L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Gill overbridge not to be opened today 
Sukhbir Badal busy, people to wait
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
The Rs 22.5-crore overbridge on Gill Chowk here will not be opened to the public tomorrow as Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal is unable to visit the city.

The municipal corporation (MC) had announced that the bridge, an expansion of the already existing railway overbridge on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla line, was to be inaugurated on May 18.

However, the MC said this evening that it could not get confirmation of his visit from Sukhbir Badal since he was busy with a cabinet meeting today and the civic body would wait for him. Until such time, the overbridge will remain out of bounds for commuters.

“It would not take long for the Deputy CM to visit the city. The bridge is ready. It is a matter of a few days only,” Parveen Bansal, Senior Deputy Mayor, stated.

Residents, meanwhile, are not happy with the MC’s decision. They said the Gill road was a traffic bottleneck and the bridge should have been opened as soon as it was ready. “Just to gain political mileage, residents will be made to suffer,” Sher Singh, a resident, remarked.

For the past 18 months, due to the construction of the overbridge, commuters going towards Industrial Area, Partap Chowk and Focal Point had to take alternative routes to reach their destinations. Even the Jagraon bridge had become a bottleneck.

It is not for the first time that the opening of a bridge is in the midst of a controversy. Earlier also, the inauguration of bridges like the Rs 55-crore elevated road, Dholewal Chowk Flyover and Dugri bridge was put on hold since politicians were busy.


Lottery ban drives jobless youths to drugs
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
The Punjab government’s abrupt decision to end the computerised lottery system from April 1 has rendered over 55,000 young people unemployed in the city alone with the erstwhile sole selling lottery agents telling them to look for other work. Unable to find suitable jobs many of the youngsters have reportedly become addicted to drugs out of frustration.

With no educational qualifications required for the task, agents used to snare gullible youths and provide them some training to sell lottery numbers on computers.

"When I completed ‘plus two’ (high school) I began looking for a job. An acquaintance who had installed PC terminals for computerised lotteries in Chaura Bazar asked me to work for him. It took me a few days to understand the whole process. For the past four years I didn’t look for any other job. By selling lottery numbers on computers, I was able to earn Rs 10,000 a month as commission paid by the agent. However, for the past one and a half months I’ve been completely idle", 22-year-old Deepak Sharma lamented.

Computerised lotteries had become a preferred way to make quick money for those below the poverty line. "Industrial workers, salesmen and even migrant labourers evinced keen interest in these lotteries as, after every 15 minutes, they could either win or lose. However the government decided lotteries were nothing but a form of gambling where people put all the day's earnings at stake to make a fast buck. They were either ruined or won a handsome amount. Now the government wants to ‘streamline’ things and plans to float tenders before allowing lotteries to operate again, though we don’t have any idea how long that will take", said Ramesh Kumar, an erstwhile lottery agent near Ghanta Ghar Chowk. He added the government had not refunded the security amount to sole selling agents as promised.

With prospects of finding other work bleak, the jobless youngsters have begun taking to drugs. Sunita Rani, mother of one such youth who was thrown out of work, said, "For the past month he has been running from pillar to post to find a job but has had no luck. I was shocked yesterday when he came home drunk. I tried to make him understand that ups and downs are a part of life. But he is too sensitive and wants to share the family’s financial burden. I hope he comes out of his present difficulties soon", she said.



...Meanwhile, work on flyover causing traffic snarls
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
Construction of the Lakkar Bridge flyover, which is in full swing, has led to interminable traffic jams at the site due to the ongoing work on one of its down-ramps going towards Mata Rani Chowk. Vehicles on the already congested street opposite AC Market, Bhadaur House get stuck for long periods because of construction activity.

On this 30 feet wide lane outside Calibre Plaza, about five feet on both sides has been encroached upon by shopkeepers and customers who park their motorcycles and vehicles there throughout the day. However, with the digging of most of this road, it has become impossible to pass-through the lane. Autorickshaws, cars, two-wheelers and cycle rickshaws- lock-horns with each other for right of way. As if this were not enough, shopkeepers in the AC market load and unload their stocks on the middle of the street.

Naveen Malhotra, superintendent of the municipal corporation’s ‘tehbazari’ wing, admitted that vehicles parked haphazardly created were a nuisance and led to traffic jams. "We can’t bring MC vans on the road because of the construction work. But we’ll definitely lift the vehicles parked outside market, which create problems for passersby", he added.

Traffic superintendent of police Harmohan Singh said the traffic cops were seriously looking into the matter. "These interior streets are already congested. We’re waiting for vehicle actuator lights to be installed under the overbridge, after which we’ll make them one-way to ensure smooth traffic flow. It will definitely provide much relief to commuters", he added.



Clouds, cool winds bring relief 
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
An overcast sky with a cool breeze blowing through the city today morning brought some respite to residents from the sizzling temperatures that prevailed during last week.

With the mercury soaring to 43.5 degrees Celsius on Sunday most people preferred to stay indoors, giving a deserted look to the markets. However, there was a sudden dip in the temperature today with the sun playing truant, lifting the spirits of residents.

The maximum temperature recorded on Monday at the PAU agrometeorology department’s observatory was 40.4 degrees C while the minimum hovered around 28 degrees. Relative humidity in the morning was 29 percent with that in the evening at 22 percent, which was termed “manageable” by weather experts.

Having suffered from the scorching heat during the past few days, students, office goers and workers were happy to get relief from the extremely hot weather.

Said Sanchita, a class 10 student, "Getting up early and going for my tuitions had become very strenuous due to the excessive heat, which was depressing. But today's pleasant weather was a breather as all students arrived at their tuition classes in time and had a higher concentration level.

Similarly, Radhey a gardener, said: “Over the past few days it had become difficult for me to tend people’s gardens due to the scorching heat. But today I spent the maximum time in dealing with pending work in every garden”.

The weather is expected to remain partly cloudy with a possibility of duststorms over the city and adjoining areas during the next 24 hours. However, weather experts have termed today’s relief as "temporary" saying temperatures are likely to rise in the coming days.

Dr Sandeep Puri, medical superintendent of Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, underlined the need for people to maintain an adequate hydration level in view of the soaring mercury.

"It’s not just direct but also indirect heat that one should avoid. Poorly ventilated rooms may also lead to heat strokes. People shouldn’t be misled by the fluctuation in temperatures. Diabetics, hypertension and heart patients should avoid going out in the sun”, he stated.



Mercury lifts beer sales
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
This promises to be a hot summer. And when the mercury goes up, so do beer sales. In addition to beer, the refreshing fruit flavoured alcoholic drink is also topping the list of the Bacchus lovers.

There are a lot of brands and styles out there these days. And anyone who thinks they can tell a good beer by its label is in for a surprise. Some beers are weak and thin; some are bold and brain-crushing; some are dry; some are sweet; while some others are sour.

City people are guzzling beer like water. For city residents, the best part is that it can be consumed during day time as well. Ramesh Jindal, manager of the tavern at Malhar Road said, "Beer is selling like hot cakes while the sale of hard drinks has fallen considerably. We daily sell nearly 1,200 beer bottles," he said.

Light refreshing fruit flavoured alcoholic drinks also top the list of those who just want something revitalizing to beat the heat. Available in different flavours like lemon, jamacian, cranberry, litchi and orange these drinks are favourite among women. "We are serving these drinks during the kitty parties. These drinks are like mocktails and our female customers love to relish them," said Bhuvnesh Sharma, Food and beverage manager at a city hotel.

Jagwant Grewal, a businessman added, "During summers beer beat the heat like anything. Hard drinks are a big no for me and I only enjoy drinking chilled beer in the sizzling heat".



Showering flowers on rival 

SAD workers and close associates of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal were so charged up at the arrival of first scheduled flight from Delhi at Sahnewal the other day that seeing a group of people coming towards the arrival lounge, they showered flowers to extend a welcome to their leader. They, however, soon realised that it was not Sukhbir surrounded by people but Manish Tewari, Congress MP, who had also travelled by the same flight. Not all, but some of the red-faced Akali workers were seen gathering the flowers and petals from the ground and moving towards the venue of the press conference to be addressed by the junior Badal.

Smart kid

Cell phones, no doubt have brought comfort in our lives but at times they start affecting the family life, especially of journalists who keep on getting regular calls one after the another. As the phone was ringing regularly yesterday, my five-year-old daughter got bugged. She was asking questions of moral science and I could not answer the queries as I was talking on the phone. Just then a colleague of mine called me and my daughter observed the conversation for two-minutes. She came near the speaker and shouted, “Aunty bye, please keep the phone down. Disconnect your call, I have to study”. Before I could react, colleague politely said, “Please attend to your daughter, we can talk later”. As soon as I turned towards her with frowning look, she said, “Now wait and watch, I will behave like this if you don’t listen to me”.

Tonga ride

A small kid who has just started going to school was amazed on seeing a few means of transport. Astonished at learning she said she has never travelled in any of these except car, train and an airplane. The kid got curious especially about the bus ride and a tonga and insisted on traveling in the same, the next time they have to go out of the city. Parents at that time assured her that they will travel by the same but soon forgot what they promised. When one day they were planning to go out of the station, the little girl reminded her parents about their promise. Parents knew now they have no other choice but to travel by bus. The entire travel experience was pleasant. Next time when the family went to Amritsar they made their kid ride a tonga. The little kid was more than happy and same were the parents.

Mobile moms

The advanced technology has definitely given the mothers enough room to look after their kids and simultaneously carry on with their outdoor schedules. The discussions varying from the home works to their other activities like changing school uniforms, bathing, going to tuitions and eating lunch is discussed on mobile phone. An eight year old weary of his working mother’s absence from home every day after he returned from the school called his mom and said, “Can you buy a mobile which can deliver you in person whenever I need you mom. I don’t know whether you are smiling or frowning when I talk to you over the phone.” Not in the least dejected when the mother said no such mobile existed, the smart kid said, “I think I will have to become a scientist to invent such phone so that kids can be with their moms whenever they want.”

Universal brotherhood

Religions divide, so goes an old feeling. But the other day shobha yatra taken out by the Brahmin Sabha to celebrate Bhagwan Parshuram’s birthday set an example by conveying the message of universal brotherhood. Much to the pleasant surprise of people, the rath yatra had a tableau depicting the life of Jesus Christ. The tableau had Santa Claus and the fairies. ‘‘It was a different shobha yatra where other religions were also given due respect. If everybody treats religions like this, the world would be a beautiful place, ’’ said an organiser. (See pic)

Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Manav Mander, Anshu Seth and Kanchan Vasdev



Yoga can help beat the stress: Doctor 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
Obesity is no longer just a social stigma but a global epidemic affecting children, adolescents and adults in both developed and developing countries. Being overweight can cause high blood pressure (BP) or hypertension, which in turn can cause the stroke, heart failure, weakening and expansion of blood vessels (aneurysm) and the kidney failure.

Dr Gurpreet Singh, endocrinologist, SPS Apollo Hospitals, while speaking on World Hypertension Day observed today that the obesity was now the world’s worst nutritional problem, causing more ill-health and deaths than impoverishment and infectious diseases. “Unfortunately, increasing urbanisation, sedentary lifestyles and the eagerness to adopt western culture have resulted in more and more Indians joining the 1.5 billion victims of high blood pressure all over the world, ” Dr Gurpreet said.

The theme of World Hypertension Day 2010 is “Healthy Weight, Healthy Blood Pressure” which stresses the need to control both body weight and the blood pressure.

Explaining why obesity has become such a growing problem even in India, Dr JS Grewal, senior consultant cardiologist, said: “We have a lot of people moving from the villages to towns. They don’t work hard in the fields and are tied to their desks for long hours. They eat on the run and prefer junk foods that are high in saturated fats, salt and sugar.

Dr Ramanbeer Singh urged each individual to monitor one’s weight and BP. The circumference of the healthy male’s waist should be less than 38 inches and for a healthy woman it should be less than 32 inches.

The second method is to calculate your body mass index or BMI. “Check your weight in kilos and your height in meters. Divide your weight by the square of your height. The answer is your BMI. If the BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, it is healthy; 25 - 29.9 is overweight; 30 - 39.9 is obese and anything above 40 is dangerously obese,” the doctor added.

Meanwhile, Sibia Medical Centre organised a blood pressure and medical check-up camp wherein, specially prepared movies, posters and pamphlets were used to convey good health message to patients.

The importance of stress-free lifestyle, regular exercise and balanced diet was discussed. The patients were advised to have regular blood pressure check-up, abstain from smoking and to avoid fast food and high fat and salt containing diet.

Dr SS Sibia, director and consultant of the hospital, said the centre was laying stress on the methods that can help minimise the need of medicines. The scientific basis of special breathing techniques as explained by Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati Ji, founder of the Bihar School of Yoga, world’s first Yoga university, was also explained to the patients.

Based on the yogic breathing techniques a CD has been prepared by the centre to simplify the practice of breathing technique as advocated by Swami Ramdevji and various Yoga gurus. 

Eat right and stay healthy

n Eat more fruits and vegetables

n Eat vegetarian foods one day in a week

n Stay active; walk, cycle or swim for at least 30 minutes each day

n Cut down on food heavy on salt like cheese, chips, salted nuts and canned meats

n Avoid or reduce fast food

n Know what you eat; read the label

n Don’t skip meals; three adequate meals are a must

n Consciously reduce portion size and reduce carbohydrates

n If you must have alcohol, limit to two drinks a day

n Give up smoking

n Don’t add extra salt to your food

n Fresh herbs and dried spices can be tasty substitutes for salt

n Avoid readymade sauces.



Kids of lesser mortals
God has been ‘unkind’ to them
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
Seven-month-old Manna has not seen the other side of the world. She was given birth in one of the shanties located near the garbage dump on the Tajpur road and seven months after her birth; she has not been able to get out from here. Plastic bags, broken plastic bottles, stray pups and discarded toys are a few of her playthings. And the list goes on.

She is not the only child on whom the God has been “unkind”. There are more than 20 such children up to the age of 13, who have met the same fate. They eat, play and sleep here, absolutely cut from the world outside. A visit to this main garbage dump by The Tribune reveals the unfortunate side of their living.

Most of these rag pickers belong to Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. They came to the “the city of the fortune” for green pastures but somehow landed themselves here.

Gudiya, a 19-year-old girl, carrying her two-month-old son, said she also “assisted” her husband in the work. “We collect plastic, steel, glass, rags and sell them to junk/scrap dealers, who then sell the material to big buyers. We get about Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 per month, which is inadequate to meet our daily needs. Still, we have to move on”, said Gudiya while handing over a plastic bottle to another rag picker friend.

Shama, another woman in her mid-30s, said the family is, now, used to the foul smell emitting out of the garbage dump spread over 2.5 acre. “It has been more than six years now that we have made this place our permanent abode (jhuggis) and nobody asks us to vacate it. So, what if we cannot go out in the city? My kids never complain of anything. They play here and enjoy. I have to look after three kids, as my husband is a drug addict. I give Rs 500 a month for fulfilling his needs”, she said adding that providing education to kids was not even in her wildest dreams. “We have to fill our stomachs, that’s it. I don’t think of providing them education. This is the family trade and they have to do this”.

This is one of the biggest garbage dumps in the city where domestic/industrial and bio-waste is collected. More than 15 jhuggis have been built in this site by the rag pickers. A scrap dealer, who visits the slum dwellers on regular basis, on condition of anonymity disclosed, “Majority of them are drug addicts. Whatever they earn, they spent on drugs. Otherwise, a normal human being cannot survive here for more than an hour. There is so much dirt all around, which can cause a number of infections. But for them, there is no problem. The small kids play barefoot throughout the day in the garbage”.



IT dept to keep tab on fake accounts 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
Are you investing in the small saving schemes offered by the Indian Postal Department to shy away from filing the Income Tax returns? Stop! This is not going to benefit you any further as the department would also keep an eye on those opening fake accounts.

Now, the postal department has stated asking for an identity proof and a photograph from those opening the account. This is being done to check the authenticity of the person opening an account. If the investment happens to be above Rs 50,000, the account holders will have to attach the photocopies of the PAN numbers as well.

The information of the investment made in the small savings above Rs 50,000 will also reach IT department as the department has its own sources.

Those investing in recurring deposit account, national saving certificates, kisan vikas patra or any other small saving schemes will have to deposit all necessary documents now.

JR Nur, senior superintendent of post offices, said: “The photographs, ID proofs and PAN numbers will help in keeping a check on the opening of fake accounts as these will be verified under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.” This system is already prevalent in banks but now we will also be following the same pattern, he added.

Jatinder Khurana, taxation lawyer, said, “It is advisable for all tax payers to mention the investments made in the small savings as the department will be now aware of it. Otherwise heavy fine will have to be paid afterwards.” 



Tewari pooh-poohs Sukhbir’s claims
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 17
Ludhiana MP and All-India Congress Committee’s national spokesperson Manish Tewari today refuted the claims of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal of the state government contributing in the upgrade of the Ludhiana airport.

He also quoted this year’s budget speech of Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal (relevant paras 38 and 39), in which he had made it clear that it was the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and not the state government that was upgrading the air strip at Sahnewal, near Ludhiana.

In a statement issued here, supported by relevant documents, including the excerpts of the budget speech of Manpreet Badal and the communication between him (Tewari) and union aviation minister Praful Patel as well as Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav, Tewari said it was more than clear that the state government had not made even an iota of contribution in upgrading the airport.

“Rather it had failed to do what was actually expected of it,” he remarked, while pointing out that the state government had not even managed to acquire the required land for augmenting the facilities at the airport.

The issue assumes significance in the aftermath of the resumption of the flight between Ludhiana and Delhi, and for which Sukhbir Badal had tried to hijack the credit without having made any contribution.

Nailing the Deputy Chief Minister’s lies further, Tewari quoted Manpreet Badal saying in his budget speech: “The Airports Authority of India is upgrading the Sahnewal Airstrip near Ludhiana as a domestic airport.”

This was also corroborated by Arvind Jadhav, who said, the Airports Authority of India had spent Rs 9.8 crore on resurfacing and redoing the Ludhiana airport to make it viable for operation of flights.

Tewari said the state government had even failed to acquire the 5 acre sought by the AAI for the installation of the DVOR and isolation bay at the airport.

Nor had the state government made any attempts to acquire the land to extend the runway to make it feasible for A-320 aircraft.

“Instead of doing what it was supposed to do, the state government, the Deputy Chief Minister in particular, was trying to be too opportunist to claim the credit for what it had never done,” Tewari regretted.



Machine tool assn to train youth

Ludhiana, May 17
Meeting of the governing body of the Ludhiana Machine Tool Manufacturers Association chaired by its president Kirpal Singh Sagar was held today. During the meeting, the problem of rising unemployment and increase in the rate of crime rate were discussed.

“The small scale industry is known for providing maximum employment in the country. So it was decided that our industry will provide job training to desirous youngsters. Initially, the trainees will be given Rs 3,000 per month and an increment every three months as per their performance,” he said. Further, on completion of the training, the trainees would be absorbed by the respective units and paid a minimum of Rs 5,000 or more depending upon their capability, he added.

“It is our endeavour to solve the unemployment problem and save the youth from committing crime. Desirous youngsters can contact at their office at Dholewal Chowk,” he said. — TNS



Govt under fire over rising crime
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 17
The deteriorating law and order situation in the state is a major cause for concern and the increasing lawlessness has created a sense of insecurity among people.

These observations were made by former president of the District Congress Committee (DCC) Krishan Kumar Bawa in a statement here today.

He said the SAD-BJP government, which had failed on all other fronts as well, appeared to be either insensitive or incompetent to dealing with the “jungle raj” prevailing in the state.

“Daylight robberies, snatchings, rapes, murders and other unlawful activities have become the order of the day. Writ of the criminal elements runs large, while the victims have to move from pillar to post to seek justice without any success.”

According to Bawa, under the present regime, the government had not only pushed the developmental activities to the back burner but, in a brazen display of political bankruptcy, it was trying to take credit for work done under the centrally-funded welfare schemes.

He said people were desperate and frustrated over the complete indifference of the government, especially towards corruption.

Bawa added that the ruling coalition in the state had failed to fulfil any of its poll promises and the electorate were just waiting for an opportunity to rid the state of the “incompetent and corrupt” government.



Guava products to hit shelves soon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
City residents and those of its surrounding areas will soon get the taste of guava products developed by the Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology.

The institute has licenced technologies for “Processing of guava into value added products” to local farmer Parmveer Singh by entering into a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

The institute has developed unique products from guava, including bars, toffee, sweets and various blended products.

After singing the MoU, Parmveer Singh, who is Canada born, said he would soon set up an industry on guava-based products on the CIPHET technologies.

“I see a lot of potential for guava-based products, as value addition is very high. Initially, I will producing juices and pulp to provide backup to other ventures,” he said.

His grandfather Dr KS Nandpur, who was formerly director research at Punjab Agricultural University, said he was by profession a horticulturist.

“I see guava as an important crop for value addition and if an industry is set up on this, people of Punjab could reap a lot of benefit from it,” he said, adding that they were setting up the industry as a pilot project. “We hope that others will follow the suit if we succeed.”

Dr RT Patil said bars and toffees from guava were unique process technologies offered by CIPHET. He said Shirdi Sansthan from Maharashtra had also shown interest in guava bars and sweets for providing them to devotees.

The value addition in the guava products is more than two three times, he added.

Dr Deepak Raj Rai, head of transfer of technology, said interested farmers/ entrepreneurs could also get training at their institute. Dr Dattatreya M Kadam, in-charge of the Institute Technology Monitoring Unit (ITMU), and Dr Ramesh Kumar, lead innovator of the technology, were also present on the occasion.



Ludhiana police set to be on GPRS map
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, May 17
The stage is set for the Ludhiana police to be on the GPRS map. Nearly all police vehicles presently have the GPRS equipment on them but the system is not active yet due to the lack of software and proper coordinates of key places.

A 10-man team led by Amrit Gole from Pune-based Tele Atlas Kalyani India Ltd. is already in the area working in five units and studying the areas of 27 police station, 24 police posts besides the police headquarters.

The team is locating the points of interest, including banks, ATMs, government schools, hospitals, petrol stations, religious places, etc.

They will be fed into the road tracking system of the company. Parveen Raut, a data collector from the company, said the GPRS survey would be completed by this month.

The data collected will take another two months to be fed into the software of the company that will be supplied to the Ludhiana police after entering into the server to be provided by them.

While the exact cost is not known, it is expected that project for the Ludhiana police alone will cost over Rs 50 lakh.

“The exercise is only aimed at tracking police vehicles. The top brass of the Ludhiana police, not trusting their subordinates, want to track their mobility or location,” said a senior official on the condition of anonymity.

He said the police officials were on 24-hour duty and their bosses at the headquarters wanted them to work beyond 24 hours a day.

Efficiency of the officers had never been questioned and the money being spent was a sheer waste.

Another official, on the condition of anonymity, said nearly all mobile companies were providing map and tracking system. It would have been cheaper and more efficient if the authorities had approached them for the services.

Moreover, by the time the service got started, more advanced technology would be available, making the GPRS technology obsolete.



Farmers, trade unionists stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 17
Led by activists of the Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta), hundreds of farmers and workers today staged a dharna at mini secretariat here calling for abrogation of the decision to privatise state electricity board and adoption of a resolution in the state Assembly against the Electricity Act, 2003.

The protesters also demanded that the proposal to recover electricity bills and water charges from farmers be scrapped forthwith.

The BKU functionaries and other speakers made a strong case for restoration of 100 units free electricity to farm workers, grant of ownership rights to tillers, security of service for workers, residential plots of 10 marla each for the homeless and withdrawal of all cases registered against trade union leaders and activists of farmers’ orgnisations.

Sounding a note of caution against use of brute force and repressive measures against the agitating farmers and workers, the trade union leaders said if the government persisted with its highhandedness, all bodies of farmers and farm workers would hold a “sangram rally” on June 7 to mark the beginning of a decisive battle.

The speakers held the state government responsible for the pathetic economic condition of the farm sector and poor power supply for tubewells.

They were also critical of the proposed gas pipeline that was posing a danger to a huge area of fertile land. “The proposed layout of the gas pipeline be amended to save the cultivable land and instead it should be laid in vacant lands along canals, watercourses and railway lines,” the BKU activists emphasised.

Darshan Singh Koohli, Balwant Singh, Nirmal Singh, Sudagar Singh, Hardev Singh Sandhu, Tarlochan Singh, Mohinder Singh, Gurcharan Singh. Kuldip Singh Grewal, Malkiat Singh, Harjinder Singh, Baldev Singh, Harbans Singh, Vijay Narain and Darshan Singh, among others, addressed the rally.



National camp for cagers begins
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 17
The national coaching camp for the junior boys in preparation for the Indian basketball squad began at Guru Nanak Stadium, here today.

This month-long preparatory camp is being held to select the Indian junior basketball team for the 21st FIBA Asia U-18 Championship scheduled to be held at Yemen from September 22 to October 1.

The participants are: Shyam Sunder, Ajay Partap Singh, Sameer Kumar Rai, Ankit Panigrahi and Janki Ramnat H from Chhattisgarh; Sukhjeet, Mausam Singh and Ashok from Delhi; Dishant Shah from Gujarat; Abhishek Y P from Karnataka; Roby Thomas from Kerala; Sunny Raut, Amit Kanarjee, Kirti Goswami, Ankit Singh Parihar and Jitener Patidar from Madhya Pradesh; Rajan Sharma, Jaskaran Singh and Satnam Singh from Punjab; Anant Singh from Rajasthan; C Berdenent Carmel Joseph from Tamil Nadu; Rakesh Kumar Yadav and Bobby Singh from Uttar Pradesh; Arjun Singh and Shabad Khan from Indian Railways.



Suspension of four officials
Protest by jail guards
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
Activists of the Punjab Jail Guards Association today staged a dharna outside the Borstal jail premises to protest against the suspension of four officials, who were also booked for assaulting an inmate here recently.

Alleging that since the inmate was related to a personal assistant of jails minister Hira Singh Gabria, the officials were made to face double action.

Led by Dilbag Singh Cheema, the association members alleged that the officials, including assistant superintendent Jagmail Singh and three wardens — Harnek Singh, Darshan Singh and Jagdev Singh — were booked for allegedly thrashing Paramjit Singh after he was suspected of talking on cell phone on the jail premises.

Cheema said the four officials were booked without any departmental investigation.

“As if that action was not enough, the four officials have now been suspended. However, no action has been taken against the erring inmate,” he said.

The guards said the action had demoralised the jail police. “They were scared of touching any inmate although many of them indulged in illegal activities on the jail premises,” said Cheema.

The agitating guards said the man who had complained against the police was facing charges of rape of a 12-year-old girl.

He was also caught indulging in peddling drug some time ago.

The incident took place on the evening of May 6 and the accused were booked under Sections 323, 342, 325 and 506 of the IPC. They were subsequently bailed out.



Lambardars accuse govt of betrayal
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 17
Leaders of the Punjab Lambardars Union have accused the Punjab government of betraying them by backtracking on the assurances given to them by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Presidents of district and tehsil units of the association participated in a state-level meeting at Nanaksar, near here.

State president Tarlochan Singh said the SAD-BJP government was not willing to fulfil the promises made in their election manifesto.

He said due to the betrayal, the union was planning to initiate state-level protests. A final decision to this effect would be taken during their next meeting.

He said some demands of the lambardars had been accepted by the government but even those had not been implemented so far.

He are demanding the offer of post to the natural heir of lambardar after his death, provision of free bus pass and a hike in honorarium to at least Rs 2,000 a month.

He said the government was adopting the policy of divide and rule among lambardars to get their attention diverted from their demands.

Union’s patron Pritam Singh said around 40,000 lambardars working in the state currently.

He warned that they would be forced to take to the streets if the government failed to accede to their demands, adding that they were giving some more time to the government to take an appropriate decision.



From Schools
Poor showing by govt school students

Ludhiana: Students of government schools in the district have performed poorly as compared to those of private schools in the middle standard examinations conducted by the Punjab School Education Board for which results were announced a day before.

However, Government Senior Secondary School, Dhanansu village, here has created a history of sorts as 59 students out of 79 who appeared the examination have failed.

The result of eight other students would be declared later while another was absent.

Similarly, out of 56 students of Government School, Heeran village, only 21 passed and 14 others failed, while the result of 21 would be declared later.

The performance of students of Government School, Jandiali, was no better as just 26 students out of the 56 students who appearing in the middle examination, passed the examination.

Students excel

The students of Everest Public Senior Secondary School, Moti Nagar, have shown 100 per cent result in the middle standard examination. Anjali secured 826 marks and got 52nd place in the state’s merit list and 16th in the district. Twelve students secured over 80 percent marks, 69 students got first divisions and remaining students passed the examination in second division.

Fresher’s party

A fresher’s party was organised at Shamrock Christian Senior Secondary School. Students of classes I and II dressed as characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Jadu, etc. joined teachers to welcome the new-comers. Chairman SS Dhesi, along with principal, welcomed the students.


On the first parent-teachers meeting (PTM) of 2010-11, students of classes IX to XII of Ryan International School displayed creativity by putting up an exhibition showcasing aeronautical engineering and cosmology models.

These working models made under the guidance of teachers included space shuttle launch pad and futuristic aircraft.

The students explained the working of the models to parents.

Students of classes I to V organised an exhibition on “Save Earth” in which paper bags, posters and globes were displayed.

Importance of plants and plant products were also emphasised as students displayed Indian herbs and spices.

Also those classes IV to VIII, put up an exhibition on “Join Hands — Save the Green Plants” in which posters and story weaving entries made by the students were displayed.

Montessori students displayed photo frames, fruits and vegetables, and pencil holders made by them under the guidance of their teachers in the exhibition titled “Kids Zing — Creativity by Little Hands”. — OC



Karvy hires 15 students
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, May 17
Karvy Consultants visited the Regional Institute of Management and Technology (RIMT) campus to select students for openings in various departments.

Karvy Consultants is into the business of marketing of financial services, including mutual funds, insurance, stock brokering, commodities brokering, de mat services, IPO’s, bonds, real estate, home loans and other investment related products and services.

Company’s regional head Sunil Pandey along with an HR team visited the campus to conduct the interviews.

The visiting team conducted several rounds of group discussions and interview and selected 15 students.

The company also invited students for summer placements.



Huge quantity of drugs seized, chemist held

Jagraon, May 17
The Anti-Narcotics Cell of the local police yesterday arrested a youth while he was transporting huge unaccounted stock of the habit-forming drugs to his shop at Bhundri village.

The youth, who was on a scooter (PB 55 A 816), was stopped by the sleuths of the anti-narcotic cell on the canal bridge at Makhan Gorsian village near Sidhwan Bet. He was going to his shop-Gaurav Medical Store-situated at Bhundri village.

The accused identified as Deepak Sharma of Partap Nagar, Jagraon, was searched and 36,900 tablets, 1,824 capsules and 122 bottles of cough syrups were seized from his possession. The accused also failed to produce any document regarding the ownership of the medicines. A case had been registered against the accused under the NDPS Act.

Sources, however, revealed that the shop actually belonged his elder brother who, too, was not qualified to run the chemist shop. — OC



2.5 kg opium seized, 2 booked
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, May 17
The Dakha police seized 2.5 kg opium from the houses of two persons here yesterday. The two escaped before the police team could raid their houses.

In charge of Chowkiman village police post Mukhtiar Singh had got a tip-off that Basakha Singh and Balwinder Singh of Chachrari village, near here, had been indulging in the illegal sale of opium in retail.

The accused used to bring the contraband from neighboring states and peddle it in small parts among addicts at higher price.

During search, the police recovered the opium wrapped in a poly pack. The police booked both the accused under Sections 18, 61 and 85, NDPS Act, and was raiding other possible hideouts to nab them. 



Murder case cracked, 2 held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
The division number 4 police today claimed to have cracked a blind murder case with the arrest of two youths, who allegedly stabbed and killed a youth for Rs 4,000 recently.

The accused, including Harsh and Akash, were arrested and their three accomplishes Rishi, Sagar and Nanha Chacha managed to give the slip to the police.

They allegedly stabbed a migrant, Rakesh Kumar (35), with a knife when he refused to hand over the cash to them near a park at Lovkush Nagar here on the night of May 7.

Addressing a press conference here today, SHO Davinder Kumar and Assistant Commissioner (North) Paramjit Singh Pannu claimed that the five were waiting to waylay someone near the park that night.

When Rakesh Kumar approached them, they attacked him and asked him to hand over the cash to them. He refused, and the accused stabbed him several times. He died on the spot. The accused took his belongings and cash and distributed it among themselves.

Following a tip-off, the police nabbed them from near the same park late last evening while they were apparently waiting for another target. It raided the spot and arrested Harsh and Akash. The others, however, fled. The duo were produced in court today and remanded in two-day police custody.

The body of Rakesh Kumar was found from near the park by the police. He was identified with the help of some papers in his pocket that had some phone numbers.



Rs 14,900 drawn from ATM, woman held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
A woman was arrested yesterday for snatching another woman’s purse and withdrawing money from an ATM by using one of her cards.

The accused identified as Neetu, wife of Prince Kumar, a resident of Sector 32, was arrested after a close circuit television camera (CCTV) installed in the ATM grabbed her image while she withdrawing Rs 14,900 by using the ATM card belonging to Raman Rani of Sector 32, Chandigarh road.

Raman Rani, wife of Vijay Kumar, had on May 9 lodged a police complaint that two motorists snatched her purse containing cash and ATM cards.

The cops zeroed in on the woman and recovered Rs 5,000 from her possession. While Neetu was nabbed her husband Prince was still absconding. The accused was produced before the court and remanded in the police custody. 



Youth commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Raikot, May 17
A youth, Charandeep Singh, committed suicide by hanging himself here yesterday.

Unmarried, Charandeep Singh (28) was the grandson of Congress leader Karnail Singh Dhandra and was stated to have been suffering from depression for some time.

He hanged himself from the ceiling fan hook of his bedroom. He is survived by his widowed mother. The police has proceeded under Section 174, CrPC, on the statement of his mother.



2 travel agents booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, May 17
The local police has booked two travel agents, Joga Singh of Mandi and Raj Kumar of Nangal, on charges of cheating people by making false promises of sending them abroad.

DSP Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh said Joga Singh was booked on a complaint lodged by a  villager, Pinki Ram of Bhagwanpur.

The complainant alleged that Joga Singh took Rs 8 lakh from him in three different installments to send him to Greece in 2008. He, however, sent him to Thailand.

Pinki Ram had to struggle to return back from Thailand. On return, he went to Joga asking for his return.

However, the accused neither returned his money nor make arrangements for sending him to Greece.

In the second case, Amandeep Singh of Nagar village in a police complaint alleged that Raj Kumar of Nangal had taken Rs 1.5 lakh from him to send him abroad.

However, the accused neither sent him abroad nor return his money.

The police has registered cases of fraud against both travel agents. 



Observation home inmate injured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
An inmate of the children’s observation home here was injured when he was reportedly attacked by another inmate over drinking water from taps here today.

Ajay Kumar (12) was hit by another inmate on his head for drinking water from the same source.

He started bleeding and was rushed to hospital. He was later discharged. The authorities were tightlipped about the incident, but the SHO of Shimlapuri, Gurtej Singh, confirmed that a brawl had taken place on the premises of the observation home.



Kunal, Meena emerge champs
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 17
The one-day Ludhiana District Tae Kwon Do Championship was held at the multi-purpose indoor hall of Guru Nanak Stadium here yesterday in which a large number of boys and girls in the sub-junior, junior and senior boys section participated.

Results: Sub junior (girls): 18 to 20 kg: 1 Anita Sharma, 2 Tanisha; 20 to 22 kg: 1 Bharti, 2 Sakshi; 26 to 29 kg: 1 Kirandeep, 2 Anita Sharma, 3 Ashwarya; 32 to 35 kg: 1 Suman, 2 Ridhima Sharma; 35 to 38 kg: 1 Sanjana, 2 Divya; 38 to 41 kg: 1 Jyoti, 2  Neha Arora.

Junior (boys): below 45 kg: 1 Kunal Kanojia, 2 Rahul Sharma, 3 Rohit Sharma; 45 to 48 kg: 1 Arman Ali, 2 Surjeet Verma, 3 Pushkar; 48 to 51 kg: 1 Krishan Raj Joshi, 2 Himmat, 3 Mulayam; 51 to 55 kg: 1 Varundeep Singh, 2 Ajay Verma, 3 Deepak Kumar; 63 to 68 kg: 1 Parshant Mehra, 2 Ranjit Kumar Yadav; 68 to 73 kg: 1 Tiger, 2 Jatin Kanda, 3 Raj Gagan Preet Singh.

Junior (girls): 42 kg: 1 Meena, 2 Nidhi Kaushal, 3 Lovika Goswami; 46 to 49 kg: 1 Samita, 2 Shubha Sharma.

Senior (boys): below 54 kg: 1 Pinto, 2 Surinder Kumar, 3 Rahil Kumar; 54 to 58 kg: 1 Daljit Singh, 2 Lakhwinder Singh, 3 Ravi Kumar; 58 to 62 kg: 1 Sunder Chhetri, 2 Deepak Kumar, 3 Ripendeep Singh; 62 to 67 kg: 1 Sumit Kuamar.



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