L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Auto driver brutally murdered
Stabbed in vital organs, eyes damaged with icicles
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
A 40-year-old auto-rickshaw driver was brutally murdered brutally owing to an old enmity here last midnight. Davinder Singh, a resident of Gobindsar in the city, was attacked with sharp-edged weapons and icicles. His eyes, face, neck, legs and vital organs were brutally stabbed and damaged with the help of icicles.

His body was found lying in a pool of blood in front of a flourmill in Shimlapuri by passers by today morning. They informed the police.

According to police, a case of murder has been registered against Karamjit Singh, alias Rixie, as he was alleged to having an old enmity with Davinder. The accused is, however, absconding. Both were alleged to have criminal records.

SHO Shimlapuri, Harpal Singh, said Rixie and Davinder had an altercation over the issue of arranging a function on the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh. Both of them had manhandled each other. A few intervened and the matter was resolved for the time being. But, Rixie had allegedly threatened him of dire consequences.

The SHO said the brutality with which Davinder was murdered hinted at an enmity. “It was not a murder in rage. But was a planned crime. Involvement of more persons could not be ruled out,” he added.

According to the police, Davinder’s brother had in a statement to the police stated that he had left with his auto-rickshaw on Friday morning. He did not return home at night.

They looked for him everywhere. The police said Rixie had a criminal background and was booked for murder earlier also. Davinder was also involved in a theft case and was in jail for two years.


11-yr on, MC finds stadium project non-viable
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
It took 11 years and Rs 20 lakh of taxpayers’ for the Municipal Corporation money to realise that the indoor stadium on the Pakhowal road was not viable and it should go ahead with some project on the road.

Finally, the Municipal Corporation has woken up from slumber and decided to set up multiplex at its place. This decision was taken up by the Municipal authorities recently. The project would be awarded to the same contractor, who was handling the indoor stadium project.

Superintending Engineer, Municipal Corporation’s buildings and roads wing, Adarsh Singla, said the project was hanging fire because of certain technicalities but, now, they had decided to construct a multiplex with 70 showrooms and 12 offices on its place.

Sources said the contractor for the project had raised the price to about Rs 25 crore, which was previously Rs 16 crore. No construction work had been going at the site for the past one-and-a-half year.

The indoor stadium project appeared to be jinxed as it could never see the light of the day due to the civic body’s poor planning and execution. When the project was floated in 1999, the Sports Authority of India made it clear that the no objection certificate (NOC) could not be issued as it did not fulfill the required specifications.

With the indoor stadium project kept on hold, the Municipal Corporation then decided to go ahead with an

outdoor stadium. It even spent nearly Rs 20 lakh of taxpayers’ money on the project.

The indoor stadium was started during the tenure of then Municipal Commissioner SS Sandhu. Prem Bhatia, member of the district grievances committee and former councillor, said looking at the pace of work of this particular project, one thing was clear that the corporation was wasting money and energy unnecessarily that had not seen any development since 1999.

“The contractor constructed the stands for outdoor stadium and these have been demolished for paving way for multiplex.This is nothing but wastage of public money”, he rued.



Census-2010 starts from Mayor’s house
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
Census— 2010 began today from the residence of Municipal Corporation’s Mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura. At least 6, 000 workers, including enumerators, supervisors and Census officials will take one-and-a -alf month to complete the first phase of Census under the guidance of Commissioner AK Sinha.

In charge of Census MS Jaggi, Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, said they were all geared-up to make the drive a success. “Thorough training has been given to enumerators to make Census more transparent, they will be supervised by the officials and zonal commissioners”, Jaggi added. The Municipal Commissioner will act as the principal Census officer, he added.

The corporation has already counted the number of blocks in city. There are 2,561 blocks under the corporation. About 27 blocks remain with the Railways, defence and the PAU.

Enumerators will complete the counting of 2,588 blocks within 45 days. This will involve door-to-door activity. The send phase will held in February 2011.



Commando commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
A quick reaction team commando, Harvinder Singh (28), allegedly committed suicide by firing two shots from his gun in the afternoon today. The bullets hit his temple and he died on the spot.

The police said Harvinder had missed his afternoon roll call at the police lines. When all commandos were reporting they heard two gun shots in his room.

When they rushed to his room, they found him lying in a pool of blood. He was rushed to the DMC hospital where he was declared brought dead.

The police said they would get the post-mortem examination conducted at Civil Hospital tomorrow after his family arrives.

Belonging to Lodhipur village in Gurdaspur, Harvinder Singh had completed his training a month ago and was posted in Ludhiana. Before the incident, he had spoken to his family members back home.



Her limbs are numb, but resolve firm
Lovleen Bains

Kulwinder’s father taking her to an examination centre. Photo by writer
Kulwinder’s father taking her to an examination centre. Photo by writer

Doraha, May 1
Kulwinder’s resolve and assertiveness have helped her succeed against her physical deformity, giving the able ones food for thought. Kulwinder, appearing in her BA final-year examination with the help of a writer at the Bhai Naghayia Singh Memorial College for Girls, Alamgir, is suffering from a severe physical abnormality. Her legs and arms are numb since childhood.

“Passing through the trauma of a physical handicap, accompanied by mental anxiety and psychological disenchantment, was intolerable. At a time when life had just begun to smile on me, encountering physical deformity was not easy. I put my foot down and started battling whatever came my way, be it adverse circumstances or difficult times. I made my inner self so bold that gradually I felt that outer forces were doing my bidding. I pushed my handicap back to achieve sometime unique,” said Kulwinder.

According to Dr Prem Singla, principal of the college, Kulwinder was a good student. “Apart from securing first division, she is highly responsive and extraordinarily adjustable. We were initially reluctant to admit such a student for the fear of her getting demoralised. Kulwinder has a very positive approach towards life. As far as studies are concerned, she is always prepared to grasp and assimilate whatever gives her an academic boost,” the principal said.

Charan Singh, Kulwinder’s father, said people were dissatisfied with life. “Besides Kulwinder, one of my sons is dependent on us as his physical condition is no better than his sister. I am the sole breadwinner of the family. I and my wife had accepted it as our fate, but Kulwinder gave us every reason to feel proud of her. In spite of her deformity, she has always been cheerful, lively and enthusiastic, ready to face all challenges coming her way. Our daughter has

taught us the lesson of forbearance and fortitude,” he added.

After graduating, Kulwinder was desirous of doing a professional course to settle down. “I know that if I continue to work, I will one day be able to achieve the opposite of what destiny had in store for me. By gaining economic independence, I wish to fight my battle alone and not be a burden on anyone. I feel for my sacrificing parents, who ran from pillar to post to cure me of my abnormality, but to no avail. Had it not been for my deformity, I would have been only half as bold to fight oddities of life,” she said.



Kidnapping case cracked, 2 held
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
Cracking a kidnapping case in less than 12 hours, the Ludhiana police today arrested two of the accused and handed over the victim to his parents. Nikhil Kansal (19) was abducted kidnapped late last night by two youths.

A resident of Civil Lines, Nikhil was abducted last night at around 11.30 pm by the kidnappers, who came in a silver Lancer (number BP-10CA 1951) near the Cemetery Road. Nikhil was driving a white Lancer car borrowed from his friend. The victim was on way to bring his aunt home from the railway station when the incident occurred.

The kidnappers then made a call for ransom to Nikhil's parents from his cell phone and demanded Rs 1 crore. They also demanded that the money be paid in dollars. The kidnappers had taken Nikhil to a house in Bhora Colony

behind Green Land Public School. As soon as the police commissioner received the information, a red alert was sounded across the city. A special team comprising ACP (West) RK Jalhotra; SHO Division No 8, inspector Maninder Bedi and SI Harjinder Singh was formed.

Meanwhile, Nikhil managed to flee from the house where he was held captive while the accused were out. The area residents handed over Nikhil to the police, who in turn, acting on vital clues given by the victim, managed to crack the case within hours.

According to Nikhil, a police party intercepted the white Lancer car being driven by the accused. Some documents related to Nikhil were recovered from the car's dash board. The duo tried to escape from the scene leaving the vehicle behind but were held by the cops.

The arrested persons have been identified as Rahul, a resident of Aman Nagar, and Karan, a resident of Indra Nagar in Jalandhar. Karan was living as a tenant at Haibowal with his family.

A case has been registered at the Division Number 8 police station against the accused.



Post office to launch new pension scheme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
No need to worry about the post retirement blues. Post offices will now help in making your life easier once you retire from your job. The department of posts will launch New Pension Scheme (NPS) for citizens on behalf of the Pension Fund Regulator and Development Authority (PFRDA).

The scheme will be launched on May 1. All the head post offices have been registered for the purpose of providing the scheme. The scheme is already operational in 49 head offices in Karnataka and Coimbatore.

Now, the department has decided to extend the service of the scheme in all head offices across the country.

In Ludhiana it will be available at Bharat Nagar head office. Any citizen in the age group of 18 to 55 years can join and continue till 60 years.

Minimum contribution is Rs 500 a month and Rs 6,000 per annum and there should be a minimum of four contributions. Account holders could decide on the frequency and extent of contribution across the year as per their choice. Subscribers' contribution would be invested as per the scheme opted.

The subscriber could select various options, failing which the investment would be done in auto choice considering the age of the subscriber. The pension contribution would be invested in various schemes by any one of the seven pension fund managers appointed by the PFRDA.



400 examined at medical camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
A medical and dental camp was organised by CMC in Al-Kausar CMC Hospital at Malerkotla yesterday.

A team of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff examined more than 400 patients under specialities, including medicine, eye, ENT, gynaecologists, skin and surgery camp. Medicines were also distributed free of cost to the patients.

The camp was in continuation of the series of the camps organised by the CMC to serve the poor and needy in the society and to provide the best health care in remote areas.



From Schools
BCM celebrates International Labour Day

The primary wing of BCM School, Dugri, celebrated May Day with great enthusiasm in order to express gratitude towards the indefatigable workers. The students were shown a presentation on child labour and a movie ‘Adhoore Khwab’ so as to make them aware to curb this menace in our society.

The students dressed up as labourers to highlight the importance of the workers and how they are helpful to our society. The students also distributed food packets among the labourers. With beaming faces and moist eyes the workers reciprocated the students’ love with their blessings.

Dr Vandna Shahi, principal of the school, said one should recognise the dignity of labour and salute the workers who sweat and slog throughout the year.

GN International

Students of GN International Senior Secondary Public School, Model Town, celebrated Labour Day in a very novel way recalling the importance of labour. The students of Classes IX to XII presented a very entertaining cultural programme, including dances on songs like ‘Saathi haath badana’.

The theme of child labour was presented in a beautiful choreography presented by the students of Class X on the song ‘Taare zameen par’. The celebrations ended with a lunch hosted by the management, director, principal and faculty members in the honour of Class IV employees and thanked them with all humility for always giving their untiring services with a ‘smile’ on their face.

Sacred Heart, BRS Nagar

Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar, presented a gala function on the occasion of Labour Day today. The function kicked off with a speech welcoming the workers and acknowledging their hard work. A prayer song marked the beginning of the programme followed by recital of a poem in appreciation of labourers.

The students showcased their dramatic skills and emerged successful in proving labourers as the backbone of any institution, society and nation at large.

The workers were presented rose buds as a mark of love and regard for them. School director Father John lauded the efforts of the workers in the smooth functioning of the institution.

Certificates were awarded to the prize winners by principal Sister Christo. Fun-filled games were organised by the students of Social Service Club, which entertained the workers immensely. This was followed by a lunch. The event concluded with the recital of the school anthem. RESULTS: Nehru House/Gandhi House, Shastri House and Tagore House adjudged first, second and third, respectively, in skit competition.

SDP school

SDP Senior Secondary School, Hazuri Road, celebrated International Labour Day with great enthusiasm today. Students presented a colourful programme comprising songs, dances, bhajans and poems. A motivational lecture was delivered by teachers. School president Bajraj Kumar Bhasin presided over the function.


Guru Nanak Public School, Birmi, celebrated Labour Day today to salute the ceaseless efforts of the workforce of the nation. Cultural programme was also held in which colourfully attired students enthusiastically participated.

BVM school

To express gratitude towards the labour class of the world, Labour Day was celebrated today at Bhartiya Viday Mandir Senior Secondary School, Udham Singh Nagar. Various activities like poster-making, slogan writing and card making competitions were held. Principal Sunil Arora encouraged the students to pay tributes to the attendants and helpers in the school with greeting cards.

Sacred Heart, Sector 39

May Day was celebrated at Sacred Heart Higher Secondary Convent School, Sector 39, today. Students were informed about the dignity of labour.

They cleaned their classes as a mark of respect to the school helpers. A get together was organised for the workers where director Father Mathew, principal Sister Flowerlet, teachers and workers enjoyed refreshments and games.

Ryan International

Emphasising the importance of Labour Day, Ryan International School celebrated the day with much aplomb. Various activities were held for the students, including card making for primary classes.

The cards were presented to Class IV employees of the school along with sweets.

Debates and declamation were also held for seniors. Principal Gurpreet Sandhu told the students about the importance of the day.

Meanwhile, an NCC enrolment workshop-cum-seminar was also held at the school. The seminar was attended by students of Classes VI to IX.

Poem recitation competition

The Senior Humanities Forum of Kundan Vidya Mandir organised a poem recitation competition on Thursday.

Feelings of happiness, love and sense of duty were reflected in the poems selected by the students. Judges Reena Kapoor and Shashi Goyal had a tough time choosing the winners.

Headmistress Namita Raj Singh lauded and appreciated the efforts of the students and teachers. She encouraged the students to participate actively in such competitions. RESULTS: English - 1 Lamia Fatima; 2 Nakul Aggarwal; 3 Sumedha Sood; appreciation award Nimish Goyal

Hindi - 1 Muskan Gumber; 2 Smarth Goyal; 3 Gayatri Jindal; appreciation award Samiksha Arora.

Prize distribution

BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, organised the annual prize distribution ceremony here today. Dr JS Sohla, director, LCET and dean (PTU), was the chief guest. Over 120 students were honoured on the occasion. Teachers were also given trophies for carrying out their duties well.

Principal Paramjit Kaur read out the annual report, highlighting the achievements of the students and school in various fields in the session 2009-2010. A cultural programme was also held, including dances and songs.

Student chefs’ competition

PCTE Institute of Hotel Management organised an inter-class chef competition in which seven teams participated. These teams included MBA, MCA, BBA, BCA, BSc Bio Tech, BPharma and BSc ATHM.

Neha, Ritika and Jyoti of MCA department won the competition. The menu comprised of Indian, Italian and Chinese items.

The second and third positions were won by BBA and BSC Bio Tech teams. — TNS 



Investiture ceremony
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, May 1
A colourful fresher’s day, graduate ceremony and investiture ceremony was organised at Jatindera Green Field (JGF) School yesterday at Gurusar Sudhar near here.

The function was presided over by Lt. Col. Subhash Sehgal. The students of kinder garten classes were seen enjoying in their colourful attire. The students of Class Ist, VIth and IXth were felicitated with the graduate ceremony and the chief guest handed over them degrees.

The head boy, head girl and others were honoured on the occasion.

The chief guest handed over them with school flags besides house flags and sashes to the office-bearers among the student.



Farmers get tips on aquaculture
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
The two-day awareness-cum-training programme on value addition to freshwater fish concluded here yesterday.

Aimed at increasing profitability of carp fish, it was organised by College of Fisheries, GADVASU, in collaboration with Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Cochin.

At least 60 participants, including fish farmers and officials of the fisheries department, attended the training programme.

Dr Kamaldeep Kaur, college dean, delivered the introductory lecture on teaching, research and extension activities for overall development of the sector.

Dr S Ashaletha, senior scientist with the institute, introduced objectives of the programme. The technical session was conducted by Dr M Nasser and Dr PK Vijayan.

Interacting with the participants, Dr Parmar emphasised that it was vital to prepare products of international standards for higher economic returns.

The technical sessions on the second day were convened by Dr Asha Dhawan, head of the department of aquaculture.

De-boning of carps and methodologies for preparation of products like fish fingers, fish cutlets, fish wafers, fish balls, fish fillets and fish pickles were demonstrated.

The programme concluded with an interactive session. The fish farmers were enthusiastic about adopting value addition.

Although carp fish contributed more than 80 per cent of freshwater aquaculture in India, they fetched low market prices due to the presence of intramuscular bones.

There was a need to develop de-boned value-added products from carp fish, which would not only help in economic gains, but also in new jobs.

Being a rich source of high-quality protein, these de-boned products could be a good diet for growing children and pregnant and lactating women.



Labour Day: IMA team examines factory workers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
The local chapter of the IMA in association with the CMCH and DMCH organised a medical check-up camp at IMA House on Labour Day from 3 pm to 6 pm, wherein the workers were diagnosed for various ailments.

Teams of doctors from both hospitals examined patients for diseases like anemia, skin infections, dental problems, chest infections, tuberculosis, diabetes and hypertension, which are common among the labour class.

IMA had forwarded a request to the labour officials in various factories across the city to send the workers for check-up.

Residents, too, had been asked not to force children to do hard jobs. Children need to spend their time in playing and studying. It is unlawful to make them do hard jobs at such a tender age, said IMA members.

IMA Ludhiana president Dr Narottam Dewan and secretary Dr Hardeep Singh said: “Those working in factories, fields and in other organisations don’t eat healthy food. They live and work in unhygienic conditions and are suffering from numerous deficiencies and infectious diseases, which can be examined at medical camps that would soon be started by the IMA.”



Dust storm, light shower bring relief
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
City residents heaved a sigh of relief as the soaring temperatures came down following the dust storm followed by light showers, yesterday evening. The maximum temperature recorded yesterday was 39.2 degrees Celsius and the minimum 23.4 degree Celsius, which has gone down by almost two degrees today. The maximum temperature recorded today is 37.4 degrees Celsius while the minimum temperature is 22.0 degrees Celsius.

However, the high velocity winds accompanied by light showers uprooted branches of many trees thereby damaging the wires in various localities of the city and its periphery. The branches fell on electricity wires thereby disrupting the power supply for hours.

The newly set up nodal complaint centre in Janta Nagar buzzed with activity yesterday evening as a total of 852 complaints were registered from Ludhiana and its adjoining areas from 6 pm to 12 pm.

Areas like the Civil Lines, Model Town, BRS Nagar, Urban Estate Dugri, Phullanwal, Aggar Nagar, Haibowal, and the Club Road were rendered powerless yesterday evening. The above areas remained without power for 6 to 8 hours.

Power lines were also damaged in rural areas. It took more than 10 hours for the Powercom field staff to restore the supply.

A senior official said the infrastructure collapsed due to slightest pressure. It needs to be tackled at the earliest. The old system is not in a good shape and needs to be replaced with advanced gadgets/equipment, he added.

The change in name from the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to Powercom has not changed the ground realities, as the scarcity of the field staff is still a problem that hinders the “repair” work during emergency.

But the forthcoming attitude of the officials in the “Powercom” was a consolation for the people who kept them awake till the restoration of electricity in their respective areas. And not to miss the tireless work carried out by the field staff of Powercom who were on their toes to deal with the individual as well as the cluster complaints.

Rashpal Singh, the deputy chief engineer, Ludhiana, said: “The linemen were attending the calls as per the order number of the complaints registered with the complaint centre. The damaged feeders were repaired in phases as the field staff was working throughout the night and by 4 am the supply in every area was restored.” 



Scrap prices decrease, steel still rising
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
While the prices of scrap are decreasing there is no respite for the industry from the rising steel prices. Although the price of the scrap has come down to Rs 22,000 per tonne from Rs 24,500, the prices of steel are still rising.

In the past seven days the prices of scrap have came down by at least 10 per cent. The price of ingot also came down from Rs 3,200 to Rs 3,000. But, the prime steel producers have not decreased prices of steel.

The bicycle industry continues to suffer, as there is no decrease in its prices. Bicycles are manufactured only from prime steel and it produces around 40 to 50 per cent scrap during its manufacturing process. With the decrease in 10 per cent scrap prices the profit of cycle parts has also decreased to around 5 per cent.

The sudden and unexpected increase midway is going to severely hit the production capacity of small-scale industrial units.

Small and medium-sized industrial units requiring steel as major raw material have become vulnerable. Punjab’s economy is composed mainly of the SME sector. Many inherent problems of Punjab’s economy make these units shaky with the ever-rising steel prices. While the profit they use to earn from scrap has also come down with the decrease in its prices, said PD Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Santokh Singh, a cycle parts manufacturer, said the ever-increasing price of steel is sending the micro and small enterprises into doldrums. After every three months Rs 5000 to Rs6000 increases the prices per tonne. During the manufacturing of cycle parts 90 per cent of prime steel is used while it produces 40-50 per cent scrap.

“If the prices of scrap are decreasing then automatically the prices of steel should also decrease but on the contrary its prices are increasing like anything. Steel price regulatory authority should be formed to check the price hike,” he added.



‘Powerless’ farmers can’t water crops
Our Correspondent

Khamano, May 1
Farmers of Khamano and Samrala have been ploughing the standing sugarcane crop due to long power cuts, resulting in heavy losses to them.

The situation is more grim on account of lack of rain, although whether reports indicate some rain in the next few days.

Avtar Singh of Barwali Khurd village has been ploughing his 2.5-acre standing sugarcane crop due to the non-availability of power for watering it.

He says he has taken 40 acres on lease at Hedon village and sowed sugarcane on 20 acres. He has to spend money on diesel for the generator to water his crop.

He has alleged that although the government and the power board claim to provide electricity for tubewells for four hours, the supply is only for an hour everyday.

Gurmukh Singh of Takhkran village has ploughed more than 2.5 acres of his standing sugarcane crop due to poor power supply. Farmers have appealed the Chief Minister and the power board to supply a minimum of six hours of power everyday for watering their crops.



Partners arrive at compromise
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 1
The local leadership intervened to cool tempers over the issue of ownership of the trade name and logo of Kamal Studio(s) here yesterday.

Last year, the partners divided various branches between themselves and decided upon conditions. Ashok Modgil, journalist with a vernacular daily, was also a partner.

He accused other partners of breaching conditions and pressurising him to drop his claim on the trade name and logo. The situation took an ugly turn when the Jagraon DSP, in the name of conducting an inquiry, asked him to be present at his office, but did not turn up himself. Former Jagraon MLA Bhag Singh Malla had intervened and proposed a compromise, which was accepted by Modgil, but rejected by Krishan Lal, another partner.

The matter was brought to the notice of the Punjab Union of Journalists, the two Jagraon press clubs and other prominent persons, who gathered at the DSP’s office. After the intervention of the SSP, they decided that none of them would file a complaint till a decision regarding the dispute was taken by the appropriate authority.



May Day
Migrants feel the heat
Many go without water, await politicians for three hours
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
Labourers- the “special guests” at the state-level function on Labour Day at Sherpur today were made to wait for three hours in scorching heat for politicians to turn up. Though water was being provided to the labourers sitting near the dais but hundreds of others sitting on the other end of venue, including women and children, had to bear the heat without quenching their thirst.

Tikshan Sood, Minister for Labour, Parliamentary Affairs, Medical Research and Forest, was the chief guest whereas former Minister of Punjab Bikranjit Singh Majithia and Minister for Jails and Tourism Hira Singh Gabria were the guests of honour. Leaders like Rajinder Bhandari, Mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura, Rajiv Katna, Harish Rai Dhanda and Labour Commissioner, Punjab, NK Wadhawan shared the dais with other dignitaries.

“Purvanchali-Punjabi Ekta Zindabad”, “Stay-away from the Congress”, “Messiah of labour-class- Punjab Government”- slogans were raised for honouring the labourers by representatives of various labour unions in the city.

“Nightingale of Uttar-Pradesh” Asmita Singh was called to entertain the labourers during the function. She entertained the gathering for almost two hours. The workers seemed to be more interested in listening to the melodious voice rather than speeches made by politicians. Many of them even danced to various Bhojpuri numbers sung by her.

The leaders stressed that interests of labour had to be watched by any government if it wanted to make progress. They said the country could never prosper if labourers were not given due attention and importance.

In his address, Rajinder Bhandari, vice-chairman, Planning Board, said that the labourers were the backbone of the industry. The migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Purvanchal had contributed immensely towards the growth of this industrial city.

Labour Commissioner, Punjab, NK Wadhawan said all had gathered here to pay rich tributes to the fellow-beings who had sacrificed their lives in Chicago in 1886. “It is because of that sacrifice that we are here to realise the importance of Labour Day. The labour is still to be made aware about the laws and their rights as 94 per cent of country’s labour works in an unauthorised sector”, said Wadhawan.

In his address, Hira Singh Gabria stressed that the state government was trying hard to provide all basic facilities to the labour class in Punjab. He said the Akali-BJP government for the welfare of the migrant population was spending crores.

  • A poorly managed show, as seats were not made available to dignitaries standing on the dais.
  • Authorities failed to arrange more water tankers as Gabria had ordered for more water for the public.
  • While cold drinks and snacks were being served to VVIPs on the dais, the labourers kept on asking for more water from security personnel/attendants.
  • More than Labour Day, the function provided an “ideal” platform for leaders to mingle with each other.
  • While thousands had to bear the scorching heat, top officials stayed away in their AC vehicles throughout the function.



‘Abolish contract, outsourcing’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
Many organisations and unions, including the All-India Trade Union Congress, took out rallies and organised seminars here today to observe the International Labour Day.

Union leaders said the working class had played a major role in the freedom struggle and in building modern India.

But for the last few years

After structural adjustment programmes under the diktat of the World Trade Organisation and the introduction of neo-liberal economic policies, misery was being caused to the toiling masses in the country, they said.

The laws meant to protect the interests of workers were being violated, even in public sector units, and the government was paying no heed to this, they stated.

They demanded that all vacant posts in the government and public sectors be filled on a regular basis. Contractual jobs and outsourcing should be abolished, they said.

Referring to the incident at Dhandari Kalan, they said the administration should give special attention to the problems of those who had come to Punjab from other states.



Sale of spurious liquor continues unchecked
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
Due to lack of coordination between the health and family welfare and excise and taxation departments, liquor vends are not being subjected to regular checks resulting in unrestricted sale of spurious booze in and around the city. A large number of people who have suffered poisoning from the methyl content present in much of the liquor being sold have been admitted to hospitals and nursing homes. There have even been cases where some lesser known brands have been adulterated with sedatives including capsules categorized as schedule ‘H’ drugs.

Though liquor is included among the items covered under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, the health & family welfare department has not conducted checks on even a single liquor vend or drinking place in the district during the past seven years.

Health officials maintain they have been directed to conduct checks and gather samples of liquor only in the presence of excise officials, who they say are not keen to take the former along with them during the checks.

At the same time, the local health authority is the licensing authority for wholesalers, agents and distributors of liquor and alcoholic beverages. It charges the prescribed annual fee of Rs 10,000 in the municipal corporation area, Rs 8,000 in zila parishad/municipal committee area and Rs 5,000 in block samiti/tehsil/ gram panchayat area.

A Punjab Agricultural University microbiologist observed checks on liquor vends by health officials were mandatory.

“Illicit fermentation and distillation of any sugar source doesn't involve selected pure culture of the organisms meant for fermentation and distillation. If the natural organisms in the fermentation happen to be stray organisms, they can cause faulty fermentation, leading to poisoning from byproducts like methyl alcohol, which may be produced along with the desired ones. These substances directly affect the nervous system and can cause blindness and or even lead to death if consumed in high quantities”, he went on to add.

‘Excise raids are routine’

When contacted, deputy excise & taxation commissioner Parampal Singh claimed excise inspectors routinely took samples from liquor vends at regular intervals. “We also conduct raids after receiving the information about adulterated liquor. As the liquor trade generates massive tax revenues we try to avoid any harassment of liquor contractors and vendors by refraining from taking along health department food inspectors with us for sampling. However, the latter are free to take liquor samples at vends”, he added.

Drive against spurious booze

District health officer Dr DS Kootchar asserted it was the “duty” of excise and taxation officials to take along food inspectors of the health department along with them during checks on liquor vends. "We’ll soon initiate a campaign against spurious liquor by asking excise officials to conduct sampling at liquor vends in the district”, he stated.



SP’s wife raids police station
Claims illegal detention of fraud accused
Our Correspondent

Raikot, May 1
Ranjit Kaur Bhatti, member of the Istree Akali Dal, Mansa, has raided the local police station and found an ‘illegally detained’ woman from Mansa district.

Accusing the police of siding with the land mafia and harrassing the woman, she has claimed that the SHO fled on seeing her and the police denied her entry.

Wife of Bathinda SP(H) Sukhdev Singh Bhatti, she sat in an Innova MUV (PB10CJ-4948), with red beacon atop, accusing the local police of misbehaviour.

She claimed that the police had illegally detained Gurpal Kaur of Bareta Mandi, Mansa district, who was the president of the gurdwara committee there.

Investigations by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the SHO had gone out for a court hearing and the police had arrested Gurpal Kaur for fraud.

A case was registered against her under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC at the Raikot police station on January 26.

An NRI, Sushil Kumar, had complained that Gurpal Kaur, in connivance with five others, had been trying to occupy his land illegally on the basis of a forged document bearing his forged signature.

He had stated that he was in Dubai the day the so-called agreement was signed and the persons had occupied his property worth crores at Ludhiana, Mandi Ahmedgarh, Raikot and Tajpur village.

On the other hand, Ranjit Kaur Bhatti said Sushil Kumar’s parents and sisters died long back and his brother Surinder Kumar had been murdered at Salem Tabri in Ludhiana.

She claimed that fearing for his life, Sushil Kumar had left for Ghaziabad after selling all his property to Gurpal Kaur.

She alleged that two of the accused named by Sushil Kumar belonged to Raikot, but the police did not arrest them.

During interrogation, Gurpal Kaur said she had no knowledge of property purchase, had been paid to sign documents without reading those and had never met Sushil Kumar.



Panchayat deducts pension illegally
Rakesh Gupta

Mullanpur Dakha, May 1
In a worst kind of example of poor sanitation system in the rural areas, one can see nasty worms from the sewages entering in the houses of the residents of Mullanpur village. The condition of a particular area of the village that houses most of its Scheduled Caste population is worse than one can consider.

Interestingly, village sarpanch Sadhu Singh got elected from this area of the village. If one goes by the revenue record, there is no pond earmarked on it. Since long the village was using a common land as a pond that was adjoining a gurdwara village. Now, stinking water and worms have started entering in the gurdwara premises also.

Though the village has a Gram Panchayat Water and Sanitation Committee, there is no effective sewage system. The panchayat of the village, in an inhuman act, has deducted Rs 500 to Rs 800 from the pensions of widows and old age pensioners of the village.

There are around 150 pensioners in the village who were not paid pension amounting Rs 250 per month for the last five months. Now, at the time of payment, Rs 500 to Rs 800 were deducted from their pension as their “contribution” to the Panchayat Water and Sanitation Committee.

Most of the pensioners are not able to arrange two square meals with their pensions and they have no other source of income. The panchayat has not even spared two blind widows Mohinder Kaur (70) and Gurmail Kaur (72). These widows had many times slipped into the nullah. With no one to look after them they do not have a proper roof to live under. However, the sarpanch of the village justifies their deduction of this amount as well.

Sarpanch Sadhu Singh said the pond, which used to accumulate the village sewage, had over flown despite the fact that it was de-silted last year under the NREGA scheme at a cost of nearly Rs 2 lakh. Darshan Singh, panch of the village, maintained that a grant of Rs 2 crore had been passed for their village and the sewage problem would be solved soon.

Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman of zila parishad, Ludhiana, however, maintained that the zila parishad had not approved the project of sewage system for the village due to technical non-feasibility. He said the new pond of the village under the scheme of natural water treatment plant had nearly completed. He said he would see it personally that the pending work got completed in not later than a week and the pond was emptied in the new pond, giving relief to the villagers and hence improve the sanitation condition.

He expressed shock over the matter that the village panchayat was deducting pensions from the widows and old persons in the name of sanitation fee. He said the government had issued the pension to them so that they did not become dependent on their wards for their day to day petty expenses.

However, he said it was the responsibility of the village panchayat to look after the elders of the village who had no one to look after them. Terming it a social crime, he said he would ask the department concerned to look in the case accordingly.



Farm accident victims get grants
Our Correspondent

Raikot, May 1
The Market Committee, Raikot, distributed rehabilitation grant to 11 persons yesterday who had met with accidents doing jobs related to agriculture. The victims were handed over the cheques of Rs 3.83 lakh by Jagjit Singh Talwandi, former chairman, Small Scale Industries and Export Corporations.

Surjit Kaur of Akalgarh Khurd village got Rs 1 lakh while Manjinder Kaur of Noorpura village got Rs 40,000, Karamjit Kaur, Gurpreet Singh and Gurdev Kaur, all of Siloani village, got Rs 25,000 each. Hardev Singh of Tajpur village received Rs 15,000, Gurmail Singh of Bassian village and Lakhwinder Singh of Burj Naklian got Rs 10,000 each and Kuldeep Singh of Jalaldiwal village got Rs 7,500.

Addressing the gathering, Talwandi said issuing rehabilitation amount did take some time as a lot of formalities and verifications were to be completed by the department. 



Gang of armed robbers busted
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 1
The Sudhar police nabbed four members of a gang of dacoits and cattle thieves last night and recovered weapons, including firearms, from their possession.

SHO Jaswinder Singh said they got specific information that the gang was planning something in the area and five members were camping in a Scorpio MUV (UP07F-1479) near the Radha Swami Satsang Ghar on the link road leading to Toosa village.

The police raided the place immediately and nabbed four of them. They were identified as Masroor, alias Kala, and Naved of Doomterhi village, Motoseem of Suchela village and Mohammad Rehmaan of Gango village, all located near Chilkahana.

The fifth member managed to give the police the slip. He was identified as Deeda of Chikwan village. All the accused hailed from Saharanpur district in Utter Pradesh.

The accused tried to escape by opening fire on the police. A countrymade .315-calibre pistol, a live cartridge, an empty cartridge, a knife and some sharp-edge weapons were recovered from their possession. The police also impounded the Scorpio MUV.

The police registered a case under Sections 399, 402 and 307 of the IPC and Sections 25, 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act. The accused confessed to looting, snatching and cattle theft.



14 booked for assault

Khamano, May 1
Fourteen persons, including two women, were booked in connection with a quarrel at Bhutta village, in which four persons, including two women, were injured.

According to the statement of Chinder Kaur, some persons of the village attacked and injured them while they were watching television at home.

They reported the matter to the police. The injured were taken to the civil hospital. The police registered a case and arrested five of the accused. — OC



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