L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


With home, goes their hope
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
Many families were rendered homeless by the MC officials during a demolition drive yesterday. Residing at the site for over two decades, these people did not even know what encroachment meant. All they know is that it was an empty place when they settled there around 25 years ago.

Unaware of her fate, Jamila (8) smiles and shares her dream. “I want to be in the police when I grow up. But I would not be like those people who demolished my shanty. I’ll be a good ‘policewala’ who protects people,” she says. She couldn’t go to her school today.“When they were breaking my home, I felt like hitting them. Who are they to decide where I should live with my family? I don’t know why my parents didn’t oppose them,” she adds.

“They demolished our shelters. Do you know how much it costs to buy a tarpaulin and a folding bed? I bought four beds for my family of 10 for Rs 2,000 from a junk dealer. I paid Rs 200 to him every month. It took me 10 months to pay the instalments and they took a minute to break these,” says Nindri.

“I don’t know what was my fault, but one thing is for sure that the place which the authorities want cleared would continue to be filled with rubbish even if we don’t live here,” she adds.

Forty-year-old Jabo says: “I was newly married when I came here and today I am blessed with grandchildren. We don’t have jobs and don’t have access to education, but we do have the right to live. Go and check police records, they don’t have any complaints against us. We do not indulge in crime.”

She wants to know if there was any government scheme under which they could get a house. “It is unsuitable for young girls to take bath in the open or behind a thin veil,” says Pali Ram, mother of eight. “When the government could not give us shelter, it has no right to take away our resources,” she adds.

These families, around 50 in number, earn their living through odd jobs like performing on weddings and the birth of child, besides women help decorate houses on auspicious occasions.


Former SDO found murdered in loft 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
A former SDO of the PSEB, Darbara Singh, was allegedly strangled by his aide over the issue of paying back a loan. His body was found in a loft here this morning.

Darbara Singh (65) was a bachelor and was living alone at his house in Street No. 7 of Bhagwan Nagar. His body was found tied in the loft at the house of his aide, Dhan Bahadur, an autorickshaw driver, this morning after a neighbour, who had heard his cries, broke open the door when Dhan Bahadur left.

The police arrested Dhan Bahadur, who is a migrant, but converted to Sikhism after he was inspired by Darbara Singh. He reportedly confessed to the crime.

Police sources said Dhan Bahadur had borrowed Rs 45,000 from the SDO a year ago. He had paid the interest to the SDO, but he wanted more money.

This angered Dhan Bahadur, who decided to kill him. He invited him to his house in the morning and both drank till 7 am. Later, the accused strangled him and tied his hands and legs before putting the body into the loft. When Bahadur was strangling him, neighbours heard the cries. Soon after, the accused left the house.

The neighbours sent a child inside the house through a window and he opened the door. They then found the body in the loft and called the police.

The neighbours said they had often seen them together and had never imagined that money would force one to murder the other.

The police has registered a case of murder against the accused. A string that was used to strangle the victim has been recovered.



Teachers lay siege to road
Tribune News Service

BEd teachers burn the effigy of Punjab CM at Bharat Nagar Chowk in Ludhiana on Saturday.
BEd teachers burn the effigy of Punjab CM at Bharat Nagar Chowk in Ludhiana on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, October 10
Elementary trainee teachers and activists of the BEd Adhyapak Front blocked the Ferozepur road in front of the mini secretariat here today in support of their demands. Hundreds of commuters were inconvenienced as they were stranded for nearly an hour.

The activists also burnt the effigy of the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal. The trainee teachers have been saying that zila parishad schools should be brought under the jurisdiction of the state education department and a special pay scale must be introduced as recommended by the Fifth Pay Commission.

The BEd teachers, meanwhile, sought the implementation of the recommendations of the commission in toto. They said the state government was trying to pay them only 35 per cent of the total recommendations.

Their president, Harvinder Singh Bilga, said the education minister had also gone back on his promise as the government had failed to hike their salaries even though he had promised so only last month.

They said their demands should be met with immediately otherwise they would be forced to intensify their agitation. They said during the Congress regime also they had to struggle for eight years to get their services regularised.



PRTC defaults on EPF; told to deposit Rs 2 cr
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 10
The management of Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) has been reprimanded by the Regional Commissioner of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation for its failure to deposit Rs 2 crore towards the EPF of contractual workers engaged by contractors who run buses on kilometre basis.

In the orders issued on October 1, the PRTC management has been asked to deposit the amount by October 31, failing which the money would be recovered through attachment of its assets and properties.

Functionaries of the Contract PRTC Workers Union, which fought a battle for over a year to seek justice, maintained that as per the EPF rules, the PRTC, as the principal employer, was liable to deposit the EPF deducted from the wages of the workers as also the contribution of the employer.

“The default by the contractor on this account does not absolve the PRTC management from its statutory responsibility,” they said.

Jasmer Singh, state president of the union, said the Punjab and Haryana High Court had made it clear in a judgement against the Punjab Agro Foods, Markfed and PUNSUP that in accordance with paras 30 and 31 of the EPF Act, the onus for depositing the provident fund rested with the principal employer.

Rupinder Singh and Ram Das Jassal, general secretary and secretary, respectively of the union, criticised the Regional Commissioner of the EPFO for dispensation of “partial” justice to contract workers. “Failure to deposit the EPF on time is tantamount to misappropriation and the PRTC management should have been penalised by way of imposing penalty and also asked to pay 18 per cent interest on the amount,” they stated.



2-yr-old thrown into pond; dies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
The in-laws of a woman allegedly threw her daughter and her into a village pond at Dhola village. Though the woman survived, her two-year-old child, Ramandeep Kaur, drowned.

The incident came to light today when the police booked her husband Pritpal Singh, mother-in-law Gurmit Kaur and sister-in-law for thrashing Kulwant Kaur for more dowry and killing the child.

Kulwant Kaur had married Pritpal Singh four years ago. She alleged that her in-laws would harass her for more dowry and when she expressed her inability, they started torturing her.

On Tuesday, she accompanied her mother-in-law and sister-in-law to the pond to perform a ritual. However, they threw her child and her in the pond. Though onlookers managed to rescue Kulwant Kaur and took her to hospital, her daughter drowned.

The accused, who have absconded, have been booked under Sections 304, 498-A and 120-B of the IPC.



Female Foeticide 
Much-hyped hotline proves to be a damp squib
Mahesh Sharma

Ludhiana, October 10
Much-hyped hotline to curb female foeticide, calmingly the first public health helpline of the nation, proved to be a disappointment for those who had visualised the facility as panacea for all their unsolved problems, including action against those facilitating sex determination and medical termination of pregnancy.

All those who were expecting immediate solution to their grouse and tried to contact the Public Health Call Centre established recently as part of the National Rural Health Mission were disappointed today. The ‘community hotline service’ number 4005252, as publicised by the administration turned out to be non-functional and non-existent.

“You have dialed a wrong number. Please check the number you have dialed,” was the only answer when I tried to contact the community hotline service at the telephone number published in a section of media,” lamented Mohan Bala, a social activist from the Simla Puri area. One of her acquaintances, a mother of two daughters, had sought her help in preventing her in-laws from forcing her go for sex determination text.

Dr Ravinder Sharma, president, international club, said he was disappointed to find that claims made by apex authorities in NHRM proved to be bogus. “It seems that the mafia engaged in patronising sex determination and subsequent female foeticide have choked the project in its infancy,” alleged Dr Sharma, who wanted to pass on information about illegal activities of a few nursing homes and ultra sound scan centres of the area.

Another woman, an employee in a public undertaking, on condition of anonymity said her persistent efforts to seek help of the community centre in preventing her mother-in-law from administering her some concoction that according to her (mother-in-law) would produce a male child, bore no fruit today. “Though it would be my first child and we have no priorities for male or female child, my mother-in-law wants that I should give birth to a son.

Believing that oral administration of some herbs will transform the fetus to a male child she almost forces me to take a concoction brought from a quack,” elaborated the woman apprehending the administration of the said preparation might harm the fetus.

Maintaining that bell rang on the said number on dialing after prefixing area code of the state capital, a social activist who did not want to be quoted, alleged that exploitation of a rural woman had gone unchecked due to non-functioning of the call centre today.

“A poor woman from Nagar village had to dispose of her earrings to set off exorbitant bill of a local doctor. She had to pay for negligence of midwife from her village during birth of her daughter,” alleged the social activist



Hargobind Nagar, a colony from hell
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
While the battle for the status of declared and undeclared colony for Hargobind Nagar is on, the fact that residents are reeling under unhygienic conditions cannot be ruled out.

Choked sewers, broken roads and mosquitoes have become the identification mark for this locality whose inhabitants are cursing the day when they constructed their houses here. Though they confess that they don’t have any votes, they rue that it cannot be considered a criterion for denying them the right to live in conditions, which are conducive for sustenance.

Talking to The Tribune, area resident Ravinder Singh said: “There are two schools and one hospital. The condition of the approach road is that one will think twice before taking this route. Daily I see kids falling from bicycles, while on their way due to the stones that have been thrown for making the road, but fail to understand why premix has not been laid on it till date.”

The condition of sewers, too, is the same that flows regularly due to ‘vehras’ developed in the area.

Similarly, Prabhu Das Gulab, who owns a tent house, said: “The area is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. From this one can judge where we are living. These ponds created by sewer on empty plots are Pandora’s box and we are living in epidemic- prone area that could break out any time.” It seems an outbreak of epidemic will only open the eyes of civic body officials, he added.

The residents revealed that piggery is one of the important businesses of the poor in the area and these pigs fed on sewer water. “We don’t know where the meat is used, but we are sure those who eat are going to get sick.

They complained that the area councillor had shut her eyes to their woes just on the pretext that they are not her votes, urging Municipal Commissioner to look into the matter.

Despite repeated attempts, area councillor Baby Thakur could not be contacted.



Power Tariff: Flip-flop annoys consumers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 10
In the wake of resentment among consumers and the pressure by the coalition partner BJP, the government had put the proposed hike on power tariff announced last month with retrospective effect from April 1, 2009, on hold, saying that the entire portion of the increased tariff, which worked out to Rs 1,296 crore for the year, would be subsidised. The decision was, however, subject to the approval of the Punjab State Energy Regulatory Commission, which seems reluctant to give a nod.

However, in the absence of any clear directions from the government, the Punjab State Electricity Board is sending energy bills to consumers on the revised tariff, which has annoyed the consumers.

A senior official of the PSEB, requesting anonymity, said: “The decision by the government (to defer) the tariff hike seems to be a political gimmick and no directions have been issued to the PSEB in this regard. We are bound by the decision of tariff revision as approved by the PSERC and energy bills are being issued accordingly.”

Not only opposition parties like Congress, which are attacking the government on the issue, but also the coalition partner BJP feels that its urban vote bank might be eroded with the additional burden on the urban population. The SAD is also facing opposition from within its own cadres.

Mandal president of BJP (Shivaji mandal) Anil Walia said: “Office-bearers of the party, which had taken credit for the deferment of the hike and forcing the government to subsidise the burden, are now feeling embarrassed and humiliated. We have to cut a sorry figure when people allege that the BJP leadership has misled them.”

Calling upon the government to rein in the bureaucracy, which was bringing a bad name to the coalition, the BJP functionary wanted clear instructions to the PSEB management to continue sending energy bills as per the old tariff until the matter was settled.

PD Sharma, president of the Apex Chamber of Industry, has also taken exception to the government going back on its word and consumers, including industrial units, being sent bills on the increased rates.



Anti-encroachment drive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
The tehbazari wing of the local Municipal Corporation removed temporary encroachments from various parts of the city today.

The team removed a few handcarts and wooden stools from areas like Chaura Bazaar and Daresi ground.

Superintendent Naveen Malhotra said: “We have removed subzi mandi from Aggar Nagar and various handcarts from PAU gate No. 4 as these encroachments have resulted in traffic chaos in various parts of the city.

People used to stop at these handcarts for buying products irrespective of parking sense and our effort is just to ensure roads to be temporary-encroachments free.” He added that the team also went to some areas where they had earlier conducted drives so that handcart pullers don’t encroach upon the space again.



Painting exhibition a treat to eyes
Tribune News Service

Puneeta Ranjan during her painting exhibition in Ludhiana.
Puneeta Ranjan during her painting exhibition in Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, October 10
Excellence award winner artiste Puneeta Ranjan's solo paintings exhibition "Joy of Life" started at Sutlej Club here today.

The vibrant paintings exhibition will remain open till tomorrow. A kaleidoscope of colours is what Puneeta calls her collection "Joy of Life".

"I have expressed happiness in my paintings from holding a flower, grabbing an old football or finding beauty in nature, one should live every moment," said Puneeta.

A self-trained artiste, who earlier ventured into Chartered Accountancy, said it was her love for the art that compelled her to give up her CA to take up painting full time. She has also organised solo exhibitions in Chandigarh, New Delhi, Pune, Allahabad and Gaya before revisiting Ludhiana.

She held her last exhibition in the city in November 2005. Besides, she has held her group shows in Allahabad and Patna, where she got the Excellence award.

Born and raised in Gaya, Puneeta is now based in Panchkula. Mostly inspired by the tradition and tribal beauties of India, the characters of her paintings radiate the contentment and happiness of an innocent soul. Some of her ideas also revolve around the realm of soul and mind through abstracts on canvas.



Celebrations mark Zonal Youth Fest
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 10
Hundreds and girls and boys from about 32 colleges of Sangrur zone of the Punjabi University, Patiala, exhibited their art during the second day of the Zonal Youth Festival that commenced at Shanti Tara College, Akbarpur Chhanna, near here yesterday.

Gurlovleen Singh Sidhu, SDM Malerkotala, presided over and Naresh Gupta a philanthropist of the area was the chief guest.

Earlier, IAS Ashok Gupta had inaugurated the festival yesterday and Rajinder Bhandari president BJP was the chief guest.

Prem Gupta, chairman and Arvind Malhotra trust secretary of the host college welcomed the guests.

According to Dr S K Uppal, convener of the event, gidha, bhangra, painting and quiz contests were held on the first two days of the event. Members of organising committee, Dr Satish Verma, Dr Tarsem Dhaliwal, Jasbir Kaur, Dr I S Tiwana, Dr Meena Kumari and Dr SC Mastuana supervised various events.



Festival Rush
No room in long-haul trains
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 10
The ongoing festival rush, with Diwali and Chhath Puja round the corner, there is virtually no room for at least next three weeks in most of the trunk route and long-haul trains, especially those bound for Mumbai, Howrah, Delhi and other destinations in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

This was despite the fact that Northern Railway authorities had introduced a large number of festival special trains on different routes during this month to cope with the heavy rush of passengers.

Enquiries made from the railway authorities revealed that no reservation was available in sleeper class for Mumbai-bound rail passengers till October 30.

The waiting list for 2904 Golden Temple Mail on this date stood at 205, for 2926 Pashchim Express it was 202 and even not so much preferred 1058 Dadar Express had a waiting list of 37 on October 30.

The same situation goes for those intending to visit Kolkata during the festival season. Both 3006 Howrah Mail and 3050 Howrah Express have a waiting list of 45 and 8, respectively, on October 30.

For the migrant population hailing from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, which has a sizeable presence in the mega city, getting railway reservation to visit their native places for the festivals has become rather difficult, if not impossible.

As far as availability of reservation in sleeper class of 4674 Shaheed Express goes, it has a waiting list of 21 for Darbhanga and 22 for Samastipur (both in Bihar) as on October 25 whereas 5708 Amritsar-Katihar Express, which takes the rail traffic bound for Basti, Gorakhpur (in Uttar Pradesh), Samastipur, Begusarai, Barauni, Chhapra, Muzaffarpur and Katihar (in Bihar) has a waiting list of 36 on the same date.

For rail journey to Moradabad, there is no room (no reservation even on waiting list) on 3006 Howrah Mail from October 25 to 30, 3308 Ganga-Sutlej Express has RAC 13 on October 25 and 4674 Shaheed Express has a waiting list of 22 on that day.

Prospects of rail journey even to the national capital, at least through sleeper class, till the end of this month are not that good. According to railway officials, 2414 Jammu-Ajmer Express has a waiting list of 181 on October 30, in 2904 Golden Temple Mail there is no room.

For 2930 Malwa Express the waiting list is 73, for 4646 Shalimar Express it is 114 and Pashchim Express has a waiting list of 202 on the same day.

With no reservation available to intended destinations during the next three weeks, the staff at the reservation counter has to face huge rush and fury of frustrated people while there were reports of certain travel agents and touts offering berths and seats at a premium which were said to have been obtained through dummy booking long time back to make some easy money.



Councillors allege fraud in machine purchase
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 10
Municipal council president Baldev Krishan Dheer, alias Telu, seems to be in trouble again as five out of nine councillors have alleged bungling of funds in the purchase of de-silting machine.

The machine was purchased to remove sewage from choked sewerage.

Bhag Singh Malla, chairman, district planning board, Ludhiana, had inaugurated the machine at the old bus stand on the Raikot road on September 16.

Five councillors — Kulwinder Singh Kala, Ajit Singh Thukral, Vinod Kumar Chiri (BJP), council vice-president Ravinder Kumar Sabharwal (Congress), and Rakesh Katyal — today produced another quotation of the same machine with lesser price.

Baldev Krishan, after getting the resolution passed in the house, had purchased the de-silting machine at the cost of 5.45 lakh from a Bathinda-based supplier.

The councillors claimed that they were in possession of a quotation of a Ludhiana firm with a much lesser price tag of Rs 4,13,890 (negotiable).

Baldev Krishan, however, denied the allegations and alleged that the councillors were trying to obstruct the development of the town.

He claimed that the purchase of the machine was done in a transparent manner.

He said if the councillors provided him with a copy of the quotation, he would inquire into the matter.



Death in Accident
Victim’s son alleges police inaction
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 10
Harbans Singh, son of Joginder Singh who was killed in a road accident, has accused the police of failing to book the accused or arresting him.

On August 3, Joginder Singh of Kaunke Kalan was mowed down by an unidentified vehicle when he was on his way home on foot.

The accident was witnessed by a number of villagers and most of them came forward as eyewitness and identified the accused, who was from the same village.

Though at the time of the filing the the FIR, it was mentioned that an unidentified vehicle and driver had committed the accident, once the accused was identified, the police showed reluctance in booking or arresting him, under alleged pressure.

Harbans Singh met the then SSP Jagraon, Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, twice on August 10 and 16.

He assured appropriate action and transferred the case to CIA staff SHO Pritam Singh. However, the police took no action against the accused.

Harbans then approached the Ludhiana DIG and asked him to look into the case, but to no avail.

He has now approached the IG and the Human Rights Commission.

However, Jagraon DSP Bhupinder Singh denied any political pressure on the police to hush up the case.

He said the inquiry in the case was on. He added that the guilty would be booked as per the law if there was credible evidence.



Polluted chowks take toll on traffic cops
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
The declaration of the Central Pollution Control Board listing the Bharat Nagar Chowk as one of the top seven polluted chowks of the country has brought into focus all other toxic chowks and the callousness on the part of the police department towards cops manning these places.

The board had, in a survey,given a notorious distinction to the Bharat Nagar Chowk of the city that the place had thick fumes of toxic gases. While the CPCB put an official stamp on Bharat Nagar Chowk, other traffic chowks are no exception.

While people, who cross these chowks once or twice a day, often complain about the irritation caused to skin, eyes and respiratory system, nobody cares about traffic cops.

Needless to say that they inhale poisonous gases and suffer health problems but this has not been able to force the police to do something about them. ‘‘It has come up in several meetings of the police but somehow a consensus could not be reached,’’ said Sanjiv Kalra, Inspector General, Jalandhar Range.

He said earlier they were supplied with the masks but due to hot weather for almost nine months a year, these were not a success. He added that since the masks need to be worn afresh everyday, shortage of funds with the police did not allow them to buy superior quality masks. ‘‘We deliberated on it several times but to no avail,’’ said Kalra, adding they would take up the issue at the next meeting. While the SHO Traffic said he had not received any complaints of health problems, several cops said they were suffering from respiratory, skin and eye ailments.



Bridal jewellery on display
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
The world may be reeling under economic meltdown but it has not been able to dampen the spirits of Ludhiana women, who surprised the organisers of a jewellery exhibition with their interest in diamond necklaces worth several lakhs.

“The response has been good and we have got many enquiries,” said Mira Gulati, CEO of Mirari Jewellers, who launched her luxury bridal collection here today.

“I am aware of the purchasing power of Ludhianvis. But they are great connoisseurs of jewellery as an art,” said Mira while talking to Tribune.

Mira said her collection that represented the diversity of ancient Indian jewellery had many takers. “Women in Ludhiana are fond of wearing designer jewellery and we expect a good clientele from here,” said Mira.

The bridal collection includes designer necklines, sets, cuffs, tikka, jhoomer, bangles, earings, pendants and rings. 



Weekly maths test creates panic at govt schools
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
The Punjab education department seems to be in a mess. The weekly maths test for classes V, VI, VII, VIII and X was supposed to be held on October 5 and as teachers were about to distribute the question papers sent by DGSE, a student showed a clipping of the newspaper indicating that the tests had been postponed to October 9.

However, there was no official information to the school heads regarding the postponement of tests.

Inquiries made by The Tribune reporter reveal that some schools did conduct the test. The duration of the weekly test is 40 minutes starting from 8 am.

However, in a Government Senior Secondary School, question papers had been distributed and when no information was received, the teachers incharge rushed to the classrooms and collected the papers. The teachers pointed out that the question papers were from October syllabus. While the tests was meant for the syllabus covered in September.

Four weekly tests are conducted in a month under the programme prescribed by the DGSE.

DEO (secondary) Amarjit Kaur, however, claimed that the schools were informed about the postponement of the tests. She said the department has set up cluster of the schools and it was the duty of cluster incharge to inform the schools. Action would be taken against the defaulters, she added.



From Schools
Sacred Heart best in folk dance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
Bringing cultural unity through folk dances, Sahodya School Complex organised a folk dance competition, which was held at Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, with much fanfare.

A total of 15 teams from various schools participated. Each participating team had 10 dancers and six singers with accompanists, live singers and the stage set up, including props enlivened the performance.

Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, got the top rank, followed by St. Thomas Senior Secondary School and BCM-32, Chandigarh road, and G N I Public School, Model town, and DAV Public School, Sarabha Nagar extension, at the third position.


Bhart Scouts and Guides, Punjab, organised a five-day seminar for government school students that concluded here today.

Students of 13 schools - Government School, PAU, Government School, Jawahar nagar, Government School, Model Town and others were guided about the traffic rules, tritya sopan, state camps and national camps. As many as 82 scouts and 102 guides took part.

A rally was also taken out against environment and drugs.

Diwali fest

A two-day Diwali festival concluded here today at SDP College for Women. SDP Senior Secondary Schools, Basti Jodhewal and Hazoori road and other SDP educational institutions participated. Balraj Bhasin, president, SDP Sabha, was the chief guest.

Students presented bhangra, giddha, pop dance and dandia.

Shabad contest

Giani Raghbir Singh Memorial Inter-school Shabad Gayan competition was held at Gujaranwala Guru Nanak Public School in the memory of Giani Raghbir Singh.

A total of 15 teams from the various schools participated. Students recited shabads based on ragas imbibed in the Guru Granth Sahib and mesmerised the audience with their performance.



Placement drive at RIMT colleges
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, October 10
Chandigarh-based IBM Daksh Business Process Services visited RIMT Group of Institutions, Mandi Gobindgarh, to recruit graduates, diploma and BTech engineers as phone banking officer for Citibank process handled by IBM Daksh.

The drive was for those students who passed out in June and an invitation to participate in the campus placement drive was sent to all colleges across Punjab.

Recruitment drive started with a pre-placement talk by Jayati Aggarwal, lead talent acquisition. Followed by a personal interview and telephonic round of interview.

Eight students were shortlisted and offered the post of phone banking officer in IBM's office at IT Park, Chandigarh.



Museum visit enthuses students
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Government school students during a visit to the war memorial in Ludhiana on Saturday.
Government school students during a visit to the war memorial in Ludhiana on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, October 10
English translation of Kargil war- Operation Vijay- was proved beyond comprehension for hundreds of government school students from various districts of the state, who thronged the Maharaja Ranjit Singh war memorial museum near Jalandhar here today.

Students were excited, as it was the first time that they were taken on an educational tour by school authorities.

But when the light and sound show depicting the victory of the Indian shoulders in the Kargil war was shown, the students were seen gaping at their teachers face.

Even the teachers expressed their inability to translate the programme.

A group of students of Government Middle School, Sahbajpur near Tran Taran, were seen asking their teachers to translate the documentary of Kargil war.

"We could not understand it, except for the Jai Hind, I tried to ask my teacher about the act. But even he wasn’t able to do it," said Prabhdeep Kaur, a Class VIII student.

The endeavour of visiting the war memorial museum was initiated by the Sarv Sikhya Abhiyan (SSA) director Krishan Kumar.

An employee of the war memorial museum said only the Kargil war was depicted in English, where as the light and sound show on the history of Punjab is narrated in Punjabi.

However, the staff at the war museum was elated to see hundred's of children visiting the memorial for an educational tour.

"We are receiving unusual visitors these days, as the memorial was fast turning into a lover's point. Visit by several students have ushered a new lease of life to the museum. It is a healthy trend and we want more students to visit the memorial," said an employee on the condition of anonymity.

Even the teachers are excited over the endeavour of the education department. Vijay Kumar and Sucha Singh teachers of Government Middle School, Ghakewal, who were visiting the memorial with 37 students of their school said: "Such educational and recreational tours would help the students in grasping the firsthand information about the history of the state."

Meanwhile, it was a mixed pack for German delegation that visited Maha Raja Ranjit Singh War memorial museum here today. While the youngsters were keenly grasping the knowledge about the history and culture of the state, the relatively senior people in the delegation had nostalgic feeling of war days, following their visit to the war museum.

The 14-member German delegation that is touring Punjab is here to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Punjabi Cultural Promotion Council (PCPC).



Tragedy of errors
Harrowing time for cricketer’s kin after namesake’s death
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
“Don’t panic! Our Gagan is safe,” reassured Jaspal Singh, elder brother of city-based cricketer Gagandeep Singh, after worried relatives and friends frantically called or thronged the residence of Punjab cricket team’s bowling spearhead, soon after news channels broke the news that “Gagandeep” had been shot in Meerut last night.

“It was his namesake, Gagandeep Singh, a promising young cricketer from Kanpur, who was shot following a tiff at a meat shop at Meerut,” said Jaspal.

City residents had some anxious moments when news channels showed the picture of Ludhiana-based cricketer instead of the victim.

Gagandeep Singh, who is undergoing conditioning camp for the forthcoming Punjab Ranji Trophy Tournament in Mohali, was left fuming at the development.

Talking to the TNS on the phone from Mohali, he said: “I am alive and nothing has happed to me. I am surprised at the irresponsible conduct of television channels that have shown me dead. Can you imagine how disturbing this can be for a person if he watches the news of his own death.”

Hell broke lose for Gagan’s UK-based wife Tina. The couple got married just few months ago. It was learnt that the cricketer remained with her on the phone for an hour to assure her that he was fine.

“I have been receiving calls from abroad and as well as neighbouring cities. I had tough time assuring them that nothing had happened to Gagan,” said Jaspal, who has just returned from the US.

Shocked friends of Gagan thronged his house in the morning to ask the family about the incident.

Surinder Kaur, mother of Gagan, went into shock after watching the news. It was only after she talked to her son that she could regain composure, said family members.



Health dept seizes adulterated sweets
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 10
Continuing their crackdown against those selling adulterated or substandard sweets during the festival season, the health authorities today sized a huge quantity of “khoya” and “rasgullas” kept in a cold storage near Salem Tabri in a raid that continued for several hours.

Civil Surgeon Dr Maninderjit Singh and district health officer Dr US Sooch were accompanying the team and supervised the entire operations.

Dr Sooch told The Tribune that 17-quintal “khoya”, kept in plastic bags and around 50 quintals of “rasgullas”, stored in plastic drums was taken in possession. Both “khoya” and the sweets were suspected to be substandard but it would be definitely known only after the report of the samples sent to the government laboratory was received which will take a couple of days.

Even though some “halwais”, who had kept the “khoya” and sweetmeat in the cold storage had come forward to own the stored material, but health officials said they would not allow these items to be sold to public till the report from public analyst was received. On the basis of the report, action under the provisions of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act would be taken, if warranted.



Woman commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 10
A resident of Galib Kalan village near here allegedly tried to commit suicide by consuming some poisonous substance yesterday. Sukhdev Singh, father of Harjinder Kaur, alias Kinde (27), the victim, in his complaint lodged with the Sidhwan Bet police has accused Paramjit Singh, Harjinder’s husband along with his brothers Avtar Singh, Jassa Singh and Paramjit Singh and mother Harjinder Kaur of mentally and physically harassing his daughter for bringing insufficient dowry.

Paramjit often used to beat her up and pressurised her to bring more cash. In charge of the Galib Kalan police picket said Sukhdev Singh had alleged that he had spent a lavish amount on his daughter’s marriage about three years ago as desired by Paramjit Singh. But, the in-laws were not happy with the arrangements. They started demanding Rs 1 lakh in cash, which he could not give.

Sukhdev Singh said he got a call from Paramjit Singh that Harinder had swallowed some poison. He immediately rushed to Galib Khurd and got his daughter admitted to a hospital in Dharamkot. She breathed her last in the hospital. A case has been registered against the four accused.



2 killed in car accident
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, October 10
Two persons died when the Swift car (PB 11-M-0091) in which they were travelling went out of control and rammed into a culvert near an octroi post on the Amloh road here.

The deceased identified as Jagdeep Singh Brar (35), assistant manager, India Holding Private Limited Company, Channo, was on his way back home along with his friend Ranbir Singh of Bahadargarh village in Fatehgarh Sahib district.

Those injured were admitted to the local civil hospital were they were declared brought dead. A case under Section 174 of the Cr.PC has been registered and the bodies handed over to family members.



Judo Trials
Probables selected for National Games
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 10
Over 150 aspirants attended trials conducted by the Punjab Judo Association at the multipurpose hall of Guru Nanak Stadium here today to select Punjab probables (men and women) for the preparatory camp for the forthcoming 34th National Games slated to be held at Ranchi from November 21 to December 5.

Judo coaches Surinder Kumar, Rakesh Singh, Devinder Yadav, Brij Lal and Sonia supervised the players during the trials.

The following players have been selected as probables: Women: Ranjit Kaur of the CRPF, Priya of Ludhiana, Sonam of Ludhiana, Varsha of Patiala, Sajita of Hoshiarpur, Sunaina of Ludhiana, Harpreet Kaur of Jalandhar, Manpreet Kaur of Ludhiana, Seema of Jalandhar, Gagandeep Kaur of Amritsar, Suman of Ludhiana, Manisha of Ludhiana, Sangeeta of Jalandhar, Aarti of Jalandhar, Rajwinder Kaur of Jalandhar, Vrinda of Amritsar, Aarti Sharma of CRPF, Rajwant Kaur of BSF and Ramandeep Kaur of Jalandhar.

Men: Parveen Kumar and Karandeep Thakur of Ludhiana, Veer Bhan of Patiala, Harpreet Singh and Sanjay Kumar of Amritsar, Vishnu Gill of Patiala, Kamaljeet Singh, Sahil Pathania, Gagandeep Singh, Avtar Singh, Jatinder Pal Singh, Rakesh Kumar, all of Gurdaspur, Shiv Kumar of Hoshiarpur, Yash Pal Solanki of Jalandhar, Gagandeep of Patiala, Navjot Channa of Hoshiarpur, Bhupinder Singh of Ludhiana, Pankaj of Jalandhar and Sukhpal of Bathinda.



Cricket Meet: KVM lads in final
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 10
All-round performance by Shiv Luv (3 for 31 and 23 runs) and valuable contribution with by Shivam (46) went in vain as DAV Public School, Amritsar, went down fighting against Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines Ludhiana, by 16 runs in the semifinal of the 9th All-India Bhai Gobind Singh Pasricha Cricket Tournament being held at MGM Public School, Model Town, Jalandhar, today.

Batting first, Kundan Vidya Mandir scored 136 runs for the loss of seven wickets in the stipulated 20 overs. Abhishek Talwar top scored with 31 runs, followed by Akhil Aggarwal and Mrinal Partap Singh who chipped in 25 and 23 runs, respectively.

For DAV Public School, Shiv Luv and Mrigesh shared the bowling, grabbing three and two wickets, respectively after conceding 31 and 29 runs in their quota of four overs each.

In reply, DAV Public School could muster 120 runs after losing six wickets in the allotted 20 overs.

Shivam made 46 runs while Shiv Luv and Vishwas scored 23 and 15 runs, respectively.

For winners, Abhinav Bhatia captured two wickets for 26 runs, Akhil Aggarwal took one for 18, Gagan secured one for 10, Abhishek grabbed one for 22 and Abhijit scalped one for 26 runs.

In the final, slated for Sunday, Kundan Vidya Mandir will take on hosts, MGM Public School, Jalandhar.



Sacred Heart, GNP grab tennis titles
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 10
Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, and Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, wrapped up lawn tennis titles in the boys’ section, while Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, and Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, secured top honours in badminton in the boys’ section in the Ludhiana Sahodaya Schools Complex Games, which concluded at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, here today. In the girls’ section, Kundan Vidya Mandir romped home victors in lawn tennis in the under-14 category, while in under-19 section, Sutluj Public School emerged champions.

Final results: Lawn tennis (boys’ u-14): Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar 1, Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar, 2 and GNPS, Sarabha Nagar, 3; boys u-19: GNPS, Sarabha Nagar, 1, BCM Arya Model School 2 and KVM, Civil Lines, 3.

Lawn tennis: girls u-14: KVM, Civil Lines, 1, Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, 2 and BCM Arya Model School, Shastri Nagar, 3; girls u-19: Sutluj Public School 1, BCM Arya Model School, Shastri Nagar, 2 and BCM School, Chandigarh road, 3.

Badminton: boys u-14: Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar 1, KVM, Civil Lines, 2 and BCM School, Chandigarh road, 3; boys u-19: KVM, Civil Lines, 1, BCM Arya Model School, Shastri Nagar, 2 and Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, 3.

Badminton: girls u-14: Sutluj Public School 1, DAV Public School, Pakhowal road, 2 and DAV Public School, BRS Nagar, 3; girls u-19: Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar, 1, Sutluj Public School 2 and BCM Arya Model School, Shastri Nagar, 3.



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