L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Temp falls by 10 degrees
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
Rain in the city over the past 24 hours has not only brought down the temperature considerably, but also brought cheers to farmers. The showers are said to be beneficial for rabi crops and have made up for the deficient rainfall last month.

The maximum temperature recorded today was 17.4 °C, almost 10 degrees lower than yesterday, while the minimum was about 3 degrees lower at 14.4 °C.

On Sunday, the maximum temperature was 27 °C and the minimum 17.6 °C. Relative humidity for the day was 93 per cent while in the evening, it was 87 per cent even as the rainfall recorded by the PAU today was 2 mm.

Dr KK Gill, senior assistant agrometeorologist, PAU, said the rainfall had occurred due to western disturbances and was expected by weather experts. The showers had made up for the deficient rain in January. “Even December was dry. As a result, the crops had remained devoid of the required rain. These showers have ended the dry spell,” she said.

The skies would clear after February 10 and sunny days were expected, but the temperatures would be near-normal next week.


Businessman robbed of Rs 4.7 lakh 
Attackers take away his car, too
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
Car-borne armed assailants reportedly kidnapped a chicken shop owner from Model Town and took away Rs 4.70 lakh from him before before throwing him out of the moving car late last night. The accused also took away the vehicle of the victim worth over Rs 12 lakh.

According to eyewitness, the accused even fired into the air. The incident took place at around 11 pm when Sanju Kumar (25), owner of Veer Chicken, was returning home after closing the shop.

He told the police that he took the money from his shop and was heading home in his Honda Civic car. When he alighted from the vehicle to open the gate of his house, three persons, who came in Swift, told him to sit in the rear of his car at gunpoint.

While one of the accused drove the car, the other two sat with him and started thrashing him. An eyewitness tried to help him and raised the alarm, but they fired a shot at him, which missed him.

Later, they opened fire and created panic in the area before fleeing. Hearing the commotion, Sanju’s family came out of the house and the eyewitness told them about the incident. The victim’s family informed the police and an alert was sounded.

In the meantime, Sanju called up his parents and told them about his location. He said the attackers snatched the cash and threw him out of the car near Sector 32 on the Chandigarh road.

The police is investigating the matter.



Autorickshaw fare up
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
The fares of the common man’s transport - the autorickshaws - have gone up. With the autorickshaw owners’ federation hiking the fares for every round, commuters would have to shell out more for reaching their destinations.

The federation has jacked up the fares from Rs 5 to Rs 10 for a bigger round and Rs 7 and 8 for smaller rounds in the city.

Autorickshaw drivers argue that the prices of diesel as well as other essential commodities had increased manifold, forcing them to hiked the fares.

“It is really difficult for us to pull along and then the administration wants us not to overload passengers,” Kulvir Singh Khalsa of the autorickshaw owners’ union remarked.

The commuters, however, are an angry lot since they would have to pay Rs 30 to Rs 40 for a round trip from their workplace everyday.

“It is too much for us. If I have to go to Clock Tower from Aggar Nagar, I will spend Rs 20. For a common man, it is too much. It is better if I take my scooter. It would be cheaper,” Kuldeep Singh Kreer, a resident, stated.

Stating that the autorickshaws were yet to comply with the directions issued by the administration, he said when it came to following rules, the drivers did not change and now they were eager to hike the fares.

He also criticised the administration for not starting a bus service in the city. 

No hike for students

The autorickshaw workers’ federation has announced that there would be no hike in fares for students. If a student is charged Rs 10, he/she could lodge a complaint on helpline number - 8054423453, 8054423458 and 8054423459. Autorickshaw owners were asked not to overcharge students else the federation would take strict action against them. 



Lack of funds halts construction of EWS flats
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
The municipal corporation’s plans to build apartments for economically weaker sections (EWS) of the city’s population has come unstuck after the finance department of the Punjab government failed to release the required Rs 12.01 crore funds .

Though the deadline for the project - March 31 - is fast approaching, paucity of funds has prevented it from being completed. According to sources, though the central government has already released Rs 8.77 crore as the second installment of its share of the project cost, the Punjab government is yet to contribute its share of Rs 3.32 crore due to which the funds could not be sent to the civic body.

The contractors who have undertaken construction of these flats have threatened to stop work till their payments are released. They have already slowed down the pace of activity despite the approaching deadline of March 31.

Interestingly, the MC is already bearing the escalated construction cost for a flat from Rs 128,550 to of Rs 231,000 - an increase of over Rs 1 lakh. This is so because though the central government approved the project in 2005, work began only in 2008.

The sources said a total of 4,832 flats have been planned to come up under the ‘Basic Services for Urban Poor’ scheme, part of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The central government is supposed to pay one-half of the total cost while the Punjab government and the Ludhiana municipal corporation will contribute 20 and 30 per cent, respectively.

Though the project envisaged 4,832 flats work on only 4,032 flats is on as the site for 800 flats was changed.

A State Urban Development Authority senior official said, "The payment was expected to be released to the municipal corporation in November last year. However, we couldn’t do so as the finance department failed to release the money to us." However, he added efforts were on to get the funds within a week or so.



Road premix was removed by contractor, says MC
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
The mystery surrounding the disappearance of premix from a road near the dry port area of the city’s Focal Point was cleared today after it turned out the contractor entrusted with excavation of the road had removed the premix layer. Shopkeepers in the area had earlier presumed the premix had been stolen.

Following a report published in the Ludhiana Tribune today, municipal commissioner AK Sinha asked zonal commissioner MS Jaggi to conduct an inquiry into the matter.

After visiting the site and obtaining all records from the officials concerned, Jaggi said in his report, "The road was excavated by the contractor in 2009 to relay it. The Rs 92 lakh project involving construction of the road and its excavation was allotted to Manpreet on February 28, 2009, who was asked to complete it in four months." However, following imposition of the poll code of conduct imposed during the general elections, work on the project was deferred till August. Till date, apart from excavating premix in some areas, nothing has been done.

Talking to The Tribune, Jaggi said, "There’s no such thing as theft of premix on this specific road. In this case the contractor removed the premix layer and the shopkeepers must have thought it was stolen. However, the fact that the contractor has delayed the work and no progress has been made cannot be denied."

The area’s executive engineer, VK Goyal, and SDO Joginder Singh Sandhu have also issued notices to the contractor for the delay in work on the project.

Giving his reasons for the delay, Manpreet, the contractor, said, "Transporters in the area didn’t allow us to construct the road as it would require a ban on plying of vehicles for about a month and the officials were well aware of this”.

In fact though the officials have extended the work period till March 31, 2010 the first phase of work is yet to begin.

“I have been ordered to start work from tomorrow onwards. Since the work involved construction of a road through concrete the civic body will have to extend the time limit beyond March 31," Manpreet added.

Interestingly, the episode has brought MC officials and the contractor under the scanner as no one appears to be bothered about the inconvenience caused to commuters by the delayed construction work.



Quack runs business from mini sectt
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
It is shocking, but a roadside quack operates at the entrance of the mini secretariat.

On display are dentures made from cheap plastic on a plastic sheet soaked in rainwater and mud.

This middle aged “dentist” extracts teeth and also fixes the dentures using corroded iron wires, pliers and pins.

Interestingly, senior officials, including the DC, SDM, SSP and the DTO, who have their offices in the mini secretariat have failed to notice the quack. This points towards the nonchalant working of the government machinery on a subject as important as quackery, which has even been taken into account by the union minister for health and family welfare.

Also, nothing has been done to execute the 2008 orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, wherein the state government was asked to register cases against quacks.

Dharma, a migrant worker who just got his tooth extracted from the quack, said: “I can’t afford to pay private dentists in the city and government hospitals are tedious, hence, this was the best option.”

Dr Vivek Saggar, a dental surgeon, said unhygienic tooth extractions could cause tetanus which could be life threatening. The bad plastic used in dentures may provide a temporary solution, but could lead to serious infection in the long run which could spread to the root of the teeth.



City Concerns

In the absence of a public transport in city, residents have to depend on their private vehicles or autorickshaws to reach destinations. The autorickhaws have been identified as major polluters in Ludhiana as they emit venomous gases into the air. The growing number of private cars, too, are adding to the emission level of these gases. Since the world over, concern is being expressed over the high levels of emission, the city needs to wake up.

Switching over to CNG, introduction of metro rail and starting of a city bus service are some of the proposals mooted in the past, but nothing has been done on the ground to date.

Should Ludhiana go in for metro and CNG? What can be done to alleviate problems related to emissions? The Ludhiana Tribune wants to know your opinion on the issue. Readers can send in their views in not more than 200 words. The responses can be e-mailed to ludhianaconcerns@tribune mail.com or sent to our city office at Bhadaur House, Ludhiana.



Warring egos of babus

Officials on higher ranks have the most fragile egos as they are accustomed to the “yes sir” culture with which their subordinates feed their egos in routine. But the scenario undergoes a change as the officials come out of the four walls of their offices and are dealt at an equal footing at public functions.

The VVIP arena at SCD Government College, Ludhiana, became a battleground of the warring egos during the Republic Day function as the top ranking officials from the judiciary and district administration and politicians wanted seats in the front rows.

The organisers, despite their repeated requests, were unsuccessful in budging the VVIPs from their seats for none was ready to listen to the logic of earmarked seats as each one wanted a seat near Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. But the worst came when some officials went to the extent of threatening the organisers with, “Dekh lenge phir tumhein office mein” (We will deal with you in the office).


At last the civic body which usually remains under fire for its lackadaisical attitude towards encroachments seems to have done some good work, even though it was moved into action by repeated reprimands from the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Thanks to a tough stand taken by the MC top brass that the city is suddenly witness to a flurry of activity and people from all walks of life, including shopkeepers, traders and house owners, are carrying out demolition of extensions, steps, ramps and other permanent structures put up on public streets and roads.

Even though for the time being one has to face a bit of inconvenience due to heaps of debris all along the city roads, the ongoing activity is bound to give a facelift to the city in days to come. This, however, remains to be seen as to how the civic administration ensures that the encroachments do not reappear and public streets and busy roads continue to be free from obstructions.

Smart kid

Children can leave anybody wondering with their repartee. A similar story happened with a city resident when she was asking her husband for money. The duo argued about the expenditure for a few minutes.

Their three-year-old granddaughter, who was playing nearby, suddenly started singing the popular Hindi number “Kyu paisa-paisa karti hai”. The grandmother was shocked to find that the song was meant for nobody else but her.

Amusing contrasts!

Someone has rightly said, “One realises the true value of money only when one starts working.” A friend of mine, who was in love with a cosy couch, recently opted for a job at an educational institute. As he received his first salary, all his friends gathered at an eating joint for a treat. While having a pizza he mocked at the unique contrast witnessed in the country. He said, “We live in a country where pizza reaches our homes faster than the ambulance and the police, where one can get a car loan at the rate of 5 per cent but education loan is available at 12 per cent, where decent quality rice come for Rs 30 per kg, but SIM cards are free.”

Talking about his job profile, he said the institute authorities made him work round the clock, but gave him meagre salary in return and started laughing, “Our country is just full of contrasts.”

V-Day, close to heart

Love is in the air with the Valentine’s Day just round the corner. While every youngster is planning something special for the day to make his/ her beloved happy, my uncle is not the one to lag behind.

It was on this day that my uncle had met the love of his love at the airport. Every Valentine’s Day, he plans a trip for both of them so that they can go to that airport where they had met for the first time.

Recalling the day, my uncle said it was love at first site for him while it took some time for my aunt to listen to the voice of her heart. “Valentine’s Day is a very special day for us, not because it is the day meant for lovers but it was the day we first met,” he said. This year for Valentine’s, my young-at-heart uncle is planning a trip for his wife and himself to Singapore where both of them will relive their initial days of courtship.


A customer asked a liquor vend owner to give him two bottles of beer meant for kids. Shocked at the weird demand, the man at the counter snubbed the customer and retorted, “Are you drunk? Don’t you know liquor is not meant for children?”

To this, the whimsical customer replied with a grin, “Then why have you written “child beer” outside your counter?”

Apparently, the painter had, at the time of painting the counter, made a glaring spelling mistake by writing “child beer” instead of “chilled beer”, which the vend owner did not notice till this customer actually asked for “child beer”.

Contributed by: Anshu Seth, Kuldip Bhatia, Kanchan Vasdev, Mohit Khanna, Manav Mander, Charu Chhibber



Haphazard parking of buses spells traffic chaos
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
The Dhyan Singh Complex chowk, near bus stand, is fast becoming a traffic bottleneck. Reason: Haphazard parking of buses in the middle of the road, predominantly by private buses operator.

Even as the traffic police has deployed officials to regulate traffic there, instead of challaning bus and auto-rickshaw drivers for wrong parking, they target two-wheeler riders.

Buses are parked haphazardly at the entry and exit points of the inter-state bus terminus in order to fetch passengers beyond the actual capacity of the vehicle. This results in frequent traffic jams throughout the day.

The traffic chaos is aggravated by the parking of auto-rickshaws on the road.

“The city will stop facing any such traffic jams if people start acting responsibly. They do not realise the fact that a lot of fuel is wasted due to their irresponsible behaviour, besides keeping a large number of commuters stranded for hours,” said Manoj Kumar, whose car was stuck in a traffic jam.

On the other hand, bus driver pass the buck to commuters. “Commuters are the real culprits. They refuse to enter the bus terminus to catch the bus and then prefer to alight from the vehicle at the gate of the terminus to catch the auto-rickshaw,” said Davinder Singh, conductor of a private bus.

Shopkeepers are also at the receiving end of the chaos that unfolds there every day.

Rajiv Gagat, a resident of Jawhar Nagar, said they had objected to the parking of buses and brought the matter to the notice of the district administration and the police many a time. However, no action had ever been taken.

He lamented that bus and auto-rickshaw drivers often threatened and fought with shopkeepers if the latter opposed to their parking of vehicles outside shops.



Melbourne gets thumbs down from students
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
Following a spate of hate crimes against Punjabis in Australia, youths in the district are scared of taking up educational options Down Under, particularly in Melbourne.

This became evident at during the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination conducted in the city yesterday.

With the recent incidents of alleged racial attacks on Punjabi students, the image of Melbourne had got a beating.

Even during the recently conducted education fair, Melbourne found no takers. Students were exploring options in Canada and Europe.

A special student safety programme was being organised for parents and students aspiring to go abroad.

To restore the confidence of students, a student settled in Australia was invited by the education fair organisers to share his experiences with the students.

VIEC education consultancy director Sachin Jain said there has been a 50 per cent decline in students opting for Melbourne.

He said instead of studying in Melbourne, students were opting for universities in Sydney and elsewhere in Australia.

He added that Australia was still a safe country the students needed to be little aware of their surroundings.

“One should not be at the wrong place at the wrong time. No matter where you are, if you are travelling alone late at night, you are inviting trouble,” said Jain.

Divyansh Sharma (21), who had got a degree in textile chemistry, said any university would solve his purpose and his parents had told him not to apply for Melbourne.



Early detection could prevent kidney disease: Expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
Dr Anu Trehan, consultant in Acute Medicine at Salford Royal University Teaching Hospital, UK, and honorary lecturer of nephrology at University of Manchester and Royal College of Physician’s Tutor, today delivered a guest lecture on kidney disease at the DMCH.

In her address, Dr Trehan said although chronic kidney disease sometimes resulted from primary diseases of the kidneys themselves, the major causes are diabetes and high blood pressure. Chronic kidney disease usually caused no symptoms in its early stages and only lab tests could detect any developing problems, the doctor added.

Anyone at an increased risk for chronic kidney disease should be routinely screened for development of this disease through urine, blood, and imaging tests for early detection of disease. She also said dialysis and transplantation could be prevented if kidney diseases were detected at the earliest.

Dr Navdeep Singh Khaira (professor and head of nephrology), Dr JS Sandhu (professor of nephrology), Dr Baldev Singh Aulakh (professor of urology and head of transplant unit), medical superintendent Dr Sandeep Puri (professor and head of medicine) also shared their views on the incidence of chronic kidney diseases in India.

According to Dr Baldev Singh Aulakh, the patients with renal failure needing renal transplant is 1 to 1.5 lakh per year but the number of transplant that occur is 10,000 in a year. So, to cover this wide gap, there is an urgent need to increase awareness for cadaveric organ donation in brain dead patients.

It was stressed that chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a global threat to health all over the world and in a developing country like India, 90 per cent patients cannot afford the cost of treatment.

Principal of the DMCH, Dr Daljit Singh handed over a memento of appreciation to the guest speaker.



Vet scientists awarded for research on buffaloes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
More than 350 delegates from various countries, including the USA, Australia, Italy and Brazil, attended the “International Buffalo Conference on Optimising Buffalo Productivity Through Conventional and Novel Technologies” at the National Agriculture Science Complex, New Delhi.

The conference was held from February 1 to 4.

Scientists presented their research papers during various technical sessions and brought laurels to the university.

Dr Rajesh Jindal, professor-cum-head, Department of Veterinary Physiology and Biochemistry, was honoured with the “Best Poster Presentation Award” in the technical session on “Physiology and Reproduction” for the research paper on the “Effect of post-mating progesterone supplementation on conception rate and blood biochemical constituents in repeat breeding buffaloes”.

The paper, co-authored by Dr Anil Sharma and Dr RV Singh, deals with amelioration of the frustrating problem of repeat breeding caused due to the non-infectious factor like luteal insufficiency, which is mostly ignored by the clinicians.

Dr Sarvpreet Singh Ghuman, who is working as associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Gynaecology and Obstetrics, received the “Best Poster Award” for the research paper which was co-authored by Dr M Honparkhe and Dr Jagir Singh. The paper deals with the control of anoestrus in buffaloes by using various hormones.

Dr VK Taneja, Vice-Chancellor, GADVASU, was the chairman at the symposium on “Production Systems: Present status and future trends” and actively participated in the deliberations of the international conference.

In the technical session on “Nutrition and Feed Resource Management”, Dr Sushma Chhabra, scientist, Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, who presented the research paper on “Seasonal variations in plasma mineral profile and their sub-clinical deficiencies in buffaloes of three districts of Punjab”, co-authored by Dr SS Randhawa, professor, and Dr CS Randhawa, professor, received the “Best Poster Presentation Award”.

Dr Randhawa also presented a lead paper on “Effect of micro-mineral imbalance on health and production in buffaloes”.

The conference was organised by the Indian Society for Buffalo Development. The research work presented by GADVASU scientists received a huge appreciation from the international and national delegates at the conference.



Sukhbir asks party workers to prepare for SGPC poll
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, February 8
As the SAD-BJP coalition government has completed almost three years of its tenure, the political parties are gearing up for the next Vidhan Sabha elections in 2012.

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, during a two-day conclave of party cadres, has called upon the party rank and file to prepare for SGPC elections, which may be held in April or May.

The rank and file have expressed disappointment over the lack of recognition by party bosses and the bureaucracy.

District units have fallen apart and there are strong divisions among leaders at the district level. The party top brass is divided. Leaders and workers do not come out openly against the top leaders, but resentment continues to simmer among them.

There is a feeling that powers have been centralised with the father-son duo. Sukhbir has reshuffled district observers and brought in his own men to look after party affairs.

The performance of the BJP, the junior partner in the coalition, has also not been up to the expectations of the urban classes.

Capt Amarinder Singh, who has organised rallied in different parts of the state during the past two months, has demonstrated that he still commands respect among the people and he can put up a better fight against the SAD-BJP government in Punjab.



92 vaidyas to train pupils
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
Committed to fortifying the world’s ancient medicinal system of ayurveda, the Rashtriya Ayurveda Vidyapeeth, an autonomous body under the department of Ayush, Government of India, has selected 92 ayurvedacharyas from India to impart conventional training to graduate and postgraduate students of ayurveda under the Guru-Shishya Parampara for 2010.

The students will be selected on merit through interviews, which started on January 25 and will go on till February 24 in various parts of the country.

The students, after completion of one-year training under their gurus, will be awarded Certificate of Rashtriya Ayurveda Vidyapeeth (CRAV).

Informal education has been the forte in ayurveda from times immemorial, as is evident from the classical texts of ayurveda, Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Ashtanga Hridaya, which are believed to be the outcome of this system.

With an aim to give impetus to learning under Guru Shishya parampara, the RAV is making efforts to revive the traditional method of Gurukula system of informal education of India for the ayurvedic graduates and postgraduates after the completion of their formal education.

A monthly stipend of Rs 1,520 along with DA for “shishyas” and monthly salary equivalent to that of a university professor for the “gurus” takes care of their monetary matters for the scheduled term of one-year course.

Vaidya Jagjit Singh, elected member to the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) from Punjab, opined: “Ayurveda was going into the hands of quacks but the government in order to preserve the tried and tested medicinal formulae and treatments, which are best known to vaidyas through their inheritance, has made an excellent move to strengthen ayurveda. Ayurvedacharyas who are dedicated to the system of ayurveda have been empanelled to impart knowledge under the Guru-Shishya parampara,” Singh added.

Noted ayurveda physician of Punjab Dr R Vatsyayan from Ludhiana and Dr Suresh Chauhan from Amritsar are the two vaidyas from Punjab who have been selected by the RAV for 2010.

Each vaidya will get two students, who will stay with the vaidyas at their residence for one year and get first-hand knowledge.

Lauding the government’s efforts to streamline and spread the ancient and traditional wisdom of ayurveda, Dr Vatsyayan said: “In ancient times, vaidyas used to be very secretive and thus a valuable knowledge was lost to time. But the guru-shishya tradition will give the graduate and postgraduate doctors of ayurveda a chance to amalgamate their academic skills with the traditional curative skill of the system from senior physicians to the best use of mankind,” Dr Vatsyayan observed.



Task force’s proposals disappoint small units
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
The city’s industrialists feel the report submitted by a task force set up by the prime minister to provide an impetus to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) lacks substance. Although the report mentions a slew of measures and has outlined several medium term institutional measures for overall development of the sector, the recommendations “lack sting”.

"The task force has recommended a stimulus package for micro, small and medium enterprises should be extended by a year. However, it hasn’t specified a particular stimulus. This sector will be viable if central excise duty is kept at the present 8 percent," said Apex Chamber of Commerce & Industry president PD Sharma.

The task force has also touched on the crucial issue of government purchases. Earlier there was a provision of price preference - at 15 per cent - for such purchases from small industries. This means any purchase from small industries has to be on a price that is 15 per cent above the market price.

The task force has earmarked the volume of government purchases from MSMEs at 20 per cent. “However, the price preference clause is missing from its report”, observed another leading industrialist in the city.

Industry is of the view that the task force’s suggestion to simplify labour laws appears to be a mere eyewash as specific recommendations on this issue have been pending since 2005. “Liberalisation of labour laws is the need of the hour”, said Sharma.

The task force recommends reduction of business transaction costs for the sector. However, the government itself is increasing the costs. Small and medium firms supply the bulk of industrial products to large manufacturers. The government also plans to introduce a provision for tax deduction at source for smaller units.

The city’s industrialists have has urged the government to specify “solid” proposals for development of MSMEs so that they are effective.

The task force has also recommended creation of funds for reviving ailing micro, small and medium enterprises. However, rehabilitation of sick companies requires an agency similar to the Board for Industrial & Financial Reconstruction (BIFR). 



Nursing Institute Dispute
Probe hints at conspiracy behind armed conflict
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 8
Investigations conducted by SP (H) Gurpreet Singh Toor into the armed conflict that took place at Jeevan Jot Nursing Institute, near here, on February 3 suggest that the complainant in the case is actually the accused. He had allegedly stage-managed the entire episode in convenience with some local journalists. Sources say the possibility of involvement of some police officials has also not been ruled out.

Around 30 persons, including trustee Parminder Singh, his wife Gagandeep Kaur, his father Sardara Singh, Baba Charan Singh (trustee and landlord of the institute building), clerk Pardeep Kumar, and Lakhbir Singh, sewadar of Baba Charan Singh, were booked under Sections 307, 323, 506, 148, 149, 427, IPC, even as neither weapons were recovered nor intruders arrested. Also, none from complainants had complained of physical injuries or damage to property. Instead, those booked had suffered injuries and their vehicles damaged.

The presence of some mediapersons at the scene well before the incident happened also raised suspicion over their role. At the time of the incident, Baba Charan Singh was not present at the institute but was called there and thrashed. His vehicle was also damaged.

SSP (Ludhiana rural) Harinder Singh Chahal said he was disturbed at the sequence of events that left the impression that trustees were the culprits.

“The riot never took place,” he said, referring to reports published in some vernacular dailies. He said once the report was submitted to him, none of the guilty would be spared.

After levelling some serious allegations against Baldev Singh and his wife, a majority of trustees of Jeevan Jot Nursing Institute had expelled them around seven months ago from the trusteeship and banned their entry into the institute on February 1. A large number of policemen had reached the scene to avert any attempt to forcibly take the possession of the institute on February 3.



Death due to accidental firing
Use of weapons during celebrations goes unchecked
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 8
Undeterred by grievous consequences of carrying weapons and firing in the air to express joy during celebrations, the tendency continues unabated in the region.

Near-zero conviction rate of suspects booked in cases, due to propinquity between victim and defendant clans, seems to be the major factor behind continuance of the nuisance that has claimed many lives.

Investigations revealed that the craze for carrying of weapons and firing in the air during marriage celebrations had claimed many lives during the past few years.

A majority of victims and suspects included youths from prosperous families, dominantly landlords and agriculturalists. Children from poor families were also killed in some cases.

As victim and suspect families had been closely related in most of the reported cases of causalities due to accidental firing during social celebrations, the police found it difficult to register cases.

And if at all the case was registered, witnesses turned hostile during prosecution, thus bringing down conviction rate dramatically.

With political and social leaders playing active role in facilitating a deal for the lives lost in such incidents, the complainants usually succumbed to their pressure. If monetary settlements did not work, then network of relatives and friends was exploited by suspects to bully complainants and witnesses.

Admitting that some witnesses in cases registered in connection with deaths caused due to firing during wedding celebrations had turned hostile, an investigating officer regretted that the trend had frustrated administration’s attempt to curb the menace.

“As money is not an issue for owners of weapons, they are not afraid of consequences of carrying them in celebrations and firing in the air. Acquittal of suspects booked under earlier cases encourages them to continue the practice,” said the officer.

Interestingly, members of uniformed forces have been reported among both victims and suspects. A policeman who had received a bullet injury in the leg during a celebration in Malwa did not report the matter to the police, in a bid to avoid complications for himself and his friend whose folly could have cost him his life.

Residents have urged the authorities to ban entry of weapons completely on premises where public functions are in progress.

Ludhiana DSP Narinder Singh Ruby said he had directed his beat officers to ensure that owners of all marriage palaces had displayed warnings against carrying of weapons or firing in the air.



MC urged to follow proper procedure
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
A member of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has asked the Ludhiana municipal corporation to ensure that Special Operative Procedures (SOPs) and Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rules 2001 be followed while undertaking the sterilisation drive, which kicks off on Wednesday.

In a letter to Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha, AWBI co-opted member Dr Sandeep Jain has said: “The civic body has not formed a steering committee to start the project under Section 4 of the rule. It has to be done much before granting of contract.”

In fact, before selection of the company, trials have to be observed to see efficacy of work done by the company.

He hoped that the civic body had followed all such measures before undertaking the project and giving the contract to an Amritsar-based firm, Doggie Lane.

He pointed out that the steering committee had to check that there was no cruelty on dogs during the process of capturing, transportation, sterilisation and release.



Little time to change software, feel traders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
With a sudden increase in value added tax (VAT) from four to five per cent and additional 10 per cent surcharge, the industry is facing a lot of problem. The immediate implementation of enhanced VAT and surcharge is creating problem for traders, as no time has been given to them to make amendments.

The Akhil Bhartiya Grahak Panchayat has written to A Venu Parshad, excise and taxation commissioner, Punjab, regarding the same.

Dr SB Pandhi, press secretary (Punjab unit), in the letter said the increase in VAT from four to five per cent was not a problem but implementing it with immediate effect has put dealers/industrialists in a a lot of trouble, as it is not possible for them to amend their software from four to five per cent at such a short notice.

“We need to consult a software engineer for the amendment and all of this cannot be done overnight. The department should have given us some time for the same,” he said.

He added the surcharge of 10 percent had been levied all of a sudden and in addition to this the department had instructed to make accounts of surcharge separately, creating panic among traders.

To keep the account separately, one could not charge VAT directly at 5.5 per cent. Two different columns in printed bills were needed to charge VAT at five per cent and then charge surcharge at 10 per cent on VAT.

“With a sudden notice for this kind of increase, all printed bills of dealers will go waste and they again will have to get new bills printed with an additional column for surcharge, thus creating a chaos in the market for obtaining new stationery. This is not possible for a handful of printers in the city to accommodate thousands of customers wanting new bills printed,” added Pandhi.

The traders have urged the department to provide at least 15 days to dealers to get ready for the new amendment, thereby avoiding rush in the industry for updating their software and acquiring modified stationery.



From Schools & Colleges
Supreet, Divya win rangoli competition 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
A rangoli competition was held at Guru Nanak Public School here today. Both boys and girls enthusiastically participated in the competition. Students chose different themes for their rangolis. Some adopted the theme of flowers while others made rangoli of birds and others drew Lord Ganesha.

“It is the colour combination and neatness that the teachers will be looking for while deciding the results. I chose the combination of pink and yellow for drawing the rangoli and Lord Ganesha was my theme,” said Jasmeen Gill, a student of Class VI.

RESULTS: 1. Supreet Kaur; 2. Divya Noor; 3. Piara Singh; 4. Savleen Kaur (consolation); 5. Gurleen Kaur (consolation).


Students of Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Doraha, celebrated Prakash Utsav of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji with religious fervour. Students from Classes I to X participated in this celebration, in which shabads ‘Pargat karne aaye’, ‘Aao veero’, ‘Dadi maa mainu Singh banade’, ‘Darshan chall Anandpur kariae’ and ‘Jai tegang’ were sung and a PowerPoint presentation based on the life of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji was shown. Prizes were distributed among Gurbani kanth competition and shabad gayan competition winners by the school management.

Principal Manjushaw Vinayak highlighted the achievements of the school. Dignitaries present on the occasion included Sukhpal Singh, chairman, Doraha Group of Institutes, management members Dr Harmeet Singh, Harbir Singh, Jagjivan Singh, Amarvir Singh and Amarjit Singh, Karamvir Singh, director, Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Doraha. In the end, langar was served amongst the students and parents.


An extension lecture on communication skills was conducted by the department of English at Khalsa College for Women here today. Dr Sarabjeet Singh, assistant professor, department of journalism, PAU, was the guest of honour.

Dr Sarabhjeet ignited the minds of young students with words of wisdom. He laid emphasis on the word “communication” and suggested guidelines to enhance the communication skills.

He also cited the relevance of printed words which aroused lukewarm interest among the youth in the era dominated by the Internet. He concluded the lecture with emphasis on the adoption of a positive attitude that could conquer all barriers to effective communication.



Exam days: Functions a waste of time
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
School authorities’ strong yearning to produce all-rounders and their year-round endeavours in this direction is costing dear to students.

With final exams round-the-corner, the already overburdened and hard-pressed-for-time students are being made to attend all sorts of functions, seminars and workshops organised in the school, which they say is a “sheer waste of precious study time”.

Continuing with their latest fad of conducting some function or the other in the school every now and then, even in the wake of the forthcoming annual examinations, most city schools demand active participation of all students or at least of students of some classes.

This creates a lot of pressure on the students who are forced to practice for long hours each day for days together before for the final event. This not only leads to loss of study time during school hours, but also after school as tired from rigorous practice sessions, the students are unable to concentrate on studies.

Annual athletic meet, annual day celebration, founder’s day, inter-school quizzes, declamation, essay writing and art and craft contests, sports day, stress management workshops, traffic management seminars, celebration of various days are just a few of the events the city schools are busy holding these days.

BCM School, Ryan International School, GN International Senior Secondary School, RS Model Senior Secondary School, Vardhman International Public School, SDP Senior Secondary School, Guru Gobind Singh Public School, Rajindra Model School are some city schools which have been busy in the past few days with such events.

“Almost every second day, there is either a seminar or a quiz or some competition in the school. Though syllabus of almost all subjects is nearing completion, we get very little time to clear our doubts with the teachers,” rued Preeti, a Class IX student of a local school.

Nikhil, a Class XI student of another local school, said, “We have been asked to prepare for an upcoming sports event in the school. This requires a lot of practice and physical efforts. At the end of the day, we are left with no energy to even open our books. I wonder how we will complete our syllabus till exams, which are starting in the last week of this month.”

Parents, too, are unhappy over the school authorities’ indifferent attitude towards the students’ concern.

“The schools have enough time in the year to hold such events. They should at least be a little considerate and stop conducting such activities when the exams are nearing and let the children concentrate fully on their studies,” remarked Gulshan Kaur, mother of two school going children.

On the other hand, the school authorities feel that such activities are important for the all-round development of the students and are “specially beneficial during exams as they help students to de-stress”, said the head of an elite city school, defending his lot.



25 scooters recovered, 3 held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
With the arrest of three persons, the CIA-I wing has claimed to have busted a gang of scooter thieves and seized 25 scooters from their possession.

The accused were nabbed from the Tibba road here today. However, two of their accomplices -- Vijay Kumar and Raj -- managed to flee.

The accused, identified as Varinder Kumar of Mayapuri, Subash of Quila Mohalla and Rakesh of Sherpur, were operating as scrap dealers.

According to police sources, the accused are reportedly drug addicts. The police found drug injections at the garage where the accused used to keep the stolen scooters.

They were nabbed following a tip-off. During preliminary interrogation, they confessed to committing the crime. They told the police that they used to give Rs 1,000 for every stolen scooter and used to sell the spare parts for Rs 4,000 in the market.

The accused were produced in court and were sent to police remand till tomorrow.



Theft at SDO’s house 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 8
Thieves struck at a house on the Noorwala road and decamped with gold ornaments and cash worth over Rs 8 lakh.

The victim, Sandeep Bhatia, an SDO with the BSNL, said he had kept the jewellery for the marriage of his daughter.

The incident came to light late last night, when the family returned home after attending a marriage in Patiala.

According to Sandeep, the house was ransacked and the almirahs had been broken.

The police said the thieves might have entered the house by scaling a wall. Fingerprint experts and a dog squad were rushed to the spot. The police has registered a case and started investigation. The involvement of a close relative or a neighbour in the crime has not been ruled out yet.



Namdhari XI lads, Haryana XI eves rule
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 8
Namdhari XI, Bhaini Sahib managed to scrape past Punjab Police XI 2-1 while Haryana XI defeated Central Railway, Mumbai 4-1, to emerge champions in the men’s and women’s sections, respectively, in the sixth edition of the All-India Guru Gobind Singh Hockey Tournament organised by the Ludhiana Sports Welfare Association in association with the Punjab Rural Sports Promotion Council at the Prithipal Singh Memorial AstroTurf Stadium of Punjab Agricultural University here today.

The final in the men’s section began on a brisk pace when the Namdhari XI players started making forays into the Punjab Police XI’s territory. Namdhari XI forced two penalty corners in the initial moments, however, they failed to capitalise on these chances.

Punjab Police men, too, weaved good moves and stormed in the rival’s citadel frequently but could not make use of opportunities that came their way. They continued to exert pressure on Namdhari XI’s striking circle which eventually yielded the desired result. In the 17th minute, Punjab Police drew first blood when Navjot Singh scored field goal to put his side ahead. However, their joys were short lived as Harpreet Singh of Namdhari XI converted a penalty corner in the 20th minute to level the score one-all. Four minutes later, Namdhari XI pumped in another goal through Malaq Singh to make it 2-1.

Punjab Police XI tried hard for the equaliser but success eluded them and Namdhari XI romped home as champions.

Namdhari XI secured as many as seven penalty corners but failed to capitalise any of these scoring chances, whereas Punjab Police earned four penalty corners and succeeded in converting one.

In the women’s final, Simarjit Kaur scored a hat-trick to steer Haryana XI to register 4-1 victory over Central Railway, Mumbai.

Haryana XI eves went into an early lead when Sandeep Kaur sounded the board in the fourth minute and just one minute before half time, they increased the lead through Simarjit Kaur. She added two goals (37th and 44th minute) to complete the tally while the lone goal for the losers came off Reena Kanti’s stick in the 59th minute.

Namdhari XI pocketed a cash prize of Rs 60,000 besides the running trophy while Punjab Police received a cash prize of Rs 40,000 along with the runners up trophy. Similarly, winners in the women’s section, Haryana XI got a cash prize of Rs 40,000 and Central Railway, Mumbai, received a cash prize of Rs 30,000 in addition to the trophies. Students of Bhai Dhan Singh Senior Secondary School presented a colourful programme which was cheered by the spectators. They enacted on the famous film song, “Chake de India”. Dadhi Tarlochan Singh and his troupe sang ‘Vaar’ of Guru Gobind Singh. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, president, Punjab Olympics Association, was the chief guest on the concluding day and distributed prizes. Ranjit Singh Talwandi, a former Akali MLA, presided over the function. 



Sports trials a big draw
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 8
A large number of aspirants turned up to attend the trials conducted by the Punjab Sports Department for 2010-11 session at Guru Nanak Stadium and Punjab Agricultural University grounds, here today.

According to information given by Jagir Nahar, district sports officer, Ludhiana, on the orders of Punjab sports director Pargat Singh, trials were being held to select players for sports wings at different schools, academies under the speed fund scheme of the department.

Aspirants in various disciplines like football, basketball, wrestling and cycling appeared for trials today.

The selection panels, constituted for the purpose and headed by former players of international repute, supervised the players before finalising the recruits.

They included Arjuna awardees Inder Singh (football), Sajjan Singh Cheema and Suman Sharma (basketball), Olympian Sukhchain Singh Cheema, Sohan Singh (wrestling) and Amrit Karu Gill and Satvinder Singh (cycling).



Baljinder shine in shot put
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 8
A large number of students took part in different events on the first day of the annual sports meet of Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, here, today. Dr Satwant Singh Mohi, former MLA and member PPSC, inaugurated the two-day meet.

Gurbir Singh, president, Guru Nanak Education Trust, and principal Dr Charanjit Mahal, welcomed the chief guest.

Dr Mohi said educated women could play an important role in the development of the country. He exhorted the girls to carve a niche for themselves as they had already done in almost every field. The meet began with the march past in which students of degree and post-graduate classes participated.

Baljinder Kaur MA II (Political Science), best softball player, and also winner of gold medal in the Senior National Softball Championship took the oath on behalf of the participants. Colourful balloons were released to mark the opening of the sports meet.

First day’s results: 1. 800 mt Sharanjeet BA-I, 2. Rajni Bala BA-II and 3. Nainy Bala BA-I

Javelin Throw: 1. Sharanjeet 10+2, 2. Kiranjeet 10+2 and 3. Mandeep BA-III; 1500 mt: 1. Rajni Bala BA-II 2. Prabhveer Kaur BA-I and 3. Kiranjeet Kaur 10+2; Shot put: 1. Baljinder MA-II, 2. Harminder MA-II and 3. Mandeep BA-III.

High Jump: 1. Ramandeep Kaur BA-II, 2. Kulwinder Kaur B.A-I and 3.Kiranjeet Kaur 10+2; 200 mt: 1. Rajveer Kaur MA-I, 2. Nainy Bala BA-I and 3. Paramjeet Kaur BCom-I; Discuss Throw: 1. Sharanjeet 10+2, 2. Jaspreet BSc-II and 3. Narminder MA-II; Long Jump: 1. Amanpreet Kaur BSc (FD), 2. Amritpreet Kaur BA-I and 3. Rajni Bala BA-II.



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