L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Schoolchildren, parents inconvenienced
Bus drivers go on strike after crackdown by DTO
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
Hundreds of school students and their parents today faced a lot of inconvenience when bus operators of a number of schools, situated on the outskirts of the city, kept their vehicles off roads, following a crackdown on them by the district transport officer (DTO).

The buses of schools which kept off roads today included those of BCM Senior Secondary School, BVM Senior Secondary School, Sacred Heart Convent School and Greenland Public School, situated on the Chandigarh Road.

Harried parents were seen queuing up outside schools on their vehicles to drop and pick children, as over 60 school bus operators and drivers played truant.

Meanwhile, over 60 bus drivers and operators camped outside DTO Ashwani Kumar's office since morning to negotiate on the issue of the challaning drive against the school bus operators. It is pertinent to mention here that the DTO had, on Wednesday, challaned and impounded 12 vehicles for flouting norms while ferrying children to and from school. The violators did not possess the required documents and they were also trying to evade Rs 20,000 road tax that they were supposed to pay per year to the Transport Office.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Paramjit Singh Deep, president, Sacred Heart School Bus Operators Union, said, "It is next to impossible for us to pay an exorbitant road tax amounting to over Rs 20,000 with our meagre incomes. Neither the transport office nor the school authorities are supporting us."

He added that various school bus operators were negotiating the matter with the DTO and their only concern was to safeguard the interests of their lot. "We do not want to cause any harassment to the children because of our stand-off with the transport authority, but we are helpless," he said.

DTO Ashwani Kumar said, "I held a meeting with the transporters today and it has been decided that they will pay last year's road tax. As soon as they pay their tax, their vehicles will be released."

Meanwhile, the DTO informed that during a special drive, three school buses, belonging to Sacred Heart Senior Secondary, BRS Nagar, were impounded. "The defaulters were not carrying any documents," he informed, adding that the drive agaisnt violators would continue.


Petrol, diesel dearer due to higher VAT
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
The rise in fuel prices due to the additional VAT surcharge imposed by the Punjab government will dig a bigger hole in the pockets of consumers. Petrol has now become more expensive by Re 1.06 a litre while the price of diesel has gone up by 0.26 paisa per litre. The higher prices came into effect from today.

VAT on petrol and diesel is now 30.25 per cent while Re 1 has also been applied on petrol and diesel. The ever-increasing fuel prices are giving sleepless nights to city residents.

"Prices of essential commodities are rising every week and on top of it the higher prices of petrol and diesel will add to our woes. It has become very difficult for salaried people to manage their expenses within a limited amount," said Gaganpreet Singh, a bank employee.

Meanwhile. petrol is now cheaper by Rs 4 in Chandigarh and by Rs 5 in Haryana. Those living in areas bordering the state prefer to tank up their vehicles from there.

"If the government keeps on increasing fuel prices every now and then a time will soon come when petrol and even diesel will become out of reach of the common man,” remarked a dealer in the city.

Vinay Kansal, an industrialist, observed on the one side the government was unable to provide a regular power supply while on the other side it was constantly raising diesel prices. “We are left with no other option but to carry on work at our factories with the help of generator sets. Now that diesel is dearer we’ll have to shell out extra money for it,” he rued.



Flouting of Essential Commodities Act
No effort made to rein in erring gas agencies 
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
The food & civil supplies department has failed to take any action against cooking gas agencies that are openly flouting the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act by refusing LPG supply to domestic consumers. The department has also not succeeded in curbing the malpractice of refilling smaller cylinders from domestic LPG cylinders, which can endanger life and property.

Several consumers have submitted complaints to the department. However, instead of taking action against gas agency owners the inspectors have told them to “work it out” with the agencies.

Tarsem Lal, a resident of the Shivala Road area, was initially a consumer of Simran Gas Agency but recently his connection was shifted to Rana Gas of Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd. When he went to take his LPG cylinder from Rana Gas on February 1 he was asked to produce his identity card.

Though Tarsem, who is a senior citizen, showed every valid identification document including his passport and driver’s license the agency’s manager refused to accept any of them.

"I was humiliated, my record book was thrown on the road and I was asked to come after 20 days. Backed by my neighbours I went to file a complaint against the gas agency with area inspector Vinod Jain at the department, but he asked me to ‘negotiate’ with the agency owner,” rued Tarsem.

When contacted Jain said he had already taken notice of the complaint and “appropriate action” would be initiated against the owner of Rana Gas Agency.

The arbitrary practices of cooking gas agencies are not restricted to such instances. In a recent incident, an LPG sales and marketing official of Indian Oil Corp, Munish Gupta, along with members of a city-based NGO, Active Anti Corruption Group, caught two delivery men of two LPG gas agencies who were refilling small cylinders from domestic ones in the premises of a cycle factory.

The police seized 20 domestic LPG cylinders and ten small gas cylinders and registered a case against the delivery boys, Naresh Kumar and Ashok Kumar.

The owner of a gas agency said, “The food & civil Supplies department should provide a special telephone number that should only be used to receive complaints by cooking gas consumers”. 



125 Snatching Incidents 
Woman, four others held
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
A young woman has been behind 125 snatching incidents that took place across the city in the past three months. Gurpreet Kaur (28) from Machiwara Poth village was arrested by the city police, along with her four accomplices, in connection with a snatching case took place at Focal Point last evening.

The accomplice have been identified as Harpreet Singh, alias Laddi, Vishal Sood, Vishnu Goswami and Dimple Kumar, all residents of various parts of the city.They formed a gang few months ago and involved Gurpreet in their operation.

SSP SS Gill said all accused, including Gurpreet, were chronic drug addicts.The accused snatched the purse of Gurdeep Kaur, a resident of Sawan Vihar, while she was returning home after meeting her parents at Focal Point.

The incident took place at Focal Point market, when Vishal and Laddi, who were riding on a motorcycle, snatched away the purse containing Nokia cell phone and some money. Residents nabbed Laddi along with the motorcycle PB-10- CD- 8524, while Vishal Sood managed to flee the spot.

According to eyewitnesses, a girl, who was dressed like a man, helped Vishal escape from the spot.

During the interrogation, Laddi made a startling revelation and stated that Gurpreet Kaur was the kingpin of the gang.

As Gurpreet could ride a motorcycle better than these men, she was used by the gang to divert the attention of pedestrians. While people used to look at a woman motorcycle rider with complete amazement, in the meantime, the male members of the gang used to snatch the purse or the bag of the concerned person.

Their preferred targets were women. SHO Sandeep Wadhera said even Gurpreet had snatched purses of many women. She along with Visnu Goswami and Dimple were nabbed by the police from Tibba road here this morning. Latter during the day, Vishal, who managed to escape yesterday, was apprehended by the police.

SP Sanehdeep Sharma said the gang was operating in Jodhewal Basti, Division No. 6, 7, and the Focal Point area.

Sharma said earlier, there were complaints about a woman snatching in these areas. He said Laddi, was held by police in a similar offence last year and was subsequently sent to jail. According to the police, he was acquitted on bail recently .



Miscreants smear park benches with mud to harass doctor
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
To teach a “lesson” to a local psychiatrist who had complained about harassment by some Gurdev Nagar residents, the latter today smeared mud on benches in a public park in the locality so that no one could sit on them. When a Tribune team along with the doctor, visited the park, located at the rear of SAS Grewal Hospital, they found all the six benches smirched.

Dr SK Prabhakar, the complainant, said: "Yesterday I was not allowed (by some residents) to sit and read a newspaper in the park. Today morning, when I was taking a walk near the park I was astonished to see all the benches smeared with mud so that no one could sit on them”.

The Tribune had reported how two residents of the locality harassed the psychiatrist. The latter had gone to read a newspaper in the park on Thursday but was not allowed by them to sit on a bench. The duo told Prabhakar the hospital where he worked did not contribute towards the park’s maintenance.

Area residents stated the benches were perfectly fine till last evening. “Something must have happened late at night or early this morning”, they added. One of the gardeners working in the park, who refused to divulge his name, said he found the park littered when he came for work in today morning.

‘‘I was shocked when I went to the park today and saw all the benches covered with mud. As I had sat on one of them yesterday I realised the benches were smirched intentionally so that I could not sit on them. The person who has done it definitely needs help”, said Prabhakar.

Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha general secretary Arun Mitra said: "These parks are public property and no one has right to ask anyone to get out from there. The management committee of a park is not its owner. Stopping someone from entering a park is infringing upon the democratic rights of a citizen”.

He added his organisation had demanded the municipal commissioner should issue instructions to this effect and take cognizance of today’s incident.

Talking to The Tribune, area councillor Amrit Varsha Rampal said: "This is really shocking. Public parks are the property of every citizen and no differentiation can be made on the basis of financial contributions in allowing anybody to enter them”, adding she would look into the matter.



Dept office lift non-functional for six months
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
The elevator in the building in Sarabha Nagar housing the district food & civil supplies department’s office has been nonoperational for the past six months, causing great inconvenience to visitors, especially senior citizens who are unable to climb the stairs to reach the office on the third floor.

An employee of the office, requesting anonymity, said the municipal corporation has deliberately stopped the elevator on the third floor as there was some dispute between the civic body and the department over nonpayment of outstanding rental dues.

Another department employee said, “The conflict has arisen over office space, as the municipal corporation has issued notices to the district food & civil supplies department for vacating the office as the MC needs the building for its employees”.

Despite assurances given by the controllers at the department’s office that the matter had been taken care of and the lift would be operational soon, nothing has been done to deal with the problem.

Rued Harbhajan Singh, a senior citizen, "As it is, getting work done at the food & civil supplies department is a cumbersome process. Now, to add to problems, this lift has been nonfunctional for almost six months”.

Bhupinder Kaur, a widow belonging to a ‘below the poverty line’ family, said being a heart patient she had been advised not to climb stairs.

“However, I have to come here often to get my card updated. With no lift I climbing the stairs makes me breathless. It takes me almost 15 minutes to climb up to the third floor to go to the department office”, she added.



6 water connections disconnected
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
Cracking a whip on water tax defaulters, zonal commissioner PS Ghuman today ordered the disconnection of six water connections in posh localities of Sarabha Nagar, Gurdev Nagar and Lajpat Nagar.

Officials from the civic body said, "The defaulters had to pay a total amount of around Rs 5 lakh. Despite warnings, they didn't pay any heed, following which the action came. The water tax due to the defaulters varied between Rs 30,000 to Rs 98,000." They said though the orders were for seven water tax defaulters, one of them paid his dues there and then fearing action.

Notice issued

Following a protest by Congress councillor against the slow pace of construction of “up-ramp” to Jagraon Bridge yesterday, zonal commissioner MS Jaggi today issued a notice to the project contractor Ludhiana Builders.

According to information, the officer has expressed dissatisfaction over the work and told the contractor to complete it as soon as possible. Officials revealed that it would still take over two months for the “up-ramp” construction to be completed. 



Gurpreet a drug addict
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
Gurpreet is the cousin of a terrorist Davinder Singh Poth of Machchiwara, who was later killed in a police encounter. Before being nabbed by the police, she was residing in a crammed house in Tibba road along with an old woman.

She could not study beyond class VIII and after the death of her parents, her relatives threw her out of the house and she was left alone to fend for herself. According to the police, she started operating from Tibba road. She kept on changing her location as residents used to oppose her activities.

Few years ago, she met an old woman, who was looking for support in the fag end of her life. She offered Gurpreet a shelter and the latter stated operating her business from her house.

After sometime she started taking drugs and capsules. Vishnu Goswami, who was earlier working as a pimp, said Gurpreet used to take over 10 capsules at one time to keep herself on a high.

Goswami told the police that she used to ride motorcycle better than any other member of the gang. Laddi, was one of her customer and after witnessing her control over the motorbike, he offered her to join the gang. As money earned by various resources was not enough to make her buy drugs, she took to snatching. They formed a gang three months ago and soon became most wanted criminals with their repeated snatchings in Jodhewal, Focal Point, Cheema Chowk and other parts of the city.



‘Knit Vision 2010’ kicks off
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
“Knit Vision 2010”, an exhibition, kicked off today at the Welkom Palace.

New techniques of sewing, knitting, embroidery, cutting, dyeing, finishing, laundry machine, quilting, fusing and packaging were demonstrated at the exhibition.

About 60 companies with 500 national and international brands have displayed their products at the exhibition.

Apart from India, exhibitors have come from Japan, Taiwan, Italy, Germany, the USA, the UK, Korea and China.

Latest computerised hosiery, embroidery, finishing, knitting, dyeing and processing machinery and other accessories from the world leaders have been displayed.

Manufacturers, distributors, exporters, importers and dealers from various industries visited the exhibition.

Some of the exhibitors are Stitch World, Simer India, Narinder International, Ozone CCTV Systems, Nokia Weighing Scales and Raman Plastics Industries. 



From Schools and Colleges 
Vardhman school celebrates foundation day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
Vardhman International Public School celebrated its foundation day with great pomp and show here today.

MP Manish Tewari was the chief guest.

The celebration started with the recital of “manglacharan” followed by hoisting of the school flag. Students presented a colourful cultural show on the theme “natkhat bachpan”, which portrayed the childhood stage of man.

The emotions, feelings and carefree attitude of childhood were depicted in the items presented.

A Punjabi folk dance and an action dance were also presented. The achievements of students were highlighted and Vardhman Awards were conferred on achievers in various fields like sports, music, art and craft. Principal Dr Anima Jain thanked the guests.


A seminar on the founder leader Satguru Ram Singh was organised to mark the 150th anniversary of Kuka Movement in Government College for Women here today.

The department of Punjabi and History had organised the seminar in the college auditorium.

Expressions 2010

Expressions-2010 was organised at the Malwa Central College of Education for Women, Civil Lines, here today, under the aegis of Principal Dr Ravinder Kaur and Management Khalsa Dewan.

The chief guest of the function was Dr GS Mann, former principal, S.C.D. Government College, Ludhiana. The college principal welcomed the guests and motivated the participants to show their best talents and skills in the composition and poster-making competitions.

This inter-school competition was sponsored by the Adhaar Foundation. Purshottam Lal Ahuja and Babita Jain, members of the foundation, were also present.

The campus was abuzz with school kids showing a lot of enthusiasm. Their eagerness to express themselves could be easily observed from their usage of vibrant colours in their paintings.

In the cultural programme presented by the students, a joyous mood was set in by a dance presentation and a serious message contained in political satire presented in the form of a mime added deeper dimensions to this competition.

Judges of the painting competition were Sanmeet Kaur, lecturer, Khalsa College for Women; Tarvinder Kaur, lecturer, Ramgarhia College for Women; Rajbir Kaur, lecturer, Ramgarhia College for Women. The winners were given prizes by Mann and principal Dr Ravinder Kaur. The in charge of the function were Bably Singh and Ambica, who thanked the guests and students.


Category I (government schools) Poster making : 1. Rajbinder Kaur, 2. Kiran from Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar

Category I (government schools) Composition : 1. Karanjeet Kaur, 2. Gurpreet Kaur from Khalsa Girls Senior Secondary School

Category II (private schools)

Poster making :1. Tanvi Garg from D.A.V. Public School, B.R.S. Nagar; 2. Rohit Rawat from Bharati Vidya Mandir; 3. Preetika Handa from B.C.M. Arya Model Senior Secondary School.



Degrees conferred on 486 students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
The annual convocation of SDP College for Women was held here today.

Manish Tewari, Member of the Lok Sabha and National Spokesperson for the AICC, graced the occasion as chief guest.

Degrees were conferred on 486 students of science, commerce and arts streams.

Tewari encouraged students to work hard in order to achieve their goals.

He urged the girl students to face the challenges of life with confidence.

He said women were the nation builders as they constituted half of the entire population of India.

Tewari lauded the efforts of the managing committee. Earlier, the function began with a vandana, Tewari, along with Balraj Bhasin, president director S Verma, principal Dr Meenu Sharma, Lekh Raj Arora, HK Chugh lit the traditional lamp.

Balraj Bhasin offered a formal welcome to the chief guest.

He enlisted the achievements of the college.

Toppers of the university examinations held in April, 2009, were also given prizes by the chief guest.

College principal proposed the vote of thanks.



Seminar on self-employment opportunities 

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 5
The Entrepreneur Development Programme (EDP) cell of the Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences organised a one-day seminar here today, on the topic ‘Potential and Opportunities of Self- Employment in Agriculture Business’. The seminar was organised in collaboration with NEWGEN AGRITECH and I.N.A.

Rural Development Society. Parliamentary Affairs Secretary SS Dhillon, presided over the seminar and in his address to the participants said that agriculture business in India, particularly in Punjab, had vast potential of self-employment and there was an urgent need to explore and tap new opportunities in this field.

A top agronomist from Israel Abner Chin, who was the guest-of-honour at the seminar, described at length as to how the agriculture business in Israel was highly successful and yielded rich dividend to farmers.

Earlier, Desh Bhagat Groups chairman Dr Zora Singh, while welcoming the chief-guest and other guests said Punjab was basically an agriculturist state and its prosperity depended largely on making agriculture a profitable business. — OC



SCD college claims first position in quiz
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 5
The Inter-College Youth Festival “Rythmz 2010” was inaugurated by chairman of the RIMT Group of Institutes Dr Hukam Chand Bansal here today.

As many as 1,400 students from 73 colleges of Punjab and neighbouring states participated in 23 events.

Director-general Dr BS Bhatia welcomed guests.

Vice-chairman Vijayant Bansal said the fest aimed at providing a platform to the budding artists.


Following colleges claimed first position in various events:

Quiz: SCD Government College for Boys, Ludhiana; poster making: Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Ludhiana; collage making: Government College, Mohali; ad mad show: GGNIMT, Ludhiana; rangoli: Guru Nanak College for Girls, Ludhiana; mimicry: SA Jain College, Ambala; salad decoration: Sri Aurobindo College, Ludhiana and flower decoration: CGC, Landra. 



2 bookies held
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 5
The police nabbed two bookies, identified as Ram Labhya, a resident of Vikas Nagar, Mandi Gobindgarh, and Baljit Singh, Mohalla Zatpur, Sirhind, on Monday allegedly for making the payment of ‘satta’ results of the Pakistan-Australia match.

The police claimed to have recovered Rs 1.3 lakh from their possession. The police has registered a case under Sections 13-A, 367-G and 420 of the IPC. The accused were produced before a court, which remanded them to judicial custody.



Aspiring doc killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, February 5
An aspiring doctor from New Delhi was killed in a car accident this morning . The accident took place around 3 am, just before the Khothari Resorts near Hissowal village. The driver of the car lost control and rammed it into a plant and pillars erected in the resort.

The deceased identified as Dr Rahul Chaudhary (28) of New Delhi, was pursuing his post graduation at Guru Gobind Singh Hospital and College, Faridkot. He was returning to his college after attending a party of doctors at a medical college in Ludhiana when Maruti Zen Car (DL 3CAD 1474) met with the mishap.

The impact was so great that the Dakha police was not able to open the car and extract the body. They took two hours to take out the body from the car.

The police handed over the body to the family after conducting a post-mortem examination. The police registered a case on the statement of RC Chaudhary, father of the deceased.



Father, son die in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 5
Father son duo from nearby Majari village died in car accident that took place last evening.

The deceased identified as Nirmal Singh (45) his son Baljinder Singh (16) and Sukhbir Singh all of Majari village were driving in a Maruti Zen car (PB 29 D 0003). The car was being driven by Nirmal Singh and they were going from Mullanpur to Jagraon.

At around 7 pm, they were hit by a Scorpio car (PB 02 AS 7239) driven by Subhash Handa of Moga, who was going towards Ludhiana.

Nirmal Singh died on the spot while Sukhbir Singh and Baljinder Singh were bought to Ludhiana Medicity Hospital where Baljinder Singh succumbed to his injuries today.

Subhash Handa also sustained some minor injuries.

ASI Raminderjit Singh, In charge of Chowkiman police post, said they had registered a case against Subhash Handa under Sections 279, 337, 427, 304A of the IPC and arrested him.

Subhash on the other hand, pleaded innocence and said his vehicle was slightly hit by a bus coming from the opposite side and due to the collision he lost control over his vehicle and collided with the car coming from the opposite side. 



Con couple nabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
The economic offences wing of the police nabbed a con couple for submitting fake property documents and extracting a loan of Rs 5 lakh.

The accused have been identified as Mukhtiar Singh, resident of Lohara, and his wife Manju Bala.

According to the police, the duo took a loan of Rs 5 lakh from the State Bank of Patiala, Maler Gunj, and did not pay the instalments.

When the bank employees went to take possession of the land, they could not locate the property. Later it was found that the couple had submitted fake property documents and took loan on it.

They were nabbed this morning from Lohara.



PNB, Namdhari XI in semis
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, February 5
Punjab National Bank, Delhi, along with Punjab Police XI, Jalandhar, Indian Air Force, Delhi, and Namdhari XI of Bhaini Sahib steered into the semifinal of the sixth edition of the All-India Guru Gobind Singh Hockey Tournament being organised by the Ludhiana Sports Welfare Association under the aegis of the Punjab Rural Sports Promotion Council at the Prithipal Singh Memorial AstroTurf Stadium, Punjab Agricultural University, here today.

The semifinal matches will be played on Sunday.

The first match of the day was played in the women’s section between Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, and Chandigarh XI, which ended in a draw (3-3).

Chandigarh drew first blood when Reena put her side ahead through a penalty corner conversion in the second minute. They squandered away the advantage four minutes later as Ramandeep Kaur sounded the board in the sixth minute.

RCF eves again earned the lead in the 24th minute when Amandeep Kaur scored a brace to make it 3-1, while Chandigarh’s Shivani and Manmeet Kaur added one goal each to level the score to 3-3.

In the second match (men), Indian Air Force, Delhi, defeated BSF, Jalandhar, 5-2.

For the winners, Snawar Ali (2), M K Kanojia (1), Varinder Kumar (1) found the target, while Johan Jojo reduced the margin for the losers.

In another match, Punjab Police XI, Jalandhar, were held to a 2-2 draw by Punjab National Bank, Delhi. However, both the teams managed to book their places in the last four stage.

Jugraj Singh scored a brace for the Punjab Police XI, while KaramPal Singh and Lakhwinder Singh sounded the board for PNB, Delhi.

The last match of the day was played in the women’s section between Haryana XI and Central Railway, Mumbai, in which the former romped home victors easily (8-1). The score sheet read 1-1 at half time.

Ritu Rani (3), Rani Devi (2), Ramneet Kaur (2) and Balwinder Kaur (1) were the contributors for Haryana XI, while the lone scorer for CR, Mumbai, was Usha Singh.



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