L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Jalandhar Accident
Injured hospitalised; bodies still to arrive
Out of the four who died, three were from the Jawahar Nagar area
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
Heartrending scenes were witnessed at the DMCH and Jawahar Nagar here after 10 devotees who sustained injuries following a collision of their van with a truck at Jalandhar were brought here this morning.

Three devotees died in the accident and a postmortem is being conducted at Jalandhar. Their bodies are yet to arrive here. They have been identified as Santosh Rani (45), Banto Devi (40) and Pinky (10). The victims were headed for a dera at Beas.

The injured include Kamla Devi, Ratna Devi, Prakash Kaur, Jyoti and Neha.

Relatives of the injured alleged that the incident took place due to the fault of the truck driver. “Such cases have happened in the past, but no one claims responsibility. The driver would be let off after he furnishes a bail bond,” a relative said.

In the meantime, workers of the dera arrived at the spot and stopped the relatives of the injured from interacting with the media.

A dera worker said: “We will take care of the injured and provide them with proper medicare.”

Meanwhile, gloomy scenes were witnessed at Jawahar Nagar as out of the four who died, three belonged to this area.

Mohit, son of Santosh Rani, said he was planning to accompany his mother to the dera, “but my plan changed at the last moment and my mother decided to travel along with the other women of the colony. My father is still in a state of shock,” he said.


2 more test positive for swine flu
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
Refusing to comply with the instructions of the district health authorities, Ravi Jain, brother of Rajiv Jain (who died of swine flu on November 25), failed to take preventive medicine and tested positive for influenza H1N1 today.

Ravi, a resident of Sant Nagar who was the direct contact of his brother, was given preventive medicine, but he misinformed the rapid response team that he was taking the prescribed dose. His family, however, said he never took the medicine.

District epidemiologist GP Mangla said Ravi had the whole team worried when he developed symptoms of swine flu as they thought that it could be the case of resistance to the drug, but on inquiring, “we came to know that he never took the medicine, instead he took some holy water to cure himself”.

Another resident, Tejinder Kaur of Model Town, tested positive for swine flu. She was put on therapeutic treatment followed by preventive medicine for her contacts in the family and outside.

Dr Mangla urged people to be cautious while coming in contact with swine flu patients. “There is no need to panic but following the symptoms the person should immediately visit a physician and report the matter to the district health authorities,” he said.

Asked about the preventive medicine for doctors and paramedical staff treating such patients at hospitals, Dr Mangla stated that extra strips of medicine had been distributed at the CMCH, DMCH and SPS Apollo Hospital.



Burglars decamp with cash, jewellery
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
Burglars broke into a house at Central Town Colony near Phoolawal and decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs 1.50 lakh here today.

The incident came to light this morning when Deepak Aggarwal, owner of the house, returned from Gwalior. Manju, sister of Deepak, said the burglars gained entry into the house by scaling a wall while the family was away. They broke open the main door and took away 11 tola of gold ornaments and Rs 4,000 cash.

When Deepak returned today, he found the house ransacked and informed the police. Fingerprint experts and a dog squad were pressed into service.

The police is suspecting the theft to be the handiwork of an insider.

A case has been registered and investigations have begun.



Another probe panel on bill scam
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
With Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura announcing the formation of a three-member committee to probe into the fake bill scam involving crores of rupees, it seems that the former has not fathomed the intensity of the embezzlement.

While there is need to outsource the work of conducting probe to the Punjab Vigilance Bureau or the CBI since officials and politicians are involved in the scam, questions are being raised on the fairness of the probe.

Senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal said the probe should have gone to an independent agency for indepth investigations. He said: “The way the scam amount has been increasing and political names are being associated with road contractors, I feel that we need to ask the vigilance bureau or the CBI to conduct the probe.”

The scam has already highlighted bogus and duplicate bills of more than Rs 1.5 crore and the amount is likely to cross the double figure.

Politicians and officials say that the decision of the Mayor is only a counter move against the inquiry ordered by Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha.

When Additional Commissioner KP Brar has already been given the task to inquire into the scam by the Municipal Commissioner after a nod from local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia, what was the need for another committee, they opined.

Sinha, however, denied any differences. “The inquiry ordered by me is of administrative nature and has to do nothing with the committee that would be constituted by the Mayor. When Additional Commissioner Brar would submit a report, a copy of it would also be forwarded to the three-member committee for reference.”



Underground encroachments
House tax dept in spot
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
With the town planning wing of the MC unearthing two underground encroachments over the past 10 days, the house tax department has come under a scanner.

According to information, the house tax department conducts property surveys after every three years, but it seems officials failed to find these encroachments, which have been there for over a decade.

A senior official, urging anonymity, said: “No doubt the building branch is responsible for this illegal construction, but if there was a lapse in one department, house tax officials should have brought this irregularity to its notice.”

One of the encroachments was at Janakpuri and had four rooms. The other irregularity came to the fore on November 27 near the road stretch between Vishkarma Chowk to Dholewal Chowk.

The building, which also has an Oswal showroom, had extended its basement to 3.5 feet beneath the road.

If the town planning wing was not doing anything about it, the house tax officials could have told the Municipal Commissioner, but nobody wanted to work, he added.

The blame game would continue, but the fact is that there is no coordination among the civic body’s departments.

For preparing house tax assessment, the officials are required to visit every building and have to conduct a door-to-door survey.

When asked, house tax superintendents took the plea of staff shortage. “There is limited workforce and if people expect us to conduct the survey of every house, it is not possible,” they said, adding that since the introduction of property tax was on the cards, the MC could mechanise the process of assessment to avert such lapses.



Using decimal to trick MC
Mahesh Sharma

Ludhiana, November 29
“Decimal” is suspected to have worked wonders for contractors undertaking the construction of roads and streets within the limits of the MC and officials preparing bills for accomplished works over the past years.

Instead of making alterations in the settled rates and deductions offered at the time of the submission of tenders, certain contractors are reported to have made “wiser” use of mathematical magic for pocketing higher profits. Their designs fructified with the alleged connivance of some officials.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that the reported alterations in terms and conditions agreed by contractors at the time of the opening of tenders for various development projects, had emerged as a major tool for reciprocal benefit of officials and the contractors.

Changing rates and deductions by inserting the decimal between digits of settled figures was observed as the latest modus operandi to dupe the civic body of huge amounts. The tendency of officials to avoid writing amounts and values in words, negligently or deliberately, helped them dupe the civic body.

The new system seems to have replaced the old trend of making changes in the rates and deductions by making cutting or overwriting, which was prone to detection by the auditors at a later stage.

Disappointed over the trend, a veteran contractor, who had come to the MC’s office to get the payment of his bill expedited, regretted that he could not keep pace with other contractors when it came to settling things with officials processing the bills.

“While we used to find it difficult to spend a part of our profit on appeasing officials during the old times, contractors now do not hesitate in pocketing lakhs of rupees by bribing officials,” he said, illustrating how putting a decimal between the settled digits of 25 per cent deduction in the prescribed rate had cost the civic body dearer by 22.5 per cent.



Youth Fest Fiasco
College contemplating forgery case against students
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
After the welfare department of Panjab University, Chandigarh, decided to penalise four students for forging identities during the PU Inter-Zonal Youth Festival, there is more trouble in store for the students as professors of GGN Khalsa College are planning to lodge a forgery complaint against them.

These students were studying at Khalsa college. The development took place following the revelation that four students of the PU’s bhangra team forged their identities and participated on behalf of Punjab Technical University (PTU).

The case came to light when an objection was raised during the youth festival of the PTU held recently at Chandigarh. These students were accused of having performed at the PU Inter-Zonal Youth Festival also. Their team was adjudged best at the zonal level and also at the inter-zonal level of both the PU and the PTU festivals. The PU is looking into the matter.

The students are also enrolled at Guru Nanak Institute of Information and Technology, Ludhiana, affiliated to the PTU.

A professor, on the condition of anonymity, said: “We cannot keep a check where students are going after college. How could we have known that they had taken admission to another college? This amounts to cheating and we would take strict action against them and even lodge a complaint against them for cheating the college authorities.”

On the other hand a section of professors have come in support of the students. While praising the students, they claimed that professors were the culprit, who in order to “earn fame for their college gave these students admission”.

“They are being treated like tissue paper now. The professors knew that these students were extraordinary bhangra artistes and would win a medal for them,” they remarked.

It is learnt that the PTU has investigated at its own level and has obtained affidavits from all students, while the PU is yet to take any action in this regard.



City Concerns

The railway overbridge that would come up in place of Lakkar Bridge would not be connected to the elevated road, defeating the purpose despite a cost of Rs 60 crore. As per the present design, the bridge is in a Y shape with the tail starting from the Civil Lines.

While the downward ramp would end at the Central Post Office at Mata Rani Chowk, the upward ramp would start from Reikhy Cinema Chowk.

Though MC officials claim that this design would ease the movement of traffic, experts feel that it would worsen vehicular mobility.

Should the municipal corporation go ahead with the project or should it consult experts once again? The Ludhiana Tribune wants to know your opinion on the issue. Readers can send in their views on the issue and the possible solutions.

Responses, in not more than 200 words, can be e-mailed to ludhiana concerns@tribunemail.com or sent to our city office at Bhadaur House, Ludhiana.



Residents don’t want regular sanitation workers
Claim permanent staff shirk work

Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
Even as the MC is yet to regularise the services of safai karamcharis of the Mohalla Sanitation Committee (MSC), residents apprehend the aftermath, which may actually leave the city more untidy.

Terming permanent MC employees “work shirkers”, the residents say that if MSC workers are also regularised, they would neither be questioned nor would they care to keep the city clean.

Giving an example of Shamsher Avenue, Kiran Singh Birk, a resident, said: “At present our area has six mohalla sanitation employees and they are doing a splendid job, which is evident when one visits the area. They are paid by the area councillor and they are actually available for six to eight hours.

“It may be possible that MC officials depute employees and we may not get even a single employee for the day. Such things need to be planned before any decision is taken,” he added.

Another resident, Vallabh Kumeria, said: “If you take a round of the streets, you would never find a permanent safai karamchari sweeping the road or a sanitary inspector working. Everybody prefers to delegate work. Such things need to be taken care of before regularisation. MC officials and councillors should assure residents that this would make the city more clean.”

Ramesh Sharma, another resident, said cleanliness was part of the MC motto, but neither the officials nor politicians have stood by it. Garbage heaps were a common feature. “They blame residents, but the MC itself never thought of installing dustbins along roads. Provide infrastructure before teaching people civic sense,” he added.



435 patients examined; 200 donate blood
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 29
At least 435 patients were examined, their diagnostic tests like ECG, spirometry and blood glucose level conducted and medicines provided free of cost at a medical camp organised by the Rising Youth Association here today. A team of doctors comprising Dr Rakesh Goyal, endocrinologist, Dr RK Goyal, chest specialist, and Dr Anil Aggarwal, orthopaedician, along with staff conducted the medical check-up camp and rendered follow-up advice.

Inaugurating the camp, Pritpal Singh, president, Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran managing committee, lauded the initiative of the association in lending a helping hand to the suffering humanity, especially the poor and weaker sections of society.

Functionaries of the association, Gurinder Chahal, president, Preet Kamal Grewal, general secretary, and Sandeep Thapar, secretary, reiterated the commitment of the body to serve for the welfare of the people in the field of health and environment. Interacting with the patients, Dr Rakesh Goyal pointed out that smoking was an independent predictor of mortality in diabetics. Therefore, all diabetics or those in high-risk category ought to quit smoking. Dr RK Goyal said the most predominant opportunistic infection among AIDS patients was tuberculosis, indicating a potential future high spread of the HIV-TB co-infection.

“One ought to remember that at present there was no cure for AIDS and treatment was available only in prolonging survival.” At least 200 volunteers came forward to donate blood at a blood donation camp, organised by Maharaja Aggarsain Sewa Sangh at Lakshmi Narayan Mandir Dharamsala in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar here today.

RS Patial, principal, DAV Public School, inaugurated the camp. He said there was no other noble deed than voluntary blood donation which could give a new lease of life to critically-ill persons. The staff members of DAV School were also among those who donated the blood at the camp. The camp was conducted with the active assistance of the Department of Transfusion Medicine, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

Head of the department Dr Amarjit Kaur delivered a motivational lecture in order to make more and more people come forward for this noble task. “In the wake of huge gap between demand and availability of blood in the country, voluntary blood donation should be made a mass movement, and in fact it should become a way of life,” she added.



Kothi where Rani Zindan was detained in a shambles
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 29
In light of keen interest shown by the world in the auction of a necklace of Rani Zindan, the Bassi canal rest house, popularly known as a “kothi”, where the queen and her last Sikh ruler son, Maharaja Dalip Singh were detained by British rulers, too, has evoked curiosity of the residents.

The historical building is in a shambles and is crying for attention. What to talk of preserving originality of the historically important building the authorities have failed to get 7 acres, worth crores of rupees allegedly grabbed by a few farmers of Bassi town freed.

The police and civil officials have allegedly removed goods worth crores, including economically and medicinally useful trees. The thick canopy of green vegetation that once used to prevent sunrays reach the ground is conspicuous by absence now.

Residents of the area have urged the state government to dedicate the place in memory of Maharaja Dalip Singh and Maharani Zindan and open some educational institute or multi-specialty hospital in the building.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that the building of the Bassi Canal Rest House in Ludhiana district, which used to flutter with fragrance of the British officials, is now in a shamble. Main hall, living rooms, sentry posts, servant quarters and separate kitchens are all deserted now. Only a part of its annexes is inhabited by members of family of Dewan Chand, a chowkidar, posted here for the past 13 years.

According to information provided by Dewan Chand and residents led by president of the Senior Citizen Council Raikot Principal Prem Nath Dubey, Maharaja Dalip Chand and Maharani Zinda were detained here before being taken to Delhi for forced exile. They were taken in a bullock cart and it took 18 days to reach Delhi.

Water of a few wells of this place was so sweet that it was sent to Lahore for use of senior British officials.

Though SDO Nasib Singh had tried to preserve sanctity of the “kothi” by erecting boundary wall around it over 27 years ago, people did not hesitate in taking away bricks of this wall.

Besides being used as official resident of senior officials, the premise was used as recruitment centre for the police and the British army. Easy availability of water from Daudhar and Sudhar canals facilitated growing of crops here.

Fans of Maharaja Dalip Singh had installed his portrait in main hall of the “kothi” over two decades ago but then SDM of the area (now a deputy commissioner in Doaba) got it removed. A junior engineer had to bring it from resident of the SDM at Ludhiana after Pran Nath Dubey and his associated lodged a complaint at the police station.



BKU asks govt to facilitate basmati export
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 29
Expressing concern over the exploitation of farmers by procurement agencies with respect to purchase of basmati 1121 variety, the Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) has urged the Union government to spell out a clear policy on its export and also demanded steps in this direction, which in turn would benefit both farmers and traders.

Talking to mediapersons after a meeting, its secretary Puran Singh Shahkot and general secretary Harmeet Singh Kadian said even though the state government had asked Markfed to purchase this variety from the mandis, but it was giving priority to crops grown under contract rather this.

As a result, other farmers were finding difficulty in selling their crop.

Elaborating on manipulation of the prices in the market by the traders, the BKU leaders said last week there was a sudden hike ranging between Rs 500 and Rs 700 per quintal in the prices of basmati 1121.

The increase in prices was brought about by the traders who intended to export the rice purchased at cheaper rates but when the farmers brought their produce in the mandis to take benefit of higher rates, the prices crashed once again, forcing the farmers to sell their crop at losses.

They said the Central government would do well to announce a minimum export price (MEP) of basmati 1121 to ensure remunerative prices to farmers, while the state government was asked to direct Markfed to purchase crop of this variety from all producers, whether grown under contract or otherwise.



Behind bars for no crime
Though innocent, they would have to remain in jail for mothers’ folly
Rakesh Gupta

Raikot, November 29
With tears in their eyes and unaware of what’s happenings around them Nisha (seven) and Vijay (six) could be seen staring at mediapersons asking one question after another from them.

In fact, they could not understand what they were being asked for due to the language constraint. Both of them were put in a lockup along with their mothers Kaushalaya Bai and Geeta Bai, respectively, arrested along with other gang members for drug peddling.

Both of them had accompanied from Jhalavar district in Rajasthan to deliver 11.5 kg opium to residents of Ludhiana (Rural) villages. Debt ridden, these women had accompanied the real accused just for Rs 2,000 per trip per woman.

In lieu of Rs 2,000, the gang forced them to bring their children along. The gang used them for moving like a family and stays for the night in some religious place near the delivery point and when assured of a clean passage, ring up the recipient and after delivering the consignment return to their roots.

The trip lasted for three days maximum and Rs 2,000 was not a bad deal. Now, when arrested, they sure will have to undergo jail but the children, though innocent, are now lodged in a police lockup and most probably in jail afterward as there is no one to take care of them. Both children were staring toward the policemen and the onlookers as if pleading to pardon their mothers for what they have done.



‘Save BSNL from privatisation’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
More than 350 delegates and observers took part in the bi-annual conference of the BSNL Employees’ Union, Punjab circle, which concluded recently.

BSNL Employees’ Union general secretary VAN Namboodiri was the chief guest, who called upon the employees and officials to get united to save BSNL from privatisation and disinvestments.

He stated that the privatisation would not only have adverse effect on the employees and officials but also on the general public.

Namboodiri stated that the period from 1996 to 2002 had only private mobile operators who looted the subscribers with high call rates. It was only after 2002 that the mobile rates started coming down because the BSNL was permitted by the government to start mobile services.

Namboodiri demanded immediate purchase of 9.3 crore GSM (mobile) lines equipment. He demanded proper inquiry into the telecom scam involving crores of rupees.

Earlier Raghunath Singh, CITU general secretary, Punjab, inaugurated the open session. He condemned the decision of the Central government to disinvest the profit-making public sector undertakings like BSNL, NTPC and BHEL, etc.

Swapan Chakraborty, AGS, BSNL Employees’ Union, assured the workers that they would get full wage settlement.

Balbir Singh, circle secretary, BSNL Employees’ Union, Punjab, while addressing the workers said the bureaucratic and the ministry-level delay in finalising tenders for purchase of the equipment was causing losses to the BSNL and deficiency in the services.

AK Sharma, general manager (administration), Punjab circle, appealed to the workers to further improve the work culture, as competition required it.



Revamp education system, says Tewari
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 29
Local MP and the AICC national spokesperson Manish Tewari today emphasised the need for imparting modern education and revamping the education system for ensuring that students were competent and better equipped to face the emerging challenges.

He pointed out; India had competed and emerged as one of the leading knowledge powers in the world. Addressing the annual day function of Guru Nanak Public School in Sarabha Nagar here, Tewari congratulated the management, the staff and the students for their overall performance during the last year and hoped that this feat would be repeated every year.

He said the country’s future was in the hands of the students. When the world is looking towards India, it needs to look towards its young who hold promising future. “We have maintained a consistent record in remaining the best in the world and we want to continue to remain so”, he added.

Earlier, school principal RS Gill welcomed the chief guest and listed the achievements of the school in academics and other extra-curricular activities.

Chairman of the managing committee Jasbir Singh and vice-chairman Surinder Singh proposed a vote of thanks to Tewari.



From Schools & Colleges
Seminar on vocational courses at Dakha school
Tribune Reporters

Mullanpur Dakha, November 29
An employment counselling-cum-seminar was organised at Government Senior Secondary School in Dakha. Such seminars are organised on the directions of the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner for generating more job opportunities. District coordinator Iqbal Singh informed students about various vocational training centres in the district.

Kalyan Sunita, District Employment Officer, spoke on competitive examinations and vocational courses available for the students.

Bikramjit Singh gave information regarding animal husbandry, fisheries, poultry and other agricultural and allied projects and the government help granted for such projects.

Prabhjot Kaur, PAU, Ludhiana, told the students about the various vocational courses offered by the university. Parminder Singh Toor, college principal, also spoke on the occasion.

Annual day celebrated

Guru Nanak Public School and Dr Mohan Kaur Memorial Nursing School jointly celebrated their annual day yesterday. A brief cultural programme was also organised on the occasion. It was presided over by Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman, Zila Parishad, Ludhiana, Surinder Singh Baddowal and Sukhdev Singh Chak, Maghar Singh Braich were the guests of honour. Principals of both institutions read out the annual report. The chief guests distributed prizes among meritorious students who excelled in academics, sports and curricular activities.

Founder’s Day

Founder’s day was organised at Guru Tegh Bahadur National College, Dakha yesterday. The day was organised in memory of late Baba Jiwa Singh.

Students chanted shabad, sang songs and presented giddha. S Sher Singh Sekhon, president of the college managing committee, presided over the function and delivered the Baba Jiwa Singh memorial lecture.

Kanwaljit Singh, head, Postgraduate Department, Punjabi, spoke on the life and teachings of the late Baba Jiwa Singh. Principal Ranjit Kaur Grewal welcomed the guests. At least 12 toppers from various streams were awarded on the occasion. “Award of excellence” was given to Jatinder Virk, Sukhjit Singh and Gulshan Rai besides others. At least 50 needy students of the neighbouring schools were provided material help. DS Deol conducted the proceedings.

Punjabi week

Punjabi week was organised at Government Kanya Senior Secondary School in Machhiwara. Students were finer skills of reading and writing Punjabi. Quiz, chart making, clear writing, poem and other competitions were also organised on the occasion.



GNPS celebrates annual day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
Guru Nanak Public School celebrated its 32nd annual day and prize distribution function yesterday.

Teachers Kiranjit Saini, TGT Hindi; Gurkamal, TGT English and supporting staff were honoured for completing 25 years of service.

The programme started with a shabad followed by a classical dance depicting the rich Indian culture of "atithi devobhava".

The school annual report was read by Jasmine Saini and Sahibnoor Singh, highlighting the school's achievements in academics, sports and extra co-curricular activities.

Students mesmerised the audience through various cultural items including play, dances, giddha and bhangra.

Parents of student Manpreet Singh, who has been selected for IIT, Rorkee, were honoured.

Among others who graced the occasion were chairman and general secretary of the school management committee, Jasbir Singh and Surinder Singh, Jaswant Singh and Prof SS Bajwa.

DECLAMATION: The 3rd Sharda Devi Memorial declamation contest was organised on Friday at DAV Public School, BRS Nagar. Teams from various schools participated in the contest. Students displayed their oratory skills with great enthusiasm as they spoke on social issues like “role of media in the society”, “e-learning versus traditional education” and “T20 killing cricketing skills”. Dr Rakesh, lecturer, Government College; Kavita, lecturer, Arya College; Tripta Arora and Dr Navneet Kaur, lecturers in Malwa College of Education were among the jury panel.


Declamation(Hindi): 1. Sahibpreet Kaur, KVM, Civil Lines.

2. Jaspreet Kaur, Guru Nanak Public Senior Secondary School, Gujranwala.

3. Shubham Sood, DAV Public School.

Consolation: Aashima Gaba, Dayanand Model Senior Secondary School.

Declamation (English): 1. Kamalpreet Singh, DAV Public School.

2. Savleen Jakkar, KVM, Civil Lines.

3. Sachin Aggarwal, Springdale Senior Secondary Public School.

Consolation: Paraminder Makkar, BCM School, Dugri.

The overall trophy was won by KVM, Civil Lines. Chief guest Manish Tewari congratulated the winners and gave away prizes to students who topped in different subjects.



Training on food processing ends
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
A valedictory function on the concluding day of training on “Post harvest technology for rural catchments” for farmers was organised at the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Ludhiana.

It was sponsored by the Agricultural Technology Management Association (ATMA), Taran Taran. At least 20 persons took part in the programme.

The motive behind holding of this programme was to enable the farmers to learn about various food processing technologies and increase their income through value addition. Experts from CIPHET and the PAU delivered lectures on the food processing technologies during the five-day training programme.

Areas covered were practical on pulse milling, cultivation of vegetables, honey bee management and concept of agro-processing centre for rural production catchments.



Awareness drive on afforestation
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 29
With intent to sensitise masses about hazardous affects of reckless felling and exploitation of natural resources, constituents of Green Valley Public School organised an awareness rally in the town and its surrounding localities yesterday.

Vinod Kumar Gupta, chief manager, Punjab and Singh Bank, flagged off the rally led by Yash Bhushan Gupta, general secretary of the organisation.

While teachers of the institute distributed educative literature among residents, students carried placards with slogans highlighting necessity of conservation of the ecology.

Participants raised slogans and recited poems on the way. The rally passed through Jandali, Janta College and Thana roads, Galla Mandi, Gandhi and Shaheed Bhagat Singh chowks, Railway Road, Main Bazaar and the Gaushal Road before culminating on the school premises.

All appreciated presentations of Sarthik Joshi, Gurpreet Singh, Shubham Gupta, Neha Kapoor, Shiksha, Deepi and Jagdish Kaur.



Tony award conferred
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
Poets Vijay Vivek and Sukhwinder Amrit were conferred with the third and fourth Sukhbir Singh Tony memorial award, respectively, at a function here today.

The award, instituted in the memory of poet Sukhbir Singh Tony, was given away by noted poet Surjeet Patar during a kavi darbar.

Dev Dildar and Chetan Dildar mesmerised the audience with the Sufi collection on the occasion. Rich tributes were paid to Tony and his daughter sang a few lines from his poems.



1,045 examined at eye camp
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, November 29
The Guru Nanak Charitable Trust yesterday conducted 63rd eye check- up camp. It was sponsored by Dhata Foundation of Canada. Avtar Singh and Surinder Kaur of Shekupura village also helped in organising the camp.

Patients from far off places got their eyes checked by a team of doctors led by Dr Jacob Parbhakar of Nelson Memorial Hospital in Jalandhar. At least 1,045 patients were examined in the camp. Thirty- five patients were identified for cataract surgery, 35 for yag laser surgery and 15 for squint and other surgeries. Medicines were distributed free of cost among the patients.



Pensioners to hold protest rallies
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 29
The Punjab Government Pensioners Welfare Association came down heavily on the state government for the non-acceptance of their demands.

A meeting of the body held at Pensioners Bhawan at the mini secretariat here last evening, under the presidentship of Gurcharan Singh Humrahi, noted with concern that the government was adopting dilatory tactics for the payment of arrears of hike in pension after January 2006. Similarly, the pension of employees, who had retired after January 2006, were not being increased.

Speakers at the meeting reiterated their pending demands of one-rank one-pension, house rent and rural allowance, and said the pensioners would hold protest rallies at Moga, Fatehgarh Sahib, Phagwara and Ludhiana on pensioner’s day on December 17.

Parkash Singh Jandali, general secretary of the state unit of the BSP, and Yadav Singh Dukhia, joint secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, who were present at the occasion, supported the demands of the pensioners and expressed their solidarity with their struggle.



Dogs have their day
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
The All-Breed Championship, a dog show organised by the Ludhiana Kennel Club at the PAU here today, was a big hit not only with canine lovers, owners and breeders, but also visitors who thronged the venue to see canines of over 300 breeds compete.

Punjab DGP PS Gill inaugurated the event while chief secretary SC Aggarwal and PAU Vice-Chancellor MS Kang were also present.

The show saw dogs from all over India as well as abroad compete in various categories, including toy category, terrier, utility, hound and working.

However, it was the pugs that caught the fancy of onlookers with their presence in large numbers. Also on sale were dog accessories at various stalls.

The show witnessed massive participation from villagers, who expressed eagerness to purchase exotic breeds for domestic as well as breeding purposes.

Talking to The Tribune, show organiser Talwinder Sahota said: “It is the 16th dog show organised by our club and the response has been growing. This year, over 300 breeds of dogs participated in the event.”

Ramesh Kumar, who had come with four pets, said: “There are very few competitions in the city for pets. This is the best platform and I congratulate the Ludhiana Kennel Club for dedicating a day to dogs and their lovers.”



11.5 kg opium seized, six arrested
Our Correspondent

Raikot, November 29
In a major breakthrough the Ludhiana (Rural) police has succeeded in arresting a gang of drug peddlers. It has also seized 11.5 kg opium and Rs 1.70 lakh in cash from their possession. The seized contraband is worth Rs 7 lakh in the international market.

DSP Harjinder Singh of the counter- intelligence wing of the Jalandhar police along with another team lead by Jasbinder Singh, SHO, Sudhar, raided a place near a bridge at Hissowal village on the Raikot Road. The gang used two women and their children, who used to accompany the drug peddler, to confuse the police. The cops managed to arrest the supplier, including Dinesh, Bansi Lal of Bhawani Mandi in Jhalawar district of Rajasthan, Kaushayala Devi and Geeta Bai of Ramganj Mandi of the same district while they were travelling in a Maruti Esteem car (RJ 08 C 0219). Two of the recipients of the consignment identified as Darshan Singh of Hissowal village and Gurdev Singh of Burj Hari Singh village were also arrested from near Raikot while they were commuting in a Indica car (PB 10 AC 7500) driven by Gurdev Singh.

Gurdev Singh is a former Punjab police cop and was the sarpanch of the village some times ago. During the search police recovered 3 kg of the contraband from Dinesh while 6 kg was recovered from Darshan Singh and remaining 2.5 kg from Bansi Lal.

Darshan Singh and Gurdev Singh, however, refuted that the police has arrested them from Hissowal village along with the smugglers and seized opium from them. The due added that they used to buy opium from the accused for their own consumption and had never sold the substance to anybody. ‘The amount the police recovered actually belonged to Darshan Singh, who had asked his relatives to bring after his arrest for a smooth passage out of this case but police confiscated that also,” Gurdev Singh added.

Whereas Dinesh claimed that he wasn’t a smuggler but an employee of an opium dealer Rattan Singh of Gagaria in Rajasthan and they used to get Rs 5,000 per men and Rs 2,000 per women for the trip. They, however, confessed that they knew what thing they were carrying and delivering in Punjab. However, the women arrested refused to be aware of the motive behind the trip.

Jasbinder Singh, inquiry officer of the case, said a police team had already been dispatched to the arrest the main accused Jagat Singh. The Jagraon (Rural) is a hub of such contrabands with many influential persons involved in its trade. The criminals who operate from behind and guard interests of their front-runners have always hushed up the case. “Police seems to be powerless before these influential personalities,” said a retired police official of the area.



1 killed, 11 hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Khamano, November 29
One person died and 11 others injured, five of them seriously in a road accident that took place near Malwa College, Bondli, on the Ludhiana- Chandigarh Road at Dyalpura village.

The accident took place when a tempo and Mahindra Jeep collided head on at about 4 am early today morning. Five of the injured have been referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, from Samrala civil hospital. An orchestra party of Phagwara was returning from a marriage ceremony in Chandigarh. As soon as they reached near Dyalpura village their tempo traveller collided head on with the Jeep.

The Jeep driver died on the spot while five occupants of the Jeep and six from the orchestra party sustained injuries in the accident. A highway patrol party reached the spot and took the injured to the civil hospital from where five of the seriously injured persons identified as Kuldeep Singh, Gurnam Singh, Damanpreet Singh, Harjinder Singh and another one were referred to the PGI.

The man who died in the accident has been identified as Sanjay Kumar (38) of Daddu Majra, Chandigarh. Rajesh Kumar, Ranjit Singh, Sunil Kumar, Vikas Kumar, Bholla Kumar and Shamraj were recuperating at the civil hospital. A case has been registered in this regard.



6 held for stealing batteries
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, November 29
The Dakha police arrested six women for stealing batteries from the tower of a mobile phone company yesterday. Kamaldeep Singh, a guard at the Airtel mobile tower at Pandori village near here, had complained that a few miscreants had stolen seven batteries from the mobile tower building.

Acting swiftly, the Dakha police nabbed Geeta, Beena, Nikki, Sunita, Seema and Kaya, all residents at Prem Nagar here along with seven stolen batteries.

They were carrying the batteries on their head toward Mullanpur. A case has been registered under Section 380 IPC on a statement of Kamaldeep.



1 held with 3 kg contraband

Mullanpur Dakha, November 29
The Dakha police today arrested a man and seized 3 kg hashish from his possession. The police party lead by SHO Prem Singh arrested the accused during routine patrolling near the drain of Khanjarwal village.

The accused has been identified as Anil Yadav of Aloli village of Khagaria district in Bihar. He, now, resides at Deep Nagar here. The consignment was meant for rural addicts who were not in position to afford costly drug as hashish is considered a cheaper alternative. He has been booked under Sections 21-61-85 of the NDPS Act. — OC



Fugitive prisoner nabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
The police today nabbed a fugitive prisoner who fled from its custody while being taken to the jail from the PGI in Chandigarh on November 4.

The accused identified as Jagdev Singh, a resident of MIG flats, Jamalpur, who was undergoing a jail term in an attempt to murder case was referred to the PGI following complaints of an ailment.

He escaped from the police custody on the evening of November 4, when the vehicle ferrying the inmates came to a halt at traffic lights near Jamalpur. Finding an opportunity, Jagdev jumped from the vehicle and fled away. The police even tried to chase him but failed to nab him.

Subsequently, the police raided many place and even allegedly put pressure on the family of the accused following which he was nabbed from Jamalpur.



Annual athletics meet concludes at KVM
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
The 65th annual athletic meet held at Kundan Vidya Mandir culminated in a cultural extravaganza on the school premises here today.

Rakesh Goyal, Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Ludhiana, graced the occasion as the chief guest. In his address, Rajiv Nagalia, school principal, said: "The students have learnt many a lessons on sportsmanship and team spirit, and most importantly on discipline."

Following the principal's address was an exciting race - 'Watering the Plants' run by the students of the Kindergarten section.

It was a feast for the eyes to see the tiny tots vying for top honours. Earlier in the day races were held for the support staff as well.

At least 114 students were awarded by Rakesh Goyal, who appreciated the talent as well as the zeal of the participants.

The chief guest was presented a memento by the school manager Ashwani Kumar. The vice principal Navita Puri proposed the vote of thanks.

Rakesh Goyal formally declared the meet closed and handed over the school flag to the head of the sports department Anita Sharma.

Results :

200m (Girls final):

Mahima Gulati VI-E Patel House, Tanya Agarwal VI-B Gandhi House,Ashna Gaur VIII-D Subhash House, Khusnaz Soni VI-E Patel House.

High Jump (Jr Boys): Vivek Paudel VII-E Raman House, Danish Kapoor VII-C Raman House, Hemant Seth VII-C Gandhi House.

100m (Jr Boys final): Punar Partap Singh III- A Tagore House, Saksham III-C Tagore House, Tarun Gupta III, Raman House.

100m ( Jr Boys Final): Piyush Gupta VIII-C Tagore House, Danish Dutta VIII-F Subhash House, Uday Dhanda VIII-D Nehru House.

800m (Sr. Boys Final): Abhayjit Singh Randhawa XI-E Raman House, Prayas Bhatia XI-D Subhash House, Aditya XII-G Nehru House.

Discus throw (Sr Boys Final): Akashdeep XI-E Raman House, Jaiditya XII-D Raman House Raghav XII-D Nehru House.

High jump (Sr Girls Final): Jainica Jain XI-F Patel House, Pratishtha IX-B Subhash House, Ritika Mohanty IX-D Gandhi House.

Triple jump (Sr Boys Final): Akashdeep XI-E Raman House, Sahil Sharma X-B Subhash House, Himanshu XII-E Nehru House.



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