L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Death of BJP leader
Party workers demand arrest of doctors
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
BJP councillors and party workers held a protest in front of the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner’s office demanding arrest of Dr Gurdeep Singh Sidhu and Dr Naveen Leeker following the death of former BJP mandal president Jagat Bhushan in Doraha on July 11.

Bhushan died after a bariatric surgery, an operative procedure to reduce obesity, at Sidhu Hospital on July 10. The agitators also submitted a memorandum to DC Vikas Garg.

Talking to The Tribune, the agitated BJP leaders said, “The doctors of the hospital claimed that they can reduce weight up to 40 kg through an operative procedure and people are easily falling prey to it. Jagat was a 43-year-old man who was perfectly fit, except being obese.

On Thursday, when he was admitted at the hospital, everything was stated to be well. Even on Friday, after his surgery, his family was told he was fine. Around 8 pm, on the same day, he was declared dead.” He added that the doctors who had been booked should also be arrested.

Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal, whose name is also being included in the mob, which is being alleged to vandalise the hospital, alleged that, “We have enquired from the police officials and nearby people.

You would be surprised to know that the hospital has agents all over the city in small clinics from where overweight people are referred to the hospital.” He added that the police had started a probe into the matter and many facts were yet to come to fore.

Calling their demonstration as peaceful, they said, “It was only due to our efforts that an FIR was registered and the postmortem conducted.”

Demanding cancellation of the doctors’ license, the agitators said the hospital charged Rs 2.50 lakh for the surgery.

“According to information gathered by us, Bhushan expired earlier, while the information was disclosed to the family at 8 pm,” said BJP leaders.


Day of chaos at mini secretariat
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
It was a day of chaos at mini secretariat premises as several unions staged dharnas and swarmed the roads leading to the complex.

Starting with BJP councillors, who came to hand over a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner in the Sidhu Hospital case, the agitations went on till lunch hour causing harassment to visitors in the offices.

The Revenue Patwar Union staged a massive rally and started walking towards mini secretariat from Bharat Nagar chowk before sitting on a dharna in the complex.

They raised slogans demanding justice and stayed out for an hour. After them, it was the turn of arhtiyas and farm labour union, who were protesting in support of their demands.

“It seemed everybody was angry with the government today. Despite the hot and sultry weather, the unions were coming and staging dharnas in the mini secretariat complex,” said Sucha Singh, a resident.

He said as soon as the protests were over, the activists moved towards the gate, which created a chaos. 



Rs 18 lakh robbed from factory supervisor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
Three unidentified robbers snatched a bag containing Rs 18 lakh from a factory supervisor near Focal Point at the Sherpur road here this evening.

The incident took place around 4 pm when Tilak Raj, a supervisor of an industrial unit situated in Focal Point, Phase IV, was driving back to the factory on his car after withdrawing Rs 18 lakh from Allahabad Bank at Cheema Chowk.

According to the police, the three robbers, riding a motorbike, chased Raj and stopped him near the 100-feet road. One of the accused trained his pistol at the victim while the other two accomplices nabbed him and snatched the bag containing the cash.

Raj said the robbers even fired a shot at him, but fortunately the bullet did not hit him. The accused then fled from the spot.

The police has started the investigation and booked the three unidentified motorist for robbing Raj. Police sources revealed that the robbers had been nabbed and were taken to the CIA for investigation.



Demolition Drives
Presence of senior officials now must
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
In a significant move, the MC Commissioner has made it mandatory for Senior Town Planner, Municipal Town Planner and ATP (headquarters) to be present during demolition drives.

The orders in this regard were issued on July 10 by the MC Commissioner, GS Ghuman. The ATP was also directed to maintain a register with details of demolition drives.

According to sources, the orders were issued on Friday after the Commissioner went on a surprise check during a demolition at Hambran road and found the ATP conducting the drive alone.

“The absence of senior functionaries, BS Brar and Hemant Batra, of the town planning wing during the demolition irked the Commissioner, following which he issued the instructions,” the sources said.

Apart from it, last week witnessed some interesting events as far as the ATPs were concerned as some of them who were politically well connected could choose their working areas.

The MC sources said the ATP, SS Bindra, had moved a request to the MC Commissioner, saying that he had three charges -- ATP A-zone, recovery through buildings and charge of the ATP headquarters — so the first charge should be taken away from him.

Following his request, on Thursday the Commissioner passed an order and gave the charge of A zone to ATP Harpreet Ghai, who handles C-zone. However, Ghai raised a hue and cry, following which the Commissioner once again changed his orders today and allotted A-zone to ATP Kamaljeet Kaur and additional charge of B-zone to ATP Ramesh Chabbra.

In the past eight months, it has been the fourth reshuffle as far as the ATPs are concerned, revealing political intervention in the MC. 



Youth kills grandfather over petty issue
Tribune News Service

Samrala, July 13
In another bizarre incident, a 20-year-old grandson killed his grandfather over a petty issue this morning at Berma village near Samrala.

As per reports, Jaswinder Singh had given fodder to a calf in the morning. When his grandfather, Hardayal Singh, brought a buffalo at the “khurli” and gave it fodder, the grandson objected to it and wanted the buffalo removed from there. They entered into a heated argument over the issue and the youth hit his grandfather on the head with a wooden stick.

The man fell unconscious with blood oozing out of his head. He was taken to a nearby hospital with help of the mother of the accused who was the only member of the family present in the house at the time of the incident.

The old man was referred to the DMCH, but died on the way to the hospital.

A case has been registered against the youth who is at large.

A son had bludgeoned his father to death at Maadpur village near Samrala last week over the issue of a small piece of land. The accused was arrested by the police before he could cremate his father’s body. 



Punjab heads for cotton revolution
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
Punjab is heading for a cotton revolution or what is called “gold revolution” thanks to the village cluster adoption programme (VCA) launched by the consortium of spinning mills of North India, banks and the PAU.

As many as 6,981 farmers of 95 villages adopted under this programme have succeeded in harvesting a record cotton yield of 915 kg per hectare this year using scientific know-how.

This year’s yield is 51 per cent more than that of Punjab’s average of 607 kg per hectare. The national and global yield levels stand at 591 kg and 779 kg, respectively.

The adoption programme had a humble beginning in 2003 when only one village, Navan Pind of Bathinda district, was adopted on an experimental basis by the Vardhman Group. The experiment turned out to be a big hit as the village achieved a yield of 800 kg as against 391 kg per hectare.

SP Oswal, chairman of the group, persuaded the managements of Nahar group, Trident group, Aarti group, JCT group and GPI textiles Ltd, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of India to join hands in improving the yield levels in the Malwa belt.

The scientific know-how was provided by the PAU and officials of the Punjab agriculture department helped in the transmission of the know-how with help of young graduates of the area.

“Sir Ratan Tata Trust has also joined the programme and is providing integrated pest management technology to farmers. The 95 villages that have shown excellent results fall in the districts of Bathinda, Mansa and Muktsar.

The Chief Minister has asked MARKFED and other NGOs to follow the example of the villages and help farmers in boosting their economic conditions. The CM has also provided a special package of Rs 1.88 crore for the project.

The success of the programme even touched Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, who visited Gehri Bhuttar village in 2005 to in this regard.

Oswal said the bottom line of the project was to reach out to farmers on their doorstep with a view to educating them about the latest modern techniques and package of practises of the PAU. The other unique aspect of the programme is that once a village is adopted, it is not repeated the next year.



Choked Sewer: Residents approach MLA
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
Choked sewer in ward Nos. 40 and 42 have been giving sleepless nights to residents of the area as MC officials and municipal councillors have turned a blind eye to the problem.

According to sources, sewerage system in various areas like Hargobind Nagar and Janakpuri have failed and sewage has inundated roads. This poses a serious threat of water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, malaria, etc.

The irked residents of the area approached MLA Satpal Gosain today to highlight their problem.

After visiting the areas, Gosain said: “Over 100 persons came to me and told me to take stock of the situation. I went with them and learned that water the area had been inundated by sewage for the past five days.” He called the officers of the O&M cell and convened a meeting to resolve the problem.

“The conditions are unhygienic with toilet water entering houses. The areas had a proposal of storm sewerage and an estimate of Rs 92 lakh was also passed. Moreover, the contractor was paid Rs 21 lakh from the total amount, but the work was left midway due to reasons best known to the municipal corporation,” added the deputy speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha.



Power Supply
Rain brings relief for industry, urban population
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 13
With monsoon striking the region, even though the rainfall till now has been scanty and selective, there has been positive and palpable impact on the power scenario, which appeared dismal till about a week back. Consumers of all categories, be they industrial units, traders or other commercial establishments and also the urban population, have been provided immense relief by way of reduced power cuts and relaxation in other restraints.

Making it clear that the relief provided to the industry and other category of consumers was purely temporary and depends on quantum of rainfall in the immediate future, officials of operation wing of the Punjab State Electricity Board informed that the three day compulsory weekly off for category II and III feeders (serving industry) had been cut down to two days and it was further relaxed for just one day during last week.

Similarly, peak load restrictions on all large supply consumers were also relaxed. The industrial units could work to 75 per cent of their sanctioned load from now on as against 50 per cent earlier during peak load hours.

After the gap between total availability and demand for electricity had come down from around 400 lakh units to a manageable 200 lakh units at present, the duration of power cut on mixed feeders (serving residential areas, commercial complexes or small industrial units in non-designated industrial belts) had also been curtailed from the earlier 7 to 10 hours to about two or two and a half hours daily.

The PSEB officials sought to dispel the common belief that power supply to urban population and industry had improved only because the supply to the agricultural sector had been cut down because of the rains.

“On the contrary, the PSEB has enhanced supply to farm sector from earlier 8 hours to nearly 12 or even 15 hours. But because of the rainfall, the farmers no longer need to run their tubewells for most of the time and the load has automatically come down providing immediate relief to other categories of consumers,” said a PSEB official.



Exclusion of patwaris from benefits of pay panel
Revenue staff strike hits work
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
No public work was taken up at revenue offices, including three sub-registrar offices, here today as revenue officials remained on strike in protest against the exclusion of patwaris from the benefits of fifth pay commission.

The sub-registrar offices, including east, west and central, did not register any documents related to sale deeds, wills and power of attorneys. The public men had to return empty-handed from the offices.

The strike call was given by patwaris and kanugos, who said at least 84 categories of government employees were merged and 32 new categories were formed, which were acknowledged by the fifth pay commission.

The patwaris and kanugos were excluded from the list and the benefits of the pay commission were not passed on to them.

These employees had given a statewide call to their colleagues to protest in all district headquarters and abandon work today.

Expressing solidarity with patwaris and kanugos, tehsildars and naib tehsildars also suspended work.

“What can we do? Everybody else was given benefits of the fifth pay commission but we were excluded. Public would be harassed but we have no other way to be heard. We had been taking up the matter silently all these days. Now we have no other way,” said Rupinder Singh, an office-bearer of the Revenue Patwar Union. He said they had to protest for a single day alone keeping the interest of public in mind.

They will take further decision to intensify their agitation if their demands are not met.

People were put to harassment as they had to return from suvidha centre, revenue tehsils and sub-registrar offices empty-handed.

Several of them said the revenue department was often closed on one pretext or the other.

“I had called my brother from Chenai today to get a property document signed and registered in sub-registrar office. But the office was closed. Now my brother has to go back by a train tonight. I do not know what will happen,” said Rajeev Kumar, a resident.



NRI fights race bias in USA
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 13
Seema Kalia, an NRI columnist and anchor, hailing from Kalia family from Lalton village in Ludhiana district has launched a crusade against racial discrimination on the global level.

Continuing her fight against ‘race bias in classroom’ in western countries, Kalia has launched a movement to impress upon the department of justice in the USA to prevent colour discrimination by organisers of social clubs being run in that country.

Considering her action as moral boosters for Indians settled abroad, a large number of Indians, predominantly Punjabis, have sent her a signed petition demanding action against organisers of the Valley Club’s Pool situated in Philadelphia, who had cancelled membership of at least 65 children as they were blacks.

According to Prem Nath Kalia, a former IAF officer of Lalton village, her niece Seema Kalia had launched a crusade against racism on global level.

Peeved over turning away of 65 children from a largely black summer camp in Philadelphia because of their race, Seema called upon people to join hands with her in getting the situation restored.

“A ‘whites only’ pool in 2009 should not be tolerated. Please join us in publicly condemning the Valley Club’s discrimination and calling on the justice department to investigate whether the club violated federal civil rights laws,” reads the message seeking support of people genuinely interested in curbing evils associated with racial discrimination universally.

Responding to the call given by the crusader, a large number of persons, including Indians and members of other non-white races, sent her signed petitions, which considered the act of turning away black children from the pool as shameful.

Condemning the Valley Club’s discrimination, petitioners wrote, “We have also called on the department of justice to investigate whether the Valley Club violated federal civil rights laws. Together, we are sending a strong message that this kind of discrimination has no place in our society.”



Third day of Congress councillors’ dharna
Furore over allegations of backdoor support to Mayor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
The dharna of Congress councillors went haywire today after they held a closed-door meeting at the D-zone office to clarify allegations of some of them extending backdoor support to the Mayor.

Heated arguments were witnessed between Amrit Varsha Rampal and Gurpreet Bassi when the name of councillor of ward No. 20 Sham Sunder Malhotra reportedly sprung up during the meeting.

Things came to such a pass that councillors even turned on speakers of their mobile phones to clarify the matter.

On the condition of anonymity, Congress councillors said: “Parminder Mehta is trying to create differences and we just cleared them. He had levelled allegations that Malhotra met Mayor, but later backtracked from his statement. Finally, we managed to clarify the doubts and are now united.”

The agitation of the Congress councillors seemed to be a lone battle, with neither the MLAs nor senior party leaders coming to their rescue.

Meanwhile, Congress councillors held a dharna for the third working day today to press their demand for an immediate session of the municipal house to discuss deteriorating condition of basic amenities in the city.

Raising slogans against the Mayor and the SAD-BJP alliance, the councillors were of the opinion that they would continue with their agitation till their demands were met.

They said: “This is the third working day that the MC Commissioner and the Mayor haven’t come to their offices, which proves that they are running away from us. If they were so sure about their decisions passed in agenda during the house meeting, they should hold a session to clarify our doubts.”

The agitators said: “We need an answer to luxurious spending by the municipal corporation in the form of fancy lights, while there were areas that were on the verge of witnessing epidemic due to choked sewerage system.”



Rly Travel Concession
Male senior citizens seek parity with fair sex
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 13
Senior citizens and pensioners of the area have urged union railway minister Mamata Benerjee to remove disparity between men and women senior citizens pertaining to concession for travel by train.

The trend besides creating gap between male and female senior citizens disfavoured women as they were made to travel more, alleged the senior citizens.

Senior citizens and pensioners of the area, led by Dev Raj Sofat, have urged the minister to review policies drafted by her predecessor and remove the disparity.

In a communiqué addressed to higher authorities, including Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, the senior citizens have accused former railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav of causing injustice to male senior citizens by allowing lower (30 percent) concession than that allowed for members of the fair sex in same age group.

Terming the disparity an attempt to cause divide among men and women, Sofat regretted that the authorities had ignored teachings propagated by various religions while taking decision to stop enhancement of concession to male senior citizens.

“While all religions propagate that husband and wife are two wheels of a cart and symbolise one soul in two bodies, the authorities treat them differently. Moreover, lower concession for male senior citizens has put extra burden on women as they are made to travel more to save money,” argued Sofat.

Tulsi Dass Jagga, former member of the railway advisory board from Dasuya, said he had taken up the matter with higher authorities, who had assured him of reviewing the case.

Ramesh Ghaie, BJP unit president, Amrit Pal Singh, retired headmaster, Krishan Gopal, president Block Welfare Committee, and Avtar Singh, councillor, are prominent among signatories.



Desecration of Statue
No clue to miscreants
Admn indifferent, allege residents
Our Correspondent

Lalton Khurad, July 13
Receiving no response from the administration, after the statue of freedom fighter Baba Gurmukh Singh was desecrated by some miscreants here, residents veiled it to save it from further disrespect today.

To remonstrate against the alleged indifference of the administration, activists and office-bearers of some organisations announced to organise a rally near the statue on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the police today made a futile attempt to collect clues to the miscreants, around 30 hours after the incident.

The police took pipe and other materials used to desecrate the statue in custody.

Investigations revealed that villagers were upset over the alleged indifference of the authorities towards restoring the honour of Baba Gurmukh Singh Gadri.

Despite a formal complaint by the office-bearers of the trust running the affairs of the Gurmukh Singh Memorial Library and other institutes, nothing concrete was done to identify the miscreants.

The villagers were peeved that none of the administrative officers had cared to visit the place.

Similar was the attitude of political leaders of parties who remained busy in engagements with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal yesterday.

Activists and office-bearers of around fifteen organisations have announced to launch a phased agitation to impress upon the authorities to identify and arrest the miscreants.

Kartar Singh Buani, general secretary, CPI, Arun Mitra, joint general secretary, Jagjit Singh Layalpuri, general secretary, MCPI (U) , Kuldeep Singh, secretary MCPI (U), Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon, secretary CPM, called upon their activists to participate in the Wednesday rally.

Office-bearers of the Democratic Employees’ Front, the Democratic Teachers’ Front, the Lok Morcha Punjab, the Inqlabi Kendra and the Naujwan Bharti Sabha (Inderjit) have also announced their support.

Some miscreants had tried to dislodge the statue on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.

Angry villagers have urged higher authorities, including the chief minister and the DGP, to impress upon the Ludhiana police to arrest the miscreants.



Fee Hike-IV 
Parents bear the brunt of pay panel implementation
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
The Additional Deputy Commissioner, Kuldeep Singh, has observed irregularities in the fee structure of the schools, which have hiked the fee exorbitantly following the implementation of recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission.

The ADC said the authorities of Ryan International School had mentioned that the admission fee for the first child as Rs 20,000, Rs 17,000 for the second and Rs 15,000 for the third child but, the school had increased the fee to Rs 25,000 for the first child, Rs 22,000 for the second and Rs 20,000 for the third child in the session 2009-10.

Thus, there was an enhancement of Rs 5,000 in the fee, similarly, the development fee in 2008-09 was Rs 1835 whereas, it had increased to Rs 2000 in 2009-10. Also, the admission fee had been increased by Rs 165 in 2009-10.

Regarding schoolbooks, uniforms and admission charges, the school authorities said these had been provided at the school for the convenience of parents.

There is no compulsion on parents/students to buy these from schools; mostly they buy books from the schools as well as from market as per their availability.

But, the school encourages students to buy uniforms from the schools so that there is uniformity in the colour, design and monogram of the school. This is very essential else there would be no uniformity. The parents are still free to buy the uniforms from the market provided the same design, colour etc is maintained.

The school is in an infancy stage, and thus, is unable to generate enough funds to meet its expenses, they added.

The admission charges are taken only once and a receipt is given for the same. The school does not take donations for the admissions, the authorities said.

The authorities said: “Our school is an un-aided minority educational institution and is a law abiding educational institution and the guidelines of the state government, CBSE and courts are being duly complied with and there is no violation what so ever.”

Regarding the Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, the school authorities said the fee had been increased reasonably due to various reasons i.e the DA of the employees had been increased from 41 to 57 per cent, computer fee had been increased after a period of 12 years.

As more computers also needed to be installed and other facilities had to be provided, the parents had no objection and complaints against the fee hike. 



BDS topper felicitated 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 13
Shruti, a former student of Dyanand Adarsh Vidyalaya Senior Secondary School, who stood first in final examinations of BDS conducted by Baba Farid University of Health Sciences this year, was felicitated by the director, principal and staff of the school here today.

School principal Kusam Meddiretta said: “Shruti’s performance should be a source of inspiration to many students who are hesitant in joining medical. Shruti, who secured 1,002 out of 1,400 marks, had been a promising student throughout.”

Raj Hind, director of the school, said: “Shruti has been brought honours to the Genesis Institute of Dental Sciences, Ferozepur, where she is studying at present Shruti said she would work for spreading awareness about oral hygiene among rural masses. 



From PAU
Bee pathology training concludes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
An advanced training course in “Bee Diseases and Enemies and their Management” organised by the department of entomology, PAU, in collaboration with the directorate of extension education for agriculture/horticulture officers of the state departments of agriculture and horticulture, extension personnel of PAU from KVKs and Farm Advisory Service Scheme in various districts of Punjab concluded today.

Dr CK Gill, head of the department, said the training was conducted for the benefit of the bee keepers of the state.

She stressed upon the extension officers concerned to provide the required clinical help and guide the beekeepers to safeguard the beekeeping against the threat of bee enemies and diseases in their respective regions.

She said with updated knowledge and skill, the trainees would effectively manage bee diseases that would help in furthering the development of the beekeeping in the state.

Dr Gill also stressed the role of non-chemical methods of managing various menaces and to avoid the use of antibiotics in the beekeeping.

Dr Pardeep Kumar Chhuneja, unit in charge (apiculture) and technical coordinator of the programme, presented the report about the training.

He said 12 lectures and eight practicals were arranged on various aspects of bee-keeping during the training.

The participants were trained on various aspects of bee-keeping, including field and laboratory diagnosis, causes, nature of damage of various diseases, enemies and management strategies, he said.

Dr Chhuneja added that they were also taught the techniques of collection of diseased bee/ brood samples and further preparation for dispatch to bee pathology laboratories for diagnosis.

They were apprised of techniques for breeding honey bees resistant to diseases and mites, he said.

Dr Gill said this was one of the two regular advanced training courses in honey bees being conducted by the university for extension officers/ scientists.

She said the trainees would get the required technical guidance from the Punjab Agricultural University.

PAU VC mourns architect’s death

The Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Dr Manjit Singh Kang, condoled the sudden death of Harbans Singh Sehgal, former senior architect of Punjab Agricultural University.

He described Sehgal as a good human committed to his purpose and involved in humanitarian activities, including blood donation, tree plantation and other social causes.

Sehgal served the university from 1968 to 1995 in various capacities and designed various buildings of the university.

He died on July 10 and Antim Ardaas will be held at Gurudwara Sahib, Model Town, on July 15 at 1:30 pm. 



200 saplings planted

Ludhiana, July 13
More than 200 saplings were planted as a part of a tree plantation drive organised by the Lal Bahadur Shastri Social Forum, an NGO, here today. Local Member of Parliament Manish Tewari initiated the drive by planting the first sapling.

The initiative had been taken by the Lal Bahadur Shastri Social Forum (regd) and the campaign shall be further expanded throughout Ludhiana to make the city pollution free. More than 200 plants of medicine, ornamental plants, and saplings were planted and distributed among the public for plantation in different areas.

A press release by the forum stated that adjoining areas, particularly the Ram Sharnam and the shamshan ghat, shall also be developed with active cooperation of the Municipal Corporation for which total plan of Rs 20 lakh has been earmarked.

Tewari appreciated the move of the forum for its green revolution tree plantation programmes, which is a must for the Ludhiana industrial centre to make it pollution free, and assured to extend his cooperation for the success of this movement. He motivated every citizen to plant at least one tree in the national interest. — TNS



Army recruitment from July 29
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
An open Army recruitment rally for selection of candidates for soldier (general duty), soldier (store keeper), clerk, soldier (technical) and soldier (nursing assistant) will be conducted by Army Recruitment Office from July 29 to August 5 at Guru Nanak Stadium here.

This was stated by Colonel Saji Abraham, Director, Army Recruiting, yesterday. Candidates from Ludhiana, Ropar, SAS Nagar (Mohali) and Moga districts are eligible to participate.

He said tokens would be issued on July 29 for candidates of Ludhiana and SAS Nagar (Mohali) districts and on July 30 for candidates of Ropar and Moga districts. He said screening, documentation and medical exam of the candidates would be conducted from July 31 to August 5 and the Common Entrance Examination for qualified candidates would be held in Ludhiana on August 30.

For the posts of soldier (clerk)/store keeper (technical) and soldier (technical), candidates from all districts of Punjab could apply, he added.

He said any additional information regarding the rally could be obtained from Army Recruiting Office in Ludhiana.

Candidates should bring 12 latest passport-size photographs and Sikh candidates should bring 12 passport-size photographs with turban and 12 photographs without turban. Computer printed photographs and attested photographs will not be accepted.

He said to get the token, candidates should come with documents in original, along with two attested photo copies of education certificates, issued by the education board, residency/ domicile certificates issued by the tehsildar/ SDM, caste certificate issued by the Tehsildar/ SDM, school character certificate signed by principal and character certificate from village sarpanch, unmarried certificate from the candidate countersigned by the village sarpanch.

Candidates who are sons of serving soldier/widows and ex-servicemen will have to produce discharge book and relationship certificate obtained from record office concerned, signed by the record officer, with round stamp affixed and candidates from Kandi area, who are less than 170 cm in height, should bring Kandi area certificate signed by the SDM with round stamp affixed for relaxation in height.



Improve sewerage system, urge BJP councillors
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
Municipal councillors of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held a meeting at the party office on Saturday to discuss deteriorating condition of sewerage system in the city.

Perturbed over the lack of basic amenities in the city, BJP councillors formed a committee under the leadership of Santosh Kalra that would visit various parts of the city, along with MC officials, to solve the problems at the grassroots level.

BJP councillor Sunita Aggarwal said she required four sewermen in every phase of Focal Point to ensure cleanliness.

The party representatives unanimously decided that no development work should be stopped in their wards and regular payments should be made by the civic body.

Ward No. 37 councillor Poonam Ratra said before inviting tenders, every councillor should be informed one week in advance so that they could give a list of works to be undertaken in their respective areas.

The councillors also stressed the need for identifying the areas without potable water and decided to take up the matter with the Mayor.



Arhtiyas decry direct payment to farmers
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 13
While protesting against the government’s decision to make payment of the procured foodgrains directly to the farmers, commission agents and farmers of the area took out a protest march in the town and surrounding areas today.

Seeking an immediate review of the decision, they handed over a memorandum to Karamjit Singh, executive magistrate at his office.

Terming it as an anti-trader and anti-farmer decision, office-bearers of various units of the organisation from Payal, Malaudh, Sihar, Kanganwal, Maholi, Kilaraipur, Latala, Raekot and Ghaloti announced to continue the protest till the pronouncement was not withdrawn.

According to Surinder Kumar and Khet Pal, president and patron of the Arhtiya Union, a large number of activists and office-bearers of various unions, falling under the jurisdiction of Ludhiana and Sangrur districts, had announced their support to the state body at the rally today.

Surinder Kumar said a majority of activists had announced to oppose the SAD and the BJP in the ensuing Assembly byelections, too.

With barely any produce arriving in the market, the commission agents mediated no purchase or sale during these days.



Anti-rabies camp held at CMC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 12
An anti-rabies awareness, vaccination, de-worming and general check-up camp for dogs was organised on the CMC campus by the People For Animals (PFA), the animal husbandry department, Ludhiana, and the CMC to make public aware about zoonotic diseases (diseases communicable from animals to humans) like rabies, TB, brucillouses, worm infestation, swine flu and bird flu, here today.

The camp was inaugurated by state BJP president, Punjab, Prof Rajinder Bhandari. He appreciated the efforts of the organisers in making Ludhiana rabies-free and bringing awareness among masses against such diseases. He assured all help and support of the Punjab government to these organisations for this noble cause.

Dr Joginder Singh, deputy director, animal husbandry department, Ludhiana, said the department would coordinate with the CMC department of community medicine to eradicate and make people aware and prevention of zoonotic diseases.

Dr Rajiv Bhandari, secretary, Rabies Control Society, said the PFA and the animal husbandry department have been organising free anti-rabies vaccination camps in various parts of the city for the last seven years to make Ludhiana rabies-free.

Pet owners should get their dogs vaccinated against rabies every year without fail. Dr Bhandari said more than 50,000 people die every year due to rabies in the world of which more than 30,000 are in India according to a WHO report.

Ajay Jain, president, PFA, Ludhiana, said the PFA was the only organisation in the city which had been treating and caring all types of stray animals like cows, dogs, goats and birds.



IMA chief withdraws trespass case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
Indian Medical Association (IMA) district president Dr Manoj Sobti has withdrawn the case of trespass followed by physical assault against city businessman Gopi Kothari.

The police had registered a case against the businessman for having barged into Dr Sobti’s house at 2.30 am on July 11 and resorting to physical assault on him and his son.

Dr Manoj Sobti said: “SSP Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill had extended support in terms of necessary action against the guilty but the public apology by Gopi Kothari and his son in the presence of 50 people forced me to withdraw the case.”

However, the doctor stated that any such high-handed attitude by moneyed people was uncalled for as every citizen was equal before the law.



Youth Cong activists stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 13
To draw the attention of the state government to the problems faced by the trade and industry here, activists of the Youth Congress of Fatehgarh Sahib district led by district chief Sandeep Verma and Mehla Congress district chief Prem Lata staged a dharna and blocked traffic on the national highway for 45 minutes here today.

Former minister Dr Harbans Lal and MC former chief Jagmeet Singh Sahota addressed the dharna. The blockade was lifted after they submitted a memorandum to naib tehsildar Harbans Singh for the government.

It was stated in the communication that the town had been paying huge taxes but the trade and industry was on the verge of collapse due to power cuts and failure of the government to refund VAT balance to traders.

It was further stated that the government had failed to make proper arrangement for the disposal of drainage water, which damaged the roads and caused hindrance to the flow of traffic on the Ambay Majra-Talwara road, where over 100 industrial units were functioning.

Later, the activists organised a march through the main bazaar of the town and raised slogans against the state government.



SAD, Congress men trade charges

IT seems that the senior leaders of both the Congress the Shiromani Akali Dal have acquired a habit of implicating their opponents in criminal cases, which keep them busy when they are no longer in the saddle.

Earlier, it was the duo of Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Badal, who were making rounds of the courts for the cases filed against them by the Vigilance Bureau for having assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.

After the SAD-BJP combine came to power, it was the turn of the Congress leaders, including Captain Amarinder Singh, and his erstwhile Cabinet colleagues to face the vigilance cases pertaining to corruption and misuse of power. The other day when former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh was in the city, he said if the Congress came to power in the next elections, it would hold a probe into the alleged fake stamp paper fraud to expose the Akali leaders involved in it. While making these remarks, Captain simply forgot that he himself had come to the city to appear in the court as an accused in the mega city centre scam that is yet to be decided.

Crocodile tears

An official of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, facing vigilance inquiry on charges of corruption, owing benami property and other assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, comes to the office on a bicycle these days.

The tainted official has suddenly switched over to the vehicle of an “aam aadmi” (common man) is to show that he is not as affluent as was being sought to be projected by the ongoing vigilance probe. The official leaves no chance to tell to anyone that he is absolutely honest. “Main koi galat kamm nahin keeta te kise kolon paisa nahin liya,” he tells everyone to prove his point.

Child is the father of man

Profanities may be an inseparable element of “Punjabi culture” but it puts the worthy parents in a tight spot when used by their children.

Young children, who hear their fathers abusing abusive language more often, tend to use derogatory language among peers.

One fine day, the mother slapped the child asking him from where he had learnt such words, the child replied: “Mom, you never slapped dad when he uses these words at home then why did you hit me,” leaving no room for his father to hide.

Indeed, child is the father of man.

Cycling joyous for kids

While riding a bicycle may be tiresome for grown-ups but is a pleasure for children. Everyone loves to ride a bicycle during schooldays.

Recently, a small girl near my house bought a new bicycle and the joy of riding it was visible on her face. As soon as she came back from school, she would pick it up and enjoy the ride.

She also carries a water bottle and fresh flowers in the basket of her bicycle.

“I like flowers so I always carry them along with me,” she said.

The little girl is excited about her new bicycle and I really ponder till how long this excitement will last?

Fashion woes

The elusive monsoon in the region has raised various serious issues this year. However, like every problem, the serious issue of scant rains, too, showed up a lighter side recently when a 16-year-old school going girl was heard cribbing that in the absence of rains, she was unable to flaunt her fancy raincoats and plastic flip-flops among her friends. Every season certainly has its fashion trends.

Inputs from Kuldip Bhatia, Anshu Seth, Manav Ghuman and Charu Chhibber



Browsers’ War

Like any commodity there is a never ending war among various Internet browser softwares in this age of globalisation where competition is a way of life. It has become more pronounced as every browser is in the race to become a favourite one for browsing Internet. No one benefits by winning this war as all of them are free and similar, until you are a geek. Last week’s launch of latest version of Mozilla firefox 3.5, has further intensified the fight.

The first commercial and graphical web browser was developed by the Mosaic programming team and was called Netscape Navigator, later renamed Communicator, then renamed back to just Netscape. The Netscape was on the top, when Microsoft realised the importance of developing its own.

Having the distribution power of providing free with the most popular operating software, Windows, Microsoft soon crushed the Netscape with its monopolistic practices. Netscape, not giving up, transformed itself into Mozilla Foundation to produce a competitive browser using the open source software model.

But before some real development from it could happen, which happened in 2004, Microsoft enjoyed almost a monopoly in this segment. In 2003 Apple too launched Safari for its operating system, Mac, realising the unquestionable importance of the Internet in coming time.

As all monopoly brings complacency, so was for Internet Explorer (IE). Users didn’t know what more they could experience until others started bringing new ideas. Microsoft just bought out few minor updates. Others browsers realised that this was the time to take away the market share of IE which had reached the peak of more than 90 per cent.

By 2004, Firefox had 8 per cent of market but by 2009, it succeeded in increasing it to more than 20 per cent. Firefox and Opera and Safari immensely improved security and other technical features. Google too entered this war, first by supporting Firefox by technical and monetary resources and then by launching its own browser, Chrome. Microsoft woke up and tried incorporating features, now the norm, of the industry.

But lacking creativity in development its updates merely managed to follow what others had already achieved and didn’t bring out any path-breaking feature. Firefox has the second biggest share after IE in browser users, followed by Safari. In the last one year, we have seen an intensification of the war.

IE has come out of an update, Firefox in last one year has come out of two updates, 3 and 3.5 version. Chrome has been launched. Opera has come out with its latest version, 9, having the cloud computing feature- Operate Unite sever. All this has resulted in IE losing more than 11 per cent share since March.

Every browser now has good security features, private-browsing options and better protection from malware, leaving the difference in technical race of mere nose. How does it affect us? Firstly, breaking of a monopoly is always good for the market.

When IE was the only software available, we didn’t see much improvement, destroying much possible progress. Secondly, the chance of numero uno position will force others to come up with new ideas. Thirdly, no one can dictate the market as now developers are no more at the vagaries of one browser maker.

Fourthly, with Firefox, an open source software, most possible next winner, the ecology for developers is good. The best feature about Firefox is add-ons, which are software codes that can be made by developers according to requirement. The growth of mobile as the medium for the surfing Internet has opened another front.

It forced Google to launch its open source Android software for mobiles in competition to the smart-phone market capturing iPhone, which uses Safari. Android in its attempt to be have a fair share is providing it software free to any cellphone maker and various companies has taken that.

Microsoft has been beaten here also as its Wndows mobile failed to make a big impression. All that can be said about the browsers is that we are going to see more activity over the next few years and

IE will lose its dominant position in the market. The only question is how soon?

Anil Maheshwari is an editor with Instablogs.com and he can be reached at anilm@instablogs.com



Phishing on the rise Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Khanna, July 13
The cases of cheating through SMS and unsolicited e-mails are on a rise. People are falling prey to the e-mails claiming to distribute fortune of a millionaire or those congratulating people of hitting a jackpot.

A government employee of Samrala fell prey to an SMS that said he had won a BMW car. He was directed to purchase a recharge coupon of Rs 5,000 to avail the car. After spending Rs 5,000, the sender of the SMS again messaged the employee and directed him to purchase more recharge coupons worth Rs 7,000 and next time the sender demanded Rs 10,000.

The shopkeeper who was giving the recharge coupons warned the employee and informed him about the cheating. The employee, on anonymity, said his family members did not allow him to contact the police and had not lodged a complaint in this regard.

“Even if we would have lodged a compliant with the police, they would have hardly helped me in getting the money back, instead they would have harassed me,” he said.

Bikram Gill, a resident of Ludhiana, said he and his friends had received a similar e-mail and SMS alert. “First the senders of such e-mails and SMS claim to give millions, but demand small amounts in thousands for custom clearance or courier charges for the lottery,” he said.

The SSP, Fatehgarh Sahib, said a few such cases were reported to the police. A woman from Mandi Gobindgarh had lost over Rs 1 lakh a few months ago in the online lottery. The CBI is investigating the case. 



Rich haul of drugs; two arrested
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 13
The Ludhiana rural police got a major breakthrough in its campaign against narcotics smugglers and drug peddlers, when it arrested Manohar Singh of Kacha Malak Road and Harkirpal Singh of Gulabi Bagh Kacha Malak Road and seized a large number of psychotropic and habit-forming drugs yesterday.

SHO Naveenpal Singh said he along with Pritam Singh, in-charge of the CIA staff, had set up a check point at Sherpur Chowk after getting a tip-off that the two persons were coming to the town with a huge quantity of intoxicants.

Dr Surinder Singh, nominated by the SMO, was also part of the police team.

The team intercepted a white Maurti van (PB 10 AF 1365) coming from Ludhiana. During its search, two box (800 capsules) of Sporbin Suposh, four boxes (576 capsules) of Sposmo Proxibin, one box (3,500 tablets) of Lomotel, two boxes (10,000 tablets) of Momolet and two boxes (240 bottles) of Rosepok were seized. The accused were arrested and a case under Sections 22, 61 and 85, NDPS, registered at the Jagraon police station.



Man held with poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Raikot, July 13
The police arrested a man for possessing 56 kg poppy husk here yesterday. A police team headed by SI Des Raj set up a barricade near bridge on the drain of Raikot.

On seeing the police, a suspected person tried to slip away, but was apprehended.

The accused was identified as Tehal Singh, alias Tehla, of Mohalla Molvian, Committee Gate, here.

The police seized two bags of poppy husk weighing 56.4 kg from his possession.

A case under Sections 15, 61 and 85, NDPS, has been registered in this regard.



Newly wed jawan commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 13
A jawan, posted at Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir, reportedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance here today.

The jawan, identified as Kulwinder Singh (28), had arrived at his home on July 7 to solemnise his marriage. He got married to a girl of Deherka village yesterday.

He along with his wife had gone to a gurdwara to pay obeisance in the morning. He allegedly consumed consumed some poisonous substance after returning home. He was taken to a private hospital here where he died.

The reason behind the alleged suicide could not be ascertained, as family members refused to speak on the issue. No suicide note has been recovered on the body of the deceased.

The Jagraon police has proceeded under Section 174 of the CrPC on the statement of Jagpal Singh, father of the deceased.



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