L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


V-Day on Sunday disappoints youth
Heavy security at public places
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this time and has left the youth disappointed. In the past, this day has often resulted in nuisance at public places.On the other hand, the falling of Valentine’s Day on Sunday has brought respite to the police which is working overtime due to the introduction of the commissionerate system. Earlier, heavy security used to be deployed outside women colleges to shoo away the youths.

The Sarabha Nagar market would be the epicentre of the Valentine buzz and heavy police bandobast has been made to keep miscreants at bay. Mounted police, riot control vehicle and cops in muftis would also be deployed.

“It is necessary to impose regulations in the light of certain experiences we have had in the past,” said SP Harsh Bansal.

This time the police might spoil the fun since neither radical Hindu organisations nor Shiv Sainiks are in a mood to protest against love.

Police sources said cops would roam around in plainclothes in public parks like Rose Garden, Leisure Valley and Rakh Bagh to keep an eye on romancing couples.

“The falling of Valentine’s Day on Sunday has disrupted our plans. I thought I would stand outside the college of a girl I love and would express my feelings,” Parth rued.


Another scam in MC
No record of 809 payment files
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Exposing the contractor-official nexus, another major scam has come to the fore that is going to rock the MC as 809 payment files and bills have been approved in 20 months without adopting the proper procedure.

The revelation has come through the RTI Act, putting Municipal Commissioners Vikas Pratap and GS Ghuman under scanner.

Documents available with The Tribune state that from January 1, 2008, to August 26, 2009, the Municipal Commissioners approved 1,537 payment files and bills. Out of these, only 728 files were entered into the diary register available with the Municipal Commissioner’s office. How 809 files were taken away for payment is not clear.

As there is no provision to route the file dasti, any official could take the payment file or bill available only after its entry is made in the diary register. However, according to the register only 728 files were entered, raising questions. The MC itself has disclosed in a reply under the RTI that no file could be taken away from the Municipal Commissioner’s office without making an entry in the register.

A senior MC official said: “Getting files approved by hand is a common practice in the Ludhiana MC. Contractors take away their files from the accounts branch and meet the Municipal Commissioner personally to get the files sanctioned for payment. This is the only reason why entries are missing in the diary register.”

He added that the fake bill scam was an example. Sources in the MC revealed that if inquiries are made into these 809 files, a major scam involving crores would come to light. “Most of the files were approved during the tenure of Municipal Commissioner GS Ghuman. The money involved in these files is huge,” the sources stated.

NGO Anti-Corruption and Crime Investigation Cell president Rohit Sabharwal, who obtained the information through the RTI, said: “There is a huge financial embezzlement involving officials from the top to the bottom. We would report the matter to the CBI and reveal that the MC was playing with public funds.”

He added that the vigilance probe was the government’s discretion, but the matter needed to be inquired into by an independent authority.



Dog Sterilisation
Govt employee on firm’s panel
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
While the MC is still considering its decision to give dog sterilisation project to the Amritsar-based firm, Doggie Lane, another startling fact came to the fore today that one of the doctors working with the company is a government employee.

This disclosure was made during a press conference held by the company here today. When the media tried to inquire about the four doctors working with the company, Dr HPS Judge confessed that Dr Ashwinder, who was on the medical panel, was working with zila parishad at Otiya village. She was working with the government department as a contractual employee since 2006.

However, he justified it by saying that contractual employees were allowed to do “private practice”.

He said even he was employed at the civil veterinary hospital and left in 2009. “I was a contractual employee and we are allowed private practice even during the tenure of our work,” he said.

This has raised many eyebrows as the MC that it didn’t think about it before allotting the tender to the company. Apart from it, if contractual employees are eligible to work with another government department, in which office would they be marked present.

On the question of the affiliation to the Animal Welfare Board of India, Dr Judge said: “According to the expression of interests invited by the MC, the company can obtain the registration within 60 days after receiving the mobilisation orders. The company had applied for it, but the approval is still to be given.



Cloth trader shot at, critical
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Two armed assailants shot at and seriously injured a cloth merchant in the Shimlapuri area here last evening.

The incident took place around 8.30 pm when Jagmohan Kumar, owner of Billa Cloth House located near Matt Di Chakki in Shimlapuri, was about to close his shop.

Personal enmity was sighted to be the reason behind the attack. Jagmohan is facing murder charges and is currently out on bail. According to Shimlapuri SHO Gurtej Singh, the victim was having strained relations with his wife.

His wife had earlier complained to the police that Jagmohan had illicit relations with another woman. She had further alleged that Jagmohan had reportedly left her and their children and started living with the other woman.

On the other hand, Jagmohan in his statement to the police blamed his wife Rajni for the attack. According to an eyewitness, two men arrived at his shop and Jagmohan told them to come inside.

While the three were having a discussion, one of the assailants pulled out a pistol and shot at Jagmohan in the chest from point-blank range.

The assailants then fled the scene. Following the incident, shopkeepers in the locality reached the shop.

Jagmohan was taken to the GTB hospital, where his condition was stated to be serious. The police has booked Vicky Kumar from Abohar and Rajni for the attack.

According to the police, Jagmohan had alleged that Rajni had been living with Vicky for the past two years.

Jagmohan accused Vicky of opening fire at him after he refused to divorce his wife. No arrest has been made so far as the accused are on the run.



Kuldip Nayar skips peace seminar
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar’s absence from the seminar on South Asian Peace left many disappointed. Nayar was supposed to be the chief guest at the seminar that kick started in Pal Auditorium of Punjab Agricultural University here today.

A large number of listeners, especially youngsters, had come to the PAU just to hear one of the greatest names in Indian journalistic circles speak.

“Kuldip Nayar’s absence has disappointed us greatly. We wanted to hear him speak for quite long and this was to be our first experience to hear him speak live,” said a group of journalism students from the PAU.

“It would have been a real treat to be audience to Nayar’s speech on Asian peace and the role of media. No doubt his absence from the event has been disappointing for people like me who are great fans of his writings, but I think the overall seminar was an enriching experience,” said a young woman from the audience.

The two-day seminar, being organised by PAU’s Centre for Communication and International Linkages in collaboration with South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), is underway at Pal Auditorium.

The seminar was inaugurated by reputed journalist and editor of South Asia Media Net Imtiaz Alam while the inaugural session was chaired by Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU.

Guests of honour were eminent economist and former chairman of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices Dr SS Johl; Vice-Chancellor of Maharana Partap University of Agriculture and Technology, Udaipur, Dr SS Chahal and former Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Dr SP Singh.

The key-note address was delivered by eminent economist Dr Sucha Singh Gill on “South Asia Peace Perspectives: Challenges and Opportunities”.

Dr Ranjit Singh Ghuman, head of economics department, Punjabi University, Patiala, spoke on “Growth, poverty, inequality and human development in South Asia”.

Dr Swaraj Singh from the US deliberated on “South Asian economic alliance - A key to peace, prosperity and unity”. Imtiaz Alam deliberated on “International Media Networking for Peace in South Asia”. Dr Lakhwinder Johl, executive producer and in charge DD, Punjabi, discussed “electronic media infotainment programmes for sustainable peace in South Asia”. 



Woman to sit on fast outside PM’s residence
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
After failing to find her son who went missing under mysterious circumstances four months ago, the helpless mother is all set to sit on fast unto death outside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence in New Delhi from February 15.

Sushiladevi’s 16-year-old son Dharminder Singh went missing on October 1 last year when he had gone to purchase grocery from a market near Mundia village.

Ever since, Sushiladevi has been running from pillar to post in search of her son.

“He was perfectly fine when he left to buy grocery. It has been four months now but there is no trace of him. Someone must have abducted him,” she said adding that Dharminder had completed his secondary education and was doing his computer diploma.

She alleged that the police had refused to register a complaint in the case. She had even approached senior officers over the disappearance of her son but to no avail. Now she has decided to sit on fast unto death outside the Prime Minister’s residence in New Delhi from February 15.

“Everyone is shrugging responsibility. Where is my son? Why is the police not taking action? Dhaminder is my only son and I will not sit quiet till the time I find him,” said Sushiladevi.

Dharminder’s father Ram Lakhan Singh had stopped plying auto-rickshaw following the disappearance of his son.



BJP protests rising prices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Under the leadership of newly appointed president of district unit of the BJP Rajiv Katna and MLA Harish Bedi, protests were held at Ghantaghar Chowk and near Shingar Cinema against the rising prices in the country.

The BJP activists condemned the “anti-people” policies of the Central Government.

Addressing gathering of hundreds of workers at both the places, Katna said the district unit would organise series of dharnas in the city against inflation. He said prices of eatables and basic commodities had become out of reach of common man.

“It has become virtually impossible to cope-up with the burden of continuous price rise in the country. Government needs to take necessary steps to curb inflation,” said Katna.

The BJP activists would hold series of dharnas at Dugri and Jodhewal Basti tomorrow.

On February 15, similar dharna would be held at Ghumar Mandi and on February 16, activists would hold demonstration at Giaspura.



Capsuled in love!
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Good things come in small packages — so do love messages in small capsules that come straight from Cupid’s box.

This Valentine’s Day, these have come in the form of capsules. Available in tiny bottle, these capsules are drawing a lot of curiosity. The capsules have a paper rolled inside them, on which lovers can write and express their feelings.

Rohini Sharma, who is appearing for the boards this year, said: “This is a new concept and is eye catching. When I first saw them, I though it to be a pill filled with chocolate, but when I came to know there are small papers printed with hearts on them to write love messages, I was amused.”

Everybody wants to greet his or her lover in the best way and if every time one could think of something different, nothing like it.

Akash, who was buying the capsules, said: “It’s my first Valentine and I want to make it most memorable for my love. She would be happy to see these capsule messages. Cards are losing their appeal and are being replaced by other things.”

And perhaps, these capsules would help our relationship grow more strong, he quipped.

Shopkeepers said: “No doubt, every time on Valentine’s Day there is something new. In today’s era expressing love with gifts is a common way and everybody wants to give something special to their loved ones.”



Many strokes, many lovers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
The city residents, known for spending lavish on luxurious brands, have started showing their taste for art.

They do not mind spending money on art, claimed Samita Munjal, an art collector and consultant, who has put-up an art exhibition of various artists from all over India in association with Mont Blanc here.

The three-day art exhibition depicts works of leading artists, including Shiva Prasanna, Prokash Karmekar, Ramesh Gurjara and Sukanta Das from Kolkota, Delhi, Mumbai and Kerala etc.

Samita told The Tribune that for the past five years, she had been following art.

“The show has been jointly organised by Mont Blanc and Sahil Desai, who owns Masters' Collection Gallary in Kolkota,” said Samita further adding that residents had started taking much interest in art.

"It will not be fair to say that they do not spend on art. They appreciate art and believe in collecting it by paying huge price. The response has been good. Almost all the works are under Rs 1 lakh (each). There are certain senior artists, whose works are upto Rs 3 lakh (each painting),” said Samita.

Meanwhile, the manager of Mont Blanc, Surbhi Ahuja said: "We are promoting the art work of upcoming artists all over India and abroad. This has been the first venture with Samita Munjal in Ludhiana," said Surbhi.



167 girls get certificates
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 13
Nishkam Kirtan Sewa Society, Mandi Gobindgarh, organised certificate and prize distribution function at the Community Centre here today.

IGP Paramjit Singh Gill was the chief guest and District Police Chief Dr Kaustabh Sharma presided over. Chief Karamjit Singh said the society had solemnised the marriages of as many as 118 girls.

As many as 167 girls, after passing the examination of sewing course at six centres were awarded certificates.

The toppers Kamaljit Kaur Nasrali, Kulwinder Kaur Mannu Pur, Rekha Rani, Gurmeet Kaur, Mandi Gobindgarh, Neeraj Sharma Sirhind and Sakhshi Sharma from Fatehgarh Sahib were given mementos.

Gill stressed on the need to create awareness through NGOs about the dangerous affects of intoxicants.



Simbaljit emerges best athlete
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 13
The annual sports meet of Sidhwan institutions was organised here today.

The meet began with a march past. Rupinder Kaur, best inter-university handball player, took the oath on behalf of participants. Students of Sidhwan institutions took part in various track and field events.

Besides, fun races like sack race, spoon-potato race, three-legged race, chatti race, slow cycling, servant race were also organised.

Sarvjit Kaur, Pushpinder Kaur and Harjit Kaur were the adjudicators for the meet.

Simbaljit Kaur was declared best athlete, while Beas house bagged the trophy for best march past. Satluj house emerged over-all winners while Beas house finished runners-up.

The results: 50m race: 1 Simbaljit Kaur (Satluj house), 2 Anita (Satluj), 3 Nikita (Beas); 100 m race: 1 Simbaljit Kaur (Satluj), 2 Anita (Satluj), 3 Baljeet Kaur (Beas) and Harpreet Kaur (Beas); 200 m race: 1 Simbaljit Kaur (Satluj), 2 Mandeep Kaur (Ravi), 3 Manjinder Kaur (Chenab); 4x100 m relay race: 1 Satluj house (Simbaljit, Ranjit, Anita, Jasvir), 2 Beas house (Gurpreet, Nitika, Harpreet, Navjot), 3 Chenab house (Ruchi, Kuldeep, Manjinder, Amritpal); obstacle race: 1 Gurpreet (Beas), 2 Simbaljit Kaur (Satluj), 3 Navjeet Kaur (Beas); three-legged race: 1 Simbaljit and Ranjit (Satluj), 2 Amandeep and Harpreet (Beas), 3 Amanpreet and Sukhbir (Satluj); slow cycling: 1 Ranvir Kaur (Chenab), 2 Ranjit Kaur (Satluj), 3 Pardeep Kaur (Beas); sack race: 1 Gagandeep Kaur (Chenab), 2 Gurpreet Kaur (Chenab), 3 Ranjit Kaur (Satluj); spoon-potato race: 1 Parvinder Kaur (Satluj), 2 Amritpal Kaur (Ravi), 3 Sharda (Beas); chatti race: 1 Sharda (Beas), 2 Neelam (Satluj), 3 Mandeep Kaur (Ravi); throw ball match: 1 Chenab, 2 Satluj; badminton: 1 Satluj, 2 Chenab; table tennis: 1 Ravi, 2 Beas; shot put: 1 Satinder Kaur (Beas), 2 Navjot Kaur (Ravi), 3 Rajvir Kaur (Satluj); discuss throw: 1 Manpreet Kaur (Satluj), 2 Satinder Kaur (Beas), 3 Neeraj(Satluj); javelin throw: 1 Satinder Kaur (Beas), 2 Simbaljit Kaur (Satluj), 3 Ranjit Kaur (Satluj) & Anu (Ravi); long jump: 1 Ranjit Kaur (Satluj), 2 Mamta (Chenab), 3 Navjeet Kaur (Beas); high jump: 1 Anita (Satluj), 2 Ranjit Kaur (Satluj) and Gurpreet Kaur (Chenab), 3 Paramjit Kaur (Ravi) and Harpreet Kaur (Beas). 



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