L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Residents pull down illegal structures on their own
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Debris of demolished structures in Jawahar Nagar Camp.
Debris of demolished structures in Jawahar Nagar Camp. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, January 7
Fearing the Municipal Corporation’s demolition drive, residents of Chaura Bazaar and Jawahar Nagar Camp, who had encroached upon the MC’s land, today volunteered to pull down all illegal structures.

As residents demolished illegal structures on their own, the MC officials suspended its demolition drive in Jawahar Nagar market till January 15.

For Veena Rani, a resident of Jawahar Nagar Camp, it was an emotional day, as she, along with her daughter, demolished the kitchen of her house.

“A few days ago, the MC officials marked a line in the middle of my house. I cannot pay a fine nor can I hire labourers.

My husband comes home late, so I, along with my daughter, decided to demolish the house,” said Veena, who was in tears.

The debris of demolished buildings could be spotted along the roadside.

The development took the MC authorities by surprise.

“I cannot believe that a single verdict of the High Court has set everything in order and even made those follow the law, who used to mock at it,” said Prof KBS Sodhi.

A senior woman police official, who was part of the demolition squad, said, “Neither the hobnobbing nor the bribing can stop the illegal structure from being pulled down.”

Meanwhile, many resident have welcomed the move of the high court.

Lallu Mul street, Dal Bazaar, Kachi Gali, Hindi Bazaar ,Malli Gunj, Gur Mandi, Saban Bazaar, Namak Mandi, Kitab Bazaar, Sabzi Mani and Chauri Sarak, localities, which once had lots of encroachments, have now become free from all encroachments.

The Tribune team visited the Chaura Bazaar market and asked people for their opinion about the demolition drive.

“For the first time, the law has been followed. These structures are as old as 50 years and no one had ever dared to touch these, as these were backed by politicians,” said Neelu Khullar, who runs a cloth showroom in Chaura Bazaar.

Deepak Kumar, who owns a shop in Kachi Gali, said, “Recently my friend, who had come from the UK, asked me if terrorists had struck the old city, as damaged structures could be spotted everywhere. I told him that the devastation was caused by the high court’s order, ” said Deepak. 


Woman molested while watching film
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Watching the late-night show of “Three Idiots” last night proved costly for a 38-year-old woman, who was allegedly molested by five students of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering (GNE) College in the presence of her husband, an industrialist in the city.

The youths, who were sitting behind the victim, even went on to thrash the industrialist when he objected to their acts. He received minor injuries.

The incident took place when Manpreet Singh of Mansa, Dalbir Singh of Jallandhar, Kuldeep Singh Simranjit Singh and Hardeep Singh allegedly began molesting the woman during the movie.

The police has booked the youths.

According to the police, the youths started touching the victim’s neck. They even passed lewd comments, to which she objected.

Earlier, while the tickets were being issued, the youths began misbehaving with the woman.

Witnessing the ruckus, the cinema authorities switched on lights. Even at this, the youths did not leave, but one of the accused called his accomplice to Orient Cinema. The accomplice of the students, armed with sharp-edged weapons, attacked the victim’s husband and fled from the spot.

The shocked couple left the movie midway, as the security guards stood as mute spectators to the entire episode.

The police nabbed one of the accused students, Kuldeep Singh, today, while the others are on the run.

The Sarabha Nagar police has booked the accused under Sections 323, 341, 148, 149, 354, 506 of the IPC. SHO Beant Juneja said a manhunt had been launched to nab the accused.

Juneja said taking view of the security lapses, the police had instructed the cinema owners to employ more security guards if they wanted to run the night shows. ‘‘The issue has prompted the police to think about the problem. We are surely going to take stringent action, ’’ he said. 



Property dealer dies in head-on collision
Ex-councillor's son booked for rash driving
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
A city resident died when the Maruti Desire car he was driving was hit by a speeding SUV late last night. The accident occurred near Sacred Heart Convent School in Sarabha Nagar.

The driver of the SUV, who has been identified as Sunil Chabra, son of a deceased SAD councillor, KL Chabra, reportedly lost control over his vehicle and rammed it into the car being driven by Sarabjit Singh Jodka, 56, a property dealer in Sarabha Nagar. Jodka was rushed to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries today.

Sunil also suffered injuries and was taken to Toor Hospital, where he is said to be recuperating after being treated for multiple fractures.

Eyewitness said the SUV was being rashly driven, which led to the collision.

SHO Beant Junja said the police has booked Sunil under sections 304A & 279 of the IPC for causing death by rash and negligent driving.



‘Concept of going into previous birth unscientific’
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Having been mired in controversy, "Raaz Pichle Janam Ka", the serial based on previous birth, has now been termed "unscientific" by psychiatrists here.

Celebrities, including Shekhar Suman, Monica Bedi and Ravi Kisan, have already appeared for the show who, after going into regression, “revealed” their previous births.

But psychiatrists feel that this is no way to confirm about the "truthfulness" of the persons, who claim to have gone back into their previous lives through hypnotism.

Dr Ranjeev Mahajan, head, department of psychiatry, DMCH, said, "Human brain is like a computer wherein old memories are stored and hypnosis is a way to get that information from the recycle bin of the brain, which is 70-80 per cent valid. But the concept of going into the previous birth is unscientific."

It is the gullibility of the person appearing on the show that leads to his/her confessions about their previous birth, the psychiatrist observed.

Dr Rajiv Gupta, another city psychiatrist, said the serial is misleading. Such versions will give imposters a chance to open their shops in the name of "know your previous birth".

Dr Gupta, while explaining about the people with psychiatric disorders wherein they claim to know about their previous lives, said, "It happens in cases of severe depression, hysterical neurosis or acute crises that the individuals have undergone in their past wherein they dissociate themselves from present and relate their torment to the past."

The glamorous portrayal of the "soul switching" from one life to another is nothing but a way of giving words to the fantasies and inner conflicts of people that they have nurtured for long in their sub-conscious, stated a student of human psychology while summing up the teleserial.



Ishmeet's father ‘finds answers’ in reality show
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Chitti na koi sandesh, jane woh kaunsa desh jahan tum chale gaye. Gurpinder Singh, father of the Voice of India Ishmeet Singh, sang this emotional number remembering his only son on the sets of the NDTV Imagine reality show ‘Raaz Pichle Janam Ka’.

"I feel more relaxed now and it seems as if I’ve met my beloved son after a long, long time," said Gurpinder. “Through this show I came to know Ishmeet was my son in my ‘past life’ as well. He was also named Ishmeet and died at the young age of 16 by falling into a well. At that time a sage told me I would lose my son early in my ‘next life’ as well," he added.

He said, “It was nearly a five-hour long process. Tripti Jain set my heart at rest and, after my mind and brain were fully relaxed, the process of questioning and answering started”.

Though many are cynical about the show’s genuineness, Ishmeet's father says, “I have no second opinion about the authenticity of the show and what I’ve seen seems real to me. As soon as I closed my eyes I saw a thick layer of fog before my eyes and, after few seconds images from my ‘previous life’ began roving before my eyes.”

“I now wish I’ll have Ishmeet as my beloved son in my ‘next life’ also, when I hope to meet him”, he added with gleaming eyes.



Traffic congestion bane of commuters
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, January 7
The traffic congestion on the bridge popularly known as the Gurthali Pull has proved to be bane not only for commuters who take to this road in order to bypass the traffic bottlenecks of the jam-packed city, but also for residents of the nearby villages and towns, who are caught up for hours together, even if they have to reach their destination, just a mile away.

Earlier, it used to be occasional but now it has become a routine. First the vehicles were allowed to multiply manifold, later when drivers left no scope of any outlet, abusive and offensive words were hurled at. As the situation has aggravated, now.

A frustrated commuter expressed, “One day my car got stuck on the bridge for an hour. I was sandwiched between big truck trailers. The goat fight was on and nobody was in a position to find any solution. Vehicles on both sides made a beeline and tried to convince the drivers of the two truck trailers but getting back was another risky affair at the time .It was only with sheer presence of mind shown by the yielding driver that the traffic congestion was eased. The entry should be banned for the big truck trailers as there is literally no space for them to cross each other on the bridge, for three roads diverge from this particular spot.”

On the other hand, life of nearby villagers has become hell. A villager of Bilaspur complained, “My village is 5 km from Doraha. One of my relatives had to be hospitalised the other day and the hospital was just a 5-km run from our village but the traffic was so congested on the bridge that it took nearly two hours to get the patient admitted to a local hospital at Doraha”. “Even if I have to go out fro a five minute work to the town, it takes me more than two hours to reach as the passage is blocked by the heavy vehicular traffic”, said another.

“Why are we villagers always at the receiving end? The toll evading vehicles had earlier made the villagers of Rajgarh, Kanech and Rampur the scapegoats, now it seems to be our turn to suffer on account of the ever increasing vehicles and over reaching styles of city dwellers” uttered another perturbed villager.

The project of four-laning of the road is on the cards but till the time the project actually materialises and nears completion, there seems to be no respite from this problem. Prof. Harwinder Kaur, who teaches at a local college, complained that the administration was sleeping over the problems being faced by the commuters and residents.

“Every day, long lines of vehicular traffic block the passage and make movement of traffic impossible. I fail to reach my work place in time”, she added.



New awards for livestock farmers instituted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
With the aim to give an impetus to the livestock sector in Punjab by strengthening the varsity’s extension programmes, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana, has instituted separate awards in dairy, poultry and fishery. Earlier, it was giving only one award to innovative farmers in animal husbandry by holding competitions in the state.

Keeping in view the heightened interest evinced by farmers in goat and pig farming, the university has raised the number of awards to four. It will now give separate awards of Rs 21,000 each for buffalo and cow farmers, an award of Rs 11,000 to poultry and fish farmers and an award of Rs 5,100 in piggery or goat farming every year, said Dr OP Parmar, director of GADVASU’s extension education.

Giving details, he said: "The creation of these separate awards will help in motivating cattle, buffalo, fish, poultry, piggery and goat farmers to learn and adopt the latest technologies and practices of animal farming. The awardees will also serve as models for other farmers who want to adopt animal farming”.

In order to motivate various categories of livestock farmers, the university also organises innovative competitions by assessing the extent and impact of adoption of these technologies in improving the productivity and profitability of different livestock farming systems.

A committee of experts, including deans and directors, visits livestock farmers who participate in the competitions organised by the university. The panel evaluates the total farming system and recommends the name of farmers and different species of animals.

GADVASU has also established various associations of farmers. These include the Progressive Dairy Farmers' Association, Innovative Fish Farmers' Club, Punjab Goat Farmers' Association and Pig Breeders' Association.

The university holds regular monthly meetings of these associations and organises technical seminars for transfer of technologies. “These efforts have made good impact in improving productivity of dairy, fishery, goat, piggery and poultry farming”, said Parmar.



School holds contest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
GN International Senior Secondary Public School, Model Town, today organised an inter-school competition in physics.

Around 20 CBSE-affiliated schools of the city participated in the competition.

Six students of Class XI and Class XII from each school represented their teams. Participants took a written exam, in which objective questions related to the basics of the subject were asked.

GNI school has been conducting the competition for the past four years. “The main objective behind conducting such tests is to prepare students for higher level tests like the IIT and AIEEE,” said principal Gurmant Kaur Gill.

Students said these competitions helped them increase their speed in answering questions.

Gurkirat Singh, a participant, said the competition was fair and all questions could be answered by any student, whose concepts were clear.



Two steel firms raided
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
In a series of raids being conducted by the Excise and Taxation Department to detect bogus firms, the department conducted raids on two firms in the city.

Raids were conducted under the supervision of AETC, HL Bansal, at Emm Enterprises and Bhatla Steels. Both the firms were found indulging in bogus billing.

Emm Enterprises has done an in genuine purchase of Rs 21 lakh. While, Bhatal Steels had made bogus purchase from Pioneer Impex 
worth 85 lakh.

The department has already cancelled 300-VAT registration numbers. Whereas, it is suspecting 350 more firms of presenting bogus turnovers. These firms have been indulging in bogus sales and purchase. 



Cops daring to fine Orbit bus drivers face music
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 7
Tall claims of the state police chief regarding recognition and appreciation of officials taking stands against violators of traffic rules came to cropper with a few cops who dared to mend alleged reckless drivers of buses owned by members of the Chief Minister’s clan forced to pay through their nose.

Victimisation of officials, daring to reprimand a few alleged irresponsible drivers of Orbit Transport Company has led to a situation wherein not a single cop willing to stop their speeding buses even during the traffic safety week being observed at the national level.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that the officials who had dared to find faults in the functioning of the Orbit Transport Company had to pay through their noses for performing their duty diligently.

Rajwant Singh, who while working as SHO at Longowal, had tried to reprimand a driver of one such bus, is now a toothless cop and resting in police lines outside his district.

Though SSP Sangrur Naunihal Singh had tried to convince DGP Punjab PS Gill about diligence and innocence of the SHO, he (Naunihal Singh) could not save him (Rajwant Singh) from humiliation through his transfer to the Mohali police district and posting in the police lines.

Taking scolding of irresponsible drivers by a ‘salaried cops’ as great insult to the family headed by the Chief Minister, a manager of the company is learnt to have made it a prestige issue to teach all such officials who dare challenge functioning of the company.

Another cop in Sangrur district, who had challaned one such driver a few months ago, had to face music for his diligence.

A few transport department officials, who had recommended slapping of compromise fee (fine) on a bus owned by the Orbit Transport Company for violating the route permit last year, were also warned of dire consequences in case they repeated their action. 



Gas pipeline: Farmers urge Centre, GAIL to divert route
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 7
Terming the Union government’s decision to lay a gas pipeline through the fertile land as anti-peasant and against the law of rural justice, farmers of this area have urged the Prime Minister to impress upon officials of Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) to divert the proposed route of the pipeline to a vacant land lying along the river banks and sides of the link roads.

Protesting against alleged unconcern of the GAIL authorities, a group of farmers from nearby villages situated under the jurisdiction of the Ludhiana district burnt copies of notices received from the company regarding restriction on usage of their fertile land. Mann Singh Garcha, senior vice-president of the SAD, led the protestors. They handed over a memorandum to the executive magistrate at Dehlon.

Joginder Singh, executive magistrate, said he had forwarded the memorandum to the district administration for necessary action at their end.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that a few farmers from Kilaraipur, Dehlon, Jartoli and surrounding villages, who had been served notices by GAIL for restricting its activities on their land; had staged a protest against the Union government at Dehlon yesterday. Besides raising slogan against the government they also burnt copies of notices served on them.

The protestors alleged that the GAIL authorities had ignored their interests while drafting route of the pipeline to be laid.

“Instead of utilising wasteland along rivers, canals and link roads, the engineers preferred to ruin us by acquiring our fertile land,” rued the protestors demanding review of the draft plan of the project.

Perusal of notices revealed that owners of agricultural land and other prime land had been prohibited from using the earmarked land for growing tree, creating ponds or installing tube wells.

Though the owners shall continue to own the land, they would not be allowed to use it as per their will.

While talking to The Tribune, Garcha said he would meet the Chief Minister to impress upon the authorities to chalk out another plan for laying the pipeline. 



BSNL broadband subscribers fail to surf net
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
BSNL broadband subscribers falling under Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar are having a tough time after the broadband stopped working from Wednesday onwards. Subscribers failed to surf the net and the most affected ones are those whose business run through Internet.

Alice Guram, a resident of Rajguru Nagar, said it is since Wednesday afternoon that the broadband connection is not working. “Though I have made numerous complaints in the exchange but to no avail. Last time when I called up, the operator at the other end told me that the services would be resumed only till tomorrow evening. It has never occurred before that the connection was out of order for so many days,” she added.

Another subscriber Ramanjot Singh falling under the BRS Nagar exchange said: “My entire work is carried through Internet and cannot imagine a day without net connection. I will suffer losses if the Internet will not work for another day,” he added.

Sources in the department revealed that the broadband connections of BRS Nagar exchange are not working since a few cards got burnt in the exchange. It is through these cards that the broadband connection works. “Due to some technical failure these net cards got burnt accidentally and subscribers were facing problem.

We hope the problem will be resolved at the earliest,” said a source.

Another subscriber Vijay Kansal added that it was impossible to imagine a day without Internet. “All my work is carried through Internet. My every client sends the details to me through Internet. Now I am operating my work through a internet cafe,” he added.



Lakhowal lays foundation stones
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, January 7
Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, Chairman, Punjab Mandi Board, and Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Chairman, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation, today laid the foundation stones of a few developmental works to be undertaken in the Sahnewal Assembly constituency.

Dhillon laid stone for constructing two additional classrooms and a science lab in Government Secondary School (Girls). The building is to be constructed by PWD (B&R) at the cost of Rs 18 lakh.

Similarly, Lakhowal laid the foundation stone of a link road from Ramgarh to Navan Pind under his discretionary quota. He also laid the foundation stones of link roads from Bhukri to Sahibana and Bhaini Shallu to the Dhannsu road.

Apart from this, Lakhowal inaugurated two newly constructed roads. Phirni of Sahibana village and the link road from Khassi khurd to Hawas village were inaugurated. This was recently constructed under the Mandi Board chairman’s discretionary quota. Dhillon said Punjab would be a power surplus state by 2012. 



Congenital Heart Diseases 
7 poor kids to be operated upon
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Having been chosen as the centre for treating the government school students suffering from congenital heart diseases by the state government, Hero DMC Heart Institute here has already treated 125 children since its inception in May 2009.

The hospital management following minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla’s appeal had volunteered to treat such children.

Coordinators working under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan are involved in identifying such children studying in government schools followed by making arrangement for their treatment at the hospital.

The state government is bearing all expenditure incurred on their treatment whereas the hospital is providing treatment on subsidised rates.

A group of seven students (nine to 17 years) from various schools in Muktsar who were suffering from severe heart ailments came for the treatment at the hospital today.

These kids come from economically weaker sections and their parents can’t afford their treatment.

“After coming to the hospital I am hopeful of seeing my son play like other children. He just sits and watch others play,” lamented a farm labourer from Muktsar.

Sukhminder Singh, a daily wager from Patiala, whose 15- year-old son Manpreet Singh was operated upon recently, said: “I was aware of my son’s problem for the past five years but was unable to get him operated upon due to paucity of funds. My family will remain indebted to the health minister who has taken this initiative,” he added. 



Dr Lobo oration at CMCH

Ludhiana, January 7
Dr Ganesh Gopalkrishnan, president, Urological Society of India, will deliver the 27th Annual Dr LH Lobo Memorial Oration on January 9 at CMCH.

Dr Gopalahrishnan is a renal transplant surgeon with an experience of over 2,500 renal transplant procedures at CMC, Vellore. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Dr BC Roy Award for Renal Transplantation. In his oration, he will focus on the challenges faced by renal transplantation and how the government and the NGOs can help in this regard. — TNS



More city youths willing to join Army
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Col Sanjeev Dubey, officiating Deputy Director General (Recruitment),
Col Sanjeev Dubey, officiating Deputy Director General (Recruitment),Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, January 7
City youths are willing to serve the nation by joining the Indian Army than anyone else in the state. This fact came to light during an Army recruitment rally as maximum number of youths was from the district.Datas available with the Army authorities revealed that at least 4,000 youths from the district went through physical and medical tests for the post of a soldier during the rally that began on January 4.

The least interested were the youths from Mohali, as only 900 youths reached the venue on the fourth day of the recruitment today. Moga also gave a lukewarm response as only 1,222 youths turned up followed by Ropar from where 2,000 youths turned up.

‘‘We get good response from areas like Amritsar and Tarn Taran every time we hold a rally there. But this time, we were overwhelmed by the response of city youths,” said Col Sanjeev Dubey, officiating Deputy Director, Recruitment, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

He added that they had expected much more response but the cold wave played a spoilsport.

He added Mohali always gave a cold response, as there were many job opportunities in the tricity. So the youths did not think much about joining the Army.

He added at least 10,000 youths had reported from four districts and 2,000 of them could not produce the relevant documents. The rest 8,000 undertook various tests.

Expressing concern over the touts, who were duping the innocent youths, Colonel Dubey said they were trying their best to ensure that youths didn’t fall in their trap. 



Poor visibility derails trains
Sudden cancellation mars travel plans
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 7
Dense fog and poor visibility in the region continued to play havoc with the travel plans, as trains were delayed by nearly two to six hours.

The Railways had to cancel about a dozen trains touching the city, some of them for a day and others till the end of the month.

Station Superintendent RK Sharma told The Tribune that the New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express arrived two hours behind the schedule, while its corresponding train from Amritsar to New Delhi was delayed by more than six hours. Similarly, the Shane-Punjab, both up and down on the same route, were delayed by more than three hours.

Several other trains, including the 3005 Howrah Mail, Malwa Express, Sachkhand Express, Swaraj Express and Pashchim Express, also arrived late by two to five hours.

Meanwhile, the Northern Railways has announced cancellation of the 5707/5708 Katihar-Amritsar Express, 9771/9782 Jaipur-Amritsar and 9772/9782 Amritsar-Jaipur Express till January 31.

Other trains will remain partly cancelled or short-terminated during this period (up to January 31, 2010).

These include the 4649/4650 Jaynagar-Amritsar Saryuyamuna Express and 4673/4674 Amritsar-Jaynagar Shaheed Express. Both the trains will not run between Amritsar and Ambala. The 3049-3050 Amritsar-Howrah Express will remain cancelled between Amritsar and Mughalsarai.

Authorities said imposition of speed restrictions on all trains and consequent late running of several trains were due to fog and poor visibility.

“There is no other alternative but to cancel or partly cancel trains so that the scheduled operating time of trains could be followed to some extent in cold weather conditions,” the railway officials said.

Travel plans of a large number of people, majority of them migrant workers, who had booked tickets in advance, have been cancelled.

Sharma said as far as inconvenience caused to travellers due to the sudden cancellation of certain trains was concerned, refund of reserved tickets would be provided to passengers, and if needed, special arrangements would be made for speedy refund of tickets.

Menwhile, 2498 down Amritsar-New Delhi Shane-Punjab remained cancelled on January 7, and its corresponding train 2497 up will not run on January 8.

2013/2-14 Shatabdi Express between New Delhi and Amritsar will remain cancelled on January 8.

2460 down Amritsar-New Delhi Express (via Panipat) and 4681 up New Delhi-Amritsar (via Saharanpur) will not run on January 8.

4674 Jaynagar-Amritsar Shaheed Express will be short terminated in Ambala on January 8.



District Bar Assn Elections
32 candidates in fray
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, January 7
With the filing of nomination papers by 23 more aspiring contestants for different posts of the District Bar Association on the last day, the total number of candidates has reached 32.

Contestants went to the office of Returning Officer, along with their supporters. After filing nomination papers, a majority of them distributed sweets among members of the association.

Naval Kishore Chhibber, former president of the district bar association, today filed nomination papers for the president post. He was accompanied by sitting president Parupkar Singh Ghumman, secretary Kamaljit Sharma, Ajay Jindal, BirInder Sekhon, BK Baweja, Vikram Singh and other lawyers.

Rana Harajasdeep Singh, former secretary of the association, also filed nomination papers for the post of president in the coming annual elections. He was accompanied by former bar council chairman BK Goel, member of the bar council Harpreet Singh Garcha, BJP youth wing president Sandeep Kapoor, PD Sharma and Rajneesh Gupta.

For the post of secretary, six lawyers filed nomination papers, along with their supporters. Those, who filed nomination papers, include Jagmohan Singh Sanghe, Jagdeep Singh, Sanjeev Malhotra, Gurpreet Singh Virk, GS Ghumman and Deepjot Singh Ahluwalia.

Contenders for the post of vice-president are Vijay Bhatia and Harinder Singh Narang. Varinderjit Singh Randhawa and Rakesh Arora filed nomination papers for the post of finance secretary. For the post of joing secretary, three persons filed nominations, including Sandeep Kaur, Jaspreet Singh Jassowal and IPS Sabharwal.

Candidates for the six posts of executive members are Simran Singh Grewal, Anant Jain, Amanpreet Singh, Rajiv Kumar Bajaj, Satyam Nagar, Amandeep Sharma, Mukesh Kumar Narang, Vishal Dhand, Amandeep Arora and Harvir Singh Chawla. 



Chilly conditions conducive for wheat crop 
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
The prevailing cold wave conditions are favourable for wheat crop, which is at the vegetative stage, said senior agro-meteorologist, Punjab Agriculture University, Dr KK Gill.

She said the rainfall on January 2 and 3 was also useful for the Rabi crops, adding that no significant effect of the severe weather has been observed on the wheat crop. “The temperature mainly affects the crop during its reproductive stage,” she added.

She advised the farmers to apply light irrigation to ‘raya’, cauliflower and mustard as frost injury had been observed on mustard crop in some districts. “The farmers should save sugarcane and potato crops from frost by applying light irrigation and also apply irrigation to ‘barseem’ to avoid frost injury. To protect capsicum and tomato seedlings from cold injury, growers should use polythene sheet or ‘sarkanda’ for protection against cold," Dr Gill said.

She added that nurseries of chilli, capsicum, brinjal and tomato need to be protected against cold by covering them.

She said during the current rabi season in the first week of January, the maximum temperature was almost 4 degree C below normal while the minimum temperature was nearly 2.5 degree C above normal and the received rainfall of 18.4 mm against the normal of 2.9 mm for the week.

In December, the maximum temperature was near normal but the minimum temperature was 2.5 degree C above normal with almost no rainfall. During the first week of January, the maximum temperature was 17.5 degrees C against the normal of 19.1 degrees C and minimum was 5.8 degrees C against the normal of 5 degree C and rainfall recorded was 3.2 mm against the normal of 2.9 mm.

The minimum temperature in November was nearly normal although the maximum temperature was nearly 1 degree C below normal. November experienced 5.1 mm rainfall against the normal of 9.4 mm, she said.

Many parts of Punjab and Haryana are in the grip of severe cold wave conditions. According to the forecast, weather will remain cold and dry with possibility of cloudy conditions over the region.

Dr Gill said as per the India Meteorological Department, due to the western disturbance, cold wave conditions would occur over northwest India during the next 1-2 days. There will be no significant change in the minimum temperature over the northwest and the central India during next couple of days.



Funeral procession of dead tree taken out 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
The NSS unit of Punjab Agricultural University organised a funeral procession of a dead tree on the city streets 
with an aim to create awareness among people about the importance of trees.

The procession, which was led by Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang, started from the flag post of the College of Agriculture on the varsity campus and made its way through the city streets with students carrying the “dead body” of the tree which had apparently, withered and died.

The students also carried banners with slogans on various social issues, including the importance of a clean and green city and trees, curbing the menace of female foeticide, denouncing drug abuse etc. Numerous PAU officials participated in the procession.

Addressing the students, Dr Kang said, "We must be responsible for the society and endeavour to do some noble deeds for the welfare of humanity over and above performing our duty in our chosen professions."

The NSS volunteers earlier undertook various activities such as painting of tree trunks, highlighting dignity of labour, cleaning the road berms, cleaning the lawns, etc. on the campus. The unit also organised a 0-day camp starting from January 1, of which this activity was a part.

The NSS programme at the PAU is being catered by Dr Damanjit Kaur.

Dean, College of Agriculture, Dr Milkha Singh Aulakh said NSS is a programme that inculcates good values among students and helps to channelise their energy constructively.

He said the NSS volunteers would be taken on January 9 for a tour to the science city and some special lectures on curbing the menace of drug and how to be tension free would be organised for the benefit of students. 



Woman killed by hubby in Oz cremated
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Tragic scenes were witnessed in the crematorium at Daba road during the funeral of Manpreet Kaur (28), who was stabbed to death by her husband in Sydney, Australia, on December 29.

The body was flown to Amritsar last night, from where it was brought to the city. The victim’s younger sister Jaspreet Kaur accompanied the body.

Relatives of the girl’s family attended the cremation ceremony and demanded capital punishment against the accused. No one from the husband’s side attended the cremation.

Hell broke lose when the body of Manpreet was being cremated. Manjeet Kaur, mother of the victim, was inconsolable. She could not come to terms with the tragedy.

Baldev Singh, father of the victim, could not hold back his tears.

“Chamanjot Singh, husband, should be given death punishment. If he needed money, he could have asked me. Why did he kill my daughter?”, lamented Baldev.

The relatives of the girl alleged that a day before the killing, Baldev had gone to meet Chamanjot’s parents. But the parents of the accused showed him the door and scolded him for not giving gold ornaments as dowry.

It was on December 29, that Chamanjot killed Manpreet by slitting her neck with a knife, when she refused to give him funds.

Chamanjot was attested by the Australian police and is behind bars for killing his wife.

In the meantime, Chamanjots’s family members are on the run. Manpreet’s family was demanding that a dowry case be registered against the family of the accused.

On the other hand, Chamanjot’s relative alleged that it was a love marriage and Manpreet bore the expenses of Chamanjot's visit to Australia.



2 held for gambling
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, January 7
The police yesterday raided a house in Dakha village and arrested two persons on the charge of gambling.

The police raided the house following a tip-off and arrested Gopal Paswan of Baggusarai in Bihar now at Dakha and Mohinder Singh of Dakha.

The police also recovered Rs 3,050 from their possession. 



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