L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Paddy stock rotting since 2 yrs
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khamano, February 27
Huge stock of paddy has been rotting in the open near the tehsildar’s office for more than two years and is causing problems to commuters and students of a nearby school. This stock of paddy was procured by Punjab Agro and Warehouse in 2007-08 and was put here. Some stock was put at Ranwan and Sanghol.

As many as 90,000 bags of paddy are rotting here. Another about 1 lakh bags of paddy are rotting at the Ranwan Focal Point and about 80,000 bags are lying at Sanghol.

A large portion of this paddy has become discoloured and worms and termites have developed in the stock, making it unfit for consumption.

According to officials of Punjab Agro and Warehouse, the paddy was allotted to three firms on the orders of the civil supplies minister, Adesh Partap Singh Kairon. After the allotment local firm owners picked up their allotted share of paddy, but the other two firms -- one belonging to Kharar and the third to Malerkotla -- failed to lift the entire paddy. It picked up only 32,000 bags and the remaining stock of about 2,72,000 bags are still lying.

Foul smell has also started emanating from the stock. Employees of the tehsil complex had written a letter to the general manager (procurement) to get the rotten paddy lifted, but to no avail.

Even commission agents of the tehsil had brought the problem to the notice of higher officials. Officials of the purchasing agencies, on the condition of anonymity, said they were trying to auction the paddy, but the matter was pending with higher officials. They failed to give any time frame for the auction. 


DEOs told to get their act together
Teachers performing exam duty at same schools for many years to be shifted 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 27
Taking cognizance of reports of mass copying and rampant use of unfair means during examination, the education department has directed all district education officers (DEOs) and school heads to ensure that teachers with tainted record should not be deputed for invigilation.

The DCs and SSPs have been been asked to provide necessary security arrangements to facilitate the smooth conduct of the forthcoming examinations of Classes VIII, X and XII.

It was observed that the menace of copying had reached its highest level during board examinations in the state during the past years. The trend disappointed hardworking and diligent teachers, whose results were affected adversely due to mass copying and disturbance in examination halls.

Referring to reports on the subject, the authorities regretted that a large number of teachers were known for their role in facilitating cheating. The authorities had directed the education officers to be strict with such teachers.

“Though the examinations are conducted by the Punjab School Education, the staff at examination centres is directly under the control of the state education department. All DEOs have been directed to ensure that copying is not allowed. Teachers against whom complaints have been received in the past should not be deputed on examination duty and the staff performing duties at one school for long should be changed,” the communication from the Director General (Schools) here today stated.

Education officers have been asked to coordinate with the authorities in the civil and police administration to ensure the smooth conduct of the examinations.



Four of family attacked with swords
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
Four persons, including a woman, sustained injuries, after they were attacked by a dozen armed assailants at Durgapuri, Haibowal, this morning.

The incident took place at around 4.45 am when Mahesh (47), who works as a commission agent and ferries hosiery material at the railway station, along with his sons Johny (23) and Mani (18) returned home at Durgapuri after sending the hosiery consignments at the railway station.

According to Mahesh, the assault took place when he was opening the gate of his house along with his wife to park the car inside.

The assailants were waiting for them in a vacant plot and attacked them. They also damaged their car. In order to shield his children, Mahesh tried to take the sword of one of the assailants and amidst the scuffle, he sustained injuries on his hands.

His sons sustained multiple injuries on their head and hands while trying to save their mother. The attackers not only stabbed her, but also thrashed her. She was dragged from the porch and was beaten in the middle of the street.

This went on for over 20 minutes, but the neighbours could not gather the courage to intervene even though they witnessed the entire incident.

The attackers then fled the scene. Residents claimed that the goons had parked their vehicle at a distance. The victims were taken to hospital and the police was informed about the incident.

The police has registered a case against the accused identified as Rajat and his accomplices. Yashpal, brother of Mahesh, claimed that Rajat and his accomplices tried to extort money from the family and attacked them as they refused to pay the money.

“The accused are running peti mafia. Rajat, who is part of Lalla gang has spread terror around the railway station. They charge money on a weekly basis from rickshaw pullers and autorickshaw drivers who run their business at the railway station,” he alleged.

On the other hand, sources said the attack was the outcome of business rivalry as both groups were part of peti mafia. Three police teams have been set up to nab the accused.

The sources said the police had got hold of the mobile numbers of the accused.



AIDS programme suffers as gynaecologists lax
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
Failure on the part of gynaecologists to refer girls/women to special clinics at the Civil Hospital and the CMCH for detection of sexually transmitted infection (STI) and reproductive tract infection (RTI) has disabled the government’s move to fight the transmission of HIV/AIDS in newborns.

Ludhiana, with its large share of migrant workers, has been declared as a sensitive zone as per recent surveys conducted by various NGOs working under the aegis of the National AIDS Control Organisation. Ludhiana has the second largest number of HIV/AIDS cases in Punjab.

The district AIDS officer, Dr Geetika, stated that only 600 women were tested for STI/RTI at the above clinics in the past year.

“These clinics have been specifically set up to detect STI /RTI infections, wherein the patients are sent for HIV/AIDS test at the integrated testing and counselling centres in the district, but laxity on the part of gynaecologists has put the whole campaign against HIV/AIDS on the back foot,” she said.

Early intervention was must for pregnant women so that the infection did not get transmitted to the foetus. “Prevent parent to child transmission (PPCT) programme can only be successful if the gynaecologists in the city and rural areas refer such patients to the clinics,” she added.

An NGO working with sex workers in the city also pointed out their “reluctance” to get themselves examined for STI/RTI. The AIDS officer said special awareness programmes would be organised for them on regular intervals.

Also, TB cases are on the rise in Ludhiana and a patient suffering from TB is 40 per cent more vulnerable to HIV infection. 



Billboards: MC top brass, hoarding mafia under fire
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 27
In the wake of the ongoing controversy between BJP councillors and the civic administration over the installation of hoardings and unipoles on city roads, top brass of the municipal corporation has once again come under fire as activists of the Active Anti-Corruption Group yesterday burnt an effigy of the “hoarding mafia” and the Municipal Commissioner at Mini Rose Garden here to lodge their protest against the nexus between a few civic officials and advertising agencies which was costing the civic body crores of rupees every year.

Speaking on the occasion, Ramesh Bangar, president of the body, alleged that despite directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the contrary, hoardings continued to be put up all along the National Highway No.1 from the Jalandhar bypass chowk to the Giaspura chowk in the city posing a grave danger to the motorists and other vehicle drivers.

“Besides, the conniving officials fiddle with the tenders of hoardings and display boards to enable the hoarding mafia to install boards even on those roads where these were not permitted. Things have come to such a passe that a few advertising agents, claiming proximity to some senior civic officials, have installed neon and glow signs in blatant violation of the rules, that, too, without paying advertising tax for the past many years,” Bangar charged.

Threatening to gherao the Municipal Commissioner and other senior officials of the civic body if activities of the hoarding mafia were not restrained, the activists of the body said they were in the process of collecting details of disproportionate assets and benami property of some officials, patronising a few select advertising agents, which would be forwarded to CBI for a thorough investigation.



Panel formed
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
To crack a whip on hoardings installed illegally within the municipal limits of the city, civic body is preparing a comprehensive report about the hoardings put in all parts of the city. To study the issue in detail and prepare a report subsequently, the MC has constituted a nine-member committee which met for the first time today and discussed the modalities. It has decided to submit its report to MC commissioner by March 6. The committee has reportedly been constituted by Hakam Singh Gyaspura, Mayor, Ludhiana.

MP Gupta has been appointed as member secretary of the committee. Other members include Parveen Kumar Bansal, Senior Deputy Mayor, Pal Grewal, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Harbhajan Dang, Hem Raj Aggarwal and GS Neetu.

According to sources, the members will re-look at the agreements formulated by the MC for advertisements, kiosks and hoardings.

After getting all details, the nine-member committee will segregate the legal and illegal hoardings installed in city and submit its report to authorities through the Mayor.

Confirming about the newly constituted committee, one of the senior officials with the MC told TNS that authorities were keen in taking a strict action against the defaulters.

He admitted that in past MC exchequer had to lose several crores of rupees every year due to illegal hoardings installed in various parts of the city in connivance with certain officials. 



Traders form cartel on day two of auction 
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
A day after confiscated sugar was auctioned for Rs 3,650 per quintal, traders allegedly formed a cartel today and did not bid more than Rs 3,125 for every quintal of essential commodity as the administration auctioned nearly 1 lakh bags of hoarded sugar.

The auction went on till the evening as bidders started with Rs 3,550, but within 15-20 rounds, the bids dropped and remained constant at Rs 3,125 throughout the day.

The auction started with a hiccup as the traders said the sugar belonging to a Moga-based firm was of the 2007-2008 batch and it was written on the bags that it should be used within two years from the date of manufacture.

They refused to bid for the sugar, stating that they were being given expired commodity. Officials of the health department then went inside the godown and checked the sacks. The officials said there was no problem with the sugar and it tasted all right.

Later they announced that the commodity was put to auction as it was lying in the godown. It was after the announcement that the traders started bidding for the sugar.

The auction was continuing till the filing of this report. The executive magistrate, Kanwar Narinder Singh, said since over 1 lakh sacks were to be auctioned, it would take long. Some bags were damaged. “We will sell it anyway. A jute bag only sells for Rs 30 so there would not be any problem selling the sugar,” a trader remarked.



Missing 11-yr-old boy found 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
Poverty forced an 11-year-old child to run away from home. Nurturing a grouse against his parents that they did not buy him gifts, the boy left home but was recovered by the Sarabha Nagar police today.

The boy, identified as Vijay Pal, was found near Aarti Cinema. According to the SHO of Sarabha Nagar, the boy, a resident of Aggar Nagar, reportedly went missing on February 24.

The police said he went to see a dog show along with a youth, Vipan, who resided in the neighbourhood.

DSP Raj Kumar handed over the boy to his father. Ram Singh, father of Vijay Pal, who works as a security guard, said his son was annoyed after he refused to buy him an expensive gift.

Ram Singh said his son told him that he wanted to work and buy the gift with his hard earned money.

Ram Singh said life taught his child a tough lesson. He fled from the custody of the youth when he went to see the dog show. From there, he went to a scooter mechanic and asked for a job. He was hired for a day but not paid salary.

He said he roamed around in the city and had food offered by temples and Gurdwara authorities. He told his father that he slept with stray dogs. The police said fortunately the boy did not fall into the clutches of beggar gang.

The boy said he did not return home because of the fear that his parents might thrash him.

The SHO said after registering a kidnapping case, the police constituted three teams in search of the boy.

Sketches and photographs of the child were also shown to people, following which the police came to know about the whereabouts of the boy.



Car falls into canal, driver rescued
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 27
An occupant of a black Indica car had a narrow escape after his car got punctured and fell into the canal near the Gurthali bridge last night.

Sukhraj Singh, son of Sohan Singh, a resident of Doraha, who works in a factory situated on the Kohara road, was returning in his car (PB10 CA9559) from Mandi Ahmedgarh after dropping the factory workers, when his car got punctured and fell into the canal.

Prompt action taken by Manjit Singh, in charge, first aid post in Doraha, and havildar Tarwinder Kumar, saved Sukhraj from drowning. He sustained minor injuries and was admitted to Sidhu hospital.

Those commuting through the southern bypass rue that the accident had taken place due to the absence of any railing on both side of the canal. 



Sena activists burn effigies of PM, Rahul Gandhi 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
Against the “anti-people” Central government’s Budget, activists of the Hindu-Sikh Jagriti Sena burnt effigies of leaders “responsible” for continuous inflation in the country. A few activists gathered at the Jagraon bridge to vent their ire against Union government’s wrong policies.

They burnt the effigies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Pranab Mukherji, Rahul Gandhi and Sharad Pawar “responsible” for continuous price rise in the country. They also raised slogans against the Union government for putting more burden on common man.

President of the Jagriti Sena, Parveen Dang, said prior to the Budget, common man hoped to get major relief. But the Budget announced by Pranab Mukherji had shattered everybody’s hopes. “All consumable items of the common man, including petrol, diesel, steel and cement etc had become more expensive. For a limited salaried middle class, it has virtually become difficult to run the household. The Budget has given us nothing but frustration”, said Dang further adding that the government could have hired services of Mamta Banerjee before declaring the “anti-people” Budget.

The activists said Sharad Pawar had aggravated the problems of common man. The prices of basic commodities had reached an all time high after he came to power. “All these men in power are hungry and have got their own vested interests. They care a damn about plight of common man. The prices of commodities, which increase, never come down. They make fool of common man by making false claims “, said Rajwinder Singh, another activist. At least 300 activists took part in the protest. 



535 trainees pass out of police academy 
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, February 27
The annual passing out parade of the Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, was organised here today. Academy’s Director-cum-DGP RS Gill took the salute.

He said the policing in the modern world had undergoing drastic changes in its functioning as well as handling of crimes. Due to the increasing crime in society, the police had to equip itself with the latest information and professional knowledge. Accordingly, the training strategies have to be redefined and redesigned to suit global policing standards, he added. We have been constantly updating our training methodology by adding latest techniques and other inputs, he said.

Academy is focusing on improving the professional and behavioural effectiveness of the police personnel and to suitably train them during our training programmes. We are trying to ensure a healthy link between the academy training and the field requirements. He advised the trainees to work in a free and fair manner while serving the public.

Academy’s Joint Director BK Garg presented the annual report. The parade was conducted under the supervision of academy’s Deputy Director (Outdoor) Yurinder Singh Hayer. At least 535 trainees of various basic and promotional courses passed out of the academy. These trainees belong to the Punjab and Royal Bhutan Police P/Lt. Sonam Tashi of Royal Bhutan Police commanded the parade. During the passing out parade prizes were also given to those trainees who got distinction in different events/fields during the training.

A colorful cultural programme like mass PT show, dog show, band display, malkham show, daredevils show, tent pegging, adivasi dance, shooting skills and group folk dance was performed by the trainees. Punjab Cultural Promotion Council Director Davinder Singh Chinna, who retired today, presented a memorandum to Academy’s Director RS Gill.



Id-e-Milad celebrated with fervour
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
The birth of Prophet Mohammad was celebrated with religious fervour and gaiety here today. The devotees decorated and lighted their mosques, streets and houses.

A "Mohammadi procession" was organised from Markazi Sunni Jama Masjid, Shivpuri, Ludhiana. Thousands of devotees took part in the procession that started at noon and turned into a conference at the Basti Chowk after passing through the traditional rout via the Shivpuri road, Daresi ground, Madhupuri, Bajba Nagar, Balmiki Chowk, Sunder Nagar and Rahon road. 



From Schools & Colleges
Riot of colours at schools
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
RAM LAL BHASIN: Holi was celebrated with great fervour at Ram Lal Bhasin Public School. Akriti, a student, deliberated on the importance of celebrating Holi. Another student Saurav recited a poem, “Holi has come”. The students applied colours on each other. The teachers, too, participated with them. The students played Holi with skin-friendly colours.

“Aya Holi ka tyohar” -- the all time favourite Holi song -- was also sung as the students danced to the various Holi songs. Headmistress of the school Tarannum Fatma wished the students a very happy Holi.

BAL BHARATI: Bal Bharati Public School today celebrated Holi to spread the message of peace and happiness. Tiny tots of the nursery section performed a dance on “Khel khel mein khele Holi” followed by a presentation of Class I students on “Thoda rang lago lo”. Principal Punam Dogra wished everybody a very happy Holi.

SACRED SOUL: Students of the primary section of Scared Soul Convent School, Dugri, celebrated Holi with great zeal and interest here today. The students brought dry colours and smeared each other’s faces with them. They hugged each other conveying the message of brotherhood and friendship.

They also enjoyed a picnic on the premises wherein they savoured eatables, fruits and soft drinks. Chairman GS Gill, principal LS Lamba and vice-principal SK Gill congratulated the students and teachers on this occasion.

SPRING DALE: Saying no to toxic colours, Spring Dalians celebrated Holi with turmeric powder and besan. They applied a “tilak” to director and founder principal Avinash Kaur Walia and wished her a happy Holi. Tiny tots got chocolates in return from the director.

LAURELS: BCM Aryans showcased talent and won many prizes in various competitions during the flower show organised by the PAU. A total of 38 prizes were won by BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, under various classes and categories, including flower ornaments, flower arrangements (dry and fresh), cut flower, flower grown in pots and cacti and succulents.



Man run over by college van, dies 
Our Correspondent

Raikot, February 27
A man died after being run over by a college van yesterday. The deceased has been identified as Amrik Singh, alias Fouji (48) of Dhener village. He along with his wife Kuldeep Kaur was on his way home from Toose village near Halwara on motorcycle (PB 19 C 6391) when the accident took place.

When he reached GHG Nursing College, a speeding college van (PB 07 B 7874) rammed into Amrik Singh’s motorcycle. His wife sustained injuries. The passers by took both of them to Life Care Hospital. From there he was referred to Ludhiana.

The police personal took him to Ludhiana in an ambulance but unfortunately it broke down and Amrik Singh died there due to excessive bleeding. Kuldeep Kaur is undergoing treatment at Life Care Hospital. The van driver, however, managed to escape. Satnam Singh of Barnala, the van driver, has been booked on a complaint lodged by Iqbal Singh of Dhaner village. The van has also been impounded.



4 drug peddlers held 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 27
Four members of a notorious gang of drug peddlers, who were distributing drugs and narcotics in a high-profile manner, have been arrested. Six bags of poppy husk and a Scorpio used in the crime has been seized from their possession.

The kingpin of the gang is reported to have close links with higher officials in the police as well as the transport departments.

Gurpreet Singh of Khanpur in Fatehgarh district, the kingpin, and his accomplices Nazar Singh of Rattan Garh Ratna, Ranjit Singh Rania of Goh in the Khanna subdivision and Sohan Singh of Wadala Kotla were arrested from near the Chhanna road while they were on their way to handover a consignment to an agent yesterday afternoon.

According to Malerkotla DSP, Sukhdev Singh Virk, a patrolling party led by Harinder Singh nabbed the accused when they tried to flee on seeing the cops. The cops became suspicious when the driver tried to change the path. The peddlers were nabbed after a brief chase.

Investigations revealed that Gurpreet had been into the business of drugs and narcotics distribution for many years. It is yet to be confirmed if he was booked in similar case earlier also. However, he had been evading action due to his alleged links with higher officials in the police. 



Kabaddi championship
GNN College’s BA III team win on Day 1
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 27
The kabaddi matches for the students of under graduate classes were organised in the kabaddi grounds of the girl’s wing of Guru Nanak National College today. There were a total of seven teams - BA-I consisted of three teams while two teams each of BA-II and BA-III played these friendly matches with each other. A team of BA-III ultimately took the lead by four points and came out victorious in the end.

The winners were encouraged by Prof Balwant Singh Pangali, general secretary, college managing committee, principal Narinder Singh Sidhu and director Jaswant Singh Gill. Gursharan Kaur, dean (sports council) and Prof MS Bhandari, head of the Hindi department, inaugurated the championship on the first day of the match.

Dr Nirlep Kaur, head of the department and the organiser of the championship, said inter-class competitions help the students in dropping their initial hesitation and get a boost to participate in various inter-college and inert-university competitions with an improved vision and a thoroughly emboldened will power. 



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