L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PSEB braces itself for 2-day strike
Kuldip Bhatia

Cops take out a flag march in connection with the strike by PSEB employees in Ludhiana
Cops take out a flag march in connection with the strike by PSEB employees in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, April 14
With the technical and non-technical employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) going on a two-day strike from April 14 midnight, the state government, district administration and the PSEB management has made all arrangements to deal with any eventuality as well as maintain uninterrupted power supply.

The call for the strike has been given by the Joint Forum of the PSEB Employees Unions against the proposed unbundling of the board and setting up of the corporations for the generation and distribution of power as laid down in the Electricity Act 2003.

According to senior officials of the PSEB Central zone comprising Ludhiana district, engineering staff, skilled electrical workers hired from licensed contractors and other government departments like the municipal corporation, PUDA, PWD and the ITIs have been deployed at all 66 KV sub stations and 220 KV grid stations in the district and other parts of the central zone under the overall supervision of the Sub-divisional officers and executive engineers.

Prohibitory orders

The Ludhiana Police Commissioner has banned assembly of five or more persons and carrying of firearms or inflammable material in the city from midnight of April 14 to April 16 within the city limits. DCP Pramod Ban has issued prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Cr.PC in apprehension of disruption in power supply by agitating employees and threat to the peace, law and order.

“In addition, the district and police authorities have made adequate security arrangements around all sub-stations and other strategic installations to ensure that no attempt is made to disrupt the power supply and cause damage to the equipment. Even though the striking employees have been asserting that the agitation will be peaceful, still we are not taking any chances,” the PSEB officials said.

Meanwhile, activists of the Joint Forum of the PSEB Unions have called upon the state government to review its decision on disbanding of the state electricity board. In a statement issued here today, state leaders of the forum-Swarn Singh, Parkash Singh Mann, Kewal Singh Banwait, Hardev Singh Grewal, Surjit Singh, Harjit Singh Bamba and Ram Singh, have remarked that the Punjab government was carrying out an experiment (unbundling of the board), which had failed in many other states.

They apprehended that with the Electricity Act 2003 coming into force, the future of more than 65,000 employees and pensioners of the PSEB would be put into peril. Not only this, lakh of consumers-industrial, commercial and domestic-might have to pay more for electricity whereas the weaker sections and the agricultural sector will no longer get the free or subsidised power.


Farmers manhandled
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
In order to stifle the farmers’ protests against the unbundling of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), the police manhandled those who were silently protesting at Kooli Kalan, Ghadani and Lehal villages of the Ludhiana district.

Darshan Singh Kooli, district president of BKU (Ekta), alleged that farmers were raising slogans against the SAD-BJP government and the PSEB authorities at five different places in these villages when the police used force to stop the activists.

Three groups of farmers supported by other villagers were forcefully stopped at Ghadani village and one group each was pushed and even hit with batons at Kooli Kalan and Lehal village, respectively.

Harjinder Singh, a farmer from Ghadani village, said this was “undemocratic” way of handling the “democratic” protest and was uncalled for and added, “the repressive measures taken by the state government’s can’t fizzle out the protests as the farmers will continue fighting this injustice till the time the orders of unbundling are rolled back.”

Kooli revealed that the cops were also marking the houses of the activists who were agitating against the PSEB unbundling, which was a violation of the fundamental rights of an Indian citizen. The entire issue will take an ugly turn as farmers are already unhappy with the state government.”



Industrialists ready for D-day
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
In view of the strike call by Punjab State Electricity Board employees to protest against ‘unbundling’ of the board, industrialists in the city have made all necessary arrangements to handle the emergency situation effectively. Industrial units, which are already bearing the brunt of power cuts twice a week, are now worried about the impact of the two-day strike on April 15 and 16.

"We’re ready to face the short-term consequences as unbundling of PSEB will be a positive step. The board has eminently failed to provide us interrupted power supply. Its privatisation is necessary as it has not been able to effectively tackle the worsening power crisis in the state. As it perennially suffers from a funds crunch PSEB should be immediately unbundled," said Badish K Jindal, chairman of the Punjab chapter of the Federation of Associations of Small Industries of India (FASII).

Amarpreet Singh, another city industrialist, rued the electricity transformer near his factory on the Jalandhar bypass went out of order every second day.

“It’s only after we complained several times that PSEB employees come to rectify the fault. As they plan to go on strike for two days we’ll have to be ready to cope with the situation. I have stocked diesel for two days in case an emergency arises," Amarpreet added.

"We already have to put up with two power cuts every week and now cannot afford to shut down our unit further. To deal with the situation we have already stocked diesel in huge quantity in case of power failure, since nobody will come to rectify any fault during the strike," said Kishore Gupta, an industrialist whose factory is located at Focal Point. “The time has come when PSEB should be unbundled. Its employees have been trying to put off the move by holding protests and strikes, but now it should not be delayed any further”, he added.



MC to conduct Census from May 1
3,156 enumerators appointed

Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, being the largest district in Punjab, has an estimated population of over 40 lakh. The population keeps on fluctuating/increases substantially during the harvesting season when migrant labourers come from the states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. The total area of the major industrial center of Northern India- Ludhiana is about 3,00 sq kms. Besides, it is also considered as the richest district of Punjab.

Ludhiana, April 14
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is geared up for conducting Census- 2010, the first phase of which will begin on May 1 and continue throughout the country till June 15. Being conducted after every 10 years, the Census in the local municipal limits will be carried out under the supervision of Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha. Joint Commissioner MS Jaggi has been appointed its in charge.

Giving details of the first phase of the Census, Jaggi told The Tribune that at least 3,156 enumerators from all major departments had been appointed for accomplishing the task. Apart from these enumerators, 415 people, including lecturers, principals, headmasters etc had been appointed as the supervisors. They would work under the charge officers (one officer against three wards), who would report to the four Zonal Commissioners-the city Census officers. The Commissioner would act as the Principal Census Officer.

Jaggi added that initially, they were facing the problem of staff crunch. “But we have been able to tackle the situation. By Friday, enough staff will be arranged to do the work timely and smoothly”, he added.

The counting of blocks in the city has already been completed. There are 2,561 blocks under the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. While 27 blocks remain with the Railways/Defence and the PAU. Enumerators will conduct the counting of 2,588 blocks within 45 days. The entire activity, consisting of the door-to-door survey would involve participation of at least 3,500 active workers. First phase will take place between May 1 and June 15 while second phase will be held in February 2011.

Jaggi said there were no chances of fake entries or manipulations by enumerators this time. “One enumerator is supposed to visit at least 150 households. One-and-a- half-month is sufficient for the job. The enumerators can also be asked to give details about major items/belongings of the owner in case of any doubts. It will be a transparent procedure”, added Jaggi. From April 16, formal training will be given to the enumerators. They will be instructed about the guidelines before filling up the required forms.

“The city has grown-up in terms of population in the past nine years and the Census at this stage is of great importance. By getting the exact figure, residents will be provided with better governance, planned development and important policies by the government”, said SS Chana, a retired IFS officer.



Bank robbery videos on Orkut!
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
The robbers behind the Kohara SBI bank dacoity have found their space on the social networking sites and search engines. And if the police sources are to be believed, then the six-minute video available on these websites led to the arrest of the accused.

Sources said the police received a few calls from the Internet surfers who gave crucial lead them, which led to the arrest of the accused. The robbery videos are available on Facebook, Orkut and Youtube. The faces of the accused are clearly visible on these sites.

Gurbans Singh Bains, SHO, Sahnewal police station, said the criminals were identified from the videos grabbed by the close circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed in the bank.

An informer identified the kingpin of the gang Mangant Singh, alias Manga, and his close aide Amandeep Singh, alias Toni, after watching the videos, which led to their arrest. Both accused are residents Manki village near Samrala.

“The images grabbed by the CCTV camera installed in the bank proved to be their “robbers” undoing. These videos could be used as an evidence against the accused,” said Bains. On April 5 at around 3. 8 pm, Mangat Singh Manga and Amandeep Singh Toni along with their men robbed Rs 2. 87 lakh by thrashing the security guard and taking the bank employees hostage.



Girl killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Samrala, April 14
A 27-year-old girl from Ludhiana died in a road accident near Chahlan village in Samrala. The deceased, identified as Priya Sharma, was on her way from Ludhiana to Chandigarh, along with her mother, brother and aunt.

Priya’s marriage was to take place tonight at a hotel in Sector 35. The Santro car, in which they were travelling, collided with an Indica car driven by Anil Talwar, also a resident of Ludhiana.

According to the police, both the vehicles got damaged in the accident. The bride was sitting on the front seat.

The injured were rushed to the DMC, Ludhiana.

Investigating officer from the Samrala police station ASI Sanjay Kumar said he was on way to the DMC, Ludhiana, to record statements of the deceased family.

A case would be registered in this connection after completing the preliminary enquiries, he added.



Heat is always on for city’s traffic cops
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
Without any adequate shelter at street intersections, the city’s traffic cops are forced to work under the scorching sun even as the specially designed cubicles made for their convenience are gathering rust.

Most of the cops have no choice but to stand within iron booths, placed in the middle of ‘chowks’, which become very hot during summer. To keep these booths cool fans and even coolers are run using a ‘kundi’ power connection.

Lower-rung cops have complained their health is suffering due to the lackadaisical attitude of the traffic police department. With the mercury rising by the day concern about keeping fit is evident on the cops’ faces, with most of them preferring to operate under the shade of trees located close to the chowks.

Hiding behind a tree to escape the merciless sun rays, some traffic constables said, "We’re still better off than our chiefs - they have to stand inside the extremely hot iron box the entire day in order to ‘challan’ (fine) vehicles”.

Meanwhile, the specially designed cubicle for traffic cops located at Fountain Chowk is gathering rust ever since it was constructed.

A proposal to build rooms for traffic cops at major intersections was floated two years ago. According to a senior police official, the room was called a ‘gas chamber’ and was constructed to save the traffic police personnel from pollution emitted by vehicles. “The police department had planned to install a cooler and an oxygen cylinder in the room so that the cops could breathe fresh air”, he added.

Initially, the police department was dillydallying over the construction of the room but later, in October last year, the department finally built this room. It has, however, remained unused since then.

DCP Pramod Ban said, "We are revamping the whole structure and putting our special emphasis on traffic management. We are looking on all these aspects and a considerable change in the system is expected in a few months."



6,400 violators; 8 yrs on MC still helpless
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (LMC) may be “adamant” on removing illegal encroachments throughout the city but as far as list of 6,400 violators is concerned, authorities have miserably failed to take any stern action against them even after eight years of the release of the list.

One of the senior officials with the Municipal Corporation disclosed that these 6,400 violators had encroached upon acres of the municipal land. But the authorities had failed to take action against them due to the reasons best known to them.

“We have seen the encroachment removal at the Jawahar Nagar Camp alone. In true sense, the Municipal Corporation has been able to get its land vacated in that area. Otherwise, in all four zones, the municipal land has been grabbed by a large number of people”, said the official adding that the removal of small extensions outside houses/shops was not the “encroachment removal drive”.

“Today, on hundreds of square yards of the Municipal land, people have built shops, extended their houses and added new floors over their buildings as well. We need to catch hold on these”, said the official. He also said most of the encroachments in the city were carried out either by influential or well- connected people, against whom the authorities avoided to take the action.

A meeting in this regard (removal of small extensions) will be held tomorrow, which will be chaired by Additional Commissioner Kamalpreet Brar.

According to sources, in 2002, the Municipal Corporation had prepared a list in which 6,400 defaulters were found, who had encroached upon large chunk of the Municipal land, even to the tune of 17,000 square yards within the Municipal limits but due to their “callousness”, the lands could not be vacated till date.

Congress Councillor Parminder Mehta said the encroachments had caused a lot of inconvenience to general public and their removal was must. “The interior markets, including Chaura Bazaar, Ghas Mandi, Field Ganj, Purana Bazaar and everywhere, the roads have been blocked by the shopkeepers. Due to this, the ongoing problem of traffic congestion can not be tackled”, added Mehta.



Heavy vehicles cross bridge despite ban
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, April 14
“The bridge is weak, so the passage for heavy vehicles is strictly banned,” says the warning on a board placed near the Gurthali bridge here. Making a mockery of the warning, heavy vehicles pass over the bridge as a matter of routine.

To make the matter worse, the narrow bridge allows uncomfortable passage to these vehicles, which occasionally get stranded on the bridge for hours together, increasing the risk to the weakened bridge and making passage for others impossible.

“The authorities seem to be least concerned about the security of motorists as there is no check on these vehicles. Trucks and trolleys pass every now and then. With each passing day, more and more heavy vehicles, in order to avoid the bottlenecks of the city, are taking this route. Not only is the bridge being endangered, but those in other vehicles almost invoke the gods before they cross it,” rues a motorist.

“The road on the bridge is in a bad shape. With the constant hammering from heavy vehicles, the situation is deteriorating further. The authorities generally wake up after ‘judgement day’. I think the case will be no different here. How long will the weak bridge be able to bear the weight of heavy vehicles and that too, when those remain stranded at the centre of the bridge,” complains another motorist.

“Why is there no check from any quarter? Being insensitive to the security of road users and playing with their lives should be treated as an unpardonable offence. The entry of heavy vehicles should not be allowed at any cost. Proper check posts should be installed at both ends so that no such vehicle is able to cross the bridge even at night. In case this is not done, motorists will have to pay due to this serious lapse on the part of those concerned,” states an angry commuter.

These heavy vehicles add to traffic congestion, which proves to be a bane not only for commuters, but also for residents of nearby villages and towns, who are stranded for hours together, though their destination may be just a mile away.



Baisakhi: It’s time to reap the harvest
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
Residents celebrated Baisakhi with gaiety in and around the city today. People thronged gurdwaras in large numbers. Masya and Sangrant coinciding with the holy day added to the festivities. All gurdwaras had been decked up for the occasion well in advance.

Recitation of gurbani and akhand path were held throughout the day to ensure peace and prosperity for one and all. Kirtan darbars were organised at several gurdwaras which were largely attended. Langars were also held all over the city.

The historical Gurdwara Manji Sahib at Alamgir witnessed a massive rush of people from far and near places since early morning. Thousands of devotees thronged the holy place to take a dip in the sarovar. Devotees also thronged Gurdwara Falahi Sahib at Duleh, Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib, and those situated in Model Town, BRS Nagar, Sabzi Mandi, Ferozepur Road in large numbers.

A number of cultural programmes were organised at various places in the city, wherein dhol, bhangra, giddha and other fun activities marked the festivities.

Residents held kirtans and akhand paths at their residences.

Meanwhile, dressed in colourful traditional Punjabi attires, school and college students celebrated Baisakhi yesterday only.

Bank celebrates Baisakhi

LUDHIANA: Punjab National Bank today celebrated Baisakhi and its foundation day.

The bank’s first branch was opened at Anarkali Bazar, Lahore, by founder of the bank Punjab Keshari Lala Lajpat Rai.

Staff of Punjab National Bank, Salem Tabri, paid rich tributes to the founder. They distributed the bank’s calenders and sweets to customers. — TNS

THE FESTIVAL: Baisakhi, the harvest festival of Punjab, is a festival of fun, frolic and gaiety. Celebrated with great zest and revelry, it marks harvesting of the Rabi crop.

It was on this day in 1699, that Guru Gobind Singh established Khalsa Panth. Also, on the same day, Guru Arjan Dev was martyred by the Muslim rulers.

Again, on this day in 1875, Swami Dayanand Saraswati founded the Arya Samaj, a reformed sect of Hindus.

RITUALS: As dawn breaks, devotees take a dip in holy rivers. Great festivities are witnessed on the banks of rivers which are revered for the myths and legends associated with them. This signifies ushering of the New Year. Gurdwaras are visited where devotees are served “kada prasad” and “langar”.

On Baisakhi, wrappings around Nishan Sahib are changed and a new flag is hoisted at all gurdwaras amid shabd-kirtan, ardas and distribution of parshad.

The pole is washed with diluted milk and cleaned before putting on the new flag.

Farmers offer prayers and celebrate the commencement of harvesting season. Sweets are distributed. Colourful processions, led by Panj Piaras, are taken out.

Youngsters demonstrate their skills in martial arts.

Granth Sahib, which was designated the eternal guru of Sikhs by Guru Gobind Singh, is also taken out in procession.



Ludhiana test flight on April 17
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 14
It is official now. After an indefinite wait and many hiccups, the city is all set to figure on the air map, with a Ludhiana-Delhi test flight by Alliance Air scheduled for April 17. The test flight was scheduled for April 13, but was put off for a couple of days at the last minute.

Disclosing this here today, local MP and All-India Congress Committee spokesperson Manish Tewari said the flight could not be operated according to the earlier schedule due to some technical difficulties.

He said Arvind Jadhav, chairman-cum-managing director of Air India, had informed him in writing that the test flight would be carried out by Alliance Air, their domestic airline, on a 42-seater aircraft.

As per the schedule, the aircraft would leave Delhi at 10 am and reach here at 11 am. On its return journey, it would take off at 11:30 am and land at Delhi at 12:30 pm. Regular flights were scheduled to start from the second week of May, he added.

Quoting Jadhav, Tewari said procedures for new flights would be followed in strict compliance with regulatory requirements necessary for obtaining clearance from the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the test flight would be carried out in accordance with DGCA guidelines.



Getting VAT number has become tougher
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
Securing a value added tax registration number will now become more difficult with the excise and taxation department adopting extra safeguards to check the large number of bogus firms mushrooming in the state. Further, the amount required to be deposited as surety for being allotted a new VAT number has been raised to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 50,000 in some cases.

Companies dealing with hosiery, yarns and iron and steel are under the department's scanner.

For added security the department will now demand surety of two people before allotting a new VAT number to a firm. In addition, this surety will have to be furnished on the company's letterhead.

In the case of bogus firms people get their entities registered though in reality these have no premises. In some cases industrialists have even mentioned addresses of farms. To stop this malpractice the excise and taxation department has made it mandatory for a firm applying for a VAT number to attach a photograph with the form depicting the person at the premises with stocks.

Earlier the person on whose name the property was registered used to submit a ‘no objection certificate’, but now the department will also ask for a copy of the registry.

Duty Excise & Taxation Commissioner Parampal Singh said the department was going to come down heavily on bogus firms.

"We are adopting the safeguards to check the growing number of fake companies. Lately many cases of such firms have come forward where industrialists were cheating the state exchequer. In case of some companies, particularly those in the iron-ore, steel and hosiery sectors, the surety amount has been hiked to Rs 2 lakh," Parampal added.

Jatinder Khurana, president of the Taxation Young Lawyers Association, said, “These steps taken by the department is a positive development. However, genuine small traders are worried about the measures and have expressed concern about the hike in surety amount for a new VAT number”.



Clash in exam dates leaves students in a fix
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
A clash in the examination dates of State Bank of India and Punjab food and supplies department has left job aspirants in a fix. The exams for the posts of probationary officials of the SBI and food and supplies inspector of the Punjab food and supplies department will be conducted on April 18. Due to the clash in the exam dates, aspirants are left with no alternative but to leave one exam.

This has led to a wide-spread resentment among candidates, most of whom were to appear for both the exams.

Ankur Madaan, an aspiring candidate, said there were many candidates, who were facing the same dilemma, as choosing one of the exam would limit their scope. He added that all requests to the authorities concerned to change the exam schedule had fallen on deaf ears, as they had clearly stated that they would not make any changes in the exam schedule.

Another aspirant Pallavi Sabharwal added that most of the students wanted to appear for both the exams, but the clash had dashed their hopes, as they had been forced to choose one exam.

“We are being made to pay for the authorities’ fault. They should consider the exam schedule of other departments and organisations before finalising their datesheet,” rued Preeti Sharma, a candidate.

“Taking one exam never assures one of a guaranteed job, which is why students normally appear for multiple competitive and entrance exams, but if the authorities continue to do this, they may invite students’ wrath,” remarked Rahul Sadana, owner of a local coaching centre.



Degrees conferred on 200 students
Our Correspondent

Doraha, April 14
At least 200 students have been conferred degrees in the bachelor of education stream at the convocation and the annual prize distribution function organised by the Doraha College of Education.

SS Bari, Registrar, Panjab University, Chandigarh, was the chief guest. In his convocation address he congratulated the degree holders. He appreciated the efforts of the college in spreading education, especially among the rural girls, who would otherwise have been deprived of it. He said the knowledge was the key word in the changing world order and it was with hard work, honesty and humility that the youth of the day, who are the real asset of the nation like India, could carve a niche for themselves and their nation at large. “The budding teachers need to develop life skills and be computer literate in order to cope up with the changing vistas. They should be fully equipped to meet the challenges in the educational system”, the chief guest said while exhorting the teachers and pupils.

Sandeep Sawhney, Principal, Doraha College of Education, read out the annual report. Jatinder Kaur, Rajdeep Kaur and Harinder Kaur, who had won the first, second and third positions in the PU annual examinations during the session 2008-2009, were awarded scholarships worth Rs 5,100, 3,100 and Rs 2,100, respectively. At least 56 students, who secured more than 70 per cent marks in the PU examinations were awarded cash prizes worth Rs 1,100 each. At least 50 students were given prizes for bagging first, second and third positions in their respective subjects.

Sukhpal Singh, Chairman, Doraha Group of Institutions, presented a token of gratitude to the chief guest. The alumni meet was also held towards the culmination of the function. The executive members for the current session were elected. An effort was made to be continuously in contact with the alumni by distributing directories to the students.



Health week at Sacred Heart
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
With a view to inculcate healthy eating habits among tiny tots, Scared Heart Convent, Sarabha Nagar, is celebrating the “Health Week” on the school campus. Tiny tots from UKG-II, dressed as fruits and vegetables, participated in the event enthusiastically, as they manned as well as explained the purpose of different stalls.

Each beautifully-decorated stalls had a special message for students. While one stall told students about a healthy diet and the importance of having a proper nutritious and balanced diet in the form of sumptuous breakfast and lunch; the other depicted the harmful effects of eating junk food.

Yet another stall displayed proper table manners to kids, while a section was dedicated exclusively to drive home the importance of physical exercise and yoga, where tiny tots were taught basic exercises.

Interestingly, stalls were manned by tiny tots from Class UKG to II. They spoke on the importance and purpose of their stalls with such an ease that the onlookers were amazed.

Talking about the event, headmistress of the kindergarten section Sister Oliva said, “We are celebrating the “Health Week” in our school in order to acquaint the tiny tots with the basics of a healthy life which include, most importantly, a healthy diet and exercise.”

She disclosed that during the week, children would be introduced to various things related to health.

“Also, on the anvil is a “Dental Care Day” or “Smile Day”, where dentists will interact with kids and tell them about the importance of a proper dental care through the use of multimedia, Sister Oliva added.

Later during the week, an eye care session, chaired by experts and doctors will be held. The week will conclude with a stress management session for the school teachers, who will get experts help on the topic during a lecture-cum-presentation on the school campus.



NGO helping victimised husbands opens branch
Our Correspondent

Raikot, April 14
The Swatantar Awaj Welfare Association (SAWA), an NGO working to protect the rights of husbands and support those victimised under the dowry Act and the domestic violence Act, has opened its branch here.

Amandeep Singh, state president of SAWA, said women had been harassing their husbands and in-laws by misusing Section 498-A of the IPC.

He said husbands were being threatened even in case of minor disputes and their in-laws were blackmailing them into a compromise.

He claimed that surveys by government and non-government agencies had confirmed that the Acts were being invoked unnecessarily in more than 75 per cent of the cases.

Tejinder Kaur, a senior SAWA official, said the Supreme Court had termed the situation as ‘legal terrorism’ due to the undue advantages of the Acts by wives.

She said no accused had ever been convicted under Section 498-A of the IPC, which clearly showed that it was being misused to pressurise husbands into a compromise.

Virender Kumar, local president of SAWA, said their NGO would fight for victimised husbands and provide legal assistance and moral support to them.

He said they would seek representation to women cells to safeguard victimised husbands and members of their families.



‘Get involved in selfless service’
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, April 14
One does not get salvation just by reading Gurbani. One has to adopt the teachings and get involved in selfless service to mankind. These were the views expressed by Swami Shankaranand Bhuriwale during the conclusion of the 10th annual conference of the United Religion Initiative at Sant Kabir Academy, Dham Talwandi, near here.

Students of the academy presented ‘shabads’, after which Dr Salim Mohammad, Phool Chand Sharma, Dr Meena Kaul, Visha Nang Gangotri, DK Mishra and Ashwani Kumar read their research papers.

Coordinators discussed their experiences, problems, solutions and work. Delegates also sang prayers of different religions.

The delegates stressed that all religions preached love, patience, brotherhood and peace. The teachings should be adopted so that the bitterness being spread in the name of religion was stopped and a unified world was promoted, they said.



33 poor couples tie the knot
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 14
The panchayat of Malla village, along with other donors of the area, helped 33 poor couples tie the knot during a mass marriage ceremony at Baba Maghar Singh gurdwara in the village recently.

Baba Sudh Singh and Baba Arvinder Singh condemned female foeticide, terming it a crime against society.

A common kitchen was arranged for the visitors and families.

Clothes, utensils, bedding, furniture, make-up kits, watches and gold ornaments were given to the couples.



Residents demand Ambedkar ‘bhawan’
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 14
Local residents submitted a memorandum, demanding an Ambedkar ‘bhawan’ here, to officiating SDM Neeru Katyal Gupta on the birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar today.

Later in the day, many other organisations gave a representation to Dr Gupta, raising the same demand and seeking its immediate implementation. Some time back, the municipal council had passed a resolution, demanding a place and funds from the Punjab government for the purpose.



Founder of homoeopathy remembered
Tribune News Service

Khanna, April 14
The 255th birth anniversary of Dr Hahnemann, founder of homoeopathy, was observed by the local unit of the Indian Institute of Homoeopathic Physicans here yesterday.

Dr Rajesh Rattan spoke on the role of women in homoeopathy and Dr Hahnemann’s sacrifices and research.

Doctors from Khanna, Mandi Gobindgarh, Samrala and Amloh attended the function. A charitable homoeopathic dispensary was inaugurated.



Two Kohara bank robbery accused held
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, April 14
Two of the prime accused in the Kohara bank robbery on April 5 were held here yesterday morning. Amandeep Singh, alias Tony, and Mangat Singh, residents of Manki village, were arrested from Sahnewal. The motorcycle used in the robbery was recovered from the youths, aged between 22 and 25 years, said police officials. The remaining six accused were still at large.

They belonged to a 22-member gang of robbers, which was involved in four or five bank heists. The police had already arrested a few other members of the gang.

Three nabbed

The police arrested three youths and impounded a stolen Maruti car (PB10AK-9936) here on Monday evening. Gurjeet Singh and Kamaljeet Singh of Haskalan village and Manpreet Singh of Kheda village were arrested on way from Jagraon to Ludhiana in the car with stolen goods.

A car stereo and two motors were also recovered from them. The car had been stolen from near Damoria bridge.

According to the police, they were drug addicts and had stolen the car to arrange money to buy drugs. A case was registered under Sections 397, 34 and 411 of the IPC.

Liquor seized

Mullanpur Dakha: The police and the excise department seized huge stock of illicit liquor from a vend on the national highway near Bhanohar village, near here, on Monday night. The excise department was on its toes since the Ludhiana Tribune published the news item ‘And now, we have mobile liquor vends’ on April 6.

When the excise team halted before the vend, occupants of the vend fled, leaving 83 boxes (996 bottles) of unaccounted-for IMFL worth about 4 lakh behind.

The excise department also impounded the Tata Mobile (PB10BM-8784), used for carrying the liquor. The liquor was reportedly owned by Kulwinder Singh. He had a licence to sell liquor till March 31 last, but took advantage of the absence of new contractors. This practice was going on at other places awaiting new contractors.

64-yr-old woman commits suicide

Jagraon: A 64-year-old woman reportedly committed suicide by pouring kerosene on herself and setting herself afire.

She was taken to a private hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries. The police handed over the body to her son Ramandeep Singh after post-mortem examination.

Surinder Kaur, a retired teacher, was living with her son at Rasulpur village, near here. Her daughter was settled in Canada after marriage. Surinder Kaur was longing to visit her daughter, but was upset as she failed to secure a visa thrice due to some chronic ailment.

Illegal distillery

The police busted an illegal distillery at Talwandi Nau Abad village in the Bet area on Tuesday evening.

The police party smashed the distillery, used for extracting countrymade liquor. It also recovered 21 bottles of countrymade liquor and 80 kg of raw material. No arrest could be made as the accused, Gurdev Singh and Jagir Singh, gave cops the slip. The police registered a case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

Motorcyclist dies in mishap

Phillaur: A motorcyclist, identified as Dinesh Kumar of Gunachaur, was killed on the spot in a road mishap on Monday night.

The motorcycle was hit by a speeding vehicle on the national highway near Chachrari village, between Phagwara and Goraya. His friend Manna, riding pillion, sustained injuries in the accident. He was admitted to a hospital nearby.


Thieves broke into ‘Preet Battery Store’ at Goraya and took away goods, including batteries and scrap, worth lakhs on Monday night. The police registered a case.


The police arrested Surinder Pal of Sheikhpur village following a complaint by the forest department on the charges of axing trees. Two of his accomplices managed to escape.



Man killed by wife, paramour
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
A man was reportedly poisoned and gagged by his wife and her paramour at Garewal Colony in Basti Jodhewal here today. The deceased, Rakesh Pal (30) of Uttar Pradesh, used to stay with his wife Geeta, his friends Harinder and Mandeep Panday.

According to the police, Geeta was having an illicit relationship with Harinder to which the deceased objected.

The police said Geeta, along with Harinder and Mandeep, had hatched a conspiracy to eliminate Rakesh.

Rakesh was treated to laced food last night, following which he fell unconscious and the accused gagged him.

Harinder then called up Rakesh’s friend Rana Pratap.

He told him that the condition of Rakesh was serious and he was to be rushed to hospital urgently.

Rana Pratap immediately came on a motorcycle and both Harinder and Rana rushed the victim to hospital.

When they reached near GT road, Harinder threw the body, jumped from the speeding motorcycle and fled from the spot. Mandeep and Geeta also managed to flee.

A case has been registered by the police.



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