L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


13 premis booked for murder, arson
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 28
Possibility of violent protests by Dera Sacha Sauda supporters here, kept the police on its toes today. This region has a sizeable population of both Dera Sacha Sauda and activists of a few radical Sikh organisations. As two of the four ‘naam charcha ghars’ in the area are situated on the link roads leading to Mansa and Bathinda, the epicenters of yesterday’s rampage by agitated ‘premis’, the police had to deploy extra force to avoid any untoward incident.

Notwithstanding the promulgation of the Section 144 in the region, a large number of activists of the sect tried to express their anguish against the registration of a murder case by the CBI against the dera head Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim. But the police officials persuaded them to return to their houses.

Meanwhile, the Mehal Kalan police has booked at least 13 supporters of the sect under Sections 307, 427, 436 and 120 B for allegedly attempting to kill occupants of an Orbit bus, arson and for harming public property last evening.

The suspects were identified as Balwinder Singh, Balwinder Singh, Kartar Singh of Kanganwal, Happy, Sukhwinder Singh, Raja, Baljinder Singh, Jagraj Singh and Avtar Singh of Jallowal, Avtar Singh of Mehal Kalan, Avatar Singh of Behal and Cretan Singh of Saidowal. Though the police reportedly rounded up some supporters, the authorities did not confirm any arrest.

Cops had been trying to control the law and order situation in their respective areas. The situation was worse near Dera Sacha Sauda, Jagera, situated on the Ludhiana- Malerkotla road and dera located at Jalaldiwal village on the Raikot- Barnala road as these were situated on main roads leading to epicenters of yesterday’s trouble.

DSP Sukhdev Singh Virk, DSP Jasdev Singh Sidhu and DSP Pirthi Pal Singh monitored security arrangements in areas falling under their respective jurisdictions. Special teams lead by SHO City Harinder Singh, SHO Dehlon Rachhpal Singh Dhindsa and SHO Raikot Waryam Singh were on alert at public places like government offices, bus stands and railway stations besides persuading office-bearers of the sect to refrain from any type of disruptive activities.

As senior office-bearers of various radical Sikh organisations like the Damdami Taksal had been active at religious places situated at Lamma Jattpura and Bopa Rai Kalan the police had taken extra precautions to handle the situation.


Getting NoC for industry now easy
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
Coming to the rescue of the industry, Vishav Bandhu, general manager, District Industries Centre, Ludhiana, would now issue immediate “deemed consent” to the industry if the department concerned fails to issue it within the stipulated time. Red tape in government departments causes delay and getting an NoC becomes difficult in the present system. According to the Industrial Facilitation Act, all no-objection certificates and consents to the industry from all departments concerned have been made time barred.

Under the Act, NoC from the pollution board should be given within 15 days in the green category and 30 days in the red or hazardous category. Sanction of power from the PSEB should be given within a month.

The consents related to the industry pertaining to sales tax, municipal corporation, forest department, registrar of companies, registration of VAT and department of irrigation are also time barred, but no department really issues these on time.

The state government has now empowered the GM of the District Industries Centre to issue deemed consent if the departments failed to give the consent to the industry within the fixed time frame.

Badish K Jindal, coordinator of the All Industries and Trade Forum, said this would save the industry from harassment and wastage of time.

Another industrialist said: “No department issues the consent on time. We are left with no option, but to keep making rounds of the department.”



Shopkeepers’ parking woes set to end
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
Parking hassles plaguing the city’s shopkeepers at Bhadaur House are likely to be over soon. Traffic SP Rupinder Singh, who visited the Ludhiana Improvement Trust building today to address their problems, reportedly warned shopkeepers at the Caliber Plaza market not to park their vehicles on LIT land allotted for shops cum offices.

He also told the shopkeepers to park their vehicle in the mall parking, situated on the top floor of the mall. “Action would be taken against those not complying with the orders”, he stated.

The shopkeepers association alleged the Caliber Plaza market authorities have allegedly converted the parking space into shops. “Vehicles which should have be parked in the basements are now being parked on the streets, which is resulting in traffic chaos”, they added.

Gopal Syal, owner of Lekh Raj Syal & Son's Stationers, rued the businesses of the shopkeepers at Bhadaur House were incurring losses as there was little parking space available for customers.

"At the time these SCOs were purchased the MC provided parking space along with the shops and that was the principal reason we bought them," said Syal, adding he had also paid for the parking space when purchasing his shop.



Artistes say they were tricked into performing at college event
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
Striking a sour note at a colourful function organised by the Guru Nanak Girls' College, Model Town yesterday, noted Punjabi singers Nachhattar Gill and Inderjeet Nikku alleged had been “fooled into performing at a function that was much below their standard" after being kept in the dark about the event.

The artistes were in the city to take part in the function to mark the 111th birth anniversary of a former Punjab chief minister, Gurnam Singh, who was also the college’s founder.

"Had I known I would be asked to perform at a function held to celebrate the birth anniversary of a former CM, I would have refused to come," said Gill.

He added the organisers had not provided him the precise details of the event. "I was only informed I would have to perform at a public function in Ludhiana with thousands of my fans eagerly waiting there to hear me sing," he said.

The singer added he had to cancel important engagements to accommodate today's function. "My album 'Ardaas Karan' was released today but I didn’t attend a single release function because of this event," rued a livid Gill.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Punjabi singers Nikku and Manjeet Rupowalia. They also complained the organizers did not inform them about the details regarding the function, “simply asking us to perform at a public function in Ludhiana".

Nikku had apparently not even heard about Gurnam Singh, in the memory of whom the event was organised. He remarked, "Perhaps the only plus point of taking part at this function were the memories of my college days that came rushing to my mind when I entered the campus”.

Visibly annoyed, Gill and Nikku said, “We’ve been performing for huge audiences, the numbers of which sometimes run into millions, in countries like Britain, the US and Canada. In comparison this college event was a very lowly affair”.

However, Rupowalia said he was “glad to be a part of the function organized in the memory of a great leader of India".

Despite repeated attempts the event’s organisers and the college principal could not be contacted.

Meanwhile, the college students had a gala time when a galaxy of singers descended on the stage in the campus to perform live.

Popular Punjabi singers Babu Mann, Sarabjit Cheema, Master Saleem, Ravinder Grewal, Lakhwinder Wadali, Nirmal Sidhu, Roshan Prince, Rai Jujhar, Lahember Hussainpuria, Preet Brar, Harinder Harry, Surjit Khan, Jaily, Kartar Cheema, Harleen Akhtar, John Victor, Ricknoor, Happy Jaura, Harpreet Mangat, Happy Jassowal, Deep Aman and Manjeet Rupowalia held the audience spellbound with foot-tapping numbers from their albums.



Traffic cops sore over having to buy new uniform
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
The change of the Punjab traffic police uniform from tomorrow has put the cops in a spot of bother as not only would they have to spend money for the new uniforms from their own pockets but would also have to travel to Chandigarh to provide the tailor their measurements.

However, traffic cops of the rank of subinspector and ASI would not be required to don the khakhi coloured uniform.

The government has gone in for the change to give traffic cops a “distinct” look. Beginning March they will now be seen wearing a white shirt and trousers along with white shoes. According to the notification issued by the Punjab police, the cops will have to shell out about Rs 5,000 for a pair of uniform.

The cops say the move would pinch their pockets. Officers who have little children are complaining it would be difficult for them to afford the money to buy the new uniforms.

“There is extra pressure on us in March as we have to shell out a lot of money to pay school fees and buy books and other materials for our children”, they added.

"Prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed to all-time high and, with our meager salaries, we’re hardly able to save any money. From where would we get hold of the money to buy the uniforms? Ideally it should be the government’s responsibility to make arrangements for buying our uniforms," said an ASI level traffic official.

Traffic cops have also questioned the logic behind going all the way to Chandigarh to give their measurements to a particular tailor who has been assigned to stitch the new uniforms

"Why can't we get the uniform stitched here as we have to pay for it from our pocket? Now we have to make the trip to Chandigarh and stand in a queue to give the tailor our measurements for the uniform. Moreover, tailor is not telling us the precise date on which these uniforms would be delivered to us," complained a traffic cop.



Free OPD at DMCH
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
The DMCH would start free OPD consultation services for the poor from March 1 from 2 pm to 4 pm in various specialities, including general medicine, general surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, eye, ENT, psychiatry, orthopaedics and dermatology.



Students visit Sanghol
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 28
Neraly 90 students of the History Society of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, today familiarised themselves with the archaeological sites in Sanghol village, popularly known as Uchha Pind. Prof Williamjit Singh, in charge of the society, said the archaeological exploration and regular excavations were carried out from 1968 to 1990 by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Archaelogy and Museums, Punjab, at significant intervals of time.

He further said, the earliest habitation at the site yielded Late Harappan material around 2000B.C.This was followed by painted grey-ware material, black-slipped wares of early historic, late historic, early medieval and late medieval periods. Two monasteries and stupas belonging to the Kushaan period were also laid bare.

The teacher said the motive behind visiting this site was to teach the students about how the historians create history by using archaeological sources of particular periods and convert their research to text. The students took very keen interest in various exhibits, which consist of coins of various periods such as un-inscribed cast-coins of Kushaan Kings and of the Huna periods as well.

Prof Amarjit Kaur, Prof Harwinder Kaur and Prof Harpreet Kaur also accompanied the students to this site.



From Schools and Colleges
Hemant, Neha are Mr and Miss SDP
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
A farewell party was organised for the outgoing Class X and XII students at SDP Senior Secondary School yesterday. Students participated in a cultural programme, including modelling, bhangra, group dance and one-minute show and entertained all. Mr and Miss SDP titles went to Hemant and Neha respectively. Principal Ashok Kumar Verma presided over the function. Sanjeev Bindra and Jasbir Singh Chauhan were also present.

Guru Nanak College

The annual prize distribution function of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujarkhan campus, Model Town, was held at Sant Singh Gujarkhani auditorium of the college here today. Prof Ved Prakash, vice-chairman, UGC, was the chief guest and Dr Amarjit Singh Dua, director general, education, DGPC, was the guest of honour.

The function started with a shabad after the chief guest lighted the traditional lamp. Dr Karamjit Kaur Virdi read out the annual report, highlighting the glorious achievements of the students in the fields of academics, sports and co-curricular activities in the session 2009-10.

The chief guest honoured nearly 180 students and exhorted them to work hard with dedication and devotion.

Khalsa College for Women

The 48th annual prize distribution function was held at Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, here today to acknowledge the fruitful endeavours of the students.

Dr Abraham G. Thomas, director, CMCH, presided over the function. The college management committee, principal Dr Varinder Kaur Thind and students, accorded a warm welcome to the chief guest.

The principal read out the annual report of the college and highlighted the achievements of the students in the fields of academics, sports and cultural events.

The chief guest gave away prizes to 251 students for excellent performances in the session 2009-10 and wished them good luck.

Firststeps School

It was an evening made special by the enthusiastic efforts of tiny tots of Firsteps Play School. The annual function of the school was held at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan auditorium here last evening. The show, titled "Around the World in 80 minutes" was an interesting and imaginative journey of a little girl, Navya, around the world.

Principal Poonam Mahajan urged the parents not to impose a structured was of thinking on their children but to fan imagination and allow their creativity to unfold. She thanked choreographer Abhinav and teachers for putting inn immense hard work in making the show a success.

S. Ahlawat, director, Drishti Dr RC Jain Innovative Public School, was the chief guest. She appreciated the kids' performances and encouraged them to participate actively in such events.



Students, teachers from Moscow visit PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
A four-member group of students and teachers from Moscow State Agro-Engineering University (MSAU) held discussions with PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang and other officials of various departments.

The group of Dr Malashenkov Konstantin, vice-rector, international programmes, Dr Tomara Kobozeba, teacher, V Nikolaeva, translator, and Nataliya Egorova, student, is on a weeklong visit to the PAU.

Dr Kang said these visits provide students to know the institutes, culture and way of life that widen their vision.

The PAU and the MSAU are doing this under student and faculty exchange programme. He said even in the sixties, the PAU used to teach Russian to its PhD students for proficiency in foreign language.

Emphasising upon the similarity of mandated programmes for the two institutes, Dr Konstantin appreciated the PAU for organising various visits and interactions with scientists, farmers, entrepreneurs and seed producers that provide the required knowledge to the visiting students.

He lauded the activities of the PAU in the area of communication, saying that there was a scope to strengthen ties between the PAU and the MSAU in this field.

The Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Dr PK Gupta, highlighted the programme for the visiting team that includes visit to tractor companies, agri-logistics, interaction in the centre for communication and international linkages, visit to Museum of Social History of Punjab, visit to Namdhari farms and fields of progressive growers and pilot plants for fruits and vegetables handling, rice and pulse milling and honey extraction.

He said Dr SK Gupta was the coordinator of the visit.



Farewell party at Green Grove School
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 28
The management, staff and students of Class XI of Green Grove School gathered at Greenland Hotel to bid adieu to the outgoing students of Class XII. Oshin Sethi and Jaspreet Singh of Class XI anchored the show and recalled the golden times they had shared with their seniors. After the cake cutting ceremony, the girls of Class XI performed on a western dance, followed by one-minute games, tongue twister and compliments for Class XII students. Sandeep Singh, head boy, gave an emotional speech. Satinderjit Jolly felicitated the students who won various coveted titles.

Sandeep was unanimously selected Mr Green Grove and Ravneet Gill was adjudged Miss Green Grove. Gursheen Singh and Chashamdeep were Mr and Miss Farewell, respectively.Similarly, Mayank Sood and Aashna Sethi were Mr and Miss Dedicated, while Bishram Dania and Manpreet Kaur were Mr and Miss Sincere.

Mr and Miss Intelligent were Ravinder Singh and Sakshi Sharma, respectively, while Arshdeep Benipal and Jaspreet Kaur were Mr and Miss Evening.



Blossoms Convent celebrates annual day
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 28
The annual function of Blossoms Convent School, Leelan Megh Singh, near here, was held today in which Dr Onkar Singh Parmar, director, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science University, Ludhiana, was the chief guest and Sant Baba Lakha Singh of Nanaksar, Sant Balbir Singh Nanaksar, MLA Darshan Singh, Chairman Tersem Singh Ratia were the guests of honour.

Principal Yogesh Sharma read the annual report and highlighted the achievements of the school during the year.

School management committee president Ramandeep Singh, Kamaljit Singh Brar, Manpreet Singh Brar, Amar Singh Gill, Suresh Garg, Rajesh Khanna, Pushpinder Singla, Anjali Sharma, Aman Goyal, Tejinder Kaur, Gurmeet Kaur, Jatinder Singh were also present among others.

Indian and international cultures were showcased at the function. Small children pepped up the show with an energetic welcome dance.

The near perfect performances of the participants enthralled the audience.

Students pledged to annihilate the demons of female Foeticide, dowry and inequality in a mesmerising choreography depicting the sad tale of women. 152 meritorious students were given prizes for their achievements in academics, sports and curricular activities.

Rajan Sharma and Gobind Sharma were declared best students of the year while Mandeep Kaur was adjudged the best teacher of the year.

Jaspal Kaur and Amandeep Singh were declared best athletes of the year.



Mega job fair draws crowds
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
Quest Infosys Group organised a mega job fest for students of IT and management courses in Ludhiana region here yesterday. The purpose of the fest was to provide students job opportunities on their doorstep.

Fourteen companies from different operational fields participated in the job fest.

They included Oswal Industries, Mahindra Automobiles, Vishal Megamart, Indusind Bank, Kotal Life Insurance, Johnson and Nicholson, Saarthi Enterprises, EON Infotech Limited, Relaince Communications, Kangaroo Industries, Destimony Enterprises, Anagram Capital Limited, Reliance Life Insurance and OIT Infotech.

DS Sekhon, chairman and managing director, Quest Infosys Group, inaugurated the job fest and welcomed the participating companies and students.

Over 300 students of PTU DEP from learning centres of Ludhiana, Mullanpur, Raikot, Doraha, Khanna, Ahmedgarh participated in the fest. A pre-placement talk was held wherein students were informed about various job opportunities offered. The students later participated in various rounds of interviews.



Kisan Mela from March 18

Amloh, February 28
Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana, is going to hold its annual Kisan Mela on March 18 and March 19 at the university campus to create awareness among farmers about the new techniques in the farm sector, Director, Extension Services,Dr Mukhtiar Singh Gill told this to mediapersons at the farm of Balbir Singh Jaria of Dharmgarh village today.

Gill was accompanied by Director Research Dr Paramjit Singh Minhas, Dean, Colleges, Dr. Milka Singh Aulakh, Addition Director, Dr Harjit Singh Dhaliwal and Krishivigyan Kender Deputy Director Harinder Singh.

The team visited the plot of garlic prepared with paddy straw, nappier bajra, sarson, haldi and vegetable farms.

The team also visited paddy-straw stock given amonia treatment for use as cattle fodder, pitch to save rainy water and sapling plantation on the boundaries of the fields. — OC



Delegates review TB programme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
More than 200 delegates from all over Punjab attended a two-day state-level workshop on revised national tuberculosis programme (RNTCP) which concluded here today. The workshop was attended by officials from the department of health and family welfare, Punjab, and private doctors from all over Punjab for reviewing the progress of DOT (directly observed therapy) for the treatment of tuberculosis. Dr Narotam Dewan, president of the local IMA, said the problem of tuberculosis was gigantic in Ludhiana and at least 30 per cent of the population comprising migrant labourers was undernourished and living in crowded, unhygienic conditions.

He said the incidence of tuberculosis was at least 25 per cent and many people became incapable of working and several die due to the disease. The RNTCP and DOT was not very effective in controlling this problem as the number of DOT provider centres was less compared to the population.

Doctors who have been trained also have not been able to open DOT centres due to technical problems.



Law and order problem
Congress MP asks Sukhbir Badal to resign
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 28
Congress MP from Gurdaspur and former Punjab minister Partap Singh Bajwa today asked Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who also holds the portfolio of the Home Affairs, to quit the office for the failure to maintain peace and rule of the law in Punjab.

Bajwa, who was here as party observer to have the views of the Congress councillors on the next group leader in the civic body, while talking to mediapersons at Circuit House here, said the constitutional machinery, as well as the intelligence set up in the state, had completely failed as the state was subject to repeated acts of violence by communal and religious groups. To top it all, the ruling party itself had let loose a reign of terror against all those raising a voice of protest.

"The law and order has been a casualty ever since the panchayat and local bodies elections when the ruling alliance murdered the democracy in broad daylight. Thereafter, violence has been erupting at regular intervals be it in the name of Dera Sacha Sauda of Sirsa, Dera Sachkhand, Ashutosh Maharj of Noor Mahal or migrants while the agencies responsible for the maintenance of the law and order have been either taking sides, or else watching the situation like mute spectators," the Congress MP alleged.

He said the police oppression at the behest of the senior functionaries of the ruling coalition, had crossed all limits. "The teachers, including women, the farmers, the government employees and other agitating groups have had a taste of police brutality and indifference of the government over blatant violation of human rights in Punjab."

Taking a dig at the tall claims of both senior and junior Badals on the development front, Bajwa said they had been making unfounded and false claims and unabashedly taking credit for such achievements that simply did not exist. None of the major project, including the new projects for power generation, being flaunted by the government functionaries, had seen any actual work being undertaken while most of them still existed on paper only.

In what came as a surprise from the Congress MP were his remarks against Union Food Minister Sharad Pawar, a senior leader of the Nationalist Congress Party, and a constituent of the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre.

He said Pawar could not escape his constitutional responsibility for the rise in prices of essential food items. "The minister had not only failed to effectively deal with scarcity and spiralling prices of food items but had made a few irresponsible statements as well that had triggered further rise in prices of certain commodities."



Party to name its leader in MC
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana,February 28
Local Congress councillors had a busy day today-having one-to-one meeting with party MP and former minister Partap Singh Bajwa in Circuit House on the issue of nomination of a group leader in the municipal corporation.

The post is lying vacant for the past several months after Prem Mittal resigned from the Congress and joined the SAD just before the Lok Sabha elections.

Named as observer by the state leadership to have the views of the party councillors on the next group leader in the general house of the civic body, Bajwa personally met most of the 16 councillors, and spoke on telephone to a couple of those who could not make it to the venue for some reasons.

Sham Sunder Malhotra, Amrit Varsha Rampal, Hem Raj Aggarwal and Parminder Mehta, the main contenders, whose names are doing the rounds for the post, met Bajwa and staked their claims for nomination. The party observer also discusses the matter with senior councillors like Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Sanjay Talwar, Rakesh Parashar, Pritpal Singh Ghayal and Sushil Raju Thapar, besides others.

Later, Bajwa said he would submit his report to the state leadership of the party, who will take the final decision and name the group leader of the councillors. He expected that the announcement would be made within a week or so.

Without elaborating further, he said while naming the new group leader of the Congress in the MC general house, the party leadership would keep the views expressed by the councillors while making sure that the new leader had the capability to take all others along, and perform the role of an effective Opposition leader in the general house. 

Youth wing to highlight ‘poor’ civic governance
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 28
As a part of its national-level “aam admi ka sipahi” programme, the District Youth Congress (DYC) has now shifted its focus to poor civic governance in the city saying it is in dire straits. District Youth Congress president Dimple Rana has said that the party rank and file has been directed to highlight the pathetic state of civic amenities, and especially the insensitivity of the municipal corporation towards delivery of services and providing reasonably good infrastructures.

The municipal offices have virtually become dens of corruption, despite tall claims to this effect, no major development has taken place, roads and streets almost in every part of the city are in a bad shape, water supply and sewerage erratic, and even light showers led to inundation of not only low-lying areas but even posh residential and commercial localities.

Launching an attack on the BJP, the junior partner in the ruling coalition, the District Youth Congress chief said, “ A constituent of the government and ruling alliance in the corporation has gone public with serious charges of corruption against a few municipal officials with regard to the installation of hoardings and execution of development works, without moving the government into any kind of action.”



Roshni fair loses its charm
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 28
Though the Roshni fair is of much importance for the local populace, it is loosing its sheen due to the apathetic attitude of various departments. There wasn’t any check on the sale of eatables that were being sold in unhygienic manner in the mela. Children were seen eating things from stalls erected over the stinking nullah. The tattoo makers were not sterlising the needles of their instruments before using it on different persons.

SMO Jagraon Dr Hari Krishan said he had directed the organiser in this regard. He promised to look into the matter. SDM Mukand Singh confessed that the organiser had not sought his permission in this regard. He, too, promised to enquire into the matter. DSP Jagraon Bhupinder Singh said adequate steps had been taken to provide securities to the devotees. He said more security would be provided if the need arises. An executive officer of the municipal committee said they were taking care of sanitation and would visit the site to examine the lapses.

According to sources, organiser of the fair Baldev Singh of Barnala had not sought any permission. The contractor was evading the taxes though he was collecting a whopping 50 per cent amount from the vendors who had come from other states. Vendors from Rajasthan, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh were also seen paying the amount. The contractor engaged 10-year-old Raju by offering him food and a few swing rides. The fruit chat-seller confessed that no health authority official visited the place though cut fruits were being sold near the nullah.



Village land encroached upon by SAD worker
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 28
The land of Roomi village has been encroached by a sarpanch Amandeep Kaur, who happens to be a SAD activist. Panchayat members Jaswinder Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Surinder Kaur and Jagdeep Singh, who were against the decision taken by Amandeep Kaur, has lodged a former complaint with SSP Ludhiana (Rural) Harinder Singh Chahal and a local BDPO.

It is alleged that Amandeep Kaur and her husband Rachhpal Singh conspired with a senior SAD worker of the village and handed over the possession of 10.14 kanal prime land on the Raikot state highway to Rafiq Mohammad. The land is said to be worth crores of rupees.

It has been alleged that this SAD leader who wanted to construct a marriage palace on it was eyeing the land that belonged to Guru Gobind Singh Girls School of Roomi Panchayat. Expecting stiff opposition, he projected Rafiq Mohammad as his front man to take the possession. He is raising a boundary wall around the encroached land.

The SSP said he had deputed a DSP to probe into the matter and take action accordingly. Yesterday, the DSP and a SHO reached the spot and verified the document of both parties. The DSP stopped the ongoing construction work on the disputed land and formed a fact finding 21-member committee from within the village. He added that the decision of the committee would be binding on both parties. The committee will submit its report by March 3. However, Rafiq said they would not like to act against the wishes of the villagers.

Rachhpal Singh, speaking on behalf of Amandeep Kaur, said Rafiq was in possession of 45-biswa land for more than 30 years. Many Muslim families were living there. Now, through the resolution the village panchayat has allotted 15-biswa land out of the 45 to them and had taken the possession of vacated 30 biswa land of the panchayat. He said the land had been allotted to them for constructing their houses on it.



Sutra dance troupe in city
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
“The world is in love with India and Indian classical dancers take the credit for globalisation of Indian ethos”, said Ramli Ibrahim, the Odissi dancer of Malaysian origin, as he recounted his proximity with Indian classical dances. Ramli Ibrahim, the artiste behind the Sutra Dance Theatre Troupe is in the city to perform Odissi dance under the theme “Spellbound”, at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan.

The troupe comprising 10 dancers/musicians is on a six-week tour of India and has already performed in Kerala, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Puddicherry and Guwahati.

A disciple of Guru Kelucharan Mahopatra, Guru Deva Prasad and Guru Pankaj Charan Das, the Malaysian dancer in a tête-à-tête with The Tribune stated that his association with Odissi dance form goes back to 1970s when he started studying comparative philosophy and religion in Australia adding, “India was pivotal when I started my research that took me to Orissa and the artiste in me fell in love with the state popularly referred to as the land of temples.”

Having performed with the topmost Odissi dancers in international shows, Ramli Ibrahim constituted his troupe of artistes who with their commitment are now well versed with Odissi repertoire and have successfully performed for Indian, Malaysian as well as international audiences.

Modernity according to Ramli strengthens the spirit of art and culture as he testified his statement as a “ballet choreographer”, the platform that made him what he is today.

Ramli Ibrahim in his capacity as a true exponent of the Odissi dance venerates it to the position of being “most sensuous” amongst Indian classical dances. “From ‘chaukor’ and ‘tribhangi mudras’ that depict lyrical mood to the bright ethic attires coupled with silver jewellery worn by the dancers, everything depicts suppleness,” emphasizes the artiste.



Stray cattle menace
Insurance cos should take steps to avoid mishaps
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 28
Identifying insurance companies as biggest sufferers of consequences of stray cattle menace on roads and highways, residents of the area have suggested that instead of paying huge compensations to insured victims, these companies should undertake preventive steps to avoid vehicular accidents, possibly caused due to sudden appearance of stray dogs in front of the speeding vehicles.

Besides saving national property, this move will also prevent hundreds of human lives from dying and physical disability.

Terming the road accidents as a blot on the national and state economy besides being hazardous for human life, residents of the area have urged the government to direct officials concerned to ensure commuters’ safety by keeping roads free from stray animals in general and dogs in particular.

They have suggested that various insurance companies should be assigned responsibility of keeping designated spans of roads free from stray animals.

“As ultimate bearers of financial losses due to vehicular accidents are insurance companies, officials of these organisations can easily understand significance of avoiding such accidents. This besides saving the companies from paying huge amounts as a part of compensation will save precious lives which can possibly be lost in avoidable accidents,” argued the residents seeking concern of the government.

Investigations revealed that the menace has emerged as one of the severest causes of road accidents that have already claimed hundreds of lives in this area.

Perusal of records with the insurance companies and police stations of the area showed that more than 80 per cent accidents were caused due to sudden appearance of a stray dog or animal on the road. Carcasses of dogs lying on the roads, which had come under the wheels of passing vehicles, endorse it.

In some case sudden appearance of a dog or cattle had resulted in overturning and collision of numerous vehicles in an accident.



Martyr’s village gets Rs 31 lakh grant
Our Correspondent

Sarabha (Raikot), February 28
In a gesture of gratitude toward martyrs of Punjab, Sarabha village has been handed over Rs 31 lakh grant for its overall development. The Chief Minister had visited the native village of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha on November 15 last year to pay tributes to the martyr. He had promised to sanction as much grant as required by the villagers as a token of gratitude towards the martyr.

Zila parishad chairman Manpreet Singh Ayali kept the promise and dispersed Rs 31 lakh grant for the repair and construction of streets, sewers, public toilets, community hall and that of the Shaheed Kartar Singh’s house. With this, the total grant released to the village has risen to Rs 68 lakh. Premjit Singh, sarpanch of the village, while talking to The Tribune has said that this is for the first time that any government agency has issued grant to the village. Bhupinder Singh, an octogenarian, adds for the first time it seems like the government has felt that it owes something to martyrs and is spending on villages where they were born.

Ayali, addressing a gathering, has said he is committed toward the overall development of the villages as per the instructions of the Chief Minister. The supply of potable water to 908 villages of the district is his priority. He urged the villagers to come with a proposal for de-silting the pond so that he could release Rs 10 lakh for the purpose. He said through the natural water treatment plant by making four compartments of the village pond, not only the problem of sewage was tackled, but it also worked as a water harvesting system. His pilot project had been accepted by the Centre, which had directed to implement it in all villages of Punjab. The Centre has agreed to bear the costs.

Meanwhile, Swaran Singh, father of soccer player Harvinder Singh, who had represented India twice in the international championship, was honoured on the occasion.



Marxist leader dead
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 28
A well-known trade union leader and senior leader of the MCPI Amarjeet Singh expired here at the age of 80. He has been associated with the trade unions and the Left movement since 1948. He was one of the founder members of the Marxist forum in Punjab and remained the Central committee member of the MCPI.

His cremation was largely attended. Comrade Kuldeep Singh, state secretary of the MCPI, Surinder Singh, sarpanch, Balbir Singh, circle secretary, BSNL union, Balwinder Singh, district secretary, Tarsem Jodhan, former MLA, placed the red flag on the Comrade’s body.



Seminar on RTI awareness
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
The local chapter of the NRI Sabha organised a seminar on the RTI Act -2005 at Raj Guru Nagar here yesterday. Advocate HC Arora, a noted RTI activist, presided over the seminar. He made NRIs and retired Army personnel aware of the benefits of the Act.

Col RS Sohi, joint secretary, NRI Sabha, said the Act should be used for public interest and for keeping a check on corruption in public offices.

Senior vice-president, Apinder Singh Grewal, said the corruption had plagued our society. He said the RTI activists were doing their bit to root it out from society.

Arora announced that another conference would be organised at Law Bhawan in Chandigarh on April 11. It would be presided over by Arvind Kejriwal.



Organic Vegetables
Farmers seek admn help to sell produce
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Amloh/Khamano, February 28
A section of farmers growing organic crops for the past many years have approached the district administration to help them sell their produce. “We grow healthy vegetables and fruits without using chemicals. The quantity of our produce is not much compared to the ones grown using chemical sprays,” said Ripudman, a farmer of Haripur village.

He said they fail to get good price in the market for their quality crop. “We have to sell off the entire produce at one common place where chemical-laced fruits and veggies are also sold,” he said.

“However, we could get good price of our produce if we manage to get a separate place where only organic fruits, veggies are sold,” he added.

A representation was given to Fatehgarh Sahib Deputy Commissioner Yashvir Mahajan in this regard with the help of agriculture department officials. “The DC assured them to do the needful. The DC called these farmers at his office a few days back and asked about the allotment of a municipal council shop in Mandi Gobindgarh.

Since the nutrient value in organic vegetables is more, it gives good taste and health, if used continuously, said farmers.



Principal Sujan Singh’s contribution to Punjabi literature recalled
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 28
Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Minister for Public Relations, NRI Affairs and Welfare of Armed Forces, Punjab, recalled the contribution made by eminent Punjabi writer Principal Sujan Singh to the Punjabi literature and society as a whole. Presiding over a seminar on “Principal Sujan Singh centenary”, organised by the Punjabi Sahit Akademi here today, he said the communities that remembered their elders, especially writers, lived forever. Lauding the initiative of the akademi in holding seminar to place on record the works of the legendary writer, who was an institution in himself, Sekhwan said his creations were based on truth and were relevant at those times, as these were even today.

“Principal Sujan Singh wrote what he had experienced himself and this fact reflects truly in each of his literary creations. The way he enriched Punjab language, literature and culture, is unparalleled," the minister remarked.

Sekhwan announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh to the akademi from his discretionary funds.

Speaking on the occasion, former vice-chancellor of Punjabi University Sardara Singh Johl described Sujan Singh as a great Punjabi litterateur and storywriter.

Besides close family members of Principal Sujan Singh, including Surinder Kaur, Paramjit Kaur (daughters), Amanpreet Singh (son) and Kuldeep Puri (son-in-law), Pritam Singh Bharowal, Kuldep Singh Khalsa, Surinderpal Singh Garcha, Avtar Singh Sekhwan, Sukhdev Singh, Piara Singh Bhogal, SP Singh, Khazan Singh, Surjit Singh Bhatti, Anoop Singh and Sukhjit Singh were also present at the occasion. 



GNI old students go down memory lane
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
It was a day to recall those demanding PT classes, sneak visits to the staff room to check marks and other nostalgic moments. For over 300 students, last evening took them back to their old school days. At the first ever alumni reunion at GN International Senior Secondary Public School, Model Town, former students exchanged a lot of "do you remember" anecdotes as their teachers stood smiling. School director P Kahlon and principal Gurmant Kaur Gill welcomed the pupils.

One of the alumni, Bollywood singer Aman, who is associated with numerous ‘big names’ in the Hindi film industry, took the opportunity to pay tribute to her teachers. "The school had given us the greatest gift of knowledge. Our character was shaped at school. This was the place where I learnt music from my gurus”, she said.

The mood turned nostalgic when Chaman, who recently graduate from the school, got on the stage and recalled her school memories, one after the other, to reflect upon her days at the school. The other former students in the audience, could not help but smile at the thought of the famous canteen toast, the watchman's rebuffs, the school director's fondness for flowers and kids and her "granny-like loving ways".

Fond memories of childhood romances came rushing as Puneet Kaur and her husband Parminder Singh Makkar, the ‘Romeo-Juliet’ of Class X of the 2000 batch, met Sukhpreet Kaur and her husband Damanjit Singh Chhabra, both of the same batch. While the Makkars' affair was known in school, friends and old associates were surprised and happy to see Sukhpreet and Damanjit happily married.

The couples had interesting anecdotes to share with their former classmates on how their childhood romances came true. Interlacing memories with talks about their children, many were surprised to find some of their kids studying in same school. "My son Tej Arsh is studying in LKG in my school and I’m very proud of the fact. This school has made me what I am today and I know it will inculcate the same values in my son too," said Harpreet Singh, who graduated in 1996.

The evening also saw Devinder Singh of the 2006 batch flying down especially from Australia to be part of the reunion. "The thought of meeting all my old pals and teachers brought me here today," said the business management student.

As a mark of a tribute to their seniors the present students of the school offered a colourful cultural programme replete with Bollywood numbers and foot-tapping songs.



14-year-old girl dies in mishap
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, February 28
A 14-year-old girl was killed after being hit by a Tata Safari. The deceased has bee identified as Roopan, a student of Government Primary School, Humbran. She was on her way back from school when a black colour Safari hit her near the main chowk. The driver of the vehicle sped away after the mishap.

She was taken to a hospital where she died. 



Man booked for axing trees
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 28
The Sidhwan Bet police has booked a resident of Sowaddi village, Tehal Singh, for cutting trees illegally. The accused lives at the house of his in-laws at Sowaddi village. He has been booked on a statement of district forest officer (DFO) Vishal Chauhan. In his application to SSP (Ludhiana Rural), the DFO accused that Tehal Singh had cut many trees owned by the forest department from the banks of a canal at Thothad village.

Pedestrian killed

Raikot: A pedestrian was killed after being hit by a scooter yesterday. The accident took place on Ludhiana road opposite Gondwal village when Harsikander Singh was hit by a scooter (PB-10-6211) being driven by Kulwant Singh of Heran village near Sudhar.



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