L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Thieves decamp with gold, diamonds worth Rs 5 cr
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
In a major daylight incident, thieves decamped with 18 kg gold and around 600 carats of diamonds, together worth over Rs 5 crore, from a jewellery showroom on the college road near the Fountain Chowk here this morning.

The incident took place between 6 am and 9 am. Security guard Mul Singh, who was supposed to be on duty till 8 am, left the showroom at 6 am.

The other guard, Dinesh Kumar, who was to reach the showroom at 9 am, came late by half an hour.

According to the police, the thieves used duplicate keys to open the showroom, remained inside for quite some time and decamped with gold biscuits, gold-etched jewellery and diamonds kept in the safe.

They could not lay their hands on the entire cache and left some ornaments. The thieves first opened the entrance lock and opened the lock of the main safe, where the jewellery was kept.

Being a Sunday, the shops in the neighbourhood were closed today. The police said two persons saw some men carrying two suitcases in the morning.

The incident came to light this afternoon when the manager of Forever Jewellery informed the police about the theft.

The store employees came to know about the theft when Dinesh Kumar, a security guard, reached the store.

He found the store and the safe open. Most of the jewellery was gone. He called up the store manager, Tarunpal Kaur, who reached the store.

Interestingly, they informed the police around 12:30 pm. The police pressed sniffer dogs and fingerprint experts into service.

“I cannot tell you the exact the loss. We are waiting for our owners, who are on their way to Ludhiana from Delhi,” she said, refusing to divulge further details.

According to the police, the thieves knew that where the gold was kept and without wasting time, they opened the safe and decamped with the jewellery.

The police claimed that the theft seemed to be the handiwork of an insider as the thieves used duplicate keys to open the locks and had made keys of the main locker.

This was the company’s biggest showroom in north India after the one in Delhi. The police claimed that many persons might be involved in the case.

Someone must have been monitoring movement from outside as a theft on such a scale could not be committed by one man alone, said the police.

Initially, the police tried its best to keep the matter under the wrap but the news of the theft spread in the evening, when the police detained a few employees of the jewellery showroom for questioning.

The police also suspected the involvement of security guard Mul Singh behind the theft as he left for home three hours prior to scheduled time. He claimed that he returned home as his son had fever.

Sources said thieves might be insiders or they might have recently visited the shop as the wire of the security alarm of the main safe was disconnected a few days ago, which was not got repaired by the staff.

In the meantime, the police detained a few employees for questioning while one employee was on the run following the incident.

The police also told the woman staff to find out if someone amongst them was involved in the incident. It was learnt that a few salesmen were recently sacked by the company for misconduct and other reasons.

Question mark over security
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
The theft from the Forever jewellery showroom has put a question mark on the security measures taken by jewellers to avert such incidents.

The police has been questioning the showroom authorities for negligence. After closing the jewellery store, the showroom staff used to switch off the close circuit cameras, due to which no recording was available.

The biometric card reader for the identification of every employee was not working, which gave easy access to the thieves. The irregularities raised the eyebrows of investigation agencies.

A former employee was booked, but the police suspected that the theft could not be committed without the help of an insider.

On several occasion the police had asked jewellers to take appropriate security measures, but a majority of jewellery showrooms had not paid heed to the directions.

There were no night security guards at a majority of the shops. A majority of those had faulty or non-existing alarm systems. Such shops became the easy target of thieves. No employee of the showroom was registered with the police.

A majority of the jewellers had not disclosed their assets. As showrooms were mushrooming on the college road, the police planned to instal a police picket there.


Smoking in public places
Club suspends whistle-blower
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 27
The Sutlej Club here seems to believe that two wrongs will make a right, but it never does. After being rapped on the knuckles by the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) for the creation of a smoking zone within the club premises, where playing cards is permitted, in gross violation of the Centre’s notification on smoking at public places, the club is now out to gag the member who had moved the PSHRC, and later also provided copies of the order to the media.

Apparently to teach the whistle-blower a lesson, the club management slapped a suspension order on Ajay Pal Singh Bhandari. The suspension order issued by the general secretary of the club, Yogesh Bansal, on December 24, says, “Mr Ajay Pal Singh Bhandari is hereby placed under suspension for briefing the print media against the club and creating misunderstanding in violation of the decision of the competent authorities taken in the general body meeting and the executive committee meeting.”

In the orders passed on the complaint filed by Bhandari in this regard, the PSHRC had noted that the smoking area created within the club was also used for playing cards and liquor and eatables were also served in the smoking area, which was a clear violation of the Centre’s notification, which laid down that that a separate smoking area, provided at a public place, will be used only for the purpose of smoking, and no other service will be provided thereat.

The orders of the commission on November 11, along with a copy of the complaint, were forwarded to the Deputy Commissioner, also the ex-officio president of the club, to look into the complaint and dispose of the same in accordance with the law.

While Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg had gone on record to say appropriate steps would be taken as per the law in the wake of the orders of the PSHRC, the suspension of the complainant and the bid to gag him came as a shock not only to the member, but many other members of the club as well. Requesting not to be identified, an old member of the club said the action of the management was outrageous.

“If the club has been violating the law on smoking at public places, the right thing would have been to make amendments and follow the law in letter and spirit. The line of action taken by the club management not only smacks of disdain, but also reflects upon the institution poorly, especially when it is headed by the Deputy Commissioner,” he said.



Factionalism mars Libra’s visit
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 27
Factionalism marred Fatehgarh Sahib MP Sukhdev Singh Libra’s visit here when the local unit of the party organised a public function at the DAV High School here.

Rajinder Kaur Bhattal’s loyalists remained away from the function. Legislator Razia Sultana was also conspicuous with her absence.

The situation was a fallout of the reported political frustration following reorganisation of the Sssembly segments Amargarh and Malerkotla.

Libra maintained that he respected all Congressmen equally and would attend the functions to be organised by other groups in case they invited him.

Terming factionalism a universal phenomenon among politicians, Libra called upon senior leaders to play an active role in bringing genuine people on a common platform so that development of the area could be undertaken on a war footing.

Responding to demands by Jatinder Bhola, Vicky Tandon and Harinder Singh Nathumajra, Libra said he would meet the Sangrur Deputy Commissioner to get the ‘anti-people’ decisions reversed.

The shifting of the birth and death registration office and the block development office to Malerkotla were the major complaints of the Congressmen.

Libra later attended a felicitation function organised by the Church of God Welfare Society at the Janta College for Women.

Pal Bachan Singh Rara, Nirbhai Singh Nathumajra, Davinder Singh Garcha, Resham Singla and Sudhir Singla were among those who spoke during the function.



‘Younger lot should learn from Rehman’
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Pop diva from Bollywood Sonu Kakkar has great respect for music Legend AR Rehman. She considers the Oscar winner as her inspiration and feels that younger generation has to learn a lot from the genius.
Sonu Kakkar
Sonu Kakkar 

Sonu was in the city today to perform and entertain Ludhianvis with her peppy numbers in an effort to promote Indian Shopping Festival- shopping carnival by Indian Bachat Shopping Festival.

Talking to The Tribune, Sonu said she was given a break in the Bollywood by music director Sandeep Chauta in "Dam" with the song “Babu Ji Zara Dheere Chalo” and after that, there was no looking back. Not having taken any formal training in music, she said she grew up listening to Noor Jehan, Ghulam Ali and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

When she was being brought up amidst the rich music, she emerged into a good singer. Accolades from all quarters from childhood lent her the much-needed confidence.

Recently, she got recognition through her title song "Beikhoff Nigahein" in “Blue”.

Besides, she has also sung songs in leading films, including “Jail”, “Corporate”, “Mukhbir”, “Risk” etc.

She does not forget her "Yaddan Teriyan" experience in which she mesmerised the music lovers with a Sufi number. "It was a great to perform with brilliant singers. My voice was recognised and appreciated by all,” she said.

Young damsel from Rishikesh, Sonu said though she had a different kind of voice but good music directors gave her opportunity to sing even soft songs. "Besides Punjabi, I have sung in languages, including Marathi, Bengali, Urhia, Telugu and Kannada etc. You get a lot of exposure while singing for different languages,” she added.

She is excited about her up coming ventures, including the one with Dharma Production film with Sukhwinder Singh and "Matters of the Heart" is another music video directed by Sandeep Chauta in which 57 singers from all over the world will perform.



SSP to act tough on drug trade
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, December 27
Khanna SSP Sukhminder Singh Mann is all set to fight drug menace and transform the district into an ideal abode where the mind of a common man is free from all pressures, which cripple the mental sensibilities and force him to lead an enslaved life, in the coming year.

Quoting Rabindranath Tagore: “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,” SSP Mann asserts: “With a still improved vision that the country cannot be thrown to the winds at any cost. To nab those linked with the drug trade is essential,” he added.

“Many such cases have been cracked during my 10-month stay in the city, but unless the roots of the problem are touched and the final uprooting is initiated, it will keep on plundering many young lives by coercing them to become a party to it,” he added.

SSP Mann has a message for the youth who are being dislocated from their aims and at the same time oblivious of the dangers they are being pushed into by the so-called drug mafia.

“The young boys can accord commendable assistance to the police once they make up their minds to resist any such temptation and say no to drugs forever. He has also invited various organisations to come to the aid of the youth, who are brain washed by the enemies of the nation and are unknowingly digging their graves,” he further asserted.

Mann said Drug mafia, by establishing contacts with foreign powers, is actively engaged in selling such deadly drugs, which have pushed many families to penury apart from according pre-mature deaths and a destructive social sense.

"The ones involved in the sale and supply of drugs, however, influential they may be, shall be taken to the task and pulled down with a strong hand. Meetings in this regard would be arranged with the chemists association so that prohibited drug at medical stores be banned and a strict vigil be kept on the ones selling death at cheaper rates,” the SSP opined.

"In order to ease the traffic congestion, new traffic lights shall be installed and adhered to strictly. No trespasser shall be allowed to go free," he asserted.

"A special move shall be initiated against the eve-teasers, wrong-doers and all those anti-social elements who engage in illegal acts and negatively intervene to spoil the peace and serenity of the place,” Mann added.

Mann said: “Collaborating with NGOs and other social welfare organisations will be my next target in the coming year, as I believe in the involvement of the public through various community oriented policies and programmes. It is only by maintaining a healthy rapport with the public, that we can win over their lost faith and work for their welfare,” Mann viewed.



Bridge sans connecting link
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
Bridges are built to connect people, but this bridge constructed at the Budha Nullah to connect Jassian road with Hambran road and the rest of the city misses a connecting link and is a perfect picture of infrastructural blunder.
The boundary wall constructed in front of a bridge at Haibowal in Ludhiana
The boundary wall constructed in front of a bridge at Haibowal in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

It has been over four months since the work at the bridge has been completed and it is all set for public use.

But due to a major planning error, it is lying unused as the municipal corporation is not able to buy the land on Humbran side, which is to connect the bridge with the area.

During the time of its construction it was promised that the land falling in front of the bridge on the Humbran road side, where vegetable vendors had put up their stalls, would be purchased by the MC and a road would be constructed to ease traffic chaos, but the MC could not manage to strike a deal with the owner of the land, due to which the ambitious bridge project was in limbo.

Built for the convenience of commuters, this bridge depicts a perfect example of how public money is used for petty political motives and how babus, in order pocket money, give nod to such project which become useless.

The projected was mooted a few years ago by area councillor Mukhtiar Kaur and was further approved by the B& R department.

During the time of construction, it was considered a boon for resident of Humbran and Jassian, but little did the resident know that bridge would meet a dead-end.

The owner of the land, Narinder Singh Dev, refused to sell the land to the MC, due to which the project came to a halt.

He claimed that before the construction of the bridge, no official approached him and asked for his approval on whether he was interested in selling the land or not.

“I have never asked the MC authorities to construct a bridge here and have never promised them that I will sell the land to them. They must have planned something before constructing the bridge,” he said.

He constructed a wall in front of his plot as following the construction of the bridge, his plot was being used as a road and the vegetable vendors were asked to clear the portion so that vehicles could pass through that stretch.

In the ongoing tug-of-war, it is the commuters who are suffering. “If someone wants to see how public money is wasted, he should visit Ludhiana. It is an irony that the bridge is ready, but we cannot use it,” said Rajinder Sharma of the Jassian road.



Government may compel PAU to sell land
University in grip of severe financial crunch for years
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, December 27
Will the Punjab government compel the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) authorities to sell its land to meet the financial crisis? The answer seems to be yes as senior Punjab officers have been telling the PAU authorities that the state government cannot bail them out of their financial crisis and they should exploit university land for commercial use.

The university has been in the grip of a severe financial crunch for the past three or four years now and the state government has given a lukewarm response to it.

Members of the university staff have been agitating for the implementation of the new pay scales, as recommended by the Sixth Pay Commission of the Centre and the Fifth Pay Commission of the Punjab government.

The agitation has been revived by them to protest against the failure of the state government to sanction and release funds for employees under the new pay scales.

The Punjab government has sanctioned Rs 4.23 crore for the payment of revised pay scales to teachers and members of the non-teaching staff are yet to get any help from the state government.

PAU officials who go to Chandigarh to meet senior bureaucrats for the grant of funds are plainly told that that the state government cannot meet the financial needs of the university and they have to generate their own resources to meet financial requirements.

Bureaucrats also tell them that other universities of the state have not been bothering the government for funds and have been managing their affairs.

Helpless PAU officers explain to government officers that they should not equate it with traditional universities as the PAU is a research institution and has the responsibility to improve the agricultural economy of the state.

They also explain that traditional universities have a large number of affiliated colleges and the student strength is high, as a result of which they collect huge amounts in fees.

The PAU is a residential university with 2,000 students and four constituent colleges. Senior administrators at Chandigarh are not ready to listen to them.

As a matter of fact, the state government has been after the PAU to dispose of some prime land since 1998 to raise funds.

In 1997, immediately after taking over as Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal had held a meeting at the Sutton House of the PAU, where he suggested that the PAU should hand over 65 acres on the Ferozepore road for the establishment of a new township to reduce the population burden on Ludhiana.

Dr AS Khera, the then Vice-Chancellor, was told that the state government would give some allotment to the university in lieu of the said land, but he rejected the proposal.

In 1998, a proposal was mooted to acquire 65 acres, but Dr GS Kalkat, who was then the Vice-Chancellor, put his foot down and did not allow the government to take over the land.

During the tenure of Capt Amarinder Singh, the issue of land takeover did not figure, but the same land had now gone to the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), carved out of the PAU.

The PAU had originally been established on 1,650 acres. Residential, administrative, hostel and college buildings covered about 600 acres. The GADVASU had got 225 acres under the bifurcation plan in 2006.

The total area under cultivation or experimental area for research at the PAU was about 800 acres. According to the PAU authorities, this was not sufficient and it required more.

In 2007, immediately after the formation of the SAD-BJP government, the state government had acquired 25 acres from the Bathinda regional research station for the establishment of a cricket stadium of international standards. The fate of the stadium was not known, but the university authorities had not got any compensation for the land in cash or kind.

Sugarcane research in Punjab received a big setback when the state government acquired the sugarcane research farm of the PAU at Jalandhar in two phases, the first being when the BSF headquarters were set up.

The second phase of the acquisition was in 1992, when the government decided to set up the PIMS, the name of which was now mired in controversy.

The PAU had been allotted 1250 acres at Ladowal, which was part of the Central State Seed Farm after it was transferred to the Punjab government.

The PAU faculty and non-teaching staff had unanimously rejected the suggestion of the Punjab government to sell its land and asked for Central status for the PAU.

But the state government has not bothered to move the issue of central status because the government does not want to lose its control over this internationally reputed agricultural research institute of the country.

The teaching and non-teaching staff has a grouse that the Chief Minister does not miss any opportunity to criticise the functioning of the university. He has described the PAU as ’junk’.

He has also criticised the university for the release of the 201 rice variety, which has been found to contain a high content of iron. This analysis has been done by an ICAR team.

In its latest move to force the PAU to sell prime land for commercial purposes, officers of the state government have offered to get the land evaluated from the GLADA and the PUDA.

They have even suggested the piece of land located adjacent to the Kitchlu Nagar and the Shaeed Udham Singh Nagar, both posh residential colonies.

However, the land is now being used by the College of Agricultural Engineering Department of Farm Power and Machinery and Soil Engineering for testing the new agricultural machinery.

Besides facing difficulty in meeting the salary component of the staff, the PAU is faced with the problem of giving pension to retirees, who are about 2,700 in number, and they need Rs 5 crore every month.

The retires have not been paid pension after September and they are contemplating to move the Supreme Court for contempt proceedings against the university and the Punjab government.

They had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which had directed the PAU and the state government to make the payment for pension, which was two years ago.

Presently, research work at the PAU had come to a standstill as government grant of Rs 100 crore did not meet the salary requirements alone.

The PAU sent a status report to the Punjab government in August 2009, seeking a pension fund and the implementation of the Johl Committee report, which had suggested the levy of a cess on agricultural produce.

The Chief Minister had agreed in principle to levy the cess, but had later backtracked under pressure from the farmers’ lobby.

Resentment had been mounting among teachers and the non-teaching staff against the state government for its indifferent attitude and failure to bail out the PAU.

Some senior scientists who had contributed to the development of agriculture in Punjab were feeling offended at the attitude of the state government.

Dr DR Bhumbla, former Vice-Chancellor, Haryana Agricultural University, who was an alumnus of the PAU, Dr KS Aulakh, former Vice-Chancellor of the PAU, and Dr GS Nijjar, former Dean, College of Agriculture, expressed anguish over the humiliation of the PAU staff.

They said the administrators should not forget the contribution of the PAU in wiping out the food deficit and making Punjab the Green Revolution leader.

They added that the bureaucrats who belonged to the present generation should learn to respect the achievements of the PAU.



73 units of blood collected
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, December 27
A blood donation camp was organised here by the Public Welfare Society of Mullanpur. In the first-ever camp by the society, as many as 73 persons donated blood. The blood was received by the Red Cross Society, by Bharpoor Singh, Ram Rattan senior technologists, Hardev Kaur, staff nurse and Pawan Kumar, an assistant.

Telu Ram Bansal, president of Mullanpur Dakha Nagar Panchayat, Pawan Kumar Kansal, Baldev Guleria, Tersem Chand, Krishan Kumar and others were present. Jasbir Singh Jassi, who donated blood for the sixth time said it’s a myth that after donating blood one feels weak. By donating blood one feels healthy and active, he added.

Akali leader Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman Zila Parishad, Ludhiana, along with Sukhdev Singh Chak visited the camp to encourage the donors.



National seminar on global warming
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 27
The department of anthropology, Punjab University, Chandigarh, has decided to dedicate its golden jubilee celebration to re-examine the past researches on causes and consequences of global warming and bring to the fore recent researches from the discipline and allied physical and social science to explore “adaptation options”.

A national-level seminar on the subject will be organised at the university auditorium from February 16 to 17.

According to Prof Dr Shalina Mehta, organising secretary of the event, authorities in the department had decided to dedicate golden jubilee celebration on the occasion of 50th year of establishment to examine recent researchers in variation, genetic diversity, body composition analysis, ageing and growth to assess physical changes due to global warming and mitigate any future response for adaptation.

Referring to the findings recorded in the fourth assessment report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC- 2007), Prof Mehta asserted that anthropogenic warming had an influence on many physical and biological systems. As anthropology is continuously engaged in documenting these factors, its unique holistic approach and early documentation of ethnographies of communities illustrating how they adapted to their respective ecological niches will provide a rich resource for any future interventions.

“Plaeo-ecology and environmental archaeology are other important areas that have provided enriched insights in human histories and we have to draw on their conferences to develop any future mitigation programmes,” argued Prof Mehta.

Correlating the recent global meltdown with human errors, Mehta said physical and ecological aspects could not be ignored while discussing methods for revival of the economic feasibility of any geographical entity.

“Global meltdown in economic terms may help in restricting consumption and over-board production for a small section of the world population, but there are many lessons to learn from the survival stories of communities who lived under adverse climatic conditions for centuries together,” maintained Mehta adding these communities had generated their own ideological commands either in the form of rituals or sacred groves to ensure that over exploitation of natural resources did not occur.

The organising secretary appealed experts and pioneers in the subject to come forward and present their papers on the subject during the seminar.

Themes for the seminar include, remote sensing technologies in environmental anthropological research, conservation bio-diversity and disaster management’s practices of indigenous communities. Ethno-biology and sustainable human eco-systems, inferring human natural history from DNA molecules and skeletal remains, environmental ethics and environmental policy, migration, land use patterns, industrialisation and pressures of globalisation, global warming, human biology and disease-changing patterns of human epidemiology and ecological adaptations -recent researches and best practices.



Tributes paid to Mehar Chand Mahajan
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 27
A large number of members of the Mahajan community paid tributes to the late Mehar Chand Mahajan on his 120th birth anniversary at the Lions Bhavan here today. The function was presided over by Vinay Mittar Mahajan, president, Mahajan Sabha, Jalandhar. Amrit Lal Aggarwal, chief of the Punjab Pardesh Aggarwal Sammelan, was the guest of honour.

Dharamvir Mahajan, president of the local chapter of the sabha, Satinder Mahajan general secretary, Rozy Mahajan, Narinder Mahajan, Purshotam Mahajan, Harish Mahajan, Raj Kumar Mahajan, Munish Mahajan and Geeta Mahajan spoke on the occasion.

Recollecting the contribution of Mehar Chand Mahajan towards the growth and development of the community, they called upon members of the community to adopt his teachings in daily life.

The meeting concluded with best wishes for the New Year.



Crash Course
Teachers cash in on board exam blues
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
“Crash course of full syllabus for any subject in just 30 days” seems to be the fad, being promoted by coaching centres these days. With classes X and XII board examinations just a couple of months away, private tutors in the city are having a field day, charging hefty amounts from hapless parents who are forced to pay exorbitant tuition fees by their children, who are under pressure from all quarters to perform well.

Charging anything from Rs 5,000 to Rs 12,000 for a month for the full syllabus of a particular subject, be it mathematics, accounts, economics or science, various coaching centres in the city are promising the students “assured results within 30 days”.

Unfortunately, with rising pressures from parents, teachers and peers to score good marks and to make it top, students make a beeline for these coaching classes that have perhaps been the most criticised aspect of our school education, but unfortunately, have become the norm of the day.

Private tutors continue to rule the roost with numerous school principals and teachers promoting it, many times even forcing the students to take tuitions “if they want good marks in internal exam, practical and viva”.

This fact, coupled with the harsh reality that most of these private tutors are teachers in various reputed city schools, one wonders if the Right to Education Bill has been implemented in letter and in spirit. For, the Bill has banned private tuitions and made obligatory for the teachers not to engage in private tuitions.

However, contrary claims by various school heads, private tutors continue to mint money in accordance with the number of “hours” they teach. For example Rs 300 per hour was being charged for various subjects through the year. However, as board examinations near, the charges have been hiked three-four times.

Now, students are being made to pay Rs 5,000 for a 30 days’ crash course in chemistry, while Rs 10,000 for the entire syllabus of Class XII mathematics and Rs 8,000 for that of

Class X. However, “tuition fee” rates vary, in most cases depending upon various factors like repute of the tutor, his/ her professional affiliation, choice of students, peer pressure, location of the coaching centre and so on.

Similar courses are also available for other subjects like Hindi, Punjabi, English, science, social studies, physics, biology and so on.

Parents are ready to spend any amount just to ensure that their child performs well. “Classrooms are full of students that the teachers are not able to concentrate on each one of them. Thus, guidance of the schoolteachers through tuitions is perhaps the best option children have,” rued Swati Bhardwaj, parent of a Class XII student.

Says another parent Rajesh Guglani: “Private tuition are unfortunate, but necessary evil in today’s times. Academic competition and though paying such amounts of money pinches, it at least ensures that the child knows everything from his textbook when he enters the examination hall.”



70 examined at medical camp
Our Correspondent

Raikot, December 27
The Lions club, Raikot, today organised a medical camp to diagnose and treat the patients ailing from sugar, obesity and endocrine related deceases here. The team of Dr Ramanbeer Singh, endocrinologist from SPS Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana, examined around 70 patients.

He also gave tips to the caretakers of the patients and visitors regarding the early symptoms and remedies.

He said it was easy to check the disease at the primary level, but it was unfortunate that the patients reach the specialists when much damage was done to the body system. He said in the rural areas, patients tried to get relief from self-prescriptions, homemade medicines, etc.

Club president Mukesh Kumar Gupta accompanied by others, including Dr Durgesh, KK Sharma, Dr Naresh Goyal, Rajinder Kumar, Dr Harjinder Singh, Jaswant Singh, BR Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, Subhash, Passi, Avtar Singh, Pawan Verma and others were present.

The club dispensed medicines free of cost to the patents along with free meals. Free medical tests were also conducted on the patients.



Annual day at Peace Public School
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, December 27
Peace Public School yesterday celebrated its annual function here. Chief guest Harve Cadin from France was enthralled to see young children carrying forward the mission of “Peace” on a platform of creativity.

The function was presided over by Dr Rollin Jackson, an eminent personality from Georgia, USA.

School principal CK Jeeja read the annual report and highlighted the achievements of the school.

The prize winners were felicitated by Prof SC Jain, founder of the school, and Usha Jain, director of the school. Shubhsangeet Kaur, a national-level gold medallist was awarded the roll of honour trophy.

Different tribal and folk dances were showcased. Gujrati folk dance and Punjabi folk dance Sammi were highly appreciated. Goan carnival was a colourful and power-packed affair.

Fairy tale Cinderella was also enacted by little kids. “Let’s honour childhood”, choreography was a compassionate call to stand up for the rights of the children. Tarzan and Jane drew everyone’s attention to the need to save forests. “Five Elements” a commendable show, took the audience into a journey of self-discovery. The harmonious fusion of the five elements air, water, space, earth and fire beautifully depicted the importance of each element in our lives.

Students inspired all with their zeal and resolve to keep each element pure and clean. Referring to the Copenhagen climate change summit, a power-point show on global warming was prepared and presented by the students. The grand finale “we are the world” expressed the need to transcend boundaries and promote a feeling of tolerance and love that is so necessary in a world torn by division. As many as 141 students participated in the event.



50 students honoured
Our Correspondent

As many as 50 students were felicitated at the annual function of Zenith Institute of Management and Accounts, on Guru Teg Bahadur Complex here yesterday. Gurdeep Kaur Grewal presided over and Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman Zila Parishad, Ludhiana, was the chief guest.

Speakers including, Ayali, Sanjay Sood, Kedar Kapila, vice-president municipal council, and principal Hardev Singh stressed on need of professional courses in fighting with the menace of unemployment, which they said was the main cause of various evils in the society.

They called upon residents to encourage their wards achieve technical knowledge from institutes engaged in imparting quality education.

Ramanjit Kaur, Baljit Kaur, Navdeep Dhand, Gagandeep Singh, Swaran Singh and Jasdeep Singh were among others who were felicitated for outstanding performance.

Bhagwant Singh, Bhupinder Kaur Pandher state award winner, Bimal Kumar Sharma, councillor, Gurwinder Grewal, sarpanch, Ravinder Puri and Arashdeep Singh were prominent among others who greeted the students.



Emphasis on leadership qualities
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 27
Ludhiana MP and national spokesperson of the All-India Congress Committee Manish Tewari today exhorted the youth to develop leadership spirit for a better and prosperous India, as a strong nation needed inspiring leaders.

Addressing youth leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab at the inaugural ceremony of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award here today, he said, a true leader ought to inspire hope and confidence. He said the country was looking forward to the inspiring youth for prosperous future.

Tewari said, a true leader is one who could look beyond present, into the future and take the nation to new heights by building the consensus, which could bring about a transformation not only in the political fabric, but also in the mentality and value system of the masses in a country.

The function was jointly organised by Rotary Club, Ludhiana, and Partap College of Education on the college campus under the leadership of Gurjit Singh, district secretary and Balwant Singh.

As many as 300 students from Punjab and adjoining states, along with more than 200 BEd trainees, members of teaching and non-teaching staff of the college, attended the event.



Woollens distributed

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 27
Office-bearers of the Social Welfare Organisation Chaura Bazar distributed woollens and shoes to the needy students of Government Primary School, Grain Market, and MGMN Senior Secondary School here yesterday. Dr Rajinder Mittal, chairman, and Pawan Singla, president, chaired the function.

According to secretary Tarsem Garg, as many as 200 students from various schools of the town and surrounding villages were provided with woollen clothes and shoes by the organisation every year.

Pardeep Sharda, principal, and Ravinder Puri, an office-bearer of the school management committee, called upon office-bearers of other social organisations to contribute in helping the poor students. — OC



Missing man’s body recovered from canal
Our Correspondent

Doraha, December 27
Jagtar Singh’s body was recovered from the Chupki Wala Pul at Kainth, near Dehlon, yesterday. He went missing under mysterious circumstances on Monday last. Relatives of the deceased suspected that Jagtar had been murdered.

“There are no fingerprints on his scooter, not even those of Jagtar. Leaving aside minor injury marks here and there, no major injury marks are to be found on the body,” said a relative.

“The turban may have been washed off in the current, but the cardigan too cannot be found. His shoes have scratches, indicating that he may have been dragged by more than one person and thrown into the canal. His mobile phone, money and gold ornament have been found in the scooter,” added the relative.

Relatives suspected that the manner in which the scooter had been comfortably placed near the canal was an indication that someone tried to cover up the story.

Jagtar last rang up his family around 7:30 pm on Monday, when he was about to start from Bhutta village for his native village Jarkhar. When he did not reach home, his family tried to find his whereabouts, but to no avail.

A case had been registered under Section 364 of the IPC. According to the SHO Sadar, as per the post-mortem report, no major injury marks were found on the body.



Justice for Ruchika
Plea to schoolchildren to donate Re 1 each
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
Giving a clarion call to schools, a farmer leader has asked schoolchildren to donate Re 1 each from their pocket money towards a fund for the battle for justice in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case.

Sham Singh Harike, a farmer leader owing allegiance to the Shiromani Akali Dal, said students should help the Girhotra family so that no powerful person could go scot-free.

“The family should go ahead and file an appeal. If every schoolchild in India donates Re 1, the family can easily collect Rs 1 crore. It will not be difficult to fight another legal battle. It is for the children to help them as she was a school student when she was molested,” he said.

Stating that molesting a minor girl was a heinous crime, Harike said the former DGP should be ashamed of himself.

“He should know that humanity has not pardoned him. He is a sinner in the eyes of the people and he will pay for it in case of poetic justice,” he added.

Calling upon managements of schools to encourage children to donate money, Harike said Re 1 would not burn a hole in anybody’s pocket.

“Children can do it very easily. Students should get together in this battle. I will request schools personally. The Girhotra family should know that they are not alone in this battle. We all are with them,” he said.



Travel agent booked

Ludhiana, December 27
A travel agent was booked for duping a man for Rs 32 lakh on pretext of sending his son abroad. The accused Baba Jaswinder Singh, his wife and son Paramjit and Mandeep, respectively have been booked for duping Malkit Singh, a resident of Shimlapuri, of Rs 32 lakh.

The complaint Malkit Singh alleged that the accused were running an immigration racket and took Rs 32 lakh from him on pretext of sending his son to Canada, but neither his son was sent to Canada nor the accused returned him the money. All the accused are on the run.



Ranjit Singh Academy hockey champs
Our Sports Reporter

Doraha, December 27
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Academy, Amritsar, managed to scrape past Surjit Academy, Jalandhar, 4-3 to emerge champions in the seventh All-India Doraha Gold Cup Hockey Tournament organised by Doraha Hawks, Doraha, on Mehta Gurkul Public School Senior Secondary School ground, here today.

The final was decided via a tiebreaker, as the two sides were locked one, each at the end of the regular period.

Gaurav Sehgal of Surjit Academy put his side into the lead in the 25th minute and the equaliser came in the 58th minute off Amritsar's Mandeep Singh's stick.

And in the tiebreaker Amritsar out scored three goals, while Surjit Academy could strike the board twice.

Earlier, in the semifinal, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Academy, Amritsar, outplayed Mehta Gurukul Academy, Doraha, 3-1 while Surjit Academy, Jalandhar, trounced Mata Sahib Kaur Hockey Academy, Jarkhar, 5-0 to settle for the title clash match.

Ramandeep Singh of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Academy, Amritsar, was declared the best player of the tournament. Bikramjit Singh also of Amritsar was named the best goalkeeper.

Karampal Singh and Manpreet Singh, both of Surjit Academy, Jalandhar, were adjudged the best full back and the best half, respectively. Gurpartap Singh of Mehta Gurukul Academy, Doarha was named the best forward.

Chander Shekhar, ADGP, GRP, Punjab, distributed the prizes. The winners received a cash prize of Rs 21,000 while the runners up pocketed a cash prize of Rs 18,000.



LDCA cricket squads victorious
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 27
The LDCA XI "A" and LDCA XI "B" registered victories in their respective matches on the second day of the First Invitation Cricket Cup Tournament (U-19), being organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association at MGM Public School, Dugri, here today. The LDCA XI "B" beat Mayank Goswami Cricket Academy, Jammu, by six wickets, while LDCA XI "A" routed Star Cricket Academy, Lucknow, by 171 runs.

In the first match, 
Mayank Goswami Academy, Jammu, won the toss and decided to bat.

In the stipulated 25 overs, they made 178 runs for the loss of seven wickets. The main scorers were Suplin (55), Atish (30), Manik (18), Rohan (19) and Supneet (10).

For LDCA XI "B", Amritpal and Rohit captured two wickets each after conceding 23 and 24 runs, respectively while Nikhil took one for 39.

LDCA XI "B" made the required runs on the last delivery of the 25th over after losing four wickets.

The main contributors were Dipankar (55), and Paras Mehndiratta (37). Abhishek scored 29 runs, Chirag Maria remained unbeaten on 17 runs while Sumit made 12 runs.

For visitors, Rafique claimed two wickets for 23 runs while Manik and Shubham chipped in with one wicket each.

In the second match, batting first, the LDCA XI "A" hoisted a total of 236 runs, losing eight wickets in the allotted 30 overs.

The main contributors were Harjit (88), Himanshu (42), Nitish Malhotra (30) and Vivek (19 n.o).

For Star Cricket Academy, Lucknow, Sonu Pandey chipped in with four wickets for 33 runs while Sahavinder grabbed one wicket for 23 runs.

In reply, Star Cricket Academy, Lucknow, was bundled out for 59 runs in 15.1 overs with only Brijesh reaching double figure (16).

For winners, Jashan Sidhu was the pick of bowlers, taking five wickets for eight runs while Vivek took two for seven. Karan Arora and Abhijit Randhawa claimed one wicket each.

Chaman Lal Malhotra, chairman of the selection committee (senior), Punjab Cricket Association, and senior vice-president of the Ludhiana District Cricket Association was the chief guest.



National basketball meet begins with pomp and show
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 27
The 60th Pearls Senior National Basketball Championship for men and women began at Guru Nanak Sports Complex here today with pomp and show.
A dog show in progress during the opening ceremony of the 60th Pearls Senior Basketball Championship at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on Sunday
A dog show in progress during the opening ceremony of the 60th Pearls Senior Basketball Championship at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on Sunday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Though the matches started well in the morning, the opening ceremony was held at the Guru Nanak Stadium at 3.30 pm.

The Punjab Finance Minister and a former national basketball player, Manpreet Singh Badal, declared the championship open.

The inaugural ceremony started with an impressive march past by the participating teams.

Andhra Pradesh contingent led the march while the host team Punjab, was the last to enter the stadium. Total 25 contingents (men and women) took part in the march past.

Dr SS Chauhan, DIG, Ludhiana, and chairman of the organising committee of the championship welcomed the chief guest.

Manpreet Singh Badal congratulated the team of Punjab Basketball Association, led by Rajdeep Singh Gill, DGP-cum-director, Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, for organising the meet for the record seventh time.

The minister wished the participants a comfortable stay in Ludhiana and good luck for the championship.

He also urged the players to take a pledge to work for eradication of corruption, maintain communal harmony and fight against anti-national forces.

International basketball player, Talwinder Singh, captain of the Punjab team took oath on behalf of all the participants to play in the true spirit of sportsmanship.

Amarjot Singh took oath on behalf of the technical officials to abide by the rules.

Recruits of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, presented a spectacular show. There was an awesome performance by the dog squad trained at Phillaur.

The recruits also presented martial arts, which included exercises of the Malkhama

The star attraction of the inaugural function was presentation of rich Punjabi culture. Bhangra, giddha, dancing horses, acrobatics by bazigars, martial arts by a team of Nihangs, tug-of-war, gymnastics, wrestling and dance by a group of eunchs were another feature of the opening show.

The show culminated with fireworks.



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