L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cops set to conduct raid on Amaltas
Action follows reports of prostitution at resort
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
With the Amaltas resort scheduled to close on November 15 there are more problems lying in store for the state-run tourism resort located on the city’s periphery. According to sources close to the police, orders have been given to conduct a police raid on the resort following reports of the flesh trade going on there.

The sources said the orders to conduct the raids had come from the DGP’s office. It is learnt that the Punjab, sensing embarrassment, decided to shut down the resort that was said to be generating considerable profits.

Sources in the resort said that, excluding all overhead expenses, Amaltas was making an annual profit of over Rs 1 by organising weddings and parties.

According to information, the resort is likely to go into private hands as the government is looking to generate more revenue from the prime land, which measures 6.5 acres and costs Rs 65 crore at current market prices.

It may be recalled here that many private companies have expressed their interest in the land for its ideal location.

The resort’s employees alleged there was a “well-planned conspiracy” to transfer the land to private hands. “The entire move has political backing” they claimed while refusing to be named.

Earlier a few employees of the resort had been suspended for allegedly being involved in the flesh trade flourishing there. Interestingly, action was taken only against permanent employees while those on contract were let off.

The sources said it was such developments that prompted the tourism department to close down the profit generating resort with immediate effect. The directive was given by principal secretary Geetika Kalha.

The sudden decision has put at least six weddings in limbo, which were reportedly scheduled to held at the resort between November 15 and December 10.

As government officials have not bothered to make alternative arrangements for those who had booked the resort for weddings, city residents now plan to seek state Tourism Minister Hira Singh Gabarhia's intervention in the matter.


Travel agent booked for duping man of Rs 12 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The Shimlapuri police today booked a Mumbai based travel agent for duping a local resident of Rs 12 lakh on the pretext of sending him abroad.

Jaswant Singh a resident of Daba road here had complained that Manjit Singh, a resident of Mumbai, had promised him to send his son, Balwinder Singh to Canada. For the work Manjit took an amount of Rs 12 lakh in May this year through a person but Balwinder could not be sent to Canada.

After waiting for all these months, Jaswant lodged a complaint with the Shimlapuri police. A case under sections 420 and 120 of the IPC has been registered. However, no arrest has been made so far.



‘Rail roko’ stir today, passengers uneasy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Victims of the 1984 riots have decided stage a ‘rail roko’ agitation here tomorrow to protest against delayed justice. Following a call given by the Punjab Danga Peerat Welfare Society the protesters, supported by several other Sikh organizations, plan to stop trains at the Gyaspura railway crossing tomorrow.

Surjit Singh, president of the society, said the riot victims would sit on the rail track at Gyaspura on the Ludhiana-Delhi line at 6:30 am and continue their protest till 3:30 pm.

The protest call has left many city residents anxious, especially those who have to catch the Shatabdi express tomorrow morning. A number of them go to Delhi everyday. Since the agitators would sit on the track at Gyaspura the train would be stopped just after crossing the city. The passengers also fear the railway authorities may cancel the train to check any untoward incident.

Railway officials here said they were prepared for anything tomorrow. Ludhiana station master RK Sharma said the rail traffic would carry on as per schedule. ‘‘However, we are not taking any chances as far as protection of rail property is concerned. Adequate deployment of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has been made at the station, ’’ he added.

Sharma stated the railway authorities were maintaining a “wait and watch” policy before taking any action. ‘‘We cannot cancel any train at this juncture as we don’t know where the protesters are going to stop train traffic. We cannot have a knee-jerk reaction and will take action only tomorrow morning, ’’ he said.



Shiv Sena leader may be held for provoking Sikhs
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Shiv Sena (Rashtarvadi) leader Baljeet Singh Jassian is likely to find himself in trouble for allegedly instigating the sentiments of the Sikhs who were protesting against the central government by staging a ‘dharna’ near the Old Sabzi Mandi chowk during the recent Punjab bandh.

The police now plans to round up Jassian for brandishing his pistol when his supporters clashed with members of radical Sikh organisations.

Jassian reportedly attempted to give the incident political overtones by provoking the sentiments of the Sikh community. The development took place, when the police found photographic evidence that proved that Jassian was carrying pistol.

The police now plans to initiate action against Jassian on the basis of this evidence. “We have sufficient evidence against Jassian. We will first cancel his arms license”, said SSP SS Gill.

Another senior official, while appreciating the efforts of cops in handling the situation, said had the accidental firing from Jassian’s weapon hit any of the protestors it would have resulted in violent clashes.

“Actually, such people in order to gain political mileage have put the lives of several innocent people in danger. While such people take shelter after exploiting the situation, it is the innocent people who fall prey in the resulting bloody clashes,” the official added.

On Tuesday the bandh, which was largely peaceful, took an ugly turn when 15 to 20 youths aged between 18 and 20 years led by a local leader began raising slogans against the protesters.

However, members of the Sikh organisations alleged the youths, who were in a SUV, were brandishing sharp-edged weapons. The infuriated protesters then began chasing the youths, which ended in a scuffle. Sensing trouble the leader left his SUV at the scene and took refuge in a house along with his supporters.

However, the police foiled the local leader’s attempt to disturb the situation. The police stood in the way of both groups and managed to lock the gate of a street where the youths were hiding.

A heavy police force was later deployed in the area following the incident and the SUV has been impounded.

On the other hand, Jassian refuted all the allegations as baseless, denying he had used any weapon. He claimed it was a “tactic of rival parties to snub his voice as I enjoy people’s support”. He said he had requested the protestors to clear the road so that he could drive his vehicle but the latter began fighting with him.



6 quintals of banned Mangoor fish seized
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The fisheries department today seized six quintals of the banned Mangoor fish while it was being transported in a truck from other districts in the state. Officials of the fisheries department in coordination with the Punjab Fish Farmers Association intercepted a truck carrying the fish that was to be sold in the Sherpur market.

The truck was being taken to the lanes in Sherpur when the team swooped on it. When the department officials stopped the truck its driver fled from the scene. Later migrants protested against the action and did not allow the truck to be impounded.

The department then called for a recovery van and the fish were taken to be buried in pits.

Punjab Fish Farmers Association president KS Sidhu said the Mangoor species was banned in 1992 as it was a voracious carnivorous fish and consumed all other fish in ponds, feeding on any substance that came in its way. It was not bred in Ludhiana but was transported from other districts like Moga, Bathinda, Sangrur and Patiala where it was being bred illegally, he added.

Sidhu said despite the fact that the Mangoor fish was banned, the migrant population liked to consume it as it was sold at cheaper prices. “Since the fish consumes even toxic substances it was not fit for human consumption also and could cause chronic diseases to humans”, he added.

‘‘We have asked government to ensure the fish is prevented from entering other districts. It is feared if this fish entered the state’s rivers it would consume all other aquatic life. Its a threat to aquatic ecosystem,’’ said Sidhu.

He said the fish seed was brought in from UP, Kolkata and Haryana as its influx was not checked on the borders. ‘‘The director of fisheries had written to the authorities in other states to check the breeding of the fish, which can threaten aquatic life, ’’ he added.



Lakkar Bridge - II
Design overlooks efficient traffic management planning
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Will the approved design of Lakkar Bridge help in managing traffic effectively? The answer is mostly “no” if traffic and road safety experts are to be believed. Various experts had their own opinions but they agreed on this point, adding a traffic survey should have been conducted before the project was taken up.

A senior road safety expert said, “The idea of the municipal corporation managing traffic via Lakkar Bridge using traffic lights is fine but the traffic management needs to come right from where the Jagraon Bridge begins. I’m sorry to say this but the planning for this has not been done yet.

According to the civic body’s present plan, traffic lights would be installed on the junctions of roads connecting Bahadaur House with old GT Road and similarly on the Reiky Cinema side. If you critically analyse it, the stretch of road between these two points would become unmanageable.”

According to the expert, the present Old GT Road should have no U-turn option because it disrupts traffic not only one but also both the sides.

He said, “Before planning rail overbridges like this, viability of traffic in the next 20 years has to be considered. The movement of traffic on the old GT Road is 10km/hr on average. When Rs 40 crore is being invested for development of infrastructure, we should keep the future in mind rather than giving importance to temporary relief.” He went on to cite the example of a flyover in Rajpura.

Similarly, a traffic expert from the city said, “Before the elevated road came into being the average width of the old GT Road was around 100 feet on average. However, after the construction of a flyover it has been reduced to an average of 80 feet. Besides, the site between the flyover poles is being used for parking vehicles, which increases traffic congestion. Now, with the coming of the ROB, no doubt distribution of traffic would be there but what about management? You cannot just construct a road without studying the traffic movement on the route.”

Moreover, the old GT Road is a thoroughly congested commercial area that is not in accordance to the building bylaws due to which no parking space is available and road parking is quite common. The expert added coordination is where India is lacking. “Had the MC officials followed our suggestions the project would have come up in a better way.”

However, when the same question was put before the municipal corporation officials, their answer was “yes” with a confession that no traffic survey or detailed project report has been prepared for the approved design, construction on which is likely to start soon.

Interestingly, in a random survey conducted by The Tribune, it was found over 90 per cent of city population is still under impression that Lakkar Bridge would be connected to the elevated road. Even a major chunk of corporation officials were not aware of the new design unless they were shown the new plan of approaches.

Talking to The Tribune, most of the people expressed shock over the new design, questioning its importance. “Some of them even termed the project as Rs 40 crore being used for crossing a railway line.”

Notably, the MC following a rap from the Punjab started the Lakkar Bridge and the Punjab & Haryana High Court after a petition was filed by city-based NGO, Resurgence India.

“The construction of the bridge, as now proposed, is a blunder, the burden of which would have to be borne not only by us but future generations too. This is unacceptable. This is a betrayal of the trust reposed by the people. We are moving the court to seek integration of the bridge with elevated road and two-way traffic through a rotary”, said Hitender Jain of Resurgence India, on whose petition the civic body was forced to restart construction of the Lakkar Bridge rail overbridge.



Six cadets sent back from national camp
Reason: Non-payment of fee
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The dream of six NCC cadets of No 4 Pb Air Sqdn to attend the National Integration Camp in Bharatpur (Rajasthan) turned into a nightmare when the cadets were sent back to Ludhiana by camp organisers on the pretext of "non-payment" of their camp fee.

The same treatment was meted out to 10 cadets from Ferozepur district, who also reached their headquarter this morning.

Vipin Kumar, Ketan Mehta, Karan Narulla, Vidyasagar, Kamalpreet Singh and Anuragdeep from SCD Government College and Arya College, Ludhiana, had gone to attend the National Integration Camp in Bharatpur on November 1.

But much to the shock of the cadets, the camp organisers refused to allow them inside the camp.

Vidyasagar said, "The camp was organised by the Directorate of Jharkhand and Bihar and we were even ready to pay the requisite amount of Rs 11,000 from our pockets but there was no formal communication from our squadron which is why we were sent back."

The responsibility to deposit camp fee lies with the Commanding Officer.

The boys, while sharing their grievances, stated that they had to spend money on their food and conveyance from the Bharatpur railway station to the camp site from their pockets. "So much so that we had to come back to Ludhiana in general compartment of Janta Express as the seats were not reserved for any cadets," rued the cadets.

Aiming to join the Indian Air Force (IAF), these cadets had taken Air Wing in the NCC wherein they undergo rigorous training for two years before they take the "C" certificate examination. Unfortunately, these cadets have lost their chance of attending the National level camp which is mandatory for "C" certificate examination.

The Commanding Officer (CO) of No 4 Pb Air Sqn Wg Cmdr HS Ghulati was not available for comments.

Cadets without lady officer

The cadets, while pointing out another incongruity in arrangements made for the camp, stated that six cadets each from the Army and the Air Wing had gone to the National Integration Camp without a female associated NCC Officer. This is against the norms to send girl cadets without a lady officer.

However, the camp commandant in Bharatpur after noticing the "mess up" accommodated the girls in the camp after the repeated requests of ANO Jeet Singh from Ferozepur, who had accompanied the cadets to Bharatpur.



Cops directed to follow dress code
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh,November 5
The rank and file in the Punjab Police have been directed to wear proper uniform according to the existing norms.

The directions follow observance of increasing trend among “more influential policemen” to perform their duty while in mufti.

Taking cognizance of the alleged trend of certain policemen performing their duty in civilian clothes, SSPs of various districts here have directed their staff to follow the norms on uniform strictly.

“It has been observed that certain policemen hesitate to wear the uniform while on duty. The Punjab Police is a disciplined force and its duty is to maintain law and order in the area. As hesitation from wearing uniform affects efficiency and discipline adversely and tarnishes the image of the force, all are directed to wear the uniform according to the prescribed pattern,” read orders received at various police stations from their respective SSPs.

Investigation by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that a large number of policemen, irrespective of their rank, avoided wearing uniform.

While some preferred to perform their duty in mufti, others compromised on the pattern of shoes, caps and turbans.

As quality of the uniform and shoes received from the department is rarely according to the expectations of the staff, a majority of them purchase these from the open market.

Policemen performing duties of readers, “muharar”, “dak” carriers and GOs usually hesitate wearing uniform while at work. And, senior officers wear uniform on special occasions alone.

The trend has resulted in unsavoury situation wherein residents, mistaking policemen for commoners, have allegedly misbehaved with them.

In one such incident, an IPS officer (the then SSP of Sangrur) was manhandled by a group of youths when he along with his family was going in a market a few years ago.



Anomalies in wage panel report
PSEB employees hold protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
A large number of employees of the PSEB Employees Federation (AITUC), Punjab, and Technical Service Union (TSU) staged a protest against the “anomalies” in the report submitted by wage formulation committee of the electricity board today.

The board employees raised slogans against the PSEB, criticising the higher officials for having curtailed all financial benefits of lower-rank staff.

Federation spokesperson Roshan Lal said the matter had already been taken up at zonal conventions across the state and now the unions would stage statewide protests against the board’s policies.

The federation and union leaders condemned the attitude of the officials in the wage formulation committee of the PSEB adding that the rate of increment had gone down with people on the higher ranks, especially bureaucrats, benefiting the most from the presentation made in the report.

The employees who were earlier getting two increments on time-bound promotion scale in nine years would now get only one increment, which was unjust, said the leaders.

They also said under the five bands, in which the PSEB employees had been divided, top rank officials benefitted the most with employees falling in the lowest band being altogether ignored in terms of financial gains.

Raising voice against the Electricity Bill 2003, the federation and union workers demanded a complete rollback of the proposed Bill.

Balraj Kumar, Jagir Singh, Nirmal Singh, Ghulab Singh, Kewal Singh Banwait and other union leaders opined that the Bill would prove as a death knell for the marginal farmers, labourers, small industrial units and people at large.



Govt dilly-dallying over employees’ demands: Union
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 5
The Punjab State Karamchari Dal has criticised the state government for repeatedly betraying the government employees and adopting indifferent attitude to their outstanding demands while serving an ultimatum to resume agitation to achieve justice.

Addressing a meeting of the district unit of the body, its state president Hari Singh Tohra stated that over four lakh employees of government and semi-government departments as well as pensioners were feeling cheated due to non-fulfillment of their demands. He said salaries and allowances of ministers, legislators and parliamentary secretaries had been increased manifold, while employees were still waiting for removal of anomalies and implementation of the pay commission recommendations along with payment of arrears.

“The government has also adopted a dilly-dally approach towards other demands, which include regularisation of work charge, ad hoc and part-time employees, scrapping contract system of employment, restoration of annual increment at the previous rate, grant of different allowances and commencement of recruitment to fill vacant posts,” Tohra alleged.

In the absence of positive measures by the government, the employees would stage dharnas at district headquarters on November 10 followed by a state-level rally at Chandigarh on November 27.



Workers exhorted to be diligent
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 5
Office-bearers of the Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh have urged workers of industrial houses of the area to work diligently for the prosperity of the nation besides growth and development of their respective organisations. Only then would the union be able to watch their interest, claimed the leaders.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune after interacting with the office-bearers of units of various industrial houses, Raj Mani Yadav, state secretary of the sangh, alleged that hostile attitude of leaders of some trade unions had resulted in lockup in large number of industries.

The trend resulted in retrenchment of thousands of workers who otherwise were bringing up their families by working for the units. Mohinder Pal, president of local unit of the outfit, said members would be apprised of the policies of the organisation during a two-day summit commencing on Saturday.



Pau Youth Fest
Music has power to nurture humanity: VC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Addressing a huge gathering during the Inter-College Youth Festival of the PAU, Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang said music had a unique power to inculcate humanity among people. He said a person listening to music often became soft tempered and non-violent. He lauded the students for taking part in the youth festival adding that this helped to develop their talent.

Dr Kang said music had been given due status in ancient Indian scriptures. He said writers, singers and musicians should endeavour to stop a melody from becoming noise.

The director (students welfare), Dr PPS Lubana, said massive participation of students in musical events in the youth festival indicated their interest in music.

In the youth festival, the students performed folk songs, creative dances, musical events (classical music, light vocal, Indian group songs, western solo and western group song). The main attraction for today was shabad gayan (solo and group) contests wherein students from the four constituent colleges took part. The quiz session was conducted by Dr SS Hundal. The one-act play, mime and mimicry were presented in the afternoon session.



From Schools & Colleges
Boys’ team wins flower arrangement contest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Flower arrangement competition is a tribute to nature. BCM Senior Secondary School organised a flower arrangement competition to encourage the students here today.

This activity encouraged the students to embark on their own personal odyssey of creation and self-satisfaction. Ten teams from Class VIII participated with great zeal. They made the arrangements in such an aesthetic manner that gave a new way to this art.

The boys’ team won “The best flower arrangement” award. Principal of the school, DP Guleria, appreciated the efforts of the students and motivated them to take part in such activities.

Workshop for teachers

A workshop for English teachers was organised by Ratna Sagar at BCM Dugri here today. Fr Francis M Peter, who was a resource person of British Council, and Ratna Sagar conducted the workshop. Fr Francis is currently secretary and correspondent of Loyola College.

He interacted with teachers and gave them various tips on interactive and good classroom teaching techniques. He made teachers aware of the highest levels of teaching methodology and activities so as to shape the young minds. He stressed that teachers should follow the principle of smart work over hard work.

Talent search contest

The Junior Humanities Forum organised a talent search contest at the KVM recently. The programme was chaired by headmistress Namita Raj Singh. Each House sent their representation in the following categories: solo song, solo dance, instrumental music, skit and compering. Various prizes were given to the winners on this occasion.

PCTE wins eight prizes

PCTE students have bagged eight prizes at national-level literary-cum-cultural competition “THOMSO-2009” held at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT, Roorkee) recently.

While congratulating the winners, Dr KNS Kang, director general, said more than 100 teams all over India participated in the competition, which included more than 80 academic and cultural events.

The team of PCTE students won eight prizes in nine different events in the competition. Manraj Pattar, a student of MCA, won 2nd prize in Indian solo song competition titled “Sargam”. More than 100 contestants participated in this event from different parts of the country.

Oka, a student of MBA, won 3rd prize in Western solo song competition. Oka and Apurav bagged 2nd prize in poster making competition. Oka and Abhishek William won 2nd prize in tattoo making competition. More than 80 teams had participated in tattoo making competition.

Manjot Pargat Singh Pandher, a student of BBA-II, stood 5th in debate competition in which more than 85 teams across the country competed.

Chetna and Gurmat won the first prize in mehndi and qualified for the second round of competition titled “Mad Ads”. They won the third prize in this competition. Atul Sharma bagged the second prize in an informal event of playing guitar. Team of Bhangra qualified for the finals.



Placement: IT firms shortlist 242 students for final round
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 5
RIMT Engineering Institute at Mandi Gobindgarh hosted a mega IT job festival in which more than 15 leading IT companies from Gurgaon, Noida, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula participated to fill their immediate job openings for BTech, MCA and MBA students.

The event was inaugurated by RIMT chairman Hukam Chand Bansal, principal Harsh Sadawarti. CEOs, directors and HR officials of participating companies were also present. The chairman said such job festivals were a step towards bridging the gap between industry and academia.

Such initiative of hosting IT job festival was happening for the first time in northern region as students from colleges at Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab were invited to participate.

Principal Harsh Sadawarti said no registration fees was charged and free transport facility was provided to students from Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali, Ambala, Patiala, Nabha and Ludhiana region.

Director (placements) Prof HS Taluja said 963 students appeared in the interviews which continued till late evening and finally 242 students were short listed by various companies today for the final round to be held in their corporate office. The compiled result would be displayed in college website www.rimtengg.com.



Residents getting muddy water for 15 days
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Residents of more than 40 houses of Street Number 3, Fatehgarh Mohalla, have been "forced" to consume contaminated water these days - thanks to the callous attitude of the corporation, which has failed to supply clean drinking water in the area for the past 15 days.

Despite repeated requests by area residents, corporation officials have not been able to find the cause or the source of contaminated water till date.

Mohan Lal (name changed), a senior citizen, told The Tribune that contaminated water was being supplied to 40 houses in the area. "It can be due to some leakage or mixing of sewer water but we are getting the dirty water. We had met the area councillor (Ward Number 33) but despite assurances, nothing has been done so far", he said.

The residents said nobody was bothered about their plight. There were old citizens as well as small children in the locality, who were being "forced" to consume the same water. Another resident complained that they were left with no other option but to boil the water. "But this option is not viable for all. Some residents cannot afford to boil water everytime. It is the duty of the government to provide safe water to all citizens but here, the safety of the residents seems to be on last on the priority list of authorities", he rued.

RS Sahay, Executive Engineer, MC, said they were told about the supply of contaminated water by the residents today. He said he had deputed persons to look into the matter. "The team is at work. Once we find where the fault is, problem will be solved. Meanwhile, we are trying to collect the samples as well", said Sahay.

Councillor of the area Raghbir Singh said he had received the complaints by the residents. "Fault has still not been found but MC officials are working to provide safe water to residents. We have arranged a water tank for the time being", said Raghbir Singh.



Seminar on commercial dairy farming on Nov 9
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Commercial dairy farming is a rapidly growing profession and needs proper planning, better skill and scientific know-how. By adopting scientific methods, production has touched new heights and negative economic impact of unorganised dairy farming has gone down. These views were expressed by Dr OS Parmar, dean, dairy science college of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, here today.

He said quality control was necessary to get good profit so that quality in assurance and economics of profit was the right combination in commercial dairy farming. He said Punjab was the leading state in the country where commercial dairy farming was becoming more and more viable and farmers were finding it a more lucrative enterprise as compared to crop farming.

Dr. Parmar said the Indian Dairy Association IDA (North Zone) would hold a national seminar on “Commercial Dairy Farming-Quality Assurance and Profitability” in association with the college of dairy science and technology and Punjab Dairy Development Board at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences on November 9.

The Indian Dairy Association is a body of dairy professionals, including those from dairy scientists, dairy industries and dairy farmers, with over 3,000 members.

The deliberations during the seminar would help devise ways and means to improve quality of milk and milk products and increase profitability of dairying both for the dairy farmers and the dairy plants.

Inderjit Singh, director, dairy development, Punjab, is the chairman of the organising committee and Dr OS Parmar, dean, college of dairy science and technology, will be the convener of the organising committee.



Residents miffed at increased power tariff
Loveleen Bains

Doraha, November 5
Increased electricity bills have upset residents as they feel the hike in power tariff by the Punjab State Electricity Board is unjustified and excessive.

The consumers complain that they are being cheated by the board as in spite of reduced consumption due to hike in electricity rates, their bills have only increased.

“When the tariff was hiked, we tried to minimise consumption but were astonished to find that our bills had almost doubled. And, the hike had been effected at a time when consumers were reeling under power cuts due to the faulty policies of the government,” said a consumer.

The government had at one time increased the tariff but later decided to review its decision. However, it stuck by its earlier decision, lending a blow to consumers, who were already bearing the brunt of price rise of essential commodities.

The consumers said the hike was unjustified as the announcement of the increase in per unit consumption was announced in September but the dues were charged from back date i.e. April 1.

“Is the government justified in charging consumers from back date?” said a resident.

Also, there was confusion over the bills prepared by the board. “Sundry charges that were earlier no where to be found on the bills have suddenly appeared in the new ones,” added another resident.

“There is a lack of transparency in what the government says and what it practices,” they added.



Seminar on cancer awareness today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
A seminar on cancer awareness for teachers and students will be organised by the National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) at MG Public School, Kakowal Road, Ludhiana, on November 6 on the occasion of National Cancer Awareness Day.

Noted Oncologist Dr D.S.Sandhu will speak on cancer prevention measures in India.

Dr Surendra Gupta, Dr Rajesh Thapar and other NIMA Ludhiana doctors will share their experiences with the students and teachers.

Dr. Devinder Singh Sandhu, an internationally acclaimed oncologist, did his Doctorate in Cancer from AIIMS, New Delhi. He is credited with revolutionising the cancer treatment in the region by performing Punjab’s first-ever bone marrow transplant (BMT) at Ludhiana in 2006.

Renowned cancer experts will attend the three-day XVIII Annual Conference of Association of Gynaecological Oncologist of India organised by the Mohan Dai Oswal Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation, Ludhiana, from November 6 to 8.

It is for the first time that this conference is being organised in Punjab.

Dr. Satish Jain, medical director and chief of Surgical Oncology, who is the organising chairman, and Dr Veena Jain, chief of Gynae Oncology, organising secretary, said more than 600 delegates would discuss about the recent concepts and developments in the field of gynae oncology.



Women irked at comedy serial poster
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The Working Women Forum and the Punjab Istri Sabha, Ludhiana, have taken strong notice of the poster of the tele-comedy serial "Panga Bhajne Da". The poster mentions, along with the photo of a woman, "Women are available on rent at Rs 20 per hour here".

"Putting up such posters in any manner is commendable and insult to women. Exploitation of women is not a matter of joke but a matter of serious concern for the whole society. This is highly objectionable for the womenfolk. Both organisations demand the withdrawal of the tele-comedy film and action against the producer," said Dr Narjit Kaur, convener of the Working Women Forum.



Giddha team felicitated
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 5
The management committee of the Guru Harkrishan College for Women, Phallewal, felicitated members of giddha team and the College Art Club who had bagged distinguished positions in their respective categories in Inter-Zonal Youth Festival of the Punjabi University, Patiala, recently.

The teams had earlier brought laurels to the institute by winning various prizes in zonal-level youth festival.

According to SP Sofat, convener of the Art and Culture Society of the college, Manpreet Kaur, Parteek, Reetwinder Kaur, Ramonan, Manjot Kaur and Gagandeep Kaur were felicitated for their outstanding performance in various items presented at the Inter-Zonal Youth Festival of the Punjabi University.

The college teams had bagged the first position in skit competition and the second prize in folk dance gidha.



Three get 7-year jail for robbery
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 5
The court of Additional Sessions Judge Munish Singal has convicted three persons of robbery with intention to cause death and sentenced them to undergo seven years of rigorous imprisonment each.

Surjit Singh of Chowkiman Jagraon, Ram Gopal, Ranjit Singh of Gobind colony, Chandigarh Road, were also ordered to pay a fine of Rs 6,000 each under different sections of the IPC.

A case was registered against the accused at the Focal Point police station on November 25, 2004 following the statement of victim Ashwani Kumar, a resident of Phase II, Urban Estate, Focal Point.

The victim was living alone in his house. On the day of the crime, Ranjit Singh had come to his house on the pretext of checking the electricity meter. Thereafter, the complainant was told that his meter had stopped working. A demand for producing electricity bill was raised.

When the complainant went inside to bring the bill, the accused, followed by two others, entered the room.

One of them trained a gun at him, while the two others, armed with knives, attacked him, inflicting injuries to the face and forehead.

The robbers took away Rs 20,000 in cash from his house, after which the victim raised the alarm. A watchman challenged the robbers even as some persons assembled at the scene. One of the accused was overpowered, whereas the other two fled, he added.

Later, the police arrested the other two accused on the identification of the complainant.

The police also recovered the arms used in the crime along with the stolen cash.

However, the accused pleaded not guilty and claimed false implication. After appreciating the evidence of eight prosecution witnesses, the court held the accused guilty.



Four held with 13 stolen vehicles
Our Correspondent

Raikot, November 5
The Sudhar police under the Raikot police subdivision has busted a gang of motor cycle thieves and recovered 13 two-wheelers from their possession.

Acting on a tip off, a police team led by SHO Jasbinder Singh set up a naka near Rajoana Khurd T-point on the Raikot road on Tuesday and arrested three youths — Gurpreet Singh, alias Golu, of Halwara village, Tejwinder Singh, alias Bablu, of Sudhar village and Lakhvir Singh, alias Basri, of Halwara village.

The police later arrested another youth — Puran Singh, alias Jabra — following disclosure by the arrested accused.

The police recovered 13 two-wheelers, including five motor cycles.

DSP Prithipal Singh said the accused used to sell stolen two-wheelers after dismantling them. One of the stolen scooters had been completely stripped of its accessories.

The gang had been active in the area for some time and evaded the attention of the police by not selling a complete bike. A case has been registered.



Labourer’s Murder
Failure to woo friend’s wife led to killing
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha,November 5
Dejected by the failure to win over the wife of Bhuntan Rai, his friend murdered him and dumped his body in a well. The body of Bhuntan Rai of Anchal Bakhora village of Sitamari district, Bihar, was found in the well on November 3.

Bhuntan Rai, who used to live at Sunita Patti at Dakha village, had gone missing on the night of October 31.

Ever since his disappearance, all efforts of Mansuran Begum, his wife, to trace her husband had failed. However, on November 3, she got information that a body had been fished out from the well of Teja Singh located nearby.

She identified the body to be that of her husband, who was a daily wager.

SHO Dakha Prem Singh said prima facie it was a case of murder as the tongue was hanging out and the neck twisted. The neck also bore strangulation marks. The body also had other injury marks.

During preliminary investigation, the police zeroed in on Ram Milan, a resident of Band Daveri, Karvi district (UP), who worked as a farm help for Teja Singh.

He used to live at a tubewell room adjoining the well, where the body was found, and had refused to notice anything unusual. The wife of the victim had raised the finger of suspicion at Ram Milan.

Even though the body had not started to emit foul smell, he had told Teja Singh that foul smell was coming from the well, apprehending that someone had fallen there.

On search, Teja Singh noticed a body and reported the matter to the police.

The accused was arrested from Issewal village while attempting to leave the area. On being questioned, the suspect confessed to committing the crime.

He said he had been trying to woo Mansuran Begum. He had helped her buy groceries worth Rs 500 and used to visit her in the absence of her husband to realise the loan. Once, he even tried to molest her.

She had narrated the incident to her husband and he had confronted the accused over the issue.

He stated that he had lost all hopes of winning over Bhuntan Rai’s wife and decided to kill him on Sunday night.

He made the victim consume liquor, after which the latter fell unconscious. The accused then strangulated him with a cloth and threw him in the well.

The police has sent the body to Patiala for a post-mortem examination after doctors at the Ludhiana civil hospital refused to conduct autopsy on the decomposed body.



2 nabbed for car theft
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The Model Town police has nabbed two persons for vehicle theft and recovered three cars, which reported to have been stolen by the accused from various parts of the city in the past few days.

Interestingly, the accused, identified as Sukhwinder Singh and Jaspal Singh of Gure village, after stealing the vehicle, used to sell it in the market.

The police has recovered one such vehicle which was stolen from the market and was sold to a businessman in Mullanpur Dakha.

It is learnt that the deal was cracked at Rs 1.50 lakh and a few installments were also paid by a Mullapur resident, who was identified as Anulesh.

The accused alleged that Anulesh was fully aware that he had purchased a stolen car. According to sources, the accused were nabbed following a tip-off.

The police said the accused were planning to commit another theft in Model Town. During the interrogation, the accused confessed to committing the crime.

The police claimed that the accused were behind a spate of theft incidents that took place in Model Town recently.

The accused were produced in the court and were further sent on police remand.



2 held with fake currency
Our Correspondent

The two accused arrested for possessing fake currency in Jagraon.
The two accused arrested for possessing fake currency in Jagraon. A Tribune photograph

Jagraon, November 5
The CIA (Ludhiana rural) along with the local police got a major breakthrough yesterday when it arrested two persons with fake currency worth Rs 64,000. The currency recovered is in the denomination of Rs 100.

Following a tip-off, a CIA team led by SI Jangjeet Singh set up a checkpoint on the Kacha Malak road and intercepted Harjit Singh of Pandori Takthgarh, Tarn Taran, and Bhagwan Dass of Bal Singh Nagar, Jodhewal, and arrested them along with the fake currency. The two had been in the profession of printing fake currency.

They had come from Ludhiana on a bus. The police has registered a case against the two under Sections 489 and 420, IPC.



Punjab School Games
Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur athletes rule on Day 1
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, November 5
Athletes from Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur dominated the proceedings on the inaugural day of the 56th Punjab School Games which began at Guru Nanak Stadium here today. More than 1,000 athletes in the age groups of u-14, u-17 and u-19 years, drawn from all districts of the state and four sports wings, namely Kairon wing, Sports School, Jalandhar, Maustana wing and Panj Guraian wing, are competing in this five-day sports extravaganza.

In the boy's (u-19) 1500m event, Luvpreet Singh from Gurdaspur finished ahead of others to win the title while Darshan Singh of Mansa secured second position and Harpinder Singh of Gurdaspur finished at third place.

Similarly, in the girl's (u-17) 1500m race, Jyoti Saini from Hoshiarpur wrest the top honours. Another girl from Hoshiarpur, Harpreet Kaur followed her at second place while Kuljeet Kaur of Sports wing, Kairon had to content with third position.

Earlier, Manpreet Singh Chhatwal, SDM, inaugurated the games. Navdeep Kaur, an athlete from Ludhiana, took oath on behalf of the participants to play in the true spirit of games. A band contingent from Government Model Senior Secondry School, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, was the star attraction of the opening ceremony.

Rupinder Singh, assistant education officer (sports), Ludhiana, Jagir Nahar, District Sports Officer, Ludhiana, Gurbachan Singh Grewal, secretary, district tournament committee, and Jagroop Singh, tournament conductor were present on this occasion.

Results: Boys (u-19)- 1500m race: Luvpreet Singh of Gurdaspur 1, Darshan Singh of Mansa 2 and Harpinder Singh of Gurdaspur 3; Shot put- Gurwant Singh of Ferozepur 1, Yudhvir Singh of Ludhiana 2 and Harshjeet Singh of Sangrur 3.

Boys (u-17): 1500m race- Gurjeet Singh of Taran Tarn 1, Sant Attar Singh Academy, Maustana 2 and Navjot Singh of Sports Wing, Panj Guraian 3.

Boys (u-14): Discus throw- Simran Singh of Patiala 1, Gurwinder Singh of Patiala 2 and Dharam Pal Singh of Ferozepur 3; 600m race- Dharminder Kumar of Ludhiana 1, Rajwant Singh of Sports Wing, Kairon 2 and Jaspreet Chawla of Gurdaspur 3.

Girls (u-19): Long jump- Kulwinder Kaur of Sangrur 1, Amar Kaur of Ropar 2 and Rajinder Kaur of Jalandhar 3; 1500m race- Amandeep Kaur of Hoshiarpur 1, Rubina Sharma of Ludhiana 2 and Pinky of HMV Sports Wing, Jalandhar 3.

Girls (u-17): 1500m race- Jyoti Saini of Hoshiarpur 1, Harpreet kaur of Hoshiarpur 2 and Kuljeet Kaur of Sports Wing, Kairon 3; Long jump- Bhumika Thakur of Sports Wing, Panj Guraian 1, Sandeep Kaur of Patiala 2 and Sumandeep kaur of Gurdaspur 3.

Girls (u-14): 600m race - Manjot Kaur of Sports Wing, Panj Guraian 1, Sarabjeet kaur of Sports Wing, Kairon 2 and Swati Mehta of Hoshiarpur 3.



Amritsar, Sangrur champions
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 5
Amritsar and Sangrur emerged champions in the national style and circle style (men), respectively, in the 56th Punjab State Kabaddi Championship that concluded at Mata Sahib Kaur Stadium of Jarkhar village, about 15 kms from here, today.

In the women's category, Mansa won top honours in the circle style while Ropar eves came out triumphant in the national style.

Bikramjeet Singh Khalsa, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab, was the chief guest at the prize distribution function. He announced a grant of Rs 3 lakh for the construction of hostel at the stadium.

Pehalwan Gurmail Singh, senior vice-president of the Punjab Kabaddi Association, besides Devi Dyal, secretary of the association, were also present there. Earlier, a two-minute silence was observed in the memory of Lakhbir Singh Grewal, chairman of the Jarkhar Hockey Academy.



Govt College lads emerge winners
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 5
Hosts Satish Chander Dhawan Government College for Boys, Ludhiana, quelled a strong challenge from the Sports Club, Khanna, before romping home victorious in four sets to emerge as champions in the men's section of the 45th edition of the Ludhiana District Volleyball Championship which concluded at Government College grounds here today.

In the final, SCD Government College spikers were made to fight for each point but eventually, they overcame their spirited opponents 25-21. In the second game, the Sports Club, Khanna, bounced back to wrap it up 25-22 to level the scores one-all.

However, in the third game, SCD Government College men proved too good and won it 25-18. The fourth game witnessed tense battle as players of both sides tried to upstage each other but the cliff-hanger was ultimately clinched by SCD Government College, who wrapped it 30-28 which also fetched them the title.

The final in the boy's section, played between Adarsh School, Dehlon and Government Senior Secondary School, Jagraon bridge branch, Ludhiana, turned to be a well-contested affair in which the former managed to scrape past in straight sets 30-28, 26-24 and 25-25 to annex the title.

In the girl's final, Khalsa School, Civil Lines, Ludhiana, outperformed Government Senior Secondary School, Kalsian, 25-12, 25-18 and 25-20.

Dr Gurdev Singh, former head of the department, physical education, SCD Government College for Boys, along with D S Chahal, vice-principal, Government College, G S Brar, international volleyball star, Surinder Singh, Neelam Rani, Daljinder Pal Kaur, all volleyball coaches, and Jagroop Singh, national referee, were present at the prize distribution function.



TT meet on Nov 14, 15
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 5
The Ludhiana District Table Tennis Association (LDTTA) will organise the Ludhiana District Table Tennis Championship for cadet boys and girls (u-12), sub junior boys and girls (u-14), junior boys and girls (u-17) as well as youth boys and girls (u-20) and senior men and women at Shastri Hall near Guru Nanak Stadium on November 14 and 15.

According to Fang Jenn Chiu, secretary, LDTTA, interested players can contact him at his mobile no 9876191001 or table tennis coach, Suresh Sharma , mobile no 9814833592. Participants must bring their age proof certificates (municipal corporation, Ludhiana ) and junior boys and girls should produce Class 10th board certificates.

Matches will be played on league-cum-knock out basis and the performance during this meet be taken into consideration while selecting the district team for the coming Punjab State Inter-District and Open Table Tennis Championship slated to be held at Ferozepur from November 19 onwards, added Fang.



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