L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Woman murdered at Aggar Nagar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
Lohri celebrations turned sour for the family of 45-year-old Triveni who was murdered by unidentified persons at Aggar Nagar-A Block here today.

As per information, Triveni, along with her husband Mansa Ram and two sons, had been living in a servant quarter at plot number 227-A at Aggar Nagar for the past three years.

The plot belonged to Janak Lal. Mansa Ram ironed clothes of residents of the block. At 10 am today, Mansa Ram left home with his sons for some work. After an hour, his older son, Anil Kumar, returned home and found his mother lying in a pool of blood. He raised the alarm following which people gathered.

Beant Juneja, SHO of the Sarabha Nagar police station, said the woman was murdered with sharp-edged weapons and Rs 52,000 had been looted from the house. He said the family had set up a committee and had recently got the amount. Robbery was the main reason behind the murder, he added.

Those known to the family of the deceased said Mansa Ram hailed from Mathura in UP and they had been staying in the city for the past 30 years and only three years ago, they had shifted to Aggar Nagar. “We suspect that someone close to the family, who knew about the committee amount, might have committed the crime. We hope that the police is able to crack the case soon,” the person stated on the condition of anonymity.

A case under Section 302, IPC, has been registered at the Sarabha Nagar police station against unidentified persons.


Sunshine brings long-awaited respite from cold
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
It appears the prayers of city residents have been answered today when Lohri is celebrated. The day turned out to be sunny and bright enough for them to enjoy the festival in the true spirit. As soon as the sun appeared in the eastern sky in the morning people were filled with joy and enthusiasm. And why not - they were able to bask in the warmth of the sun after more than 15 days of chilly weather.

With the sun shining bright for several hours in the morning the residents enjoyed a much-needed break from the cold. They came out of their houses and perched atop rooftops, getting in the festive mood. It remained a bright sunny day till the afternoon, with the mercury rising. Later the sun kept playing hide and seek till the evening.

The feeling of warmth coupled with the festive spirit made the residents make the most of it. Within no time, the sky was filled with innumerable kites of different shapes and sizes flying high with little children running on streets to catch them.

The biting chill had prevailed in the region for over 15 days. The weathermen said the city had witnessed mild rainfall in the wee hours today, following which the skies cleared. "People all over Punjab have heaved a sigh of relief as it was a bright and partially sunny day today. We expect in the next 24 hours the maximum temperature will rise", said a weatherman at the Met Office in Chandigarh.

Young Lohri revellers danced to loud music and flew kites throughout the day. In parts of the old city the enthusiasm had to be seen to be believed. People residing in areas like Brown Road, Field Gang, Khwaja Kothi and Daresi were seen making a beeline for shops selling strings and kites right in the morning.

Shopkeepers who had earlier been upset by the poor sales of kites appeared a little relieved today after kites were purchased in bulk. Gaurav Gupta, a class V student, said, "I had prayed for sunshine today and, as you can see, my prayers have been answered. We’ll thoroughly enjoy celebrating Lohri today".



Kites spell doom for birds
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
Lohri, celebrated as a festival of kites by Ludhianvis, endangered the lives of birds, who got entangled in kite threads and sustained injuries. Several birds were injured all over the city, and the PFA hospital received three calls from birds lovers who had rescued three injured pigeons.

PFA president Ajay Jain said the pigeons were brought to the hospital in the afternoon. They had received calls from Sunder Nagar and the Civil Lines area where residents spotted the wounded pigeons and wanted the PFA to help.

Jain said one of the pigeons had nearly lost its wing and may not be able to fly. The other pigeons would be cured and released in their natural habitat. The PFA had appealed people not to fly kites on the roof, but remain confined to the ground while flying kites.

The appeal, however, failed to yield any result. “The planet belongs to the birds also. We have already occupied most parts of the earth and now we are not even sparing the sky. We can at least be little considerate and leave the birds alone,” he remarked.



PCO fails to stop illegal cellphone use at jail
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
Despite the much-publicised introduction of a PCO facility for jail inmates, it appears the illegal use of mobile phones by prisoners has not been significantly affected. The recent recovery of a cellphone from three inmates undergoing life term in Central Jail has again proved the vulnerability of prison officials to keep tabs on unauthorized usage of these phones inside the jail.

According to jail staff, mobile phones are used to receive drugs inside the prison.

“Some prisoners direct their accomplices, who stand outside the jail, to throw contraband material over the prison wall and that is how they get narcotic drugs”, said a prisoner.

In a recent incident, the prisoners adopted a similar modus operandi. They gave directions to their accomplice outside the jail and told the latter to fill the contraband stuff in a plastic bottle and throw it inside the prison wall. However, their plans were foiled as jail officials came to know about the matter.

Recently, Minister for Jails Hira Singh Gabria, while launching the public telephone facility in the jail, had claimed the initiative would bring an end to the illegal use of mobile phones by jail inmates. “The decision to provide a PCO facility to jail inmates was to enable them to communicate with their family members and lawyers”, he had stated.

“However, nearly two months after the launch of the PCO facility mobile phones are still being regularly used by prisoners”, rued a jail official.

According to sources close to the jail authorities, notorious criminals are operating by mobile phones while sitting in jail. A jail official said on the condition of anonymity: “There are some black sheep among the police stationed inside the jail, who are helping criminals to use cellphones.”

Recently the Sadar police arrested Jaswinder Jassi, ‘kingpin’ of an interstate gang that was said to be behind 30 incidents of robbery in various cities in the state. During the interrogation Jassi admitted he used to supply mobile phones and cellular SIM cards on a regular basis inside the jail.

According to the sources, Jassi told the police some of the prison cops also helped him in sneaking a mobile phone inside the jail. They added these cops are charging Rs 500 a month from prisoners to use a mobile phone.

On the other hand, relatives of jail inmates have asserted the PCO facility provided by the jail authorities could not be successful as, according to them, the staff posted in the jail was imposing restrictions on inmates making a call from the PCO. “The jail cops instead prefer the inmates should use a mobile phone as they (cops) made money from bribes by providing them a handset inside the jail”, the relatives added.



PSEB gets tough on power theft
Imposes Rs 65.34 lakh fine on defaulters
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 13
The operations wing of the PSEB continued its drive against power theft in December, when more than 10,000 connections of domestic, non-residential supply and industrial consumers were inspected.

Extensive checking of connections and installations led to the detection of 1,289 cases of theft, unauthorised use of power and wrong metering. A penalty of Rs 65.34 lakh was imposed on defaulting consumers, out of which Rs 46 lakh has already been recovered, PS Gill, chief engineer, central zone, stated.

He said the board had put in place a plan for the replacement of existing electro-mechanical energy meters with new meters in a phased manner. These meters would be installed outside the premises of consumers and by the end of this financial year, a minimum of 4,000 meters would be installed in the city.

Several steps were being initiated with a view to conserving electricity, cut pilferage and losses and bring the demand down so that the gap between demand and availability of power could be minimised.

“The PSEB would undertake the shifting of energy meters outside the premises of consumers, locate these on poles, meter pillar boxes or meter cupboards outside the municipal limits in non-reaccelerated power development and reforms programme. A comprehensive project for the replacement of incandescent electric lamps with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and promoting energy efficient appliances is also in the pipeline,” he added.



300 cases of diarrhoea in three days
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
More than 300 cases of diarrhoea have been reported from low-lying residential colonies between Agwad Lopon and Mori Gate at Jagraon over the past three days.

A large number of people, including children, fell sick after consuming dirty water. A team of officials from the department of health and family welfare, led by district epidemiologist GP Mangla from Ludhiana, collected five water samples from the area.

The health department would take up the matter with the nagar council at Jagraon after the report of the water samples is made available tomorrow.

Arrangements have been made for round-the-clock OPD, where patients are being examined and are being given medicines on the spot.

However, Dr HK Singla, SMO of the Civil Hospital, Jagraon, said the number of patients had gone down as a result of which the OPD hours in the affected areas had been reduced to two hours a day. There were just five patients at the OPD yesterday, followed by 20 today.

“We have distributed chlorine tablets to residents and have advised them to boil water before consumption,” Dr Singla said. Pointing towards the poor sanitary conditions in the mohallas, a senior health official said: “The nagar council has neglected the areas as there is no proper sewerage there and from the look and smell of the water, the possibility of sewage getting mixed with drinking water can’t be ruled out.”



Oz Racial Attacks
Worried parents seek PM’s intervention
Mahesh Sharma

Gunghrana (Ludhiana), January 13
Lohri celebrations have turned gloomy for residents of this historic village of the Ludhiana district whose wards are living in Australia. They are worried about the safety and future of their children.

Notwithstanding repeated promises made by their wards, at least 10 in number, to follow safety tips, being given daily telephonically from here, the vexed parents have urged the Union government to impress upon the Australian government to provide extra security to Indian intelligentsia who has become target of natives of that country.

More conservative parents have asked their wards to suspend their studies and return although that would result in heavy financial losses.

Led by Rajinder Pal Singh, a farmer, and Gurcharan Kaur, a local government schoolteacher, the parents of at least 10 educated youths pursuing higher studies in Australia have urged the Union government to impress upon the Australian government to protect their wards in view of the recent racial attacks in which a Jagraon-based youth had lost his life.

Perusal of a communiqué addressed to the Prime Minister, the President and the Foreign Minister revealed that the parents of most of the youths had disposed off their movable and immovable property; other had taken huge loans from financial institutions, friends and relatives to meet expenses incurred on their wards journey, stay and exorbitantly higher college fee.

“Though the authorities in the institutes, admitting our wards had assured us of their safety and brighter future while accepting fees, now they have left them on mercy of Australians,” lamented Gurcharan Kaur whose both sons, Harjot Singh and Rajbir Singh were waiting for permanent residential status in Melbourne.

Parents of Baljit Kaur, Gurbinder Singh, Gurlabh Singh, Sandeep and Noni had also spent sleepless nights due the so-called racial attacks in Australia.



Dholis, bonfire keep Lohri spirit alive
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, January 13
Lohri was celebrated throughout the city with enthusiasm. It was a special occasion for those who were blessed with kids especially girls recently. The newly married couples also celebrated their first Lohri with gusto.

Sukhdev Singh, a resident of Lalton Kalan, said their family celebrated the Lohri of his granddaughter. “Supreet is the first girl child of our family and we celebrated it with fanfare and gaiety. Friends and relatives came from far of places to be the part of their celebrations,” he added.

Lohri is incomplete without kite flying. Boys had their gala time while flying kites throughout the day. A few of them had even arranged “dholis” for the occasion while for others their music systems did the job. Others had placed loudspeakers at their terraces and the screams of “Bo Kata” were heard throughout the day.

“Lohri is the most awaited festival for people of Punjab. This is the time when we indulge in kite flying. Every year I and my friends arrange a “dholi” for the occasion. While we fly kites he beat the drum. As the drum beats get faster so does our kits which sore in the sky, adds Satinder, a college student. In the evening it was bhangra time for this group.

A few had even arranged functions at resorts and palaces. “It was the first Lohri of our grandchild and we wanted to celebrate it in a grand way. The function was organised in the evening amidst bonfire and everybody munched peanuts, ‘gachak’ and popcorns while traditional Lohri song “Sundar Mundareye” was sung. Everybody danced to the tunes of ‘dhol’,” added Mohinder Singh, a resident of Rajguru Nagar.

Huge rush was witnessed today at shops and vendors were seen selling peanuts, ‘gachak’, ‘reodi’ and ‘bhugga’. Popcorns were also in great demand. “This is the time when we have the maximum sale, added Purshotam Das, a popcorn seller.

NGO warms up senior citizens

During old age when one needs the love and care of their family, these people are left alone.

Missing their family and children on festivals and special occasions inmates of the old-age home celebrate their special days alone.

Living in a home away from home, these inmates celebrated Lohri here by lighting a bonfire and munching peanuts, “gachak” and “bhugga”.

Inmates of old-age homes at Model Town Extension, Sarabha Nagar, and Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar celebrated the festival.

NGO New Hope celebrated Lohri with inmates of Swami Vivekananda Asharam. Everyone in the old-age home felt special, as special cultural events were organised for them and everyone enjoyed munching “rewaris” and “gachak”.

NS Nanda, president of the NGO, said it gave him an immense pleasure to celebrate the day with the old aged people. "Seeing a smile on their face is all I want," he added.

The festival was special for Harjinder Singh, inmate of Vivekananda Asharam, as he was able to see the world through his eyes. Harjinder lost his eyesight and was recently operated upon and was able to see the beautiful world. "Lohri is very special festival for me, as I am able to see through my eyes. I miss my family and hope to be together, but I am happy to be with my friends around," he said.

Sunder Singh, a 102-year-old inmate at the asharam was honoured today. He has been living here from the past several years. "It was a pleasure when I was honoured by the NGO. Members of the NGO always come here to be a part of our celebration and make us feel special," he said.

Neelam Khosla rendered some melodic songs for the inmates. Neelam believes that she got the best gift of Lohri this year when these people clapped for her with a broad smile on their faces.

Meanwhile, a Ludhiana-based NGO Aashiq-E-Khwaja organised a cultural programme "Baghban" to mark the festival of Lohri at its child home and old age home in Bool village.

As many as 50 children, including residents of ashram took part in the function.

Children between 4-15 years staged their performances which included group songs, solo songs, mono acting, skits and acts depicting various facets of life and society as a whole.

A fancy dress competition was also organised for the little kids.

The spokesperson of the NGO said the infrastructure and working of the Aashiq-E-Khwaja Society depicted the theme "Baghban".

Girl students get silver bangles

Amloh: Agriculture department, in cooperation with the child development and women welfare department, jointly celebrated Lohri at Khanna road here today.

The SAD working committee member and chairman of the market committee Randhir Singh Bhambri and district agriculture officer Sarbjit Singh Kandhari were chief guests.

Two mothers of newly born girl children were honoured. Dr Arjan Singh, agriculture officer, supervisor Manju Sood and block samiti chairperson Mandeep Kaur Virk also spoke.

Employees of a local civil hospital presented poems and songs sitting around a bonefire and pledged to serve the patients in the hospital.

Meanwhile, Baba Kishan Dass Public School, Salana, celebrated the festival on its complex today.

Principal Tara Singh, vice-principal Sukhwinder Singh Randhawa and chief guest Surinder Kansal distributed silver bangles to 51 girl students of the school. Cultural programme was also organised. Also, Police Chowki, Salana, celebrated Lohri and honoured girls.

Kanwal enthrals

The District Bar Association (DBA) today celebrated Lohri with fervour. Judges, too, participated in the function.

The District and Sessions Judge SP Bangarh, chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda and DBA president Parupkar Singh Ghumman, prayed around the bonfire.

They congratulated the lawyers.

Singer Randhir Kanwal enthralled the audience with his songs, ghazals. Lawyers enjoyed the function while enjoying “rewaris” and “peanuts”.

Several lawyers shared jokes, couplets and songs.

Additional sessions judges AS Grewal, Kishore Kumar, Munish Singal, JS Chouhan, Manjinder Singh, Mohd Gulzar, Fast Track court judges Harveen Bhardwaj, B R Garg, AS Narula, Civil Judge Senior Division JPS Wehniwal, CJM Jatinder Kaur and Additional Civil Judge (Sr Division) Lukhwinder Kaur attended the function.

Judicial magistrates Randhir Verma, Jagdeep Sood, Pooja Andotra, Yukti Goyal, Jarnail Singh, Amit Thind Sushma Devi, Parminder Kaur, PS Kaleka and Ashish Saldi were also present.

Students all fired up

Mandi Gobindgarh: Festive mood was at its peak at RIMT - Management & Computer Studies Wing. Group chairman Dr Hukum Chand Bansal and director general Dr BS Bhatia inaugurated the function.

Dr SN Panda, principal RIMT- Regional Institute, Dr Surender Singh, director RIMT - IMCT, and Dr SP Singh, director of RIMT- SMS, were special guests.

Chairman Dr Bansal called upon the students to lay the foundation of the gender-neutral society.

To add flavor to the function, the event included fun games like musical chairs, quiz, and rapid-fire rounds for faculty as well as students. A few songs were also presented by the students on request.

Later, students danced on the popular numbers late in the evening.

The students, staff and the management of CS International School celebrated Lohri with fervor by lighting a bonfire. The students and the staff had a gala time, as they danced around the bonfire and gifts were distributed. Principal Gagandeep Katoch wished the students.

Harkrishan Public School: Cultural programmes were organised at Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School,Doraha, on the occasion of Lohri today. The teachers and children were dressed up in yellow to mark the occasion. Director Karamvir Singh was the chief guest. A Class VII student spoke on the importance of the day. Students of pre-nursery presented giddha and those of Class II sang songs on the occasion. Peanuts and popcorns were distributed on the occasion. Principal Manjusha Vinayak greeted the students.

Doraha College: The Doraha College of Education also celebrated Lohri today. Sukhpal Singh, chairman, Doraha Group of Institutes, lit the bonfire. The B.Ed students presented “tappe’, folk dance and also explained the historical importance of the festival. Beauty contest based on the Punjabi culture was also organised by the students. Lovepreet was crowned as ‘Miss Lohri’.

Green Grove: A huge bonfire was lit on the school campus today. Students danced around it. Packets of goodies,peanuts and popcorns were distributed among students and staff by school president JPS Jolly. A colourful cultural program was organised to highlight the Punjabi culture. Besides giddha and bhangra, contestants also sang Punjabi songs. Aashna and Navpreet of Class VIII highlighted the importance of the day.

Purnoor of Class IX was also felicitated by principal S George. Purnoor bagged a silver medal in the long jump during the Sahodaya School Athletics Meet.



Pirated CDs confiscated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
The police raided two locations in Ludhiana today and seized a large amount of pirated material, mobile memory chips, CDs, DVDs and VCDs, following a tip-off from the Indian Music Industry (IMI).

The police also seized memory cards and four computers with DVD writers, besides titles and MP3s of various hit films. Savio D’Souza, secretary-general, IMI, stated: “The music industry is suffering from huge losses because of piracy that not only hurts the commercial interests of licensed manufacturers, but also has the potential of damaging the country’s economic and social fabric.”



Race for new DBA president hots up
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, January 13
The race for the prestigious post of president of the District Bar Association (DBA) has intensified with just two days to go before the annual elections scheduled for January 15 at the district court complex.

The contestants are leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters. The five contenders for the post of president include former DBA president Naval Kishore Chhiber, whose candidature is being backed by the sitting president, Parupkar Singh Ghumman and the secretary, Kamaljit Sharma.

Chibber, who also served as DBA secretary in 1996, is seeking votes citing his previous work done for the legal fraternity. He claims during his earlier tenure as president he was instrumental in getting the District Consumer Forum shifted from a congested area in the city to the court complex as well as in obtaining the high court’s approval of the building plan for 232 chambers in the complex.

Among the other “accomplishments” claimed by Chhiber are shifting of the court ‘malkhana’, installation of a rear gate despite resistance by the administration, lowering of lease amount to chamber occupants, filing of writ regarding parking, electricity charges and upgradation of library. He has promised several sops for the legal fraternity.

The candidature of another contender for the president’s post, senior lawyer SK Pathak, is being supported by the former Bar Council chairman BK Goel and senior lawyers Sukhpat Rai Wadhera, Trilok Singh Sood and Dharamjit Singh Khera.

Some senior lawyers, who have decided to back him for being “noncontroversial”, say, if elected, their candidate would “break the unholy nexus of corrupt” people in the judicial system.

Pathak has promised the legal fraternity he will, if elected, work for a “congenial atmosphere of working” and “equal respect for all lawyers irrespective of their standing”.

Another aspiring candidate for the president is Ashok Mittal, who also served as secretary of the bar association. Listing his priorities, he said if he wins the election he would make “all-out efforts to remove the wall constructed by the judiciary for judicial parking, which had caused great inconvenience to lawyers, weed out corruption in the judicial system, check the menace of hiring private clerks by judicial employees, restore the faith of the common man in the judicial system, bridge the gap between the bench and the bar and ensure the sitting timing of judges”.

Former DBA secretary Rana Harjasdeep Singh, who is another strong contender for the post of president, claims to be the “representative of young lawyers who are the decisive factor in the elections. In the last couple of years over 600 lawyers have joined this profession”.

Rana's candidature is backed by Harpreet Singh Garcha, member of the Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana as well as by BJP youth wing president Sandeep Kapoor. He has promised to ensure “full respect” for junior as well as senior lawyers in the courts.

Sitting DBA vice president Anil Kaushal, who is also contesting for the president's post, says he would be “easily available” for all member of DBA and ensure “proper sanitation and cleanliness in the court complex”.



Malwa farmers cash in on onion
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 13
Driven by unexpectedly higher prices of onion for the past several months, more farmers from this part of Malwa have started cultivating its desi and hybrid varieties this season.

With the steep hike in the prices of the good quality onion seeds, saplings are anticipated to experience the corresponding trend in the following weeks.

In the absence of any certified supplier of the seedlings in the area, owners of private nurseries are attracting more customers than earlier.

Unexpectedly higher prices of vegetables in Punjab have been cited as the main reason behind their inclination towards onion cultivation.

Farmers adopting onion as their cash crop argued that realising the value of their crop was easier in this case than the cereal crops. Direct contact of the cultivator with traders favoured the former due to the direct payment.

Harvinder Singh, a nursery organiser of Jandali Khurad village, said: “More farmers have purchased seedlings of the desi and hybrid varities of onion this year. A large number of them were yet to prepare their fields for transplanting the saplings. Yet they have paid in advance for procuring the seeds at a later date.”

This tendency fetched nursery owners’ higher earnings as well. Seedlings growing in 1 square foot of bed were being sold between Rs 20 and Rs 40.

According to Yakoon Khan, a seed store owner, rates of good quality seeds of the local varieties had experienced three times hike this time. Last year it was priced at Rs 80 per kg. Whereas desi variety seeds were being sold at Rs 250 per kg this season. Hybrid variety seed fetched Rs 1,000 per kg to the seller.



Unscheduled power cuts hit life
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, January 13
Scheduled power cuts have been accepted as a part of the daily routine, but consumers cannot understand the idea behind the unscheduled snapping of power supply and that too, at important hours.

Housewives have been finding it difficult to adjust their routine in the absence of any proper schedule of power cuts.

Power cuts in the morning cause irritation to them as they have to dress up their children for school and prepare their tiffins.

A student preparing for his pre-board examination rues that the snapping of electricity has been taking place at a time which is critical.

If he plans to adjust his time schedule according to electricity supply, unscheduled power cuts turn his plans topsy turvy, as a result of which his studies are hit hard.

Shopkeepers are in a spot due to the uncertainty regarding electricity. Industrialists and farmers have also not remained unaffected.

The promise of the government to make Punjab a power-rich state has turned out to be false, asserts a resident.

The erratic supply this winter is a warning of the misery on account of the acute power crisis awaiting them next summer, predicts a consumer.



Meeting on farm productivity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
To discuss about meeting the objective of enhancing farm productivity and profitability through conservation agriculture, a meeting of the Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Cereal System Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) was held at Punjab Agricultural University here.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of PAU director of research Dr PS Minhas and co-chaired by the director, agriculture, Punjab, Balwinder Singh Sidhu. The chief guest was Dr Raj Gupta, coordinator, South Asia activities, CIMMYT.

Dr Gupta said five hubs had been established to give momentum to dissemination of conservation agriculture-based technologies. He gave an overview of the rice-wheat consortium (RWC) funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the USAID.

He said to achieve this objective the project would have to work through an understanding of better livelihood and improved mechanisms of stakeholder participation. Dr Gupta said Punjab hub-II had been based at the PAU, which was being coordinated by Dr HS Sidhu. Dr Sidhu highlighted that the development of farm machinery was the key activity at the PAU and that the technology would be passed on to other hubs.

Sidhu said the department of agriculture, Punjab, was playing a significant role in the transfer of technology developed by the PAU and highlighted that the farm mechanisation help bring timeliness and precision in farm operations and that the cooperative societies could be helpful in making the benefit of costly machines reach out to the maximum number of farmers, especially those with small holdings.

Dr Minhas said the PAU was developing technology for small farmers and its awareness was being created through the involvement of KVKs. He said prevailing agriculture had several economic and ecological constraints on its face. Referring to the rampant problem of depleting water table and declining soil health, Dr Minhas said the PAU had focused on research pertaining to the natural resource management.



322 cadets attend NCC camp
Our Correspondent

Khamano, January 13
A ten-day NCC camp was organised at JNV Farour by 19 PB. BN. NCC LDH under camp commandant Lt Col DPS Sandhu.

As many as 322 cadets of 22 schools and colleges participated despite shivering cold.

During the camp, cadets were imparted training in drill, PT, arms training, foeticide, social service, dowry and other fields.

Competitions like basketball, football, kho-kho, debate, painting, turban tying, etc were held. On the last day, Harjeet Kaur from Doraha stood first in solo song and Prabhjot Kaur Gajjan Majra came second. In the group song, Ramandeep Kaur and his team came first, while Anhad and his team came second. In solo dance, Jaspreet Singh of Ghungrali came first, while Ishu Jindal from Ludhiana was second. In bhangra, the team of ITI Samrala was first and JNV Farour came second. Camp commandant Lt Col DPS Sandhu and vice-principal appealed the cadets to work hard in their life to get top positions and also gave away prizes to the winners.

Deputy Commandant of the camp Jatinder Kumar and PI and JNV staff members were also present.



From Schools & Colleges
BCM among top 10 green schools in India
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 13
The BCM school has been ranked among the top 10 green schools in India, as per an audit. The green schools programme is now going international.

The Ethiopian government, supported by UNICEF, is adopting the programme in its national curriculum. A six-member delegation from Ethiopia will visit the school on January 14.

Youth day

A heritage-cum-national youth day was celebrated by the NSS unit of the Khalsa College for Women to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.

It was organised to highlight the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and to preserve and protect the cultural and architectural heritage of the country.

Students from various streams participated in a lecture-cum-discussion session and showcased their talent. Principal Varinder Kaur Thind inspired the students to follow the ideals of Swami Vivekananda.


Two-day inter-class contests like poetry recitation, rangoli, mehndi, snack-making, collage-making, flower arrangement and painting concluded at the Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women on Wednesday.

College managing committee president Swarn Singh exhorted the students to showcase their hidden talents through such competitions and perform well in the forthcoming youth festivals.

Following were the winners: snack-making- Navneet Kaur, flower arrangement- Nandini, poetry recitation- Baljit Kaur, collage-making- Divya Rani, mehndi- Nishu, rangoli- Sarabjit, painting- Sarabjit Kaur.

Kite flying

Students of the Spring Dale Senior Secondary School celebrated Lohri in a unique way. They flew kites carrying the message for swine flu prevention.

Founder-principal Avinash Kaur Walia distributed groundnuts, ‘rewaris’ and ‘gachak’ among tiny tots after lighting a bonfire.

Principal Sandeep Raikhi appreciated the efforts of the staff and students. Adviser Amrrita Gakhar and headmistress Kamalpreet admired kite flying with an objective.

Music and dance

Lohri was celebrated with enthusiasm at the GMT Public School. Students were educated about the cultural and religious significance of the festival at the morning assembly.

The students and staff members of the school enjoyed the bonfire with music and dance. They performed dance on the beats of ‘dhol’. Groundnuts and ‘rewaris’ were distributed among the students.


Students of the Vardhman International Public School celebrated Lohri in a special way. They spread the message that girls and boys were were equally important and raised slogans against female foeticide.

A bonfire was lit and children danced around it. A kite-flying competition was organised.



GHG nursing students excel
Our Correspondent

Raikot, January 13
Second-year students of the GHG College of Nursing here have won laurels by securing top positions in the annual examination of the Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences.

Amanpreet Kaur bagged the first position. Jasvir Kaur and Satnam Kaur secured second and third positions, respectively, scoring 1210 and 1172 marks, respectively, out of 1600. All 46 students who had appeared passed the examination. Director Dr BL Bansal congratulated the meritorious students on the occasion.



Youths queue up for audition of ‘Aawaz Punjab Di’
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
There was passion, excitement and shine seen in the eyes of participants trying their luck during the auditions for “Aawaz Punjab Di”. The auditions were held by Mh1 at Gold Souk Mall. Thousands of young aspirants, both male and female, could be seen eagerly waiting for their turn.

The crowd had started gathering as early as 7 am though auditions started only after 10 am. Everyone seemed to be hurry for submitting their forms.

Nearly thousand aspirants reached the venue early in the morning despite the chilling and the Lohri festival. Today’s auditions were held for the Punjab zone while auditions will also be held in Amritsar and Chandigarh. Participants will be selected for the final in Delhi.

Hans Raj Hans and Ashok Masti were among the jury members. Only after going through various rounds participants were able to sing before them. From them only 50 to 60 participants were selected for the pre-quarterfinal round.

Hans Raj Hans, unlike other reality show judges, was very sympathetic toward the singers who were getting nervous. He advised them to calm down and collect their wits before singing. Both judges treated the participants in a composed manner and encouraged them to give their best.

Pratibha, one of the participants, who had come for auditions from Sirhind, said she was confident about her selection. “I have won several singing competitions at the college level. I am confident of my selection but at the same time I am a bit nervous as I will be singing in front of eminent singers like Hans Raj Hans and Ashok Masti,” she added.



Soaring sugar prices
Akali leader seeks Pawar’s resignation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 13
Taking a strong exception to the failure of the central government in curbing the rising prices of sugar, and an irresponsible statement of union food minister Sharad Pawar, Jatinderpal Singh Saluja, general secretary of the Shiromani Youth Akali Dal (Badal), has asked Pawar to own up the responsibility for the mess and quit his post.

In a statement here yesterday, he said Pawar had acted in a most irresponsible manner by sating that he could not forecast as to when the sugar price would come down, and it might take a year or so to bring down the price.

“The minister cannot just wash his hands off and get away by issuing a statement. It is the constitutional responsibility of the minister as well as the government to take stern measures against hoarding and profiteering of the essential food item, which has upset the domestic budget of the common people who were already being crushed under the burden of spiraling prices of items of daily need,” Saluja maintained.

He said the government ought to come down heavily upon traders and the powerful lobby of sugar mills, who were holding the nation to ransom by creating artificial scarcity of sugar and exploiting the people to fill their coffers.



Sat Paul Mittal remembered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 13
Tributes were paid to Sat Paul Mittal, three-time Member of Rajya Sabha, on his 18th death anniversary at a ceremony organised by the Nehru Sidhant Kendra Trust (NSKT) here yesterday.

Office-bearers and trustees of the NSKT along with prominent Congress leaders recalled the contribution made by Mittal towards strengthening the parliamentary democracy in India and forging closer bonds between parliamentarians of the sub-continent.

Harnam Das Johar and Rakesh Pandey, both former Punjab ministers, described Mittal as a patriot who served the nation with dedication.

They dwelt upon the various facets of the leader who worked tirelessly for the welfare of the downtrodden.

Other speakers, including Prem Mittal and Dr DB Sharma, recalled that besides setting up the NSKT, Mittal was among the founder members of the Indian Association of Parliamentarians for Population and Development, which had rendered services towards framing of long-term policies for development in the sub-continent.

The meeting resolved to take up the matter of having a commemorative postal stamp issued in the memory of Mittal at the appropriate level with the union government.

NSKT president and his son Rakesh Bharti Mittal elaborated on various activities being undertaken by the trust.

He said the Bharti Foundation had set up 236 Satya Bharti schools in villages. Around 30,000 students from poor and underprivileged families were being provided with quality education in these institutions. Also, the NSKT was not only awarding scholarships to the poor, but also brilliant students of various schools and women colleges every year.



Polio will be eradicated soon, says Rotarian
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 13
The Rotary movement has contributed to making the planet a better place to live in during the past 50 years, according to Sanjiv Sethi. The Rotary Foundation is the vehicle which aids Rotarians to convert the impossible into the possible, he claims.

Thanks to the foundation, they are closer than ever to reach their 20-year-old goal of eliminating polio. Sethi believes that with the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates $200 million challenge, there will soon come a time when they will be able to say polio is a thing of the past.

According to Sethi, establishing peace in the world is a major Rotary project, which cannot be achieved in isolation as it is a joint effort. When a person is hungry or sick, malnourished or handicapped on account of vital needs, even God cannot approach him or her without meeting the person’s dire needs. The Rotary approaches them in the form of an agency that provides them with their important needs, he claims.

Sethi is the youngest district governor nominee here. He is enthusiastic and optimistic of providing a positive leadership. He feels that a good leader must possess the qualities of a dreamer, a thinker and a doer. He plans to introduce new ideas during his tenure.



Auto Expo: Poor show by Punjab
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
Only 48 units from Punjab, including 17 CICU members, exhibited their products at the 10th Auto Expo, held at the Pragati Maidan in New Delhi from January 5 to 11. Avtar Singh and Upkar Singh, general secretary and joint secretary, respectively, CICU, urged the Punjab government to initiate steps for promoting products made in Punjab.

Avtar said the average industry in Punjab was not up to the mark in terms of quality, infrastructure and skills. Measures should be taken to upgrade the automotive industry in Punjab, he added.

They requested Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to create a special fund for providing world-class marketing and manufacturing support for Punjab industrial units.



City Conerns
Review of Communal Violence Bill must

The city witnessed violence for two consecutive days recently. On the first day mob frenzy by migrants was at its peak and the polce had to open fire on those protesting against the organization of a religious congregation the next day. The residents suffered the most after the administration imposed a curfew in different parts of the city. They had to confine themselves to the houses due to the fear. Since it was a wedding season, the joy of holding a function also got marred. Besides, continuous violence created fear psychosis in the minds of people. Can we afford to resort to such violence? Could the incidents be averted? Who could be held responsible for holding the city for ransom? This is what the Ludhiana Tribune readers have to say

I think religious and political ideologies have always been the root cause behind the communal violence that created panic among the residents recently in the city. Such occurrences are unfortunate and painful. These shouldn’t be allowed in future as it besides creating panic disrupts the normal life at large. The Central government must keep a watch on such occurrences. The state that suffered the most during militancy must be kept in mind while reviewing the Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill 2005. I don’t think that ‘Acts’ are useless in dealing with communal violence. What I do think is that the existing Acts in India are adequate to deal with communal violence (with perhaps the addition of a good rehabilitation bill, which, if well drafted, can channelise funds).

Bhawna Garg

Have faith in cops

The police to be effective needs to win the trust and cooperation of the people they serve. Those in need of effective policing distrust the cops the most. Politicians have called potentially explosive the situations affecting the police department and the citizen. Following use of the force against citizens, much can be accomplished when people of good will-and brains-join the forces for solving serious and immensely complicated problems. This recommended strategy should prove successful. The police insensitivity to citizens, leads to serious community relations problems. Public confidence in the police gets seriously eroded. People and politicians can help the police department in damage control tactics to avoid future confrontations. The employment of zero-tolerance and order-maintenance strategies by the police in many cities has resulted in arrests and, in some cases, for being abuses at the hands of the police. The criminal justice system are unjust, they (public) are less likely to be cooperative, and more likely to withhold information, to fail to appear as witnesses, and to withhold guilty verdicts in important cases. Moreover, the moral authority of the legal order becomes meaningless and an important deterrent to criminality is lost. The police initiates, the law enforcement process, in nearly all instances. They must make the critical decision of whether to start the process-usually by making an arrest. Their actions often determine the effectiveness of the process and, to a considerable extent, its fairness. The cops have the power to intervene and become involved at very basic levels within the lives of Indians. The nature of the police response-the manner in which officers interact with citizens and the methods by which they enforce the law-have critical implications for our democracy and the quality of life of our citizens. The public should have faith in the police for effective control of criminals and vice versa.

Maj KS Sidhu

A lesson, still unlearnt

Recent violence wherein a complaint lodged by a immigrant labourer overlooked by the police led to the protests and damaged the property spread over five police areas in the city on December 4, 2009, and again on Saturday December 5, wherein Darshan Singh (58) - an auto-rickshaw driver, father of three and the only breadwinner in the family - was shot dead and 11 others injured, has proved that there is no change in the ideology or approach of the ruling party in the state. It seems they haven’t learnt any lesson from several years of terrorism in the state. When the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) had prohibited Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sanstha from holding congregations one wonders why the administration allowed it to take place.

Shivanshu Garg

De-stress society

To control or to eliminate violence of any type that usually disrupts normalcy, the Centre must have to start the Mind Body Awareness Project (changing lives through inner revolution) presently being run by Buddha dharma at Oakland which was founded in 2000 by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and cofounder Noah Levine. The troubled youth who have the potential to take control of their action and can fully transform their lives, are given special training through a unique mental training programme consisting of meditation and emotional intelligence excercises designed for strengthening their minds, relieve their toxic stress to build their ability to make better decisions. Moreover, such programmes help the teens in developing empathy, gain control over their impulses and equip them with the tools for living a meaningful life. Violence can be justifiable, but it never will be legitimate. Its justification loses in plausibility the farther its intended end recedes into the future. No one questions the use of violence in self-defence, because the danger is not only clear but also present, and the end justifying the means is immediate.

Most religions and individuals like Mahatma Gandhi have preached that humans are capable of eliminating individual violence and organising societies through purely non-violent means. The Gandhi himself once wrote: “A society organised and run on the basis of complete non-violence would be the purest anarchy.” Modern political ideologies which espouse similar views include pacifist varieties of voluntarism, mutualism, anarchism and libertarianism.

Ravi Chander



3 held for cooking up snatching incident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
The city police has arrested a collection agent along with his two accomplices for concocting a snatching incident and usurping Rs 90,000.

The accused have been identified as Honey Ghumber (22), a resident of Prem Nagar, Noor Wala road, Nusrat Khan of Noor Wala road and Sham Sunder of the Vishnupuri area.

Honey Ghumber had misled the police and his hosiery owner when he claimed that some unidentified snatchers had thrown red chilli powder in his eyes and snatched Rs 90,000 from him.

DSP Naginder Rana said Honey, who had been working for Rajiv, a hosiery manufacturer for the past four years, had called up the owner last night claiming that some unidentified persons had thrown red chilli powder in his eyes while he was returning from Field Gunj after making a collection of Rs 90,000.

He said the incident took place on the flyover near Sabzi Mandi.

SHO Dharampal said the eyes of the victim had not reddened, which raised suspicion, following which the police put his mobile phone on surveillance. Police officials in mufti also monitored Honey’s movements.

Later, Honey was questioned by the police and he cracked soon. The amount was also recovered.

He told the police that he had hatched the conspiracy along with two former employees of the factory unit - Nusrat and Sham Sunder.



10 booked for encroaching upon panchayat land
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, January 13
At least 10 residents of Talwandi Nauabad near Humbran village have been booked for encroaching upon the land belonging to Walipur Kalan panchayat.

The disputed land was auctioned last year but the old lessee refused to vacate the land for the new one. The village sarpanch has in his complaint to Sidhwan Bet BDPO Amarjit Singh forwarded the list of encroachers and stated that despite repeated requests the accused were not vacating the land.

After conducting an inquiry, the BDPO directed the Humbran SHO to book the accused. Thereafter, all the 10 accused, Sarain Singh, Kaushal Singh, Lal Singh, Sardara Singh, Bachan Singh, Kehar Singh, Joga Singh, Bachan Singh and Balbir Singh, all residents of Talwandi Nauabad village and Jagir Siungh of Ghamnewal village were booked under Section 447 of the IPC.



6 booked for attack on youth
Our Correspondent

Raikot, January 13
The local police yesterday booked six young men on charges of assaulting a youth after reportedly dragging him out from a bus on January 11 morning.

The complainant, Jadwinder Singh, a resident of Chhapa village near Mehal Kalan, stated he was aboard a Dhaliwal Bus Service bus on that day. When the bus neared Johlan village it was stopped by one of the five men in a Maruti car (registration no: PB10 S1267), who was later identified as Surinderpal Singh alias Happy of Pandori village near Mehal Kalan.

Jadwinder alleged Surinderpal along with his five companions, identified as Piara Singh, Kala, Kaka, Pala and Soni of Pandori village, then dragged him out of the bus and attacked him with baseball bats and sharp edged weapons, breaking his limbs and inflicting grievous injuries on him.

He said after the attack the assailants fled in their car leaving him there bleeding profusely. The bus driver and the passengers bought him to the Raikot Civil Hospital, he added.

Jadwinder claimed the same suspects had attacked his cousin, Gurmeet Singh, near Barundi village near Raikot on January 5 after stopping the latter’s truck on a road and forcibly dragging him out. Gurmeet is still under medical treatment at DMCH, Ludhiana. A case regarding this attack was filed at the Dehlon police station.

Visibly afraid of the suspects, Rachhpal Singh, a relative of Jadwinder, initially refused to talk about the attacks but later said the same suspects had yesterday come to DMCH in search of Sukhpal Singh, another cousin of Jadwinder, with the intention to attack him. Rachhpal, however, expressed his ignorance over why the suspects were after them.

Meanwhile, the Raikot police booked all the six suspects under sections 341, 323, 506, 148 & 149 of the IPC. No arrest, however, has been made so far.



8 booked for assault
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
The city police has booked eight persons for attacking a youth with sharp-edged weapons following heated arguments near the PCTE College at Baddowal.

The victim, identified as Satvir Singh of Bhanour village, was rushed to a hospital with multiple injuries.

Jaghmohan Singh, Jatin Walia and Mitu of Sahnewal, along with other unidentified persons, attacked Satvir following a tiff.



708 bottles of liquor seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
The police and the excise department confiscated 708 bottles of smuggled liquor from three places and arrested six bootleggers in a joint raid today.

Twentysix crates of liquor meant for sale in Chandigarh were confiscated from Darshan Singh, Vinod Kumar and Vijay Kumar at Shimlapuri.

A car was also recovered from the trio. Two of their accomplices, Manpal Singh and Laddi, fled from the scene.

In another seizure, 72 bottles of smuggled liquor were confiscated from Deepak Verma and Manvinder Singh from the Haibowal area.

Gurinder Kumar of Kishore Nagar, who was found to be in possession of 12 bottles of liquor, was also arrested. Cases under the Excise Act were registered.



Athletics Meet
Prashant bags 2 golds in U-14
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
Students of GMT Public School, Ludhiana, won seven medals in the Sahodya School Athletics Meet held recently at Rara Sahib.

Prashant Sharma of Class IX bagged the best athlete award as he won two gold medals in 100 mts and 200 mts sprint in the Under-14 category.

Juhi Dhingra of Class XI won silver medal in shot put and discuss throw, while Suraj Sharma of Class VIII won bronze medal in high jump.

Bhupinder Singh of Class X won bronze medal in 100 mts sprints and another bronze in long jump.

School principal Amarjeet Dhaliwal, directors Kashmir Singh and Jagbir Singh Thind congratulated the students for their performance.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |