L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


SHO sent to police lines
Was unable to handle murder case of 2 waiters
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Making the second head to roll in the city police for inefficiency, the SSP today sent the SHO of Division No. 5 to police lines for not being able to handle the murder case of two waiters that had taken place at Manjit Nagar near the bus stand on December 12.

JS Mangat has replaced by Gurjeet Singh as SHO Division No. 5.

This has sent a strong and clear message across the police rank and file in the city; the SSP said Gurjeet was found to be inefficient in tracking the double murder case.

Gurjeet is the second such SHO to face the ire of the SSP as earlier SHO Focal Point Pardeep Sandhu was transferred to Ropar after he was unable to tackle migrant violence efficiently.

In charge of bus stand Pawan Kumar has also been suspended and sent to line for dereliction of duty. He has been held responsible for inaction in the double murder case.

Sources revealed that bus stand in charge picked up two persons in the connection with the murder but they were found innocent later on.

The duo, who were allegedly detained by the cops for murder of two waiters, told SP (City- I) Harsh Bansal that they were being framed in a false case by the police.

Following the complaint a departmental inquiry was initiated and the two waiters namely Naresh and Rahul were found innocent.

The victims Sunil and Vijay, who were working in a marriage palace and were residing in a rented apartment, owned by Surjit Kaur in Street no 2, Manjit Nagar, were found stabbed with a sharp-edged ice on December 12. The murderer even heated the sharp-edged ice in order to clog the blood flow.

The marks on the body indicated that the assailants had stabbed the victim duo repeatedly. After murdering the duo the accused locked the room from outside.

The police earned criticism following the incident as the murder took place soon after the migrant protest and violence by the radical Sikh organizations.

The sources said in order to show results the cops allegedly detained two of victim’s colleagues, to hush up the matter.


Recruitment Rally
Testing time for youths
Fathers in no mood to accept failure
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
While it was a testing time for the youths during the Territorial Army recruitment rally here today, who had to put their stamina and physical fitness on test, the elderly men, who were accompanying them, too had a tough time and were in no mood to take their son’s failure.

While encouraging their kin from a distance, these elderly men seemed to be more stressed than the candidates themselves under the pressure to perform.

As many youths were not able to perform well in the 1600-meter race, their elders were seen reprimanding them at missing an opportunity to be a part of the Territorial Army.

Loud noises were heard at the venue today, when these men were asking their kin to either perform or perish. Several of them were even heard telling their children not to come back home if they failed.

‘‘I do not know what has happened to the children of these years. They are good for nothing. I could see many of them giving up without even completing the 400 meter circle. This is too much, ’’ said an angry Krishan Kant after seeing his son loosing in the first round.

‘‘He missed such an opportunity. Despite my telling him all through his childhood that being an Army man should be his aim, he has disappointed me today, he said.

Balraj Singh, whose son too could not make it to the list of finalists today, said it was never difficult for them to run 1600 meters. ‘‘The television has spoiled them all. They are just left to be couch potatoes. We do not know where the generation is going, ’’ he said.

His son, Yograj Singh said though he had prepared and was determined, he could not make it. ‘‘They just finalised four persons out of our lot. What could I do? I will try my luck at the Territorial Army recruitment rally here today, who had to give a show of their stamina and physical fitness, the elderly men.



Industry urges CM to set up NIFT in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
The city’s industrialists and businessmen have urged Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to set up the proposed National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Ludhiana instead of Mohali, as the former enjoys a pre-eminent position in the knitwear and textile industry.

Ludhiana Knitwear Club president Vinod Thapar has said that a representation in this regard has been sent to Badal, observing the city catered to 90 per cent of the country’s demand of knitwear and woollen products. Besides, Thapar said: “A textile park on 60 acres is being rapidly developed on the Ludhiana-Khanna highway. It will give a further impetus to the industry”.

"The strategic position enjoyed by the city demands that the proposed National Institute of Fashion technology (NIFT) should be set here as the facilities for better floor training is available in the city and there are enormous chances of placement of trained hands", said Thapar.

The business community has urged the Chief Minister to recommend its request for setting up the proposed institute in Ludhiana to the Central Textiles Ministry "It will be a great favour done to this city, known as the ‘Manchester of India’", added Thapar.



Vacant plot turns garbage dump; residents’ plea remain unheard
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 26
Sore over a vacant plot having been turned into a garbage dump and safe haven for anti-social elements for the past more than two years, residents of Dugri Urban Estate (Phase II), a posh residential colony developed by the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA), have been pleading for remedial measures, but without any positive result so far.

Numerous representations made by the Urban Estate Residents Welfare Society in this regard to PUDA and GLADA authorities have evoked nothing but lip service with the result that the people living around the plot No. 2001 (corner plot) measuring 250 square yards in the colony have to put up with heaps of garbage, bad stench emanating from the litter, proliferating growth of weeds and shrubs with threat of snakes and other poisonous insects and reptiles also looming large over the heads of the residents.

BR Kaushal, president of the society, and a retired PCS officer, who has had several rounds of correspondence on the issue with the GLADA authorities, though sad over the indifference and apathy of the authorities towards the plight of the residents, says he is committed to fight till the grievance is addressed.

In response to representations made by the society, the Divisional Engineer (C-II) of GLADA had written a letter to the Superintending Engineer in September 2008 with a request that the Estate Office should be asked to take steps for disposal through allotment or auction of the said plot, and further that in the intervening period a fencing around the plot be got done to redress the problem being faced by residents of the area. However, no follow up action has been taken up in this regard till now.



Dist Magistrate bans breeding, sale of mangoor fish
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Acting tough against those indulging in smuggling of banned variety of Mangoor fish, the district magistrate has banned its culturing, breeding, transportation and sale in the district. Stating that the fish was a voracious feeder and consumed all other aquatic species and was a threat to aquaculture, the deputy commissioner warned that anybody found breeding or selling the fish would be prosecuted.

Garg said it had come to his notice the banned variety was being transported to the city in trucks and if anybody doing so was caught, action would be taken against him under Section 188 of the Cr.PC for flouting the magistrate’s orders.

President of the Fish Farmer Association, Punjab, KS Sidhu, said till mid December more than 300 quintal of Mangoor fish had been seized in the city alone. Besides, 100 quintal was seized from Jalandhar district. He said the illegal sale of banned variety of fish had caused much harm to the fish farmers in the state.

“But with sincere efforts put-in by the fisheries department, here, we were able to curb smuggling of the variety to great extent. Due to action taken by the department, the prices of pond fish which had come down to just Rs 30 per kg, had increased to about Rs 60 in recent times, giving much relief to fish farmers”, said Sidhu.

He further added that states like Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh were responsible for illegally selling the seed in Punjab. “We are going to Delhi to meet the officials in this regard. We need to destroy the seed if this trade had to be stopped. Otherwise, it is the retailers or daily wagers who feel the heat but the real culprits go scot-free”, said Sidhu.



BJP in quagmire over CM’s stand
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 26
The BJP, the junior partner in the SAD-BJP coalition government in the state, is in a quagmire over the stance of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal over the sensitive matter of increase in power tariff given effect by the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) with retrospective effect from April 2009.

Even though the BJP leadership had vehemently opposed the hike while pleading that either the hike in tariff be rolled back, or else the state government should bear the burden by way of providing subsidy to offset the financial burden on the urban population, the state government had set up a two member committee comprising Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal and the senior most minister from BJP quota Manoranjan Kalia to discuss the matter in detail and suggest suitable course of action which also ought to address the generation of additional resources.

Now that the PSEB has started collecting the difference between old power rates and the revised tariff for the past eight months by adding the additional amount in the fresh energy bills even as a final decision by the state government is pending, the BJP

has suddenly realised that the urban population will blame the party for its failure to safeguard their interests and giving in to the pressure tactics of the SAD.

Requesting anonymity, a senior party leader told The Tribune that apprehending strong reaction from the people, the core committee members of the party had gone to meet the Chief Minister on Wednesday with a plea that recovery of difference between old and new rates be put off for the time being so that an appropriate decision could be taken by the government in the meantime.

“However, the manner in which the BJP leaders were sent back empty-handed without even a verbal assurance is all more unfortunate and does not auger well for the BJP which is predominantly a party identified as pro-industry and business.

If the power tariff is not rolled back or subsidised by the government, the party is bound to lose face and erosion of urban vote bank,” the BJP leader said without mincing words.

On the other hand, the energy bills, up by anything from 25 to 33 per cent on account of difference of rates for the past eight months, have come as a bolt from the blue for average consumers. Even people from the upper middle class are perturbed.

Pran Gupta, a shopkeeper in Ghumar Mandi, said my energy bill for the current month was 35 per cent higher than the previous one and I will have to make many adjustments to be able to make the payment on time.

A few other city residents, echoing similar views said after skyrocketing prices of essential items for quite some time now, the government had inflicted yet another blow on the household budget of common people.



Play enacted to say no to drugs
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, December 26
"The drug peddlers should be dealt with a strict hand and should be made to ride on a donkey after blackening of there faces" said SP Jagraon Gurpreet Singh Toor during his visit to Hassanpur village to see the play staged there with the initiative of the local police.
Artistes stage a play ‘Shikhar Dopehere Hanera’ at Hassanpur village on Saturday
Artistes stage a play ‘Shikhar Dopehere Hanera’ at Hassanpur village on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Say no to drugs was the massage of the play.

The Ludhiana Rural police is working hard on its brain child ‘Jago’ so that it is successful.

Hardeep Singh Gill leading the ‘The Theater Person’ group from Amritsar staged the play ‘Shikhar Dopehere Hanera’ hitting at the consequences of addiction to drugs.

The artists were successful in passing on the anti-drug massage to the viewers. 



From Colleges
Seven-day NSS camp held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
The NSS unit of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujarkhan, has organised a seven-day camp from December 25 to 31.

College principal Dr Karmjit Kaur Virdi inaugurated the camp, which started with an interactive session on yoga.

Dr YS Walia delivered a lecture on “Health and Personality”, in which he motivated the NSS volunteers to live a healthy life and have a vision in their life.

Jagmail Singh, traffic personnel, made the volunteers aware of the traffic rules. The volunteers later visited their adopted slum Dr Ambedkar Nagar to spread awareness about swine flu and malaria. They also participated in a group discussion on female foeticide.


NSS volunteers of Gobindgarh Public College, Alour, were given a first-aid training by Usha Chopra, member, Red Cross Society, Ludhiana.

Programme officials Prof Rajiv Bhatia and Prof Himani Thakur thanked Usha Chopra for coming and giving important tips to students.

Piara Singh Kalsi, president of the Gobindgarh Educational and Social Welfare Trust , NK Khanna, secretary, Pawan Sharda, treasurer, Vimal Vinod Bansal, chairman, College Management Committee, and Dr Suresh Tandon, principal of the college, motivated students.


A seven-day NSS camp for boys and girls was inaugurated by Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman, zila parishad, Ludhiana, at SCD Government College here today.

A day and night camp for boys will be held at Ayali Khurd village and a day camp for girls will be held on the college campus.


Three management teachers of the city have been assigned a project by a Canada-based team of social scientists led by Dr Jasdev Singh, an eminent researcher in the field of school education, who is also associated with Simon Fraser University.

While elaborating the project, Harpreet Singh, a management professional, said the project would focus on students' talent, family background and evaluation of education system of our schools.

Sachin Jain, a management professional, and Gurpreet Singh, an expert in information technology and operations research, would be a part of the team, said Harpreet Singh. Statistical analysis will be done after collecting the data from rural and urban schools. The study will be completed in six months.

Placement drive

A placement drive was conducted at Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College.

Vardhman Textile visited the campus.

Training and placement cell of the college extended a warm welcome to Parminder B Singh, assistant vice-president, Ajay Aggarwal, senior manager, HR, and Deepak Jain, Vardhman Yarns and Threads Limited.

More than 50 students from the mechanical, production and electrical departments participated in the drive.



Office-bearers elected
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 26
Dr Rajinder Mittal and Pawan Singla have been elected chairman and president of the Social Welfare Organisation. This was announced during a meeting held at MGMN Senior Secondary School here today.

Dr Sunit Hind has been elected vice-president, while Sanjay Mittal has been elected cashier. Other elected office-bearers are: Vice-president: Balwinder Verma Happy; joint secretary: Manoj Garg; manager: DK Goyal; directors: Gopal Krishan Toni, Vijay Singla, Arun Gupta and Sushil Singla. 



Indian goods must beat Chinese prices: Survey
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
A recent survey conducted by a team of MBA students of the Gujranwala Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology has suggested Indian manufacturers should adopt the ‘Indian quality, Chinese prices’ mantra if they wanted to dominate the domestic market in the long term. Based on the survey’s findings the students felt the ideal strategy for the Indian companies should be to match competitive Chinese prices without compromising on the quality of their products.

According to the survey, in the category of toys Chinese quality was very good in terms of finish and range. Kamalpreet Kaur, a student and part of the team that conducted the survey, said “Prices of Chinese toys are much lower- almost half as those of Indian toys. Warranties and guarantees for both Chinese and Indian items were almost the same. Nearly 80 per cent of customers and dealers prefer to buy Chinese toys”.

In the confectionary category Chinese items are preferred because of their superior packaging, lower prices and better taste, the survey found. “However, most people don’t go for Chinese confectionary items for their personal consumption as they aren’t very sure about the ingredients, but prefer to gift them due to their attractive packaging”, said Jasmeet Singh, another student.

According to Aditya Sharma and Paritosh Miglani, in the knitwear industry Chinese products were 20 to 30 per cent cheaper than branded Indian products but were not that durable. “Customers did not even lodge complaints with the dealers about the inferior quality. In many cases, customers ended up buying Indian knitwear thinking it to be Chinese”, they added.

As far as bicycle parts were concerned very few manufacturing units were using them, the survey found. However, those using the parts were buying them at much cheaper rates. Though Chinese bicycles were also available in the market and were highly attractive, their demand was not very large.

In the mobile phones category most of the companies manufacturing Chinese handsets were not offering their products in the market now but second-hand sets were still in circulation. These handsets were in demand mostly because of their low prices, attractive features and packaging. “The durability and quality of Chinese cellphones were not considered up to the mark”, found Sakshi Mohindra during her survey.

All the students suggested Indian manufacturers should continuously innovate and improve their product quality to beat the Chinese in these segments. 



Surjit Patar weaves web
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
‘Ik mulaqat’, a musical evening based on Punjabi poet Surjit Patar’s work, was organised by Dhvani, an association for the promotion of arts, here.

To the delight of the audience, Patar compered the programme and gave the background of every ‘ghazal’ that was rendered by Randhir Kanwal, Kulwant Singh, Bhupinder Patar, Ibaadat and Noor Kanwal.

Jatinder Dutt, a singer and choreographer from Los Angeles in the USA, was the guest of honour at the function.

He mesmerised the audience as he sang a ‘Sufiana kalaam’ and a ‘geet’ penned by his close friend Gurdas Maan.

On the occasion, Dhvani honoured Paramjot Singh, who had recently received official confirmation of holding the longest continuous hand drum playing by an individual.

Anil Kumar, secretary of Dhvani, said the organisation was always promoting well-meaning poetry and Indian music.

He said poets made their calibre after years of hard work and persistent efforts, adding that Patar’s poems needed to be read, sung and propagated.

Kanwaljit Singh Sidhu, while introducing the guest of honour, reiterated the efforts of Dhvani to propagate Indian values and culture through poetry and music.



Young Achiever
Hira Singh, a messiah for rural youths
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Multifaceted personalities are hard to find out, but there are a few who have carved their niche in almost every aspect of life. Meet Hira Singh, who apart from perusing his PhD in vegetable science at the PAU is leading the campaign of imparting education about agricultural aspects in the backward areas of the state.

Belonging to a sleepy village Bohpal in district Mansa, his room No. 129 in hostel No. 7 often turns into a counselling centre as he has been inspiring the students hailing from the rural areas to join agricultural programmes launched by the PAU.

Not only this, Hira has a hobby of collecting rare coin and has a collection of over 2,000 coins from 50 countries across the globe in his kitty. He has a few precious coins belonging to the Ranjit Singh era and the British Raj. His in his collection are coins that are not identifiable to any period in history, at least, not to him.

Even the PAU authorities have appreciated the efforts of this budding scientist. Recently the Dean, College of Agriculture, Dr Milkha Singh Aulakh while felicitating Hira Singh with a best student award, said he was a perfect example of an all-rounder.

Dr Aulkah mentioned that in addition to being a bright student, Hira has been actively participating in National Service Scheme, environment-oriented activities and served as a student editor of the PAU magazine. He is also the vice- president of the vegetable science club.

Hira Singh was also conferred with Dr Dalip Singh Deep Memorial Award in view of his achievements in the field of social service and propagation of moral values in the student community.

In academics also he received a university merit scholarship in B.Sc. (Hons) and M.Sc (Agri.) programmes and Dr BR Sharma Gold Medal in M.Sc, added Dr Aulakh.

Hira Singh said,” My motto is to serve the state by educating the youth of my village, who are deprived of basic education leave alone entering into the PAU.



Foundation stone of sub-tehsil laid
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, December 26
Revenue Minister of Punjab S Ajit Singh Kohar laid down the foundation stone of the sub-tehsil complex at Mullanpur.

The complex spread over 3,220 sq ft will be completed within six months. It will consists of a registry room, SRO room, farad kender, data room, record room, store room and two waiting halls.

Mullanpur Dakha was declared a sub-tehsil in 1992 by the then Chief Minister Beant Singh. He had also laid the foundation stone of a sub-tehsil complex at Sidhwan Bet.

While addressing a gathering, Kohar said all tehsils in the state would be computerised and Rs 10 crores had been earmarked for the purpose.

He said the Punjab government had started a special project under the National Land Record Modernisation to computerise the land records and registration of documents.

About 153 farad kenders would be set up in all sub-tehsils and tehsils in the state, he added.

He said through these kenders, farmers could get on-the-spot jamabandi, mutation and girdawari.



A park full of litter is lush-green now
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Considering it as a social responsibility and sharing the burden of the civic body, residents of Pritam Nagar in Model Town have developed their public park that was in shambles almost a year back. They did witness an initial hitch before taking up the project, but resident Gurdit Singh took the lead and tried to organise things. Finally, other residents joined him, and as a result, the green park is now full of people in the morning and evening enjoying their walks.

It was not an easy move for the residents as they pitched in time as well as money to develop this public park, but the achievers are today proud of their efforts.

The Park Committee members are 14 in number at present and contribute Rs 100 per month to maintain the park and pay the gardener. The garden has a fountain, benches, footpath for walkers and stands as an example for other areas too.

Talking to The Tribune, park committee president Gurdit Singh said, "I used to feel quite upset when I used to see the public park in front of my house full of litter, mud, while the public park in a nearby locality was full of lush- green lawns. We residents used to discuss, but nobody was ready to take the work." Finally, Gurdit decided to take upon the responsibility and when he shared his view with residents like Jasbir Singh, Dharamvir Singh, AC Goel, Bholla Grewal, KS Makkar and Rashpal Singh they showed interest and rendered help.

The public park's maintenance was started with plantation drive and landscaping. "I used to water plants myself in the morning and evening. And interestingly watching me work, the people too used to render their help and this motivated me further," said elated Gurdit, whose vision has changed the outlook of the park.

One of the committee members said, "We organise a get together on one Sunday of every month in the morning. It acts as a social platform and helps to develop relationship, which have become tough due to busy schedules." He added that such initiatives were the need of the hour to make Ludhiana a better place.

The park committee has kept a gardener for Rs 3,500 per month, who is paid from the contribution of residents and money received as grant from the Municipal Corporation. But the committee members rued that for past four months the civic body had failed to release the funds.

"The public feels encouraged if the MC respects our efforts and chips in its contribution," feel committee members.



Shopping festival from today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
To promote shopping festival and shopping tourism in India, the Indian Bachat Shopping Festival in association with Avon Cycles will conduct a mega show at WestEnd Mall tomorrow.

Pop diva and Bollywood Singh Sonu Makkar will perform her chartbusters on this occasion. In order to promote "Go-Green" campaign, the organisers will promote eco-friendly e-bikes in India and abroad through this festival.

Abishek Nanda, CEO, IBSF, addressing mediapersons, here, today, said this would be the first ever and largest shopping festival in India on the lines of Dubai Shopping Festival through which shopping tourism will also be promoted.

"It will be a platform for all organised and unorganised retailers to come forward and give the best to Indian consumers. This festival will give a boost to retail industry, which is just recovering from the loss incurred during recession. And customers can enjoy the best quality products during the festival across India", he said.

Onkar Singh Pahwa of Avon Cycles said the company was happy to associate itself with the Indian shopping festival as it would not only benefit the retailers present in the mall.



Small enterprises dissatisfied with govt panel report
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
The Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Committee (PMEAC), which submitted its report recently, was silent on the cost of bank finance, its focus remained totally on availability of bank finance to the micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

"Dissatisfied" over the report, the MSME sector felt that banks' lending to the sector was at an all time low of 8 per cent last year while bulk of bank finance was going to mutual funds and indirectly routed to stock market in order to take tax advantage.

The president of Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, PD Sharma, told The Tribune that the MSME sector was the largest creator of jobs. In the industrial employment, the share of organised sector was continuously declining. Between 1998 and 2004, it had dropped sharply from 18 per cent to 10 per cent and continued to decline. "Keeping this in view the share of MSMEs in the total bank credit should be at least 20 per cent", said Sharma.

The cost of bank finance was very crucial to this sector. Unfortunately, the MSMEs sector was the only sector, which got bank finance at the highest rate.

Apart from interest rate, other processing charges were also mounting day by day. The MSMEs were of the view that the government was the owner of 27 public sector banks. It could certainly direct the banks to be fair and reasonable in fixing interest rate and other processing charges for this sector.

Rajiv Jain, another industrialist, said that large industrial units had an access to cheap funds under external commercial borrowings (ECB) whose terms were further softened. "But nothing beneficial has been done for the MSMEs by the committee, which also had indicated the relaxation of labour laws applicable to the sector. This also seems to be a mere lip service.

Similar recommendations had been approved in the year 2002 but never implemented", rued Jain.

PD Sharma said that the chamber has also written to the Prime Minister and RBI about the exorbitant service charges.

He said banks were non-transparent on processing charges. "RBI has prescribed external rating for 
industrial units having exposure above 10 crore.

However, banks are forcing units with exposure of above 5 crore to have external ratings.

But 75 per cent of the rating cost is given by the government only for the first year. Therefore, the rating cost in itself a big burden on MSMEs", he said.



Commuters have tough time paying toll tax
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, December 26
Chaotic scenes were being witnessed near Toll Plaza installed near Ladhuwal on Phillaur-Ludhiana Road due to irresponsible management of the Toll Plaza staff.

On visiting the Toll Plaza it was seen that long queues of vehicles were waiting for their turn to deposit the toll tax on the barriers. According to information and an agreement of Toll Plaza authorities and the government, Each and every vehicle owner should be able to deposit its toll tax within maximum three minutes of waiting period, but It was observed that several vehicle owners had been waiting for their turn from the past 10 to 25 mintues, while no toll tax could be charged from those vehicles which were to wait for more than three minutes.



Seminar on environment

Ludhiana, December 26
A general body meeting of the Ludhiana Machine Tool anufacturers' Association was held last evening. Kirpal Singh Sagar, president of the association, chaired the meeting. The president said the day was being celebrated as "Artisan Day"- a dedicated to the working community. He said the changing environment and global warming was a hot topic at the international level these days.

"We and our future generations will suffer and perish if global warming continues at the present rate. We must contribute to save the environment", said Sagar. A seminar on "Save the Environment" was also held to make all members aware on the issue. Malkiat Singh Birmi, former cabinet minister, was the chief guest on this occasion. — TNS



Udham Singh’s birth anniversary celebrated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Tributes were paid to Shaheed Udham Singh on his 110th birth anniversary celebrated here today by the Shaheed Udham Singh Memorial Trust.

Dr Jaswant Singh Chamak, an economist and secretary-general of the trust highlighted the role of martyrs in the freedom struggle of India.

He said Udham Singh was a staunch nationalist and anti-imperialist with a spirit of making supreme sacrifice for his country. He revenged the genocide of his countrymen in the Jallianwala Bag and shot down Michael O’ Dwyer in March 1940.

After his death India declared independent country.

Chief guest on the occasion, Jagdev Singh Jassowal, spoke at length on the revolutionary life of Udham SIngh and said that the sacrifice would continue to inspire the coming generations.

He appreciated the trust for celebrating the birth anniversary of the martyr every year. 



Looking Ahead
CCTVs, GPS system to be installed: SSP
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Having completed nine months in office as the SSP Ludhiana (city), the soft-spoken Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill, IPS officer of 2002 batch, shares his eventful experiences with The Tribune. Here are some of the excerpts from the interview with Dr Gill.

Q. Has the year 2009 been memorable or forgettable?

Ans. The year has been eventful, the city faced lots of challenges, which the police managed to overcome successfully. We busted the gang of robbers, who committed about 12 robberies. Further, we nabbed the extortionists who were trying to extract money from a local industrialist, by posing themselves as sharp shooters from Mumbai.

The police also nabbed the robbers, who were behind the snatching and killing of a collection agent of CMS securities. The recovery of 3.500 kg heroin worth Rs 18 crore and the subsequent arrest of an Afghan national, indulged in the drug paddling case, has been one the major achievements of the year. We have also nabbed a woman and her son-in-law for paddling 1kg cocaine only recently.

Q. Can your term 2009 as year of achievements?

Ans: It was a mixed bag, we have achieved a lot success but the migrant violence and subsequent protest by the radical Sikh organisations are the two unfortunate things, which I would like to forget. It was a tough time for the entire police force. However, we managed to overcome the situation successfully. The cops exemplified great composure and dedication and did not let things go off hand.

It is indeed an achievement that we have managed to control the situation in a due course of time.

Q. Did anyone make you happy or did you meet anyone who impressed you this year?

Ans: I met numerous dignitaries and eminent people from different walks of life. Many philanthropists have also impressed me a lot and naming anyone would be unfair. A few NGOs besides individuals have also made a considerable impact. The work done by individuals and NGOs for the uplifting the standard of people living below the poverty line was indeed a praiseworthy exercise.

Q. How has been your experience in public office?

Ans. It has been a wonderful experience. I have tried myself to be assessable to people and they have responded positively. Especially, during the recent migrant violence, people showed a cooperative attitude and extended a helping hand to curb violent incidents. Without the help from the residents it would have not been possible for police force alone to tackle such situations. The residents have also provided some vital information, which proved handy in tackling crime.

Q. Any place you visited for the first time in 2009?

Ans. A visit to Mehatiana Sahib, in Jagraon in July was a memorable occasion. The Sikh history has been beautifully depicted through sculptures and gurdwara management committee deserves kudos for conserving these sculptures.

Q. What do you look ahead to in 2010?

Ans. Early detection of crimes and redressal of complaint instantly would be the mantra of 2010. Our priority would be to bring the snatching cases and crime rate down. It can only happen if the complaints are redressed at the initial stage.

Further CCTV cameras would be installed at various parts of the city in order keep a constant check at all the key locations. Soon, we are going to introduce Global Positioning System (GPS) and would make the digital mapping of the city in order to gauge exact location at the time of occurrence of any incident so that an immediate help could rushed in.



Cashier decamps with Rs 8 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
A cashier employed in a yarn-manufacturing unit in the Focal Point area fled away with Rs 8 lakh meant for disbursing the salary of migrant labourers.

The incident has come as a second major blow for at least 100 such migrants residing in Dharandari and surrounding areas. The migrants already suffered losses following a clash with the police and the locals earlier this month.

According to the police, Akhilesh Kumar, a resident of Bihar, who was working as the cashier in Garg Acrylic fled away with the money.

The incident came to light when the accused did not come to the office to distribute salaries among the migrants. The cash was also missing from the cabinets following which unit’s CEO Major Singh lodged a complaint with the police.

After conducting a probe the police registered a case of fraud against the Akhilesh Kumar.



2 held for looting govt godowns
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 26
The Ludhiana Rural police yesterday solved many cases of thefts from government godowns in the recent past by arresting two members of a thieves gang.

SSP Ludhiana Rural, Harinder Singh Chahal, along with DSP Bhupinder Singh and DSP (D) Satnam Singh, at a press conference held yesterday said the arrested thieves included Pankaj Kumar of Lucknow presently living in Mullanpur Dakha and Shiv Kumar, alias Pawan Kumar of Pakhowal village. He said these two members along with the other gang members used to loot foodgrains from the government godown.

The accused were arrested at a special 'naka' laid by Jagraon CIA in charge Tehal Singh and SI Jagtar Singh near the drain leading from Chowkiman village to Kular village on the basis of a tip off. They had stolen mustard bags and were going to sell the bags in Jalandhar on a Tempo Trax (PB 10 BU 9076).

The police knew the route the thieves were following. The police intercepted the tempo and arrested two occupants from the front cabin. The police also got a prize catch in the guise of Jaspal Singh of Jand village near Dehlon and Pawan Kumar of Bhagokawan village in Hoshiarpur, who were sitting in the taxi containing stolen mustard.

On questioning, the accused confessed that the mustard they were carrying were stolen from Ahmedgarh Mandi, on December 17 (FIR registered at Dehlon police station). The police recovered 40 bags of mustard along with Rs 60,000 cash from the accused.

The owners of the mustard bags were called on the spot, who identified the mustard bags as theirs. The accused had many cases pending against them at various police stations of Sangrur, Raikot, Jagraon and Malerkotla.

The accused also confessed to have committed theft of 20 Qtl wheat from Malerkotla, 20 Qtl wheat from Barnala Road Raikot godown, 226 bags of paddy from Jagraon. The thieves has revealed names of their accomplices as Kali, Vickey, Nand, Lal Singh of Mullanpur.



Travel agent booked
Our Correspondent

Raikot, December 26
The Sudhar police has booked a travel agent for cheating a person of Rattowal village,as had lured to send him abroad.

Mandeep Singh of Rattowal village, near here, in his complaint to Ludhiana Range DIG Dr SS Chauhan had stated that the accused Amarjit Singh, alias Kaka, a travel agent by profession of Bajidpur Rohana village near Malerkotla in Sangrur District, had lured to send him to Canada on a permanent basis.

The deal was struck at Rs 4 lakh, which he had to him in installments. The accused had failed to procure him a valid VISA for Canada. The accused refused to refund the amount. The accused tried to evade his demands on one pretext or another and finally snapped all communication with him in order to embezzle the entire money.

The complainant lodged a complaint with the DIG that the accused has withheld his passport also. The DIG entusted SP City II Rajinder Singh to conduct an inquiry.

The inquiry officer on finding the allegations to genuine, submitted his report to the DIG, who further recommended SSP Jagraon to register a case against the accused.

SSP Jagraon Harinder Singh Chahal ordered a case to be registered against the accused at Sudhar police station. The Sudhar police yesterday registered a case against the accused under Sections 420, 406 of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far.



Woman killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Khamano December 26
A woman was killed and two persons, including her husband, were injured in a road accident on Ludhiana Chandigarh Road near Ranwan village, near here.

According to information Raj Kumar, a resident of Mani Majra, was returning from Ludhiana after attending a party with wife Sunita Bansal and Driver Mobin by Innova Car.

When their car reached near Ranwan at about 12.30 am, suddenly a truck collided head on with Innova resulting in serious injuries to all of them.

They were rushed to Civil Hospital, Khamano, where Sunita Bansal was declared brought dead. Driver of the Car, Mobin, was referred to PGI in a serious condition and Raj Kumar was discharged.

The police has registered a case against unidentified truck driver under Sections 279, 337, 304 A of the IPC and is looking for him.

The body of the woman was handed over to her husband after a post-mortem examination. 



Baseball bats, ‘unlicensed weapon’ for Malwa youth
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 26
Punjabi youth in general and Malwais in particular seem to more crazy than Americans when it comes to purchasing baseball bats. But, the purchase of balls and actual act of playing is conspicuous by absence.

Majority of baseball bats, purchased from the local market, were either used to thrash opponents of their owners or to smash windowpanes of vehicles belonging to them.

While the proud owners of these unlicensed weapons included women too, a few cops were reported to be victims. Investigations by The Tribune revealed that the baseball bats had emerged as weapon of offence and defence during the past several years. Irrespective of their family and class background majority of the youth, including students kept a number of these bats in their vehicles and at homes.

Though a large number of these weapons remained unused, those, which were put into action, caused serious injuries and damaged property worth huge amounts. Baseball bat had even proved fatal in many cases.

Sanjay, owner of a shop dealing in sports goods, admitted that baseball bat sale had increased substantially in the past several years. Though no or very few balls were sold bats were sold in large numbers. Interestingly, nobody asked for quality and nature of wood the bat was made of.

“They will just handover Rs 100 and ask for a baseball bat. Specifications don’t matter for them,” said Sanjay, when asked about the brand familiar among the purchasers.

Silence of law about carrying of articles of sports being used as weapons seems to have clipped wings of law enforcing force as they can initiate action against the possessors only after the article had been used with an ulterior motive.

“Unfortunate part is that we are not allowed to take action against possessors of baseball bats and hockey sticks which we seize during routine checking. Justifying action of the youths to keep these articles for their defence, social and political leaders oppose preventive measures taken by us,” regretted a cop who had to face tough situation after he had seized bats from some youths during Mela Chhappar.

Showing concern over the trend of using sports articles as weapons a few residents have urged authorities in the Baseball Federation of India to regulate use of baseball bats for genuine purpose only.



17 heads of oxen rescued from butchers

Mullanpur Dakha, December 26
The district president of ‘Gau Raksha Dal Punjab’ along with a few of its members rescued 17 heads of oxen from the clutches of Uttar Pradesh-based butchers.

Despite this one of the oxen died due to suffocation. Members of the organisation acted on a specific information that a few butchers from Uttar Pradesh were bargaining with Jagraon-based animals suppliers and were about to illegally transport cows from Punjab to a slaughter house in Uttar Pradesh. The dal members noticed that the animals’ supplier had collected at least 40 to 42 heads of oxen at the local animal mandi. — OC



Fee Structure
HC serves notices on DPI(s), CBSE, Punjab board
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
The Punjab and Haryana High Court have issued a notice of motion in the case pertaining to various irregularities in the school fee structure of private recognized schools. The notice has been served on the State of Punjab, director public instructions (schools), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB). The next hearing in the case has been fixed for January 28.

In their fight against the private school managements engaged in minting money through unreasonable fee hike, the Anti-Corruption and Crime Investigation Cell had filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking apt punishment for the guilty schools.

In the petition, Anti-Corruption and Crime Investigation Cell chief Rohit Sabharwal had alleged that not only the city schools but private recognised schools throughout Punjab were involved in various irregularities, including charging admission fee from the students every year at the time of admission to higher class even though the student is of the same school.

The petition further said the schools were charging various funds twice over. Building fund and dilapidated funds were collected even though the building was already complete whereas only fund for maintenance could at best be charged; advance fee was charged invariably for three months whereas the fee should be collected every month.

Further, either the schools had their own shops or tie-ups with shops for sale of schoolbooks, stationery, school bags and uniforms. The parents were coerced to purchase these items from these shops whereby the schools were earning huge profits either by direct sale or by getting commission.

In light of the allegations made, the Anti-Corruption and Crime Investigation Cell had sought that the respondents be made to ensure that the school fee being charged by private recognised schools was regulated as had been regulated by the States of Delhi and Haryana. Appropriate action had also been sought on the report of Additional Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, and guilty schools be asked to compensate for the breach the public trust by giving free education to at least 10 students belonging to the economically weaker sections of the society.

Further, private recognised schools not be allowed to charge fee of their choice causing serious prejudice to the cause of education and to general public defeating the right to education.

During the pendency of the suit, appropriate directions had been sought for the authorities that no undue fee enhancement takes place and the commercial activities being taken by the schools in form of selling book, uniforms and books be stayed.

Formation of a committee for monitoring fee hike had also been sought in light of the decision of the Supreme Court.



4 convicted for possessing stolen machines
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 26
Judicial Magistrate Yukti Goyal has convicted Surinder Singh, Balwinder Singh, residents of Atam Nagar, Anil Sood of Rajesh Nagar, Haibowal Kalan and Sunil Sood near Bangali Mandir, Haibowal Kalan on the charges of possessing stolen articles. They were ordered to undergo rigorous imprisonment for three years each. The court also ordered them to pay fine of Rs 3,000 each.

All accused were booked under Sections 447, 457,380,506 and 120-B of the IPC at Division no: 6 police station on March 20, 1998, following the complaint of Sandeep Sood of Model Town Ludhiana.

However, the court acquitted them from the charges of committing theft by breaking open the locks with the observation that the offences could not be proved against the accused. But the court held that the offence made out against them was of only possessing stolen articles under Section 411of 6 the IPC.

The complainant had told the police that he had taken on rent a property, no: 432, in Industrial Area-B, from Gurdev Kaur of Atam Nagar. On March 19, 1998, he had gone to his house after locking the factory. Next day, when he came there, the locks of his factory were changed with new one. Then he came to know that the accused persons had broke open the locks in connivance with each other and stolen his machines.

However, the accused had different version. It was claimed that neither the complainant was tenant in property no: 432, Industrial area-B, owned by Gurdev Kaur nor he was the owner of machines by the police. Rather they were tenant there and the machines also belonged to them, added Anil Sood. It was alleged that actually the complainant with the help of the police had taken away their machines.

He further stated that in connivance with the police, they were falsely implicated as they had filed a writ petition against the police before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, when his brother Sunil Sood was illegally detained by the then SHO of Division No: 6 Maninder Bedi.

It was claimed that with the intervention of warrant officer, his brother was freed. But the SHO nursed the grudge and implicated them falsely in this case.

But after appreciating the evidence on record, the court found them guilty of possessing stolen articles. The court took note of the fact that the accused had not initiated any legal action against the complainant or any policemen.

So, their version could not be believed. Their sentence was suspended and they were given interim bail, as they intended to file appeal against this order of conviction. 



LDCA XI lads beat Mayank academy
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 26
LDCA XI “A” defeated Mayank Goswami Academy, Jammu, by 30 runs during the inaugural match of the First Invitation Cricket Cup Tournament (U-19) being organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association here today at MGM Public School, Dugri.

The visitors won the toss and elected to field. In the allotted 40 overs, LDCA XI “A” scored 221 runs for the loss of eight wickets. Skipper Akhil Aggarwal, a student of Kundan Vidya Mandir, led from the front and scored a century.

Other contributors were Harjeet (26), Himanshu (27), Nitish Malhotra (23 not out), Jashan Sidhu (14) and Abhinav Bhatia (12).

For Mayank Goswami Academy, Manik chipped in with five wickets for 28 runs which included a hat trick. Rohan and Shubham captured one wicket each for 40 and 38 runs, respectively.

Chasing the target, the visitors could muster 191 runs after losing nine wickets in the stipulated 40 overs.

Rohan top scored with 54 runs, followed by Asif (30), Surya (18), Sukhpreet (13) and Suplin (13).

For LDCA XI, Abhijit Randhawa, Vivek and Gagan Arora grabbed two wickets each, while Abhinav Bhatia, Akhil Aggarwal and Paras Bhardwaj took one wicket each.

Earlier, Rajinder Nath Mahajan, president of the Ludhiana District Cricket Association, inaugurated the four-day tournament. Four teams, namely LDCA XI “A”, LDCA XI “B”, Mayank Goswami Academy, Jammu, and Star Cricket Academy, Lucknow, are taking part in the tournament.



Hockey Tourney
Surjit Academy script victory
Our Sports Reporter

Doraha (Ludhiana), December 26
Surjit Academy of Jalandhar and Mehta Gurukul Academy of Doraha scripted victories in the knock out stage on the pen-ultimate day of the seventh All-India Doraha Gold Cup Hockey Tournament being organised by Doraha Hawks, Doraha, at Mehta Gurkul Public School Senior Secondary School here today.

Surjeet Academy, Jalandhar, edged out Grewal Academy, Kila Raipur, 3-0.

All goals came in the first session.

Surjeet Academy lads drew the first blood in the 13th minute as Barkatt Singh rolled the ball into the net.

They enhanced the lead three minutes later when Manjinder Singh sounded the board, while the third goal came off Barkatt Singh's stick in the 18th minute, which sealed the fate of Kila Raipur lads. The match played between Maharaja Ranjeet Singh Academy of Amritsar and Nagan Baba Sahib Das Academy, Sangrur, failed to produce any result, as the two teams were tied 2-2 at the end of regular period.

Kuber Subeg Singh of Amritsar put his side ahead in the 13th minute, while Sangrur outfit neutralised the lead through Harwinder Singh just two minutes before the lemon break. Amritsar lads again gained lead in the 42nd minute, when Kuber Subeg Singh added another goal.

However, ten minutes later, Kulwinder Singh of Sangrur found the target, which levelled the score 2-all. Players of both the teams pressed hard to earn the lead but failed to capitalise upon the chances, which came their way. In the third match, Mehta Gurukul Academy of Doraha beat West Godawari Academy, Andhra Pradesh, 4-1.

Mehta Gurukul Academy surged ahead in the 16th minute through Gurpartap Singh. Six minutes later, Laxmi Kumar of West Godawari Academy restored parity (1-1).

In the 27th minute, Mukul of Doraha put his team into the lead, while Varinder Pal (43rd minute) and Paramveer Singh (47th minute) enabled their team to romp home victory 4-1.

In the fourth match of the day, Sports School, Jalandhar, outperformed SAI, Patiala, 3-1.



Pearls basketball meet begins today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 26
The 60th Pearls Senior National Basketball Championship for Men and Women will commence tomorrow at the Guru Nanak Sports Complex.

Around 120 matches will be played during the week-long sports event, which will conclude on January 3.

Nearly 600 players (men and women) will be competing for the top honours, while over 100 technical officials have been deputed by the Basketball Federation of India (BFI).

Four courts, including two indoor halls, will be used to hold the matches. The main indoor hall has been spruced up for the event. Maple wood from North America has been fixed on its surface and seating capacity has also been increased.

Electronic gadgets such as game clock, score board and 24 seconds devices are the additional attractions of this year’s edition.

Members of the visiting teams will stay at various college hostels and Punjab Agricultural University, while officials will be lodged at hotels.

Rajdeep Singh Gill, DGP, Punjab-cum-Director, Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, said all arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the championship.

Ludhiana will be hosting the senior national basketball championship for the seventh time. The inaugural edition of the championship was held here in 1951, when Punjab (men) emerged champions after defeating Mysore.

The city hosted the event in 1982, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2005 and after a gap of four years, the tournament is going to be held here again. Various committees have been formed for the smooth conduct of the event.

“We have invited all Arjuna awardees (basketball), including family members of late Sarabjeet Singh, Gurdial Singh Bhaiya and Radhe Shyam. Besides, Dhyan Chand award winners Ram Lal and Aparna Ghosh have also been invited,” Gill added.

Winning team will get a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh.

Though the matches will start in the morning at 8 am, the championship will be formally inaugurated by Punjab Finance Minister and former national basketball star Manpreet Singh Badal at 2.30 pm.



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