dowry.

SHO Raikot Gurdial Singh said she had given an application against her husband Tapinder Singh, his father Harbhajan Singh and his mother Amarjit Kaur of Sikanderpura village near Malerkotla on November 16, 2008. She stated that she was married in 29-1-2001. After the marriage, her husband went to Hong Kong and after some time, she too went there.

In 2008, they developed some differences and she returned to her in-laws’ house. However, her parents-in-law refused her to enter the house unless she paid them $ 50,000.

After coming back, she found the Maruti Zen car given by her father to her in the marriage had been sold by her parents-in-law. An inquiry was conducted by the SHO Raikot Gurdial Singh, who found the allegations to be correct. After consultation with DA (Legal), SSP Jagraon Gurpreet Singh Bhullar ordered a case to be registered against the accused under Sections 406, 498-A, 120-B of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far.

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Woman strangled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
A woman, who left home for shopping last evening, found dead at Basti Jodhewal here today. The deceased has been identified as Geeta Rani (29), wife of Rajesh Kumar, resident of Bareilly, Utter Pradesh.

According to Gurpreet Singh, SHO, Jodhewal, the deceased was strangulated to death by a piece of cloth. However, Rajesh Kumar maintained that his wife left home last evening and did not return. Meanwhile, the police has started the investigation and sent the body of postmortem.

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Rise in pulse prices upsets household budget
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
The recent hike in the prices of pulses has disturbed the monthly budget of homemakers all over the state. The budget of each household has gone haywire with an increase in the prices of all major lentils from Rs 5 to Rs 10.

The Dal Dealers’ Associations said the hike was due to several reasons. And, Punjab was paying highest tax, to the tune of 4 per cent, while getting pulses from main markets in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, etc.

Talking to The Tribune, Pritpal Singh, general secretary, Ludhiana Dal Dealers’ Association, said 60 to 70 per cent of pulses were being imported from other countries.

The country just produced around 30 per cent pulses, which were not sufficient to cater to the needs of the nation.

He said corporate houses like Reliance, Easy Day, etc. lifted and stocked these in bulk, leaving small traders with no option.

“The rate of dollar has also surged. We have to pay more to get the stocks now. The prices has increased more in Punjab than in other states,” Pritpal Singh added.

Anup Jindal, president, Dal Dealers’ Association, Amritsar, said Punjab was paying 4 per cent tax for lentils, which was much higher than other states.

While Delhi and Maharashtra paid no taxes, Rajasthan and Bihar paid just 1 per cent tax each.

“Wrong policies of the government are responsible for the current situation. We are helpless,” added Jindal.

Prabha Bhatia, a resident of Civil Lines, said the increase in prices of pulses had disturbed her monthly budget.

She said such commodities were integral to every household.

“We can still plan our budget accordingly but look at the plight of the poor, who depend on dals for both their meals,” said Prabha.

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Fruits, veggies soar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
Following a rise in the temperature and short supply, vegetables and fruits have become costlier. There has been an increase of 25 per cent to 75 per cent in some vegetables like peas and cauliflower.

The price of peas is Rs 70 per kg which was sold for Rs 45 per kg last week. Similarly, cauliflower is being sold at Rs 45 per kg. These two vegetables come from Himachal Pradesh during summer season. The supply of these two vegetables remains short. Tomato has also witnessed a steep hike of almost 100 per cent as the same is being sold for Rs 25 per kg against Rs 12-15 per kg last week.

However, the prices of onion and potato have come down to Rs 12 per kg. Lemon and capsicum have also witnessed a hike and are being sold at Rs 70-80 per kg and Rs 30 per kg. Cucumber is being sold for Rs 20 per kg and desi cucumber Rs 10 per kg. Ladyfinger, tori and tinda are being sold at Rs 20-25 per kg.

Fruit prices have also risen. Mango (safeda) has touched Rs 50 per kg while dasehri is being sold for Rs 35 to 40 per kg. Litchi is quite costly and is sold for Rs 70 per kg.

Domestic budget of aam aadmi is getting disturbed with the rise in prices of vegetables and other essential commodities of daily use. Housewives feel the pinch. Not only the vegetables even the prices of pulses have risen by 17 to 25 per cent.

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Folk musicians enthral at ‘Punjabi Blast’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
Keeping alive the essence of Punjabiyat and Punjabi folk music, a galaxy of stars, including leading singers, dancers and comedians, performed at Punjabi Blast organised in Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan last evening.

The programme was organised by PTC Punjabi in collaboration with Godrej Company, which will be telecast on the PTC Punjabi channel on June 28 at 9 pm.

The roaring crowd at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan was in for a treat as Pammi Bai anchored the show.

Popularly referred to as “dancing singer”, Pammi Bai has left no stone unturned to promote the rich art forms, including Jhoomar and Malwai Gidha, as is evident from the excerpts of his video albums.

Sabar Koti, Kaler Kanth, Sunita Bhatti, Romy Ranjan and Gurpreet were a true reflection of the Punjabi traditional folk. Malkiat Malanga and Kamaljit Patanga added lighter moments to the show with their comic interludes.

The evening had a lavish set, coupled with special effects, lighting and acoustics to create a breathtaking audio and visual impact.

It also gave an insight into improving technology being used to bring Punjabi music industry on a par with other music industries in India and the world.

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Anil Sharma heads rights panel
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 21
Anil Sharma, president of the district unit of the All-India Human Rights Association (AIHRA), will continue to head the unit for 2009-10 as well while the district executive was reconstituted at a meeting held here today.

HS Tanwar, national secretary general, who was the chief guest at the meeting, stressed that human right activists ought to join forces so as to strengthen the mass movement which will not only serve as a deterrent to oppressive regimes, evasive government departments but also ensure delivery of better services and amenities to the people.

Among office-bearers of the new district body are Pradeep Gupta — patron; Himanshu Gupta — secretary; Puranmal Runthala — adviser; Ankur Ghai — legal adviser; Anil Arora, RK Jain — joint secretaries; Harsh Vekariya, Vishal Arora, Narayan Das Rathi, Shyam Sunder Sharma — organising secretaries; Deepak Runthala, Anand Rathi —- office secretaries; Reena Bhatia, Jugal Sharma — press secretaries; Anil Sehgal, Kamal Dadhich — reporting officers; Deepak Srivastava, Lalit Ahuja — publicity officers.

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GHG college given A grade by NAAC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
GHG Khalsa College of Education, Gurusar Sadhar, was has been accredited with Grade 'A' by a team of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore.

The NAAC team, comprising of Prof Riaz Khan, Prof SP Malhotra and Dr Somashekhra Murthy, assessed and accredited the grade to the college on February 13 and 14, 2009.

The accreditation process involves institutional eligibility for quality assessment (IEQA) by the institution, followed by submission of a self study report (SSR).

Submission of SSR was followed by the the team’s visit and assessment of the various aspects of the institution.

The NAAC released the grade on June 15.

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Garbage heaps dot Sahnewal
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, June 21
Sahnewal town seems to be heading towards an epidemic outbreak. Thanks to the callous attitude of the Nagar Council of Sahnewal as well as the failure of sweepers or any sanitary official to visit their respective areas, residents have to put up with filth, squalor and heaps of garbage all around.
Accumulated water in a nullah of Sahnewal.
Accumulated water in a nullah of Sahnewal. Photo: Lovleen Bains

The authorities, sadly, have turned a blind eye to unhygienic conditions prevailing all over.

The sewer water not only floods streets, but also enters nearby houses, making the situation all the more deplorable. The choked drainage system makes things miserable for area residents.

The residents are passing through tough times as the poor sanitary conditions in which they are forced to live are exposing them to water-borne and infectious diseases like diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, jaundice and typhoid.

Rues a resident of New Colony under ward number 6:“This is not the first time that we are facing sanitary problems. It has been over the years that the situation has got out of control and now we are unable to exist in such lousy conditions. The stench of the sewer water is unbearable.”

The residents complain, “The nagar council has been informed about the situation in this colony, but not even a single employee has bothered to visit the spot once, leave aside taking remedial measures.” The sorry state of affairs is revealed from the fact that huge heaps of garbage waste remain collected in the corners of streets, but no cleanliness drive has ever been launched in the town.

The sweepers easily overlook the ever-growing heaps of garbage and filth.The locals complain,”We are utterly deprived of the facilities so essential for our very sustenance.” 

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‘Joint efforts can check assault cases’ 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 21
A coordinated effort by parents, teachers and pharmacological management can check incidents of assault like one on Major Gurinder Singh Benipal, sub-registrar.

Social scientists and psychiatrists of the area opined that the recent spurt in incidents of organised assaults was due to alleged exploitation of students suffering from antisocial personality disorder and hyper-thermal temperament.

Dr Anshu Gupta, a psychiatrist, said most of the suspects in organised assaults reported from the area, were mostly students. Studies showed that they were known for their proximity to leaders having say in the government. Certain wine contractors and drug-peddlers also used these youths for shifting illegal consignments from place to place.

Referring to observations made during the past few years, Dr Gupta said:“Though all the students do not allow politicians and illicit traders take a ride, those with hyper-thermal temperament and antisocial personality disorder fall prey to their sinister designs easily. Frustration, stress and sitting idle post-examination are some of major factors for aggravating them and playing at the tunes of their ‘masters’.

Relaxation therapy and stress management, besides pharmacological treatment, were cited as remedies.

Maintaining that coordinated efforts by parents and teachers would help check the tendency, Dr Punit Hind said youths should be kept busy in constructive projects during vacation.

He said the parents should ensure their wards do not depend on political leaders for getting their works, including admissions and migrations, done.

“Once they come close to political leaders on the pretext of getting their works done, they are prone to be exploited by them. Instead, the parents should maintain a rapport with college authorities of their wards so that they do not fall prey to antisocial elements,” argued Dr Punit. 

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PAU entrance tests results today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
The results of the entrance tests for admissions to B.Sc. Agriculture (Hons), BSc (Biotechnology), B.Tech (Food Technology), four-year programmes and five-year integrated M.Sc. programmes conducted by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on June 19 will be available on the university website (www.pau.edu) tomorrow.

This was stated by PAU controller of examination Dr V.K. Dilawari.

Dr Dilawari said an overwhelming response was received for 90, 50, 30 and 60 seats for admission to B.Sc. agriculture (hons), BSc (Biotechnology), B.Tech (Food Technology), four-year programmes and five-year integrated M.Sc programmes, respectively.

A total of 1,474 candidates applied out of which 1,202 candidates took the test. This year nearly 50 per cent of thye girls took the test in agriculture that was traditionally considered to be the domain for boys, said Dr Dilawari. 

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Promotion should be on seniority basis: SBI staff
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 21
The Indian National Bank Employees Congress (INBEC), the National Federation of Bank Employees Trade Unions and the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) have voiced a demand that promotion of employees of the State Bank of India (SBI) from the clerical cadre to the officer cadre scale-I should be given solely on the basis of seniority without any written test or interview and at the same time the condition for upper age limit of 55 years should also be withdrawn.

In a memorandum submitted by functionaries of the INBEC, the NBFE and INTUC to the chairman and managing director of the SBI, copies of which have also been sent to the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and the Labour Minister, it has been pointed out that the SBI has been wasting crores of rupees on conducting written tests and interviews for promotion from the clerical to officer cadre unlike many other nationalised banks where clerks were granted promotions on the seniority basis alone.

The trade union leaders alleged that the vested interests in the SBI management were standing in the way of fair and transparent policy of promotion. "As a result of pick-and-choose policy and nepotism prevailing in the matter of promotions, a large number of deserving employees are denied promotion while many others, having godfathers among the senior management get out of turn promotions.

They further maintained that the upper age limit of 55 years fixed for the promotion from clerical to officer cadre was arbitrary, unjustified and irrational which ought to be scrapped altogether.

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Bank employees protest ‘pro-corporate’ policies of Govt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
The 16th Conference of Allahabad Bank Employees' Union (north zone) was held at Rotary Club, Ludhiana. The conference resolved to struggle against the anti-bank employees and pro-market and pro-corporate sector policies of Govt. of India.

The conference expressed full support to the one day strike of State Bank of Indore employees against the merger in State Bank of India.

It also opposed the banking and financial sector reforms introduced at the dictation of World Bank and IMF. The conference demanded from the Govt. that they should take a lesson from the collapse of privately owned American Insurance Group and Investment Bank Lehman Brothers. It also opposed unrestricted foreign direct investment in private banks.

The conference adopted resolution against mergers and acquisition of public sector banks - demanded early settlement on wage revision - one more option to employees for existing pension scheme - compassionate appointments in case of death of an employees - against economic and labour policies of Govt. of India. The conference demanded more recruitment and filling up all vacancies in banks. It called upon the bank men to defeat privatisation of banks - to defend public sector banking - to defeat mergerger of banks - to defeat attacks of jobs and job security - to stop outsourcing and more recruitment.

The conference was presided over by Sudesh Kumar and was inaugurated by Gour Das, General Secretary, All India Allahabad Bank Employees Coordination and was addressed by N. K. Gaur, General Secretary and P. R. Mehta, President of Punjab Bank Employees Federation.

The conference unanimously adopted report and resolutions presented by V. K. Sood, General Secretary, A.B.E.U. (NZ).

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Market committee chief honoured
Our Correspondent

Amloh, June 21
To welcome the decision of the Punjab government to nominate Randhir Singh Bhambri and Jathedar Hardyal Singh Naraingarh as chairman and vice-chairman of the Amloh Market Committee, respectively, a function was organised by Sukhmani Society at Gurdwara Singh Sabha here today.

Among others, SAD city chief Darshan Singh Cheema, SGPC member Ravinder Singh Khalsa, Sukhmani Society president Bibi Kirpal Kaur, District Grievances Committee member Captain Jaswant Singh Bajwa and Noorpura sarpanch Sukhpal Singh spoke on the occasion. Bhambri and Naraingarh were honoured with a siropa. They assured the gathering to work honestly.

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Indian Menopause Society set up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
The Ludhiana chapter of the Indian Menopause Society (IMS) was inaugurated here yesterday with Dr Iqbal Singh Ahuja of as its founder secretary general and Dr MS Chawla as joint secretary.

Dr Duru Shah, chairperson of the Indian College of Obstetrics and Gyanaecologists, who was the chief guest, said there was an urgent need to create awareness about the menopause. She said most women suffered because of the lack of awareness.

There was no need to accept the problems like hot flushes, sweating, depression and other related symptoms as a “natural calamity”, observed Dr Shah. She also disclosed that everything was curable and the menopause period could always be made as comfortable as any other phase of life with a little awareness, precautions and medication.

Dr Shah pointed out the deficiency of calcium and the consequent weakening of bones was one of the most prevailing problems among the women.

She suggested that the women getting into the menopause stage should have proper calcium intake and must also have a healthy attitude towards life.

Addressing the function, Dr Iqbal, the pioneer of IVF technology (test tube baby) in the North India, said despite so much prosperity in the region, there was too much ignorance about this common problem which came into the life of every woman.

He said he always felt the need to set up the Ludhiana chapter of the IMS as it would certainly help in involving doctors and gyanaecologists so that they created awareness among the patients. Civil Surgeon S P Sharma, who was the guest of honour, congratulated Dr Iqbal for setting up the Ludhiana chapter of the IMS, which will go a long way in helping the women.

Some gyanecologists of the city were also honoured on the occasion. The Lifetime Achievement Award in the field of gynaecology and obstetrics was given to Dr. T.S. Cheema.

Other gyanaecologists honoured on the occasion included Dr Raj Cheema, Dr Suman Sarda, Dr Jagjit Kaur, Dr Aruna Dhar, Dr Rama Sofat, Dr Ajit Kang and Dr Iqbal S. Ahuja. Dr Gursharan Singh and Dr Arun Mitra, former presidents of the Indian Medical Association, Ludhiana, were also honoured.

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Postal department revenue up
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
While corporate sectors are reporting sluggish growth in their annual revenue data sheets, the Ludhiana postal department has topped the revenue charts by generating maximum revenue for 2008-09.

It also witnessed an increase of 70 per cent in the sale of their premium products during the last fiscal.

“The Ludhiana postal department (city division) has topped the state in generating maximum revenue for the department,” said VK Raizada, senior superintendent, Post Office.

The revenue collected from the premium products during 2008-09 was Rs 5.88 crore, which was the highest in the state, he added.

Whereas volumes of ordinary mail have reduced due to advent of technology (e-mails and cheaper telephone calls), the Indian post has registered increase in revenues on back of higher traffic of business post.

Expressing jubilation over the positive entry in cash registers, Raizada said, “Our services are giving sleepless nights to courier services as people are once again reposing their confidence in us.

Apart from that, the corporate sector is too showing interest in the World Net Express which assures quick delivery of parcels.

Infusing a new lease of life into its services, the department of posts has launched a number of premium services like speed post, business post, bill mail, retail post, Express Parcel Post, World Net Express, Direct Post, E-Post, E-Payment and logistic post.

Discussing about the soon to start World Next Express, Raizada said India Post and Deutsche Post World Net have jointly introduced World Net Express which will deliver parcels at a faster speed. DHL will be the company providing the services.

Many revenue-generating services like insurance of vehicles through Oriental insurance, small saving schemes, mutual funds, instant money order services, Western Union Money Transfer, sale of admission forms for different competitive examinations are now possible at the post offices in the city.

The SSPO said, ”Speed Post services are indeed very popular and give maximum business.

We have also witnessed a 55-62 per cent increase in the sale of financial products while small saving schemes generated Rs 6.32 crore during the last financial year.

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Batteries stolen from streets; residents in the dark
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
Making merry on Municipal Corporation's property, the thieves, who steal batteries installed at key crossings to run traffic lights during power cuts, leave the residents sweating on these crossings.

Causing embarrassment to the local police, the thieves caused losses in lakhs to the Municipal Corporation. The fact that the criminals have hoodwinked the police at least four times in last few months.

The cops have been left in a quandary as at one hand, it has to deal with long queues and knotty jams at traffic lights due to frequent power breakdown, and on the other hand, it has to deal with violators of traffic norms.

Bharat Nagar Chowk, Dholewal Chowk, Bhai Bala Chowk, Durga Mata Mandir intersection and Gill Chowk are the main trouble spots. Commuters blame the non-functioning traffic lights at these points for the chaos, especially during power cut hours.

Traffic snarls get bad to worst during the time of routine power cuts. Serpentine queues, profusely sweating people struggling to get an inch space to move their vehicles, can easily be spotted in these intersections.

The police has till date not lodged an FIR regarding the thefts even though officials of the Municipal Corporation had sent complaints on the matter. But the senior traffic official said he had no knowledge about the thefts.

He said it was the duty of the MC to provide infrastructure for traffic management and they should make proper security arrangements.

MC official passed the buck to the police and said the MC did not have funds to install inverters. "The inverters have been stolen in the past and nothing has been done by the police in these regards."

This is the people, who are suffering in the one going tug-of-war between the MC and the police.

"We are destined to suffer due to lackadaisical attitude of the administration. Neither the civic administration, nor the politicians give a heed to the suffering of the common man. I request VIPs to remove the red beacons from their vehicle for a day and take their vehicles from any traffic signal during the power cut, I hope then they will realise how badly we are suffering," said Rishabh Khullar.

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From unapproachable to friendly fathers
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
"Fathers like mothers are not born. Men grow into fathers and fathering is a very important stage in their development" - David Gottesman.

Father's Day

Father's Day celebrations were started by Dr Robert Webb in 1908 at a church in Fairmount, West Virginia, and later the celebrations started worldwide.

From the traditional role of the bread earner of the family to a friend, the image of a father in a family has changed a lot. The stereotype image of a stern and unapproachable father has been replaced by a friendly and easy-going person.

Father is the role model of the children in the family and father-daughter share a very special bond. Father's Day celebrations were started by Dr Robert Webb in 1908 at a Church in Fairmount, West Virginia, and later the celebrations started worldwide.

Fathers today had a jubilant mood as the city celebrated their day. Children expressed their feelings towards their dad by giving them cards or gifting them something special. Scores of gifting ideas included clothes and accessories, deodorants, perfumes, watches, books and DVDs.

"My father is very special for me and I cannot leave this day to make him feel special. I gifted him a watch as he is very fond of and baked a chocolate cake for him," adds Aakansha, a medical student.

With the nuclear families coming to fore these days, the role of a father is emerging to be more important. "Both my kids share a special bond with my husband. He was pleased to receive gifts from the children and in the evening, we will be going out for a dinner to celebrate the day," added Priyanka, a mother.

The city NGO Hope made a noble gesture by honouring the inmates of Swami Vivekananda Ashram on Father's Day. 

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Farmers fined for power theft
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 21
Even though the state government is providing free power to the farmers, much to resentment of urban population, still the agricultural community is no less when it comes to stealing power.

Of some 360 tube-well connections inspected by teams of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) officials on Saturday in various villages falling in Khanna and city west circles in the Central zone (Ludhiana), 62 were found to be running unauthorised load, while six cases of theft were detected.

A total penalty of Rs 9 lakh have been slapped on defaulting consumers.

Elsewhere in the city, in the course of intensive checking of power connections of domestic consumers, as many as 31 cases of power theft through kundi connections were unearthed and a total penalty of Rs 4.71 lakh were imposed on the consumers.

On Saturday, teams of operation wing of PSEB officials of Khanna circle carried out surprise checking of 220 tube-well connections under the supervision of HS Randhawa, deputy chief engineer, city east circle in Bhari, Ikolaha, Jarg, Issru, Kalal Majra, Ratanpur and Rajewal.

The officials found as many as 40 farmers, having unauthorised load, and other six stealing power for non-agriculture purposes. Demand notices for a penalty of Rs 5 lakh were being issued to erring farmers.

Similarly, PSEB officials, led by the deputy chief engineer, city west circle, inspected 142 tube-well connections in Mehmudpura, Sarinh, Chupki, Ramgarh and Gopalpur, where 22 cases of unauthorised load and 10 others of theft came to light.

A penalty of Rs 4 lakh have been imposed on those using unauthorised load and indulging in theft.

The PSEB officials inspected energy meters and electrical fixtures of nearly 80 consumers in several city areas, which included Pavittar Nagar in Haibowal, Ashok Nagar and Bhagat Singh Nagar in Salem Tabri on Saturday. The checking led to detection of 31 cases of power theft, for which a cumulative penalty of Rs 4.71 lakh have been imposed.

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Man crushed under train
Tribune News Service

Mandi Gobindgarh, June 21
A man was crushed under a speeding train in the wee hours today. The deceased could not be identified till the evening and the body was kept in the mortuary of the civil hospital with the help of GRP officials who reached the spot.

The officials said the man appeared to be in his fifties and was run over by the Chhattisgarh Express around 5.30 am. A case in this connection would be registered by the police after identifying the body, said the officials.

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18 booked for attempt to murder
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 21
The Sidhwan Bet police yesterday booked 18 persons in an attempt to murder case and arrested one of them. The booked include Gurwinder Singh, Rajwinder Singh and Balwinder Singh, brothers of Pona village, and 15 unidentified persons.

In the complaint given by Satnam Singh of Pona village, he alleged that he, along with his friend, went up to the liquor vend on Aligarh village road on the outskirts of the village on Friday. They were searching their lost wallet.

There, they had a altercation with Gurvinder Singh of the same village, which then turned in a minor scuffle. Both of them exchanged blows. Later, around 9 pm, Gurvinder Singh, along with his two brothers, and about 15 unidentified people came to his house and fired on him.

He saved himself somehow. He said the three brothers had guns with them and all of them shot one fire each at him. He also stated that the other persons were equipped with sharp-edge and blunt weapons.

All of them hurled abuses at him at that hour. SI Bawa Singh, enquiry officer of Sidhwan Bet police, said the accused had been booked under Sections 307, 148 and 149 of the IPC and 25, 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act. He said the main accused, Gurbinder Singh, had been arrested, along with the gun used in the crime, and rest of the accused were at large. He said the police parties were raiding at the possible hideouts of the accused to nab them.

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Woman commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 21
Following an alleged subjection to malice by her in-laws, a woman, Samriti (30), reportedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance at her house here on yesterday.

The police has started hunt for the suspects after registering an FIR under Sections 304-B and 34 of the IPC against her husband Vipin Kumar, sister-in-law Bobby and brother-in-law Radhey Shyam.

Relatives of the accused, refuting charges of harassment, said the deceased was a patient of depression and had no one abetted her to commit suicide.

Pawan Kumar of Magazine Street, Sangrur, in a statement recorded with the local city police, alleged that the accused, who were unhappy with her daughter, Samriti, for bringing meagre dowry, had abetted Samriti to end her life by consuming some poisonous substance yesterday.

According to Pawan Kumar, Samriti was married to Vipin in October, 2002, and the couple was blessed with two male children during the period. Claiming that he had given handsome dowry at the time of marriage, Pawan Kumar alleged that the accused had started harassing her to bring more dowry shortly after the marriage.

Relatives and friends of both the families had to intervene whenever Samriti was sent to Sangrur to bring some valuable or cash.

Disharmony among Samriti and Vipin had forced her stay at her parent’s house for about five months ago. Only a couple of days ago, Samriti had informed her parents that the accused had tormented her to bring more dowry.

The Sangrur family was shocked to learn from an anonymous caller yesterday that Samriti had consumed some poisonous substance and was admitted at a private hospital here. She died later without giving any statement.

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Cricket tourney
Delhi lads win title
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 21
Delhi defeated Bhiwani by four wickets to lift the title in the inaugural edition of the All-India Prince Gold Cup Cricket Tournament (u-16) organised by the Shivam Cricket Academy at the Satish Chander Dhawan Government College for Boys ground here today.

Batting first, Bhiwani lads were bowled out for 96 runs in 23.1 overs. The main scorers were Sunny (29), Neeraj (16) and Amit (13). For Delhi, Ashish, Sudhir and Deepak captured two wickets each after conceding 12, 24 and 14 runs, respectively.

Needing 97 runs for victory in 25 overs, Delhi boys scored the required runs after losing six wickets in 23.3 overs.

The main architects of their win were Sajjan (28), Munish (18) and Vidit (17). For the losers, Munish bowled five overs and scalped three wickets for 18 runs while Sunny grabbed one wicket for 14 runs in 5 overs.

Vicky Sekhon, president of the Shivam Cricket Academy, distributed the prizes.

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Punjab waterpolo squad finalised
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, June 21
At the conclusion of 10-day coaching camp oragnised by the Punjab Swimming Association at the War Heros Swimming Pool, Sangrur where ninteen waterpolo probables underwent training-cum- coaching, the following 13 member Punjab waterpolo squad has been selected.

These boys will represent the state in the forthcoming 36th Junior National Aquatic Championship to be held from June 23 to 27 at Jaipur, according to the honorary general secretary of the Punjab Swimming Association, Balraj Sharma.

The names of the selected swimmers are Amarjeet Singh, Jatinderpal Singh and Gagandeep Singh from Jalandhar; Jeetinder Singh and Resham Singh from Sangrur; Adhiraj Sharma, Jatindervir Singh and Jagdeep Singh from Ludhiana; Karan Brar and Keshav Thakur from Faridkot; Vikalp Vats from Hoshiarpur; Navjeet Singh from Bathinda and Harmanpreet Singh from Amritsar.

Balbir Singh and Jasjeet Singh, both from Sangrur will accompany the team as coaches while Gurinder Pal Singh, also of Sangrur has been named manager of the squad.

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