L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Green cover vanishing fast, new areas hold hope
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

A park at Sarabha Nagar in Ludhiana.
A park at Sarabha Nagar in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, April 4
Even as the city grapples to shed its notorious distinction of being the most polluted city in the state, its lungs — the parks and green belts — are crying for attention.

The entire old city has no green areas despite repeated demands by the residents. Nearly 50 per cent of parks in new city parts of the industrial town, which has alarming rates of air pollution, are ill maintained. Many are an apology for a park, others are encroached upon and the rest are dumps of fly ash and even garbage.

The municipal corporation had given away about 400 parks to the Park Management Committees (PMCs). While several PMCs have maintained their parks very well, the rest also need attention. The rest 370, not given to PMCs, are in a poor condition.

A survey of parks all over the city by The Tribune team revealed many needed immediate attention. The worst condition of parks was witnessed in Focal Point area, Salem Tabri, Dugri, Gill Road, green belts on Chandigarh road and many parks in Urban Estate.

Parks in Focal Point area are mostly garbage and fly ash dumps. No attention is paid to maintain these neither by the MC nor by the industrialists themselves. Similarly, in Salem Tabri area, the parks lining Budda Nullah are dens of beggars and drug addicts.

The iron fencing of these parks has been taken away and sold in scrap by these people only. These are used more as open conveniences by the migrants and other locals. In Dugri, Gill Road and Chandigarh road areas, the parks also demand maintenance.

But for the green lungs in Sarabha Nagar, BRS Nagar, areas on Pakhowal Road, Civil Lines and newer areas, the parks are well maintained by PMCs. The latter, despite crying hoarse for being paid peanuts at the rate of Re 1 per square yard, have done a yeoman’s job for these parks. They look like oases in concrete jungle.

In old city areas, there are no parks at all. The residents can be seen gathered on the roundabouts in these areas where their health is at risk as they inhale thick fumes of heavy traffic. However, they continue to do so as the city has nothing to offer to them.

The rose garden, rakh bagh and leisure valley are like a silver lining in the dark clouds. Popularly named as morning walkers’ paradise, these green areas attract residents from all parts. However, despite the MC spending a princely sum on their maintenance, these require more attention.

The parks in a shambles have become an ideal place for anti-social elements to continue with their activities. These have become a haven for beggars and drug addicts. Empty bottles of cough syrups are often found and sweepers find it convenient to dump garbage in the parks, which at times include carcasses, and even abandoned newborn babies.

Each time one drive or another is initiated to protect the green cover. The “missionaries” of green cover, including political leaders, start several projects with pomp and show and to be in limelight, but they all fizzle-out in absence of follow-ups.

For example, Chattar Singh Park -- built in the memory of 3rd Punjab Battalion Chattar Singh Dhadli, who died while voluntarily working for Ludhiana-Dhuri rail link, is in a pitiable condition. Due to official apathy, the park is just another vacant land where protests and meetings are convened by various organisations.

Retired IFS officer and president of Park Management Committees (PMCs) SS Channa, a crusader for environment in the city, said neither the authorities nor the residents were committed to save the environment in the city.

Though the PMCs were trying their best to protect the green cover, but the amount given by the MC for maintenance was peanuts to take proper care of these parks.

Residents, too, pool-in from their own pockets, but in times of inflation, they find it difficult to maintain the parks. “The fee has to be increased at least to Rs 2. Plants/fertilisers are expensive and gardeners want huge amounts as their salaries these days,” said Channa.

Recently, during one of his visits to the city, the minister for local bodies Manoranjan Kalia had asked industrialists to maintain parks and put their advertisements on it (maintained by so and so), but due to lack of interest by both, things have not been moved so far. These parks are as big as 5,000 square yards.

Karamjit Singh, an industrialist in Focal Point area, however, feels that parks had to be updated first by the municipal authorities. “Till the time, they convene our meeting and discuss the issues in detail, how can we go ahead with maintenance? We need to be given proper guidance,” said Karamjit Singh.

Meanwhile, NGOs are playing vital role in protecting green cover in the city. Lakhs of saplings are being distributed by them to provide lungs to the city, but monitoring needs to be ensured

while voluntarily working for Ludhiana-Dhuri rail link, is in a pitiable condition. Due to official apathy, the park is just another vacant land where protests and meetings are convened by various organisations.

Retired IFS officer and president of Park Management Committees (PMCs) SS Channa, a crusader for environment in the city, said neither the authorities nor the residents were committed to save the environment in the city.

Though the PMCs were trying their best to protect the green cover, but the amount given by the MC for maintenance was peanuts to take proper care of these parks.

Residents, too, pool-in from their own pockets, but in times of inflation, they find it difficult to maintain the parks. “The fee has to be increased at least to Rs 2. Plants/fertilisers are expensive and gardeners want huge amounts as their salaries these days,” said Channa.

Recently, during one of his visits to the city, the minister for local bodies Manoranjan Kalia had asked industrialists to maintain parks and put their advertisements on it (maintained by so and so), but due to lack of interest by both, things have not been moved so far. These parks are as big as 5,000 square yards.

Karamjit Singh, an industrialist in Focal Point area, however, feels that parks had to be updated first by the municipal authorities. “Till the time, they convene our meeting and discuss the issues in detail, how can we go ahead with maintenance? We need to be given proper guidance,” said Karamjit Singh.

Meanwhile, NGOs are playing vital role in protecting green cover in the city. Lakhs of saplings are being distributed by them to provide lungs to the city, but monitoring needs to be ensured


Though most of the parks in the city have come under the purview of the MC, some are still being managed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust. Proper management is still required from all -- MC, residents and LIT -- to maintain the green cover in the city. As many as 137 parks are with the LIT and 38 with PUDA. Most of these parks are in a bad shape as both the authorities have not constituted any Park Management Committees asking the residents to maintain these despite the high court orders. These authorities have also faced a lot of criticism by putting many green belts on sale in the past also as the residents say the polluted city needs green lungs and no more concrete jungles.


PM denies extension of industrial package
Punjab cheers at Himachal’s lossManav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
The local industry is in a happy mood after the Prime Minister denied the extension of the special industrial package to Himachal Pradesh. The industry is now cheering as there will be no more shifting of the industrial base from Punjab. The growth rate is once again expected to rise and big investments are also being expected in Punjab after this announcement.

The FASII has thanked and welcomed the decision of the Prime Minister. “As an economist, the PM was fully aware of the disadvantages of extending the industrial package to the neighbouring states so he clearly refused for extending the package to Himachal Pradesh CM on this ground,” said Badish K Jindal, chairman, Punjab chapter of Federation of Associations of Small Industries of India (FASII).

Punjab was the worst sufferer due to the incentives given to Himachal Pradesh in the last six years. The growth rate of Punjab, which was much ahead of the national average in 2004, also came down in the last six years.

“The per capita income had also come down due to its neighbouring state during the same period. Now that the industrial package has not been extended to HP we hope more investments will be made in Punjab and the industry will revive once again,” added Vinay Kansal, an industrialist.

“No large scale unit was set up in Punjab during the package period of Himachal Pradesh. Many companies from Punjab also shifted their base to Himachal Pradesh to get tax benefits. Now, after the closure of this policy, Punjab could hope for new investments in the state,” Badish K Jindal, added further.

Another industrialist, Kaplish Singhal, added that the industry was moving its base from Punjab since it was getting tax benefits in Himachal Pradesh. Package was given to HP so that the industry there could grow. But the industry of the neighbouring states also suffered due to this and big companies paved their way to HP.



Imposter nabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
Imposter, who claimed to be the officer on special duty (OSD) of state finance minister Manpreet Badal, was nabbed by Focal Point police here today.The accused was identified as Avtar Singh Dhindsa, a resident of Saila Khurd village in Hoshiarpur.

According to the police, the accused used to take money from people on the pretext of getting their work from the minister.

The police got hold of a fake VIP identity card in which the accused stated himself to be the OSD of Manpreet Badal.

He told the police that he had made the fake ID cards to beguile the people. The police has also impounded the vehicle of the accused. The accused had installed a blue beacon and a plate of this name on the vehicle.

The police has recovered four passports from the possession of the accused. The police said the accused was working as a travel agent as well and used to take money from innocent youths on the pretext of sending them abroad. The police booked the imposter under Sections 420, 465, 467 and 471 of the IPC.



Youth mowed down by truck
Tribune News Service

Parvez AlamLudhiana, April 4
An 18-year-old boy was run over by an over speeding private truck at Samrala chowk here today.The incident took place around 9 am, when the truck, heading towards Chandigarh road, jumped traffic lights at Samrala Chowk and mowed down a moped, killing Parvez Alam, a resident of Gulabi Bag colony, near Tajpur road, while Aftaab Alam, father of the victim, who was driving the moped, had a miraculous escape. He sustained minor injuries.

Aftaab Alam, a textile trader, said Parvez was sitting pillion while he was riding the moped. Both of them were heading to purchase cloth from a market when the truck hit their moped head-on.

Eyewitnesses said Aftab fell on the side while Parvez was crushed under the wheels of the truck. “The truck driver did not stop and went on to drag my child to at least 40 feet before it was stopped by the commuters. Had the driver applied breaks on time my child would have been saved,” rued Aftab, who was virtually inconsolable.

“I am the most unfortunate father. I saw my own child die in front of me and I could not do anything to save him,” lamented Aftab.

Angry residents gathered at the spot and tried to stage a protest on the GT Road, but the police took timely action and arrested the driver and pacified the crowd.

Balwinder Singh, SHO, Division No. 7, said the accused driver, Pyara Chand, from Himachal Pradesh had been arrested and booked under Section 304-A of the IPC.

While grieving over the death of her son, victim’s mother Zubeida lamented, “Why god took my child? Just few days ago the girl who used to reside in our neighbourhood was crushed under the MC truck. Since then I did not let my children go on the main road. Even today I told the father of Pervez to accompany him to the market, but the tragedy still struck us.”

Parvez was the eldest amongst the five siblings. His father said being the eldest son, Parvez left studies and started supporting him in the business.



After Class X, commerce rules the roost
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
Contrary to popular belief that science subjects are preferred by students after Class X, a recent survey has revealed that it’s the commerce stream that takes the cake.According to the survey that covered 33 schools across Ludhiana and its periphery, and 496 students of Class XII, 30 per cent of students opted for commerce after Class X, while 26 per cent of them went for science subjects. Arts, however, remained the least preferred subject with only 11 per cent students opting for it.

The survey was conducted by local B-school and Synetic Business School in Punjab, with an aim to ascertain the subject preference of students.

Commerce stream is highly sought after these days, as commerce students have a variety of options to go for after Class XII.

Some examples are: company secretary-ship, chartered accountancy, cost accountancy, business management, banking, financial consultancy and computers.

“Moreover, BCom with computer science as one of the combinations is now a much sought-after course,” explained former lecturer of commerce Prof SD Dutta.

Rashmi Ahuja, another commerce teacher, added that commerce stream owes its popularity to the fact that it is becoming increasingly difficult for many middle-class families to meet the spiralling cost of professional education.

“In the absence of scholarships and financial support, not everyone can afford to send his/her child for professional courses like engineering or medicine. Thus, commerce is the best and highly job-oriented option available for such students,” she added.

Commerce is followed by science in popularity and demand among students. Professor Dutta said, “It is a common belief that science is the most important subject as compared to humanities or even commerce. There is also a general feeling in our society that the best students opt for science subjects.”

He added that the subject combination of physics, chemistry and mathematics was in demand. “Engineering is perhaps the most sought-after stream these days at the undergraduate level in our country and the rising number of engineering colleges across the length and breadth of India proves the fact,” revealed Swati Nikhunj, a private coaching centre owner.

“Humanities, however, ranks last on the priority list of our students as most of the parents feel that it is the subject of below-average students. They do not understand that one has numerous options after Class XII in arts, which include civil services, journalism, teaching, fashion and interior designing,” remarked Aarti Singh, an arts lecturer.



Dance show fails to attract crowds
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
“Mega Dance Star Show” organised by the Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam failed to attract audience.It was only the parents and relatives of participants who came to watch the show. A few college students were the exception.

The finale of Mega Dance Star Show was held here yesterday evening at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan.

Participants showcased various dance forms during the dance show. Nirmal Rishi, Indira Bali and Veer Partap Singh were the judges.

Aakansha won the first prize with her classical dance performance on a western song, “Maria-Maria”.

While Salip stood second, Yashna whose dance was a mix of classical and western stood third. Consolation prize went to Tanya who presented a medley in Punjabi.

In between the interludes, comedian Khayali entertained the audiences with his light humour. He tickled the funny bone of the audience by cracking jokes on modern mothers who are more conscious of how they look rather than taking care of their kids. He also made the audience laugh on the traffic violations going unabated in Ludhiana. In addition, the gap between the rich and the poor was also the subject of his jokes. 



Mass prayers mark Easter celebrations
Tribune News Service

A girl lights a candle to celebrate Easter Sunday in Ludhiana.
A girl lights a candle to celebrate Easter Sunday in Ludhiana.A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, April 4
The Christian community celebrated Easter Sunday with fervour here today.Mass prayers and service were held at churches across the city.Members of the Christian community lit candles and offered prayers at various churches in the city.

Others, too, joined in the celebrations as the congregations sung Easter hymns and Easter songs during prayers in order to remember and thank the Almighty.

Easter breakfasts were also organised.People exchanged wishes, Easter cards and gifts on the occasion. Egg painting and egg hunt competitions for kids were held.

“Easter Sunday is the central religious feast in the Christian liturgical year,” said a senior member of the Christian community and city resident Lucy Thomas.

Dr Kim Mammen, associate director, CMC Hospital, another senior member of the Christian community, said, “According to Christian scripture, Lord Jesus was resurrected on the third day after his crucifixion. Easter is the strongest pillar of Christian faith and the most important event of the history.”

“Easter gives spiritual power to work, accept the discipline, and make sacrifice,” he added.

He said, “Easter is an occasion of rejoicing, thanks giving and sacrifice to the teachings of Christ.”

“An Easter breakfast and service were held early this morning at CMC which was well-attended. The staff and students of CMC also collected money for the treatment of poor patients on this day of giving,” Dr Mammen revealed.

Rev Pankaj Anand Malik, Pastor, Christ Church, Fountain Chowk, said, “Easter service in the church witnessed a packed house and is still on. It will extend till late evening and conclude with a community dinner and reading of the Holy Bible to spread the message of Jesus Christ.”

Similar celebrations were also held at the churches on Brown Road, in Sarabha Nagar, Kitchlu Nagar and Girja Ghar in Chaura Bazaar, one of the city’s oldest churches.

“Easter is an important festival of Christians, as it is the day on which Jesus Christ reappeared from death and established the fact that he is above death,” the pastor said. 



Pak designer bowled over by Indian hospitality
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
Differences between the two neighbouring countries have never deterred me from coming to India, says Heena Anjum, a fashion designer from Karachi, Pakistan.Heena, who was in the city to participate in the three-day fashion exhibition “The Woman-2010” that concluded here today, said, “The love I get from Indians is overwhelming and it keeps me pulling back to the country every now and then.”

“The immense love and affection of the people here is simply amazing. I am touched with the kind of hospitality and treatment I get every time,” added Heena, whose all-time favourite place, however, remains Punjab.

The designer added that Indian women are fond of exclusive designer apparel from across the border. “Most designers in Pakistan love displaying their creations in India because of the kind of response we get from the clients here,” she disclosed.

Heena revealed that she had a permanent clientèle in cities like Ludhiana, Chandigarh and Delhi.

Her creations, especially designer lawn salwar-kameez, suits in cotton and crepe with crochet work and laces are much in demand in India. “There is a huge demand for stoles and duppattas in light silk with Mughal prints, depicting the Pakistani culture in numerous patterns and myriad hues,” said the woman, who happens to be the major attraction of the event.

Happy to be in the city, Heena tried to catch up with all her Indian friends during these three days. “After this I am off to Chandigarh for another exhibition. I am eagerly looking forward to meeting all my friends and clients there,” she smiled.



Together, they make a difference
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
“It’s exciting to be different and explore something new,” said Supriya Khemka and Richa Jain, young designers from Delhi.Claiming to be the first women in India to be exclusively designing and manufacturing customised designer shirts for men, the dynamic women entrepreneurs said their quest of being different from the rest made them take up their present line of work.

The duo was in the city to participate in the three-day fashion exhibition “The Woman 2010” that concluded here today. Interestingly, the girls were the only ones displaying men’s apparel at their stall “Cut x 2” at the expo.

“It’s good to be the odd one out,” remarked a smiling Supriya, when questioned about the fact.

“Moreover, such events help attract prospective clients, as they aim at women, who love to shop for men, be it their husbands, sons, fathers, fiancés or boyfriends," added Richa.

Fresh pass outs from JD’s Fashion Institute, New Delhi, both Richa and Supriya aim at exploring all aspects of men’s designer shirts.

“We want to take our creations to all corners of the country,” the girls said.

Talking about their designs, Supriya said, “We provide classy and designer stuff to our clients at affordable prices. The range starts from Rs 1,500 onwards and comes in a variety of fabrics and varied hues.”

The duo is already into full-fledged designing and manufacturing with their workshop in Delhi, run with the help of a qualified team of workers, including designers, cutters and tailors. “We both look after all aspects of our enterprise ourselves,” they disclosed.

“We held exhibitions of our creations in college also. We soon intend to expand our business across the nation with the help of such events,” revealed Richa, adding that the experience at the ongoing exhibition had been awesome.

“The response has been tremendous and our creations have been readily accepted by Ludhiana shoppers. This is a great motivating factor for new starters like us,” remarked Supriya.



Cyclist run over by Army truck, killed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
A cyclist was mowed down by an Army truck at Jodhewal Basti here this evening.The incident took places around 5 pm when the victim, Gurcharan Singh, who was cycling to his residence in Kashmir Nagar on Rahon road, was crushed under an Army truck.

Eyewitness alleged that the incident took place as the driver of the truck failed to apply brakes on time.

The police nabbed the truck driver, identified as Bhupinder Singh. In the meantime, the body of the accused was sent to Civil Hospital for the postmortem.



Wheat Procurement
Lack of proper arrangements fumes agents
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Khamano, April 4
Commission agents today said the district administration failed to make proper arrangements for the procurement of wheat despite its tall claims.They said procurement agencies had not been assigned the grain markets from where they were supposed to procure wheat. “Neither any arrangements were made last year nor this time. Agencies have not been allotted shops in the markets. Even tenders for hiring labour are yet to be floated,” said Prem Singh Manaili, an agent in Khamano.

He said though wheat arrival had delayed this time, the authorities should at least try to complete the procurement arrangements.Farmers have to opt for manual harvesting due to rise in prices of hay. At present, farmers are charging Rs 6,000 per acre for hay.

Arthiya’s rued that the government had not completed the procurement process even a week after the arrival of wheat. Commission Agent Association president Gurdev Singh said the process got delayed due to incomplete arrangements by the government.

He said wheat arrival at grain markets was yet to begin this season and farmers would start unloading the wheat in a week or so.

Mismanagement and lack of communication has delayed the process of lifting. The arthiya’s said as per the rules, procurement should be done in 24 hours and lifting in 72 hours.

However, during paddy season it got delayed for more than five months. Besides, delay in lifting and procurement there is also lack of basic facilities at five grain markets of Khamano, including Khamano, Ranwan, Nanowal, Majri and Sanghol grain markets.

Market committee chairman Gurdeep Singh Ghuman said he was not aware of any issue of making arrangements and would look into the matter.



Mahila Cong president
Appointment of Taparia backfires
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
The decision of All-India Congress Committee (AICC) to name Leena Taparia as president of district Mahila Congress has backfired with the women members opposing the appointment tooth and nail.

A number of women members of the Congress today protested and alleged “pick and choose” by several senior leaders.The women members, led by former president Usha Malhotra, former councillor Asha Garg and Shashi Sood, today held a meeting and shot off a letter to AICC supremo Sonia Gandhi that the appointment was based on biases of some leaders.

They said Leena was neither a grassroot worker nor had she served the party for years like them. “We are not going to take it lying down,” said Sood.

She added that the appointment was also done without anybody’s knowledge and was kept under the wraps. “Only this morning we came across an advertisement in a newspaper in which some leaders had thanked Sonia Gandhi for appointing her as the district president. The advertisement also showed her picture getting the appointment letter,” said Sood.

The women members said they were shocked to see the advertisement in the morning. “The high command has been kept in the dark. We have many deserving faces who have given decades of their life to the party. If this is going to be their fate, then nobody would work for the party,” they said.

Jagmohan Sharma, District Congress Committee (Urban) chief, said he was not aware of any such protests by women. “I am busy with the visit of the Punjab Youth Congress president, Ravneet Singh Bittu. Hence, I am not keeping a tab on what is happening,” he said.

The DCC president added that whatever was being done was against the party’s discipline. “We should accept the decision of the high command happily. After all they consider so many facts before taking such a step. I am a loyal soldier of the party and I accept all decisions happily. So I am not in this picture,” he said.



Banks told to open pensioners’ accounts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari has directed managers of all banks in the district to open accounts of old-age pensioners without any delay.The Deputy Commissioner said, “It has been brought to my notice that some banks are not opening pensioners’ accounts. Pensioners have complained that bank officials do not entertain them.”

He said the government had a policy of financial inclusion under which account of every person had to be opened.

Anyone found flouting the norms would be dealt with strictly, he added.

He has written a letter to the Lead District Manager, Lead Bank (Punjab and Sind Bank), Ludhiana, in which he has asked them to comply with the guidelines issued by the government.



Migration will end, predicts, says Tewari
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 4
There will be no more migration of industry from Punjab, especially from the city, while the industrial growth will also get a boost as the Union Government has not extended the package of incentives being granted to some other states, including Himachal Pradesh, beyond March 31.

Claiming this, the Ludhiana MP and national spokesperson of the All-India Congress Committee, Manish Tewari, said the industry in Punjab would now be in a better position to compete both in the domestic and global market with their counterparts in other Indian states as a level playing field had been provided to them.

Tewari was addressing a function organised by the Urban Development cell of the PPCC here last evening. Chairman of the UD cell Ramesh Joshi, president Joginder Kumar and Harvinder Singh Pahwa were also present.

Pointing an accusing finger towards Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, the city MP said it was unfortunate for the industry located in the state that huge incentives and concessions were granted to industry in several other states like Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh when junior Badal was the minister for commerce and industry in Centre.

On the other hand, crushing burden of taxes was imposed on industrial units in Punjab, which were already rendered uncompetitive and unviable due to locational disadvantage.

“When this disparity was brought to my notice by the local industrialists, I led a deputation to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to apprise him with the ground reality. We made a strong case that if the package of incentives and concessions to industry in other states is to be extended further, Punjab should also be given similar treatment. As a result, the Union Government has now brought parity, which will effectively check the trend of migration of industrial units to other states to avail additional benefits while at the same time providing opportunity to existing units for expansion and modernisation,” Tewari asserted.

He said the nation was passing through difficult times. Even as the government was dealing with revival of economy after the global slowdown and recessionary trends prevailing since 2008, at least 228 districts in different parts of the country were badly hit due to drought like conditions. He was, however, hopeful that the economy as well as the trade and industry were on their way to recovery.

The chairman of UD cell, Ramesh Joshi, through a memorandum submitted to the MP, demanded that burden of taxes on industry and business community be cut down to a reasonable level and adequate power supply be ensured so as to enable the industrial economy turn the corner.

Joginder Kumar and Harvinder Singh Pahwa made a fervent plea to evolve a mechanism to clean up Budha Nullah for which industry was wrongly blamed and flogged by different departments.



Admn to crack whip on cow slaughter
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 4
While the state government is yet to finalise the proposal pertaining to constitution of a cow service board, the administration has enhanced vigil to ensure strict compliance of the Punjab Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act-1955.At least 10 persons were booked under Sections 295, 511 and 34 of IPC.

Since this part of the state is inhabited by a sizeable Muslim community, it has always remained epicentre of communal tension due to slaughtering of cows and sale of beef at meat shops.

However, perseverance of leaders, along with alertness of the police and civil administration, has controlled the situation from turning unsavoury several times.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that reports and rumours about alleged slaughtering of cows and sale of beef at meat shops had frequently been keeping officials of the administration on toes for the past few months.

There were incidents when cows were rescued from the illegal possession butchers.

Acting on the directions of Sangrur SSP Naunihal Singh, a SIT team led by Malerkotla DSP Sukhdev Singh Virk had identified a gang of butchers, who had tried to slaughter cows at Badshah Pur Mandiala village, near here, a few days ago.

Though kingpin of the gang is still at large, a police party led by SHO Gurdev Singh Dhaliwal managed to nab four members of the gang.

They have been identified as Mehmood Akhtar and Mohamad Shamshad of Jamalpura, Amzad, alias Bhanda, of Jamalpura and Mohammad Shamshad of Saraud village.

In a similar case, Liaqat Ali, alias Jaggie, of Kailon Gate locality and Siknadar Khan of Malerkotla were arrested by the police for attempting to slaughter a cow.

The cow was shifted to a gaushala by the police.

Lauding the administration’s move to curb cow slaughter, Ajit Malhotra and Yogesh Kumar of Bajrang Dal urged the higher authorities to expedite process for constitution of the cow service board to ensure safety of cows.

Animal Husbandry Minister Gulzar Singh Ranike said there was a complete ban on slaughtering of cows in Punjab.

He added that instructions had been issued to the animal husbandry department regarding the same.



Health Briefs
104 units of blood collected
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
The Punjab State Electricity Board in association with the Salaam Zindagi Foundation organised a blood donation camp at Focal Point on Saturday.The board officials and other employees donated blood.

As many as 104 units of blood were collected.Deputy Chief Engineer (east) SK Gupta, superintendent engineer (SE) RK Ahuhja, RK Sharma, Engineer Harjit Singh Gill and Sanjiv Prabhakar were present on the occasion.

Medical camp

To mark the opening of its nursing college, Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Charitable Hospital organised a free medical camp. The camp was organised in association with the gram panchayat of Paddi village, wherein free medicines were given to patients.

Dr RS Sodhi, medical superintendent of the hospital, said a cell separator had also been installed at the hospital’s blood bank so as to facilitate people with blood components like platelets, plasma and RBG.

18 patients registered

A free drug de-addiction camp was organised at Dr DN Kotnis Acupuncture Hospital, Salem Tabri, in association with the Haibowal Kalan police station.

About 18 patients were registered for free treatment.

Dr Amrik Singh said, "The drug users are more prone to HIV/AIDS which is a deadly disease.” 



From Colleges
Students visit stock exchange
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
Students of University Business School (UBS), Panjab University Regional Centre, Ludhiana, visited National Stock Exchange (NSE), New Delhi, as part of their educational trip recently.

NSE senior executive officials conducted a three-hour training module, wherein MBA students were given practical training on NEAT NOW software and the functioning of the premier stock exchange of the country. 



Of life with grace
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
The city residents experienced a real world of luxury, as a three-day event, Luxury Lifestyle Showcase, brought forth the most expensive pieces from the world of jewellery, décor, art and hospitality.

The event, which kicked off today, showcases the essentials for a royal lifestyle in the modern times. It has brought together almost 30 luxury and lifestyle brands to provide complete solutions to the elite audience.

For the patrons of art, Marigold Art Gallery has brought some of the most exquisite creations ranging from Rs 2,25,000 to Rs 24,00,000. On the other hand, Delhi Art Gallery has MF Hussain’s creation on display, priced at a whopping Rs 1.25 crore.

Brands like Judith Leiber have accessories ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh, whereas La Nouvelle Bague has some of the finest designs on display ranging from Rs 35,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh.

Banayan Tree Hotels and Resorts has some of the most exclusive and luxurious packages for the residents of Ludhiana, along with a night stay at an island in Maldives, at a cost of Rs 5 lakh.

There is Caitriona (ambience group) offering luxury condominiums at a price tag that starts from Rs 10.25 crore.

Farah Khan (sister of Bollywood actor Zayed Khan), and a jewellery designer, is also showcasing for the first time in Ludhiana. She has displayed jewellery pieces that range from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 32 lakh.

With these top brands offering the most exclusive and expensive items from their respective domains, the residents of Ludhiana will surely feel special.

According to Praneeta Kochar, organiser, “India is a peculiar market, and the dynamics here are unique, compared to the rest of the world. Ludhiana, in itself is a very promising market for luxury brands and services. It is home to a majority of the NRIs, they are more aware of the international brands and their flamboyant lifestyle makes them the perfect audience,” she added. 



A selfless life devoted to helping the needy
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, April 4
The late Bhagwant Kaur, the chief patron of the managing board of the Guru Nanak National College here, whose first ‘barsi’ falls on April 5, had the inspiring touch to transform many a life and act as a beacon of hope for the destitute and the needy.

Civility, courteousness and generosity were in the very blood of this celebrated daughter of Gurbaksh Singh Katani, former vice president of SGPC, and Basant Kaur, sister of Baldev Singh who was India’s first defence minister. Her father set up the first steel rolling mill in Punjab after shifting to Doraha. Married to a noted physician, educationist, social worker and an active politician, the late Ishwar Singh, she adopted a constructive attitude towards life.

An avid reader, she was well versed with Indian mythology, the country’s historical upheavals and current occurrences. Her command over Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and English was almost complete. Her traditional posture went hand in hand with her awakened outlook, especially towards her children.

Being president and finally chief patron of the college as well as of Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School, Doraha, she worked wholeheartedly for the education of rural girls which seemed to be the one and the only aim for which she survived after her husband died. Her deteriorating health could not deter her from continuing with the task of promoting education, undertaken by Ishwar, in the town and surrounding villages.

Bhagwant provided monetary assistance to the meritorious and needy students. Such was the educational zeal of this humanitarian woman that she contributed lakhs of rupees for erection and completion of the splendid Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall at the college and a multipurpose gymnasium at the school.

Bhagwant also set up the Mata Sahib Deva Trust, which runs a centre for destitutes in Jaspalon. She provided emotional solace and monetary assistance to the deprived and the poor. She also provided assistance to army troops during the Sino-Indian War in 1962 and the Indo-Pakistani Wars in 1965 and 1971. She along with her father and husband worked for rehabilitating refugees in Doraha. She also donated land to the needy during the ‘bhoodan’ movement.

The untimely death of her only son came as a bolt from the blue but she overcame her distress. After the demise of her husband, she donned the role of a generous donor and patron. She donated the eyes of her only son. Her emotional ties with her sons-in-law, Col Rupy Brar of Chak Sherewala and Maj Bhupinder Singh Dhillon (Badal) strengthened to the extent that they stood by her through all times.

Her first ‘barsi; is being observed at the Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha on April 5.



Theft at Planet M
Youth admits to be drug addict
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
The youth who committed burglary at Planet M showroom in Shastri Nagar and took mobile phones and Play Station pocket game, along with other electrical gadgets, by making the salesgirl a hostage two days ago turned out to be a drug addict.

The youth, identified as Prince Sahni, was nabbed by Kochar Market police from Chander Nagar here today when he was planning to sell the electrical gadgets.

Giving details, ACP Raj Kumar said the accused entered Planet- M showroom at Shastri Nagar and made the salesgirl, Manpreet Kaur, a hostage. Prince reportedly told the girl that he was in possession of a pistol.

He moved the salesgirl to a corner and fled with two mobile phones, Play Station pocket video games, data card reader and pen drives worth nearly Rs 50,000.

After stealing the gadgets he fled from the scene. In the meantime, the police put the stolen mobile phones under surveillance.

According to the police, Prince brought two cash cards and started using both the phones.

The police kept a check on him and caught him red-handed while he was planning to sell the stolen mobile phones in Chander Nagar.

Prince told the police that he was a chronic drug addict. He said he burgled at the shop as he wanted to buy smack.

It is learnt that Prince belongs to an influential family. The police said he started stealing things after his family refused to give him money to buy drugs.



Youth held for printing fake currency
Rakesh Gupta

Raikot, April 4
The police has arrested Sukhdev Singh of Binjal village on charges of printing fake currency.A personal computer, a colour laser printer, stationery and printed currency worth Rs 1.98 lakh have been recovered from his possession.

The currency recovered included Rs 1 lakh in the denomination of Rs 1,000, while the remaining currency was in the denomination of Rs 500.

The accused worked at a studio in Raikot.

He used to scan notes of Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. He then used to transfer the data to a CD.

After getting a personal computer and a colour printer (easily available in market), he started printing fake currency.

He contacted a person for the delivery of Rs 2 lakh for which he was suppose to get Rs 1 lakh.

But the person whom he contacted happened to be a police informer.

His family was unaware of his work.

The police laid a trap to nab the accused.

SI Mohan Dass, in charge of the Jalaldiwal police post, asked the police informer to get the delivery of the fake currency. The informer, along with Raikot SHO Wariam Singh raided the accused house and nabbed him.

A case under Section 489 A, B, C IPC has been registered against the accused.

The accused has confessed to his crime.



Farmer found growing poppy plants, let off
Rakesh Gupta

Raikot, April 4
The Sudhar police found a farmer cultivating poppy husk illegally, but was let off after some prominent persons intervened in the case and settled the issue. The crop of poppy husk was then thrown in the Sudhar canal after uprooting the same.

The matter came to light on March 29 when a villager from Halwara informed the Sudhar police that Jaswinder Singh, son of Beant Singh Lambardar of Halwara village, had cultivated the banned crop in at least half an acre in his fields. Jaswinder Singh used to cultivate crops in around 80 acre on the link road joining Halwara with Aitiana village.

The banned crop was cultivated in a piece of land surrounded by his crop of wheat. The Sudhar police, led by SHO Jasbinder Singh, immediately raided the site. In the meantime, Jaswinder Singh started mounting pressure on the police to hush up the case. Sources revealed that the deal of Jaswinder Singh with the police was struck at Rs 1.5 lakh and after receiving the payment, the police, instead of booking the accused, gave a cover to them in disposing of the banned crop. By midnight, Jaswinder Singh destroyed the standing crop of poppy husk and disposed of the the in the canal passing through Sudhar.

Interestingly, though the police let Jaswinder Singh off without booking him under the appropriate sections, he confessed that the banned crop was cultivated in his field. He, however, denied that it was cultivated by him, but said his domestic aid had thrown seeds besides the pump and used to consume himself. He went to the extent of saying that he never knew what the crop of poppy looked like. He said the police informed him that the plants standing in the fields were that of poppy husk.

When contacted, Sudhar SHO Jasbinder Singh initially denied of having knowledge of such a case in his area. He, however, accepted that recently he was in Halwara village, but it was a routine patrolling trip by him and his police party. Later on, he confessed that somebody in the village had cultivated the banned crop in about one bigha of land. But on the visit there it was found that only three to four plants of poppy were standing there. Influential persons, including sarpanch Chamkaur Singh, intervened in the matter and assured that Jaswinder was innocent and they dismissed the matter after uprooting the plants. Raikot DSP, however, expressed his ignorance over the matter. The investigations by The Tribune revealed that Jaswinder was apt in cultivating the banned crop in his fields for many years now.

It is pertinent to mention here that the farmers of the rural area of Ludhiana district cultivate this crop for self-use. The crop is used for direct consumption as well as for processing opium from it. A small portion of land is used for the cultivation. Mostly the crop is cultivated on the land that lies in the remote area away from any road.

Since the crop is not popular in the area, the cultivators of this crop go unnoticed. The flowers of the plant give the impression that the farmer is into floriculture in an attempt to diversify agriculture. Last year also the Sudhar police had nabbed an accused for growing the banned crop in a gurdwara and on March 8 this year, the Sidhwan police had nabbed a farmer for cultivating poppy husk in his fields.

Box: Sources revealed that the deal of Jaswinder Singh with the police was struck at Rs 1.5 lakh and after receiving the payment, the police instead of booking the accused, gave a cover to him in disposing of the banned crop. By midnight, Jaswinder Singh destroyed the standing crop of poppy husk and disposed of the same in the canal passing through Sudhar



Sandeep, Pulok make it to main draw
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 4
Sandeep Choudhary of Rajasthan, Pulok Bhattacharya of Delhi, Garry Singh Amor of Chandigarh, Digvijay S Naruka of Chandigarh, Hardeep Singh Sandhu of Punjab, Vilasier Khate of the NTA, Pavan Surya of Andhra Pradesh and Ajay Yadav of Haryana made it to the main draw of the HTA-AITA Men’s & Women’s Open Tennis Tournament being played at Harvest Tennis Academy at Jassowal village.

Sandeep Choudhary beat Vinod Gowda of Karnataka in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. Hardeep Singh Sandhu defeated Jagdeep Singh 6-3, 7-5.

Players have come from Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Haryana, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh.

Results: Men’s singles final round: Sandeep Choudhary beat Vinod Gowda 6-3,6-4; Pulok Bhattacharya beat Rishabh Dev 6-4, 6-2; Garry Singh Amor beat Pradeep Deswal 2-6 ,7-5,6-4; Digvijay S Naruka beat Shikhar Gaddh 6-2,6-4; Hardeep Singh Sandhu beat Jagdeep Singh 6-3,7-5; Vilasier Khate beat Tushar Jaitly 6-3, 6-2; Pavan Surya beat Sidharth Sivakumar 6-4,6-1 and Ajay Yadav beat Sagar Manjanna 6-4,6-3.



Bodybuilding team announced
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 4
The Punjab Amateur Bodybuilding Association conducted trials to select probables for the Senior National Bodybuilding Championship slated to be held at Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh from April 8 to 10.

Nearly 40 aspirants shrugged their shoulders during the trials to find a place in the state squad for this mega event. Later, a 18-member team was announced to take part in the national championship.

The selected players are:

55 kg: Amit Mehta from Ludhiana and Ajay Kumar from Gurdaspur; 60 kg: Anil Kumar from Ludhiana and Gaurav Kumar from Mohali; 65 kg: Karamvir Singh and Hem Raj from Fatehgarh Sahib, while Parminder Singh from Ludhiana; 70 kg: Ramesh Kumar from Amritsar, Vishal from Jalandhar; 75 kg: Vinit Marwaha from Hoshiarpur; 80 kg: Charanjit Singh from Ludhiana, Pankaj from Gurdaspur and Sukhneet from Patiala; 85 kg: Manjinder Singh from Amritsar, Balwinder Kumar from Jalandhar and Raghuraj Sharma from Ludhiana; 90 kg: Anil Raj from Gurdaspur; above 90 kg: Ram Saroop of Gurdaspur.



Katoch Shield Cricket
25 probables selected 
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 4
As many as 25 cricket probables (senior) were selected during the trials conducted by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association at MGM Public School, Phase I, Dugri, here today.These players will attend a coaching-cum-training camp to be held at the same venue from April 6 onwards. They have been advised to report to Ankur Kakkar on the scheduled date at 3.30 pm.

The names of the probables are Ankur Kakkar, Gagadeep Singh Toor, Karan Goel, Luv Abhlish, Gaurav Marwaha, Deepak Bansal, Baltej Singh, Geetansh Khera, Bharat Malhotra, Varun Chitkara, Rahul Singla, Yogesh Kumar, Lalit Malhotra, Nitin Goyal, Tarun Passi, Amit Verma, Ravi Kumar, Salil, Charanpreet Singh, Akhil Aggarwal, Ashish Kumar, Jashan Sidhu, Sanchit Gosain, Chander Shekhar and Talwinder Singh.

The district team will be selected from these probables at the conclusion of this camp for the upcoming Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament for the Katoch Shield to be organised by the Punjab Cricket Association from April 29 at different venues across the state, informed Vinod Chitkara, general secretary, Ludhiana District Cricket Association.selected 



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