L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Teenagers foil kid’s abduction
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
Kidnapping bid on four-year-old boy Krish was foiled by three teenagers in Upkaar Nagar here this afternoon.

Around 2.15 pm, the kid was on his way to home after his school bus dropped him in front of the street number 8. He was picked by two persons on a cycle.

The accused pulled up the child and covered his mouth with a hand and made him sit on the cycle. The boy shouted and cried. It was witnessed by three teenagers, Luv Kumar, Mohit Rana and Nishant, who ran after the cycle. The trio caught the bicycle riders in street number 1 and rescued the boy.

While one of the accused has been identified as Jagdish (25), a resident of Salem Tabri, the second accused is still at large. The Area SHO said a case has been registered.

During preliminary investigation, accused Jagdish told the police that he used to work at Krish father's shop and required Rs 70,000 urgently. He thought since Krish's father owned a shop at Talaab Bazaar and was quite rich, his demand of Rs 1 lakh would be accepted immediately.

Talking to The Tribune, Krish's mother Nidhi Kalra said, "Like routine, I was standing outside waiting for him when suddenly I was told that Krish was being taken by some persons on a cycle and he was crying. I just apprised family members about it and ran towards the place where his bus droped him. By the time I reached, the boy had been rescued.”

“Krish was in shock when I saw him and he started crying. When we brought him home, he didn't talk to anyone and held me tightly. He was not having anything, be it water or something,” said the weeping mother, who thanked God for sending her son back safe and sound.

Krish's great grandmother Satnam Kaur, said, "Bhagwan ne baacha liya, nahi to patanahi kya hota (God saved, otherwise no one knows what would have happened.)"


All for humanity: Saviours
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
Audacity and friendship of the three teenagers were their forte which made them save the life of a four-year-old boy, who was unknown to them.

Luv Kumar (15) of Class XI, Mohit Rana (16) of XII and Nishant (16) of Class XI presented an exemplary act of bravery and didn't even care for their life for a child, who was just their neighbour.

The trio, who study in different schools, said, "We were standing outside when we saw Krish shouting and crying. It raised suspicion in our minds and we ran after the bicycle without any second thought." They added that even when they caught hold of two accused, they never thought that the kidnappers may be having weapons or could harm themselves.

Luv, who studies in BVM School, said, "When we caught them, they tried to run away, but we held one, though another ran away." He added that they started beating the accused so that he did not manage to flee.

Similarly, Nishant, a student of Guru Nanak Senior Secondary School, said he had no proud for his act and expressed it as an act for humanity. "Being humans, we need to save each other and the kid was just living in the neighbouring street. Though we knew about Krish's home, we had never met him or his family," added the duo.

Mohit Rana from Rashtriya Vidya Mandir said, "Courage does not need any thinking and it comes from within. So we can't give any message to the youth, but one thing is for sure that they need to stand against injustice”.



Hi-tech way of power theft
Booked for stealing power by remote sensor; flees

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 3
Swinging into action on a complaint filed by the field staff of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), the anti-power theft police station has registered a case under the Electricity Act, 2003, against Maninderjit Singh, a resident of Model Town, who was allegedly found to be stealing power through a remote sensor fitted into the meter in the course of spot inspection on Tuesday last.

A case of power theft was made out against the consumer. The operations wing of the PSEB had slapped a penalty of Rs 1,62,000 against the defaulting consumer, which has been deposited.

However, taking serious note of the nature of offence (theft of power by remote sensor), senior officials of the PSEB decided to lodge an FIR with the anti-power theft police station as a deterrent measure. Accordingly, the consumer was booked under relevant provisions of the Electricity Act yesterday.

The SHO of anti-power theft police station told The Tribune that the police had raided the premises of the accused several times, but he seemed to have gone underground. "Vigorous efforts are being made to apprehend Maninderjit Singh and the offence being non-bailable, he would be produced in a court after being arrested," the police officer added.

Meanwhile, the field staff of the Model Town division in the City West circle carried out a spot checking of energy meters and electrical installations on the premises of 221 domestic and commercial consumers during which six cases of power theft and another eight of overload were detected. The erring consumers were imposed with a penalty of Rs 1,69,000 and Rs 1,46,000.



4-year jail for kidnapping girl
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 3
Additional Sessions Judge Mohd Gulzar has convicted Mukesh of Love Kush colony, Moti Nagar, Ludhiana, on the charges of kidnapping a minor girl. He was sentenced to undergo four years of rigorous imprisonment.

Pronouncing the verdict, the court held that the prosecution had successfully proved the charges of kidnapping against him beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt. A fine of Rs 1,000 was also imposed on the convict.

‘‘I do not deem it justified to take lenient view as it will give a wrong signal to the society because he has committed the crime against society’', remarked the judge, while declining the plea of leniency raised by the accused.

A case under Sections 363, 366-A of the IPC was registered against the accused at the Focal Point police station on February 28, 2007, on the complaint of the father of girl Sonia.

The complainant had stated before the police that his daughter was studying in Class VIII . On February 22, 2007, she had gone to attend a function at her friend's house. But she did not return home. After making inquiries, they came to know that the accused had kidnapped their daughter in order to marry her. Later on, the police had recovered the girl.

On the other hand, the defence lawyer pleaded that the girl had accompanied accused with her own consent. This fact was admitted by her when she deposed in the witness box.

But after appreciating the evidence, the court held that the girl was minor at the time of the incident. It was proved by the prosecution that she was 16 years of age. Even the consent of a minor girl was no consent as per the law. Moreover, the victim girl was not even cross-examined on the point of age.



Rs 1.5 lakh stolen from car
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
An unidentified person went away with a briefcase carrying cash worth Rs 1.5 lakh from the backseat of a car this afternoon. Police sources said P.S. Bajaj, a businessman, was carrying the cash in a chauffeur-driven car. He got down to get some work done on inter-lock road. He left the briefcase inside, asking his driver to be careful.

When the driver was waiting for Bajaj, he heard a loud knock on the rear windscreen. He immediately came out of the vehicle and went to see, who was troubling him.

When he came out, an unidentified person opened the door and fled with the briefcase.

The driver gave him a chase but could not catch him.



Chhapar Mela
Thousands throng to pay obeisance
Mahesh Sharma

Guga followers beat their bodies with bunches of iron chains at Guga Mari, Chhapar
Guga followers beat their bodies with bunches of iron chains at Guga Mari, Chhapar on Thursday. Photo: Mahesh Sharma

Women buy ‘khajla’, a traditional sweetmeat, at the mela site
Women buy ‘khajla’, a traditional sweetmeat, at the mela site on Thursday. Photo: Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 3
A large number of devotees thronged the Chhapar mela for the second day today.

As women continued coming to pay obeisance at the shrine against the trend, the police remained on its toes to check eve-teasing. Extra cops were deployed near the main gate and the fun game, where women and children outnumbered men.

Though the number of devotees was less than expected, people had to wait for their turn to pay obeisance and present offerings at the temple. The police made special arrangements to accommodate followers of Guga and the elderly.

Groups of Guga Peer followers came to the shrine dancing on beats of drums. Some were seen beating their body with a bunch of metallic chains.

Leaders of various political parties also took part in the conferences, though they had to take the help of singers and “dhadis” for attracting the crowd. With none of the conferences nearing success, tents of a few parties, including that of the SAD, wore a deserted look.

Local leaders of political parties, including the Congress, the SAD, the SAD (A), the CPI and the CPM addressed their respective conferences. While the SAD leaders recounted the achievements of the state government, the Opposition leaders termed the government as a complete failure.

Senior leaders of almost all political parties, including Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh are expected to address their respective conferences tomorrow.



Admn helpless as beggary flourishes
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 3
Begging like in other parts of the state has become an organised trade in this part of Malwa as well.

The administration finds itself sandwiched between tradition and social evil. If this malpractice is ignored, organisers of the events, social organisations and the rights organisations demand action against those who dare to deal sternly with the beggars.

Investigations by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that a large number of beggars, mostly migrants have creating been nuisance during fairs and social gatherings for the past several years. Though the administration had started a drive to weed out gangsters suspected to be exploiting the beggars, it has failed to nab those who shifted physically challenged and amputated beggars to venues of social gatherings including the Chhappar Mela.

The authorities concerned have failed to locate those who bring the beggars who are not even able to sit or walk. Their pitiable conditions make people donate generously. How could they collect and preserve offerings in cash or kind is beyond the common man’s comprehension.

Those who have been taking part in the fairs claim that a gang had been shifting a beggar, with both of his legs amputated, in the vicinity of worship place for the past several years.

“Obviously some gang must be trying to exploit their pitiable condition”, remarked Tarsem Garg, a social activist. He had seen person-collecting money from a beggar’s bowl, whose both legs were amputated. The beggar was lying prostrate and devotees were putting money in his bowl.



Unhealthy practices go unchecked
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 3
Contrary to the claims made by the civil administration at the Chhapaar Mela, the health authorities were unable to check unhealthy practices at the mela. Recirculation of “Prasad”, mishandling of eatables, unhygienic conditions of preparation and presentation of eatables, sale of tobacco products to children and tattooing and dental care by unauthorised practitioners continued unabated at the biggest rural fair of the state.

Observation by The Tribune revealed that sweets and “patasas” were recirculated in a manner that was posing threat to human life. Even the “prasad”, which had been thrown on floor after being offered by the devotees, was also recovered by beggars and later sold at shops, obviously to be re-sold after being mixed with fresh “prasad”.

"This practice exposes thousands of devotees to infectious deceases caused by microbes present in the soil, it transmits pathogens from beggars suffering from chronic disorders," said Dr Ravi Sharma, demanding that the practice should be stopped immediately.

The health authorities also failed to check self-styled dental surgeons practising their “skills” at the mela site. They did not even wash their hands while extracting teeth of the rural folks.

A number of tattoo artists were seen inscribing various figures on body parts of various persons. "We do not force any one to get tattooed. I have only one machine with me and till today, no official objected to the practice," said a tattoo-maker when asked about chances of spreading diseases like AIDS.



Man accuses SDO of misusing funds
PSEB official calls it blackmailing tactics

Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 3
A resident, who lives on the outskirts of Lakha village on the Hathoor Road, alleged yesterday that he had paid Rs 45,000 for ensuring round-the-clock power supply to his house after he got fed up with frequent power cuts.

He had applied for power connection at a PSEB office in the village and handed over a cheque (0040100) drawn on the Bank of India’s Hathoor branch for Rs 44,600 on June 10 to SDO Varinder Kumar as per PSEB officials’ assessment. His house was to be connected with the round-the -clock supply line passing from near his house. He approached the SDO after the power connection was not supplied to his house despite promise.

SDO Varinder Kumar, SDO, told him to come again on the pretext of cheque’s misplacement. The SDO tried to evade him for two months on one pretext or the other before finally telling him that his cheque has got lost. Bahadur Singh once again approached his bank to get a fresh cheque issued in this connection.

To his horror he found that Rs 44,600 has already been withdrawn from his saving account No. 15987. Someone had erased his name and address from the back of the cheque with the help of a whitener and had written Account no 3362 on it. Thus, Rs 44,600 was transferred to the account of two persons one of whom lives in Chakar village and another at Lakha. SDO Varinder Kumar, however, maintained that Bahadur Singh had neither handed over any cheque nor any receipt to him. He dismissed the charges of Bahadur Singh as baseless allegations.

He further added that he had already probed into the matter. In fact, Bahadur Singh had left the cheque in his office unattended and someone might have picked it up and used it for transferring the money into his account. That person has already deposited the amount in Bahadur Singh’s account about 15 days ago. He further added that a penalty of Rs 58,000 had been imposed on Bahadur Singh for sealing power out of which he had deposited Rs 38,000. A sum of Rs 20,000 is still pending and he is trying to blackmail him for getting the penalty amount waived off.



Most malaria cases from city slums
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
Out of the total 32 cases of malaria reported in the district this season, 15 alone have been reported at GTB Charitable Hospital, Shastri Nagar, in the past one month.

Dr RS Sodhi, medical superintendent, GTB Charitable Hospital, said all 15 malaria cases surfaced in August.

A majority of the cases belongs to economically weaker sections, who are living in slums of Ludhiana with poor sanitation conditions.

Pits of stagnant water and heaps of rotten garbage have become the breeding ground for mosquitoes, flies and bacteria that cause epidemics.

Dr US Sooch, officiating district health officer, said there were chances of further surge in the number of cases as the weather is conducive for the breeding of mosquitoes.

He also expressed concern over the "dengue outbreak" that the city had witnessed in 2008, adding that the teams of anti-larvae wing, along with workers of the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, are continuously engaged in the destruction of larvae of Aedes mosquito, causing dengue fever.

Eighteen teams of nine members each are visiting different areas in the city and district to destroy mosquito larvae, check coolers with stagnant water and create awareness among masses for it.

However, district epidemiologist GP Mangla stated that malaria was on the decline as compared to previous years, adding that the recent studies pointed towards the decrease of the desease that witnessed in breeding of female Anopheles, the mosquito causing malaria.

At the same time, he pointed towards the increasing cases of dengue, referring to last year's epidemic. "A combined effort on the part of the Municipal Corporation and the department of health and family welfare to ensure preventive and curative measures is the best way to serve people," said Dr Mangla.



Attack on Doctors
IMA submits memo to DGP
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
Taking note of the health and family welfare department’s failure in getting a single donor platelet (SDP) installed in the local civil hospital despite the outbreak of dengue in 2008, the district unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called upon the local Civil Surgeon to immediately take up the matter with the Health Minister of Punjab.

Dr MK Sobti, district president, IMA, stated that the association had already extended its support to the district health authorities by making people aware of the steps for keeping seasonal diseases like dengue, gastroenteritis, malaria, swine flu, typhoid, hepatitis, skin diseases and eye ailments at bay. The association will distribute pamphlets, put up posters, hold group discussions and organise health education lectures also, he added.

Meanwhile, a delegation of state unit of the IMA in a memorandum submitted to DGP (Punjab) PS Gill has urged him to strictly enforce the Supreme Court’s guidelines in getting cases registered against doctors and action against those attacking medical professionals.

The delegation referred to the recent cases wherein the police booked senior doctors in Doraha and Rampura Phool without even waiting for the submission of the inquiry committee’s report.

The DGP stated that he had already ordered the SSPs to ensure that no medical professional would face harassment in future. Those indulging in violence against doctors would be dealt in accordance with the law, including the culprits’ involved incidents that place in Doraha and other places.



Brick-kiln owners refuse to use fly ash
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
The brick-kiln owners in the state have opposed the government notification asking them to use fly ash for making bricks.

As per the notification, a brick-kiln in 100 kilometre radius of any thermal plant is required to add 25 per cent of fly ash in the material used to make bricks. However, the kiln owners have rejected the government decision.

Talking to The Tribune, general secretary of Punjab Brick-kiln Owners’ Association Jagjit Sood said fly ash was a health hazard. He said if thermal plants were producing fly ash, why were the kiln owners being asked to consume it? "We are being forced to use fly ash. We are facing several other problems related to labour and this was an additional burden on us,” rued Sood. The brick-kiln owners had challenged the notification issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, in the court, but the decision was against them.

Though the government had provided temporary relief to the kiln owners, but they fear that they could be penalised anytime for not abiding by the law. President of the association Kuldeep Singh Makkar said they were also being taken for a ride by the labourers. “Whenever they want advance, they come in clusters. We usually give them advance so that our work does not suffer. But they hire services of lawyers and move application in the court under the Labour Act. They get relief and we are given orders to release them immediately. Then they move to another owner. The practice was rampant earlier, too, but it has taken an ugly turn in the recent times,” claimed Makkar.



PAU Notes
Scientists honoured for best wheat variety
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
A group of wheat scientists working in the department of plant breeding and genetics has brought laurels to the varsity during the 48th All India Wheat and Barley Research Workers' Meeting, organised at Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.

A PAU-developed durum wheat variety - PDW 314 - has been identified for release under irrigated timely sown conditions of the entire north-western plain zone of India, whereas four of its varieties have been promoted as final year entries. These include bread wheat varieties PBW 621 for irrigated area and PBW 629 for areas having restricted irrigation and durum wheat varieties PDW 315 and PDW 317, said PAU Director of Research Dr PS Minhas.

He said the varieties developed by the PAU continued to be most popular varieties at the national level as indicated by the indents for the breeders seed, which was highest for variety PBW 502, followed by PBW 343, PBW 550, PBW 373, PBW 509 and PBW 443.

Specifically, the demand for PBW 550 has skyrocketed within a short span of two years, he said. Not only for the north-western plains, four of PAU wheat varieties have been promoted to other wheat zones of India, said Dr Minhas.

The varieties PBW 634 and PBW 636 have been promoted to advance varietal trials (AVT) irrigated timely sown in the north-eastern plains zone and PDW 315 and PBW 640 in the peninsular zone.

Based on their performance, the wheat group was awarded plaques for best variety PBW 590 for irrigated late sown conditions of NWPZ and PBW 596 for the peninsular zone of India. Dr Minhas has congratulated the interdisciplinary scientists of the wheat group, including senior wheat breeders Dr VS Sohu, Dr NS Bains, Dr GS Mavi and assistant breeder Dr Achla Sharma, senior plant pathologists Dr Indu Sharma and Dr Madhu Meeta Jindal, senior agronomist, Dr Hari Ram, assistant entomologist, Dr Beant Singh, senior nematologist, Dr Damanjit Kaur, senior analysts, Dr RP Singh and Dr SK Gupta for this achievement.

Blight hits paddy

The Plant Clinic in the Farmers Service Centre of the PAU is receiving blight-affected samples of paddy these days. This was disclosed by the PAU Director, Extension Education, Dr Mukhtar Singh Gill.

He said the problem was more common in the paddy variety Pusa-44. The disease manifests itself as greenish-yellow stripes along the leaf margins and extends both lengthwise and breadth wise. The leaf starts drying from the tip, becomes white in severe cases and may dry up, said Dr Gill. The farmers are being guided by dealers or others to try different fungicides for controlling the disease, whereas the experts opine that once started the disease cannot be controlled through spray of chemicals.

Experts advise farmers not to apply excessive doze of nitrogen. The diseased plants should not be over irrigated.

Dr Gill suggested the farmers not to waste money in resorting to unnecessary chemical sprays and that in future the farmers should grow rice varieties such as PR-120, PAU-201, PR-118, PR-116, PR-115, PR-114, PR-113 and PR-111 which are resistant. He said that the farmers should consult agricultural experts at the PAU to seek solution to any crop problem. They can contact the experts in the Plant Clinic at Phone No. 0161-2410001 to have their advice. Additionally, the farmers could contact experts of Krishi Vigyan Kenders, agricultural extension specialists at the PAU Regional Station.



e wild wild web
Online shopping new way of life
Anil Maheshwari

Online shopping is the process consumers go through to purchase products or services over the Internet. An online shop, e-shop, e-store, internet shop, webshop, webstore, online store, or virtual store evokes the physical analogy of buying products or services at a bricks-and-mortar retailer or in a shopping mall. The metaphor of an online catalogue is also used by analogy with mail order catalogues. Online shopping is a type of electronic commerce used for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions.

Buying online introduced new ways of reducing costs by reducing the number of staff needed. It is a more effective way of getting products to people and spreading into different demographics.

Benefits of online shopping

1. Bargaining power of consumers. They enjoy a wider choice.

2. Supplier power. It is more difficult for consumers to manage a non-digital channel.

3. Internet increases commoditisation or commercialisation.

4. Threat of new entrants. Online means it is easier to introduce new services with lower over-heads.

5. Threat of substitutes.

6. Rivalry among competitors. It is easier to introduce products and services to different markets.

7. Online stores are usually available 24 hours a day.

8. Searching or browsing an online catalogue can be faster than browsing the aisles of a physical store.

9. One advantage of shopping online is being able to quickly seek out deals for items or services with many different vendors.

10. Shoppers find a greater selection online in certain market segments (for example, computers and consumer electronics) and in some cases lower prices. This is due to a relaxation of certain constraints, such as the size of a "brick-and-mortar" store, lower stocking costs and lower staffing overhead.

11. Shipping costs reduce the price advantage of online merchandise.

A weakness of online shopping is that even if a purchase can be made 24 hours a day, the customer must often be at home during normal business hours to accept the delivery. For many professionals this can be difficult, and absence at the time of delivery can result in delays, or in some cases, return of the item to the retailer.

In the event of a problem with the item - it is not what the consumer ordered, or it is not what they expected - consumers are concerned with the ease with which they can return an item for the correct one or for a refund. Consumers may need to contact the retailer, visit the post office and pay return shipping, and then wait for a replacement or refund. Some online companies have more generously return policies to compensate for the traditional advantage of physical stores.

Online stores must describe products for sale with text, photos, and multimedia files, whereas in a physical retail store, the actual product and the manufacturer's packaging will be available for direct inspection (which might involve a test drive, fitting, or other experimentation).

Some stores even allow customers to comment or rate their items. There are also dedicated review sites that host user reviews for different products. In a conventional retail store, clerks are generally available to answer questions. Some online stores have real-time chat features, but most rely on e-mail or phone calls to handle customer questions.

The idea of online shopping predates the World Wide Web but got impetus only in 1990 Tim Berners-Lee created the first World Wide Web server and browser. In 1992, Charles Stack created the first online book store, Book Stacks Unlimited (aka Books.com), two years before Jeff Bezos started Amazon. In 1994 other advances took place, such as online banking and the opening of an online pizza shop by Pizza Hut. During that same year, Netscape introduced SSL encryption of data transferred online, which has become essential for secure online shopping. In 1995, Amazon expanded its online shopping, and in 1996 e-bay appeared.

In general, shopping has always catered to middle class and upper class women. In recent years, online shopping is becoming popular. In order to shop online, one must be able to have access to a computer, a bank account and a debit card or a credit card. Shopping has evolved with the growth of technology. The higher the level of education, income, and occupation of the head of the household, the more favourable the perception of non-store shopping is.

Word of mouth has become a leading way by which people find shopping websites. When an online shopper has a good first experience with a certain website, 60 per cent of the time they will return to that website to buy more.

Books are one of the things bought most online. However, clothes, shoes and accessories are also very popular things bought online. Cosmetics, nutrition products and groceries are increasingly being purchased online. About one fourth of travellers buy their plane tickets online because it is a quick and easy way to compare airline travel and make a purchase.

From a sociological perspective, online shopping is arguably the most predictable way to shop. One knows exactly what website to go to, how much the product will cost, and how long it will take for the product to reach them. Online shopping has become extremely routine and predictable, which is one of its great appeals to the consumer.

Online shoppers commonly use credit card to make payments, however, some systems enable users to create accounts and pay by alternative mean. The financial part of a transaction might be processed in real time (for example, letting the consumer know their credit card was declined before they log off), or might be done later as part of the fulfilment process. Credit cards are currently the most popular means of paying for online goods and services.

Once a payment has been accepted the goods or services can be delivered in the following ways.

  • Download: This is the method often used for digital media products such as software, music, movies, or images.
  • Shipping: The product is shipped to the customer's address.
  • In the case of buying an admission ticket, one may get a code, or a ticket that can be printed out. At the premises, it is made sure that the same right of admission is not used twice.

It is important to take the country and customers into account. For example, in Japan, privacy is very important and emotional involvement is more important on a pension’s site than on a shopping site. Next to that, there is a difference in experience: experienced users focus more on the variables that directly influence the task, while novice users are focusing more on understanding the information.

When the customers want to the online shop, a couple of factors determine whether they will return to the site. The most important factors are the ease of use and the presence of user-friendly features.

The writer is an editor with Instablogs.com (anilm@instablogs.com)



Panch dismissed for smuggling
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 3
A panch of nearby Sohian village has been dismissed from his position on the charges of his being involved in smuggling of opium.

Director of rural development and panchayat department of Punjab government, dated July 30, has dismissed Sukhdev Singh from the post of village panchayat under Section 20 (3) of the Punjab Panchayati Raj Act, 1994. A letter regarding this decision, duly signed by director Gurdev Singh Sandhu, has been delivered to the Jagraon BDPO and the panchayat officer by the law officer of the department.

The dismissal is effective from the immediate effect. It is pertinent to mention here that a case was registered against panch Sukhdev Singh on July 11 last year near Dabwali and he was arrested. The police had recovered 250 g of opium from his possession. A complaint by his rival to the panchayat election was lodged before the director, rural development and panchayat department of Punjab government. He was given many opportunities to clear his position, but he neither appeared before the inquiry officer nor he submitted his reply to the department. The department has categorically made clear that any body involved in such cases will not be allowed to assume any public office.



Notification on UGC pay scales hailed

Ludhiana, September 3
The Punjab Commerce and Management Association (PCMA) has welcomed the notification of the state government for implementation of UGC pay scales in the universities and the colleges of Punjab.

The Punjab government has implemented the recommendations of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, in toto. It is for the first time that the recommendations of the UGC and the MHRD have been implemented in toto.

Prof Ashwani Bhalla, executive vice-president of the PCMA said the creation of posts of professors in the colleges and award of pay band-IV (Rs 37,400-Rs 67,000) with grade of Rs 9,000 was a welcome step which would attract talent in the teaching profession. As per the notification, there would be three-tier posts of teachers in the colleges and universities.

The PCMA has also welcomed the career advancement scheme for the college and university teachers, which is incentive-based. — TNS



Paresh Rawal tenders apology
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
Paresh Rawal has tendered a written apology to the Hindu Sikh Jagriti Sena for incorporating some scenes in his recently staged play, shadi@barbadi.com, that hurt the sentiments of the Hindu community.

Exhibiting humility, the actor readily agreed to apologise. He had written in his apology that it was never his intention of hurting anybody and whatever happened was inadvertently. He had also assured that the scenes would not be included in the play in future.

The Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam (LSS), which is involved in promoting culture and arts in the city, has also apologised for the same, adding that the organisation will see that such incidents are not repeated.

Paresh Rawal and his troupe had staged the play in Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan on August 22, wherein the actor had chanted the prayer "Om jai jagdish", making a gesture with a cigarette in his hand. The Hindu Sikh Jagriti Sena had staged protest in the city, raising slogans against the actor and his co-performers. Sena activists had also burnt the effigies of the actor, asking him to apologise for it. Sena pradhan Praveen Dang, in a statement, today stated that the actor's apology had been accepted.



Community policing launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
Making an attempt to decrease distance between the police and residents, the police has launched community policing at Sarabha Nagar Police Station as a pilot project.

The pilot project was today inaugurated by DIG S.S. Chauhan and SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill, who termed it as people friendly and said if it proved to be a success, the idea would be implemented in other areas too.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr Gill said, "In the first phase, we have appointed Surinder Kumar Chopra as the community officer at Sarabha Nagar. He will be helped by an assistant and the duo will be available from 9am to 5 pm. People could contact them for any sort of help they required."

He added that at present the facility was only for the people coming under jurisdiction of the Sarabha Nagar police station.



Idols of Ganesha immersed in canal
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 3
Various local religious organisations celebrated Ganesh Mahotsav and immersed idols of their deity amid drumbeats and chants of "Ganpati Bappa Moriya" in Sirhind Canal, near here, yesterday.

As the 10-day Ganesh festival drew to a close, idols of the God of wisdom, were taken to nearby Sirhind Canal under the banners of the Bhartia Mahabir Dal, the Ganpati Seva Sangh, the Shri Ram Mandir, the Shri Sanatan Dharam Sabha, the Har Har Maha Dev, and the Bajrang Dal for "visarjan."

According to Bimal Kumar Sharma, councillor, puja was performed at various temples during the past 10 days. Men, women and children joined the puja and procession yesterday.

The Ganpati puja celebration was also observed at some Sikh families also.

Keeping in view the need to avoid water pollution in the canal, small idols were made, claimed the organisers.



Swine flu alert by gurdwara
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 3
Taking note of the suggestions made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) regarding the spread of epidemics, the management committee of the Gurdwara Manji Sahib at Alamgir has launched a crusade against the dreaded H1N1 virus.

The devotees coming to pay obeisance at the shrine are being alerted about the swine flu threat through display boards. Besides, the preachers make reference about the prevention, diagnosis and prognosis of the disease during religious discourses.

The management has also coordinated with the health officials to facilitate the awareness campaign launched by the authorities. Kingi Singh, head granthi at the gurdwara, said taking preventive measures at religious congregations was more important as chances of spreading pathogens were more at these places.

"Realising the need of alerting devotees about the possibilities of transfer of pathogens, including H1N1 virus through droplet infection and articles touched by the carriers of the virus, we have urged them to cover their mouth and nose and wash their hands before and after coming to the shrine," said Kingi Singh. He said liquid soap was being provided at various places in the gurdwara.

He claimed that coordinated endeavour by the health authorities and religious organisations could prevent the menace from spreading further.



Poor healthcare, people turn to big cities
Our Correspondent

Amloh, September 3
Due to the lack of inadequate health services, people in rural area have to face many difficulties and are forced to spend huge money for treatment in big cities. People in advanced countries have adopted physiotherapy, which has no side-effect on the health, said senior advocate Joginder Singh Toor after inaugurating Baina Health Care Centre at Amloh today.

Dr R Dhinakaran, MPT consultant physiotherapist (Madras), said the medicines in neck, back, knee, pain, arthritis and disc problems gave temporary relief to the patients and the patients had to depend on heavy doses in next attacks of the disease. The system was cheaper and provided permanent relief.



Residents protest against non-lifting of garbage
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
Residents of Ward No 46, along with Akali leader RS Bhatia, yesterday blocked road and burnt an effigy of Municipal Commissioner GS Ghuman while protesting against the municipal corporation’s failure to clear a garbage dump. Irked agitators complained that the condition around their homes had gone from bad to worse.

The municipal commissioner is hardly bothered about it, they rued. Raising slogans against the official, the residents kicked the commissioner’s effigy with shoes and abused the official. The dustbins and streets have become a garbage dump and are stinking. One is not able to stay there even for a few minutes.

Area councillor Surjit Kaur Bhatia said, “We have met the commissioner personally and he had also visited the area. Even then there was no response from his side. The health branch of the municipal corporation, which is responsible for garbage disposal, has not taken it seriously and people have been approaching me daily”. The councillor’s son R.S. Bhatia, who was leading the protestors, said “For the past two months, the garbage in the area had not been cleared and it can lead to an epidemic, but who cares”.



Randhir Nagar women stall anti-encroachment drive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation had to suspend its anti-encroachment drive in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar following protest by area women here today.

According to information, MC officials, led by ATP Ramesh Chabbra, had gone to the area to remove encroachments following orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court at around 5.30 pm. The MC team managed to remove around 20 encroachments. However, the area residents opposed the move and started arguing with the ATP. Meanwhile, five-seven women lay in front of JCB machines and stalled the demolition work.

Though the officials tried to convince the residents, nobody was ready to listen to them. The angry residents made things tough for the officials and they had to return empty-handed.

Talking to The Tribune, Municipal Town Planner Hemant Batra said, “We urge the residents to help us in removing encroachments as we are just following the directions of the High Court.”



3 booked for selling duplicate spare parts
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 3
Representatives of MICO Bosch from New Delhi and a police team raided the premises of various local spare parts dealers and seized 70 duplicate diesel filters from the possession of three dealers.

Karnail Singh, operation manager, MICO Bosch, said they acted on a tip off that these dealers were selling duplicate diesel filters in the company’s name.

The manager and the police team raided the shops and arrested the dealers. On hearing this, other dealers managed to escape. Those arrested have been identified as Vinod Kumar Maini (M/s Punjab Motors, 18 filters), a resident of Mohalla Inderpuri, Swaran Singh (M/s Romi Tractors, 15 filters), a resident of Bijli Ghar near Lal Palace, Sohan Singh of (M/s Manuk Motors, 34 filters) and Karamjit Singh (M/s Gill Motors 13 filters), a resident of Dashmesh Nagar.

These shops were located near the Lal Palace Theater on the Moga Road. The dealers have been booked under Sections 63 and 64 of the Copyright Act 1954, Amended Act 1984, and Section 420 of the IPC. They were produced in the court of judge Mandeep Kaur Bedi and remanded into judicial custody.



6 booked for demanding dowry
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 3
The Sidhwan Bet police has booked six members of the family for demanding more dowry and harassment. Gurpreet Kaur, who now lives with her father at Sowaddi Kalan, had got married to Kulwinder Singh of Bhadar Wadh near Dhuri in the Sangrur district on November 22, 2004.

A son was born to them out of the wedlock in 2005. After some time her in-laws started harassing her mentally and physically for bringing inadequate dowry. They even turned her out of the house. She moved the Jagraon Courts.

The Sidhwan Bet police has booked Kulwinder Singh, his brothers Kuldeep Singh and Jaswinder Singh, his sister Sukhjinder Kaur, his father Gurdev Singh and his mother Gurmit Kaur, under Sections 406 and 498A of the IPC.



Death in fields
Man, son booked for hiding evidence
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 3
The Sadar police has booked a father son duo for allegedly tempering with proof regarding a man’s death. SHO of the Sadar police station said Harbhajan Singh (65), a retired Army men, who resides at Roomi village, got electrocuted while working at the fields of Hari Singh of Chahrari village yesterday evening.

Harbhajan Singh, who works a daily wager, sustained severe burn injuries and died. Afraid of being caught for death of Harbhajan Singh, Hari Singh and his son Harjit Singh changed his cloths and dumped his at a distance from their fields. They, then, informed the family of the deceased.

Family reached the spot and found that Harbhajan Singh had sustained severe burn injuries. They lodged a complaint with the police in this regard. A case was registered against Harjit Singh and his father Hari Singh on the statement of Harbant Singh, son of Harbhajan Singh under Sections 304 A and 201 of the IPC. Hunt is on to nab the accused, the SHO added.



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