L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Govt schools fall far behind
PSEB Class XII: RS Model tops merit list, BCM second
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
RS Model Senior Secondary School has walked away with the maximum number of merits in the Punjab State Education Board Class XII board exams this year. The previous year’s topper, BCM Senior Secondary School, lagged behind by just three merits.

Girls, as almost always, have once again beaten boys in making it to the merit list. Surprisingly, this year has seen 87 girl students on the merit while just 28 boys managed to get there. Last year, too, girls had outshone boys in the Class XII exams.

Subjectwise merit, Science: 18, Humanities: 42, Commerce: 48, Vocational: 7, Girls vs boys: 87:28

However, this time government-run schools in the district have been left far behind by privately run or aided schools. Most of the merit positions have been bagged by students of the latter schools while government school students failed to bag prominent positions. The best performance by a government school this time has been five merit positions achieved by students of Government Senior Secondary Model School, PAU campus.

Talking about the results, district education officer Bachhitar Singh said: "The results this year have been very good. Of a total of 350 students on the merit list this year 115 are from Ludhiana district”.

He added in previous years the number of merits achieved by Ludhiana students have not been so high. “We used to have less than 100 students on the merit list in the years gone by. This is a matter of great pride for us,” he said.


CBSE X Results
CGPA: No end to confusion
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Confusion continues to surround the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) awarded to Class X students this year, as not only the students but also the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) stands clueless about the formative or non scholastic assessment awarded to them. The assessment, which forms 50 per cent of the final evaluation, is based on both the student’s performance in various non-academic activities and general behavior.

Ironically while the Board had crafted a new format of grade sheet to replace the conventional Detail Mark sheet awarded to class X students year after year, it has failed to implement it at the time of declaration of results. Consequently, thousands of students were given the same old DMC with no mention about a student’s grade in his formative assessment.

“The board results lack transparency. While what is generally called internal assessment accounts for 50 per cent of the total marks for a student, both schools and students stand clueless about the final marks secured by each students,” said a senior official of the UT Education department.

“If they did not want to take this assessment on record then why waste so much efforts, money and time in training teachers to do this assessment and make the new report cards?” questioned Independent School Association president HS Mamik.



Grading system annoys toppers
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, June 1
The grading system introduced by the CBSE this year for Class X, has left the students, especially the toppers, craving for more. Although the marks, in order to lessen the peer pressure and the accompanied repercussions, have not been revealed to the students who are being categorised on the basis of points, still this has failed to bring satisfaction to those for whom the dream of occupying the highest pedestal, especially at this crucial juncture, can never come true.

A student, otherwise a topper throughout, with grade point 9.6 rued, “The Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) is in no way justified. I have got A1 grade in four subjects, but I have been placed in B1 category in one subject and hence got 9.6 points.”

“The major flaw in this system is that if a student secures, say, 92 in each subject and his grand total comes to 460 out of 500, he would be accredited with 10 points and will be adjudged the topper. As opposed to this, another student, who may otherwise be getting 95 or even more in four subjects, but 80 in the fifth (lowest assumed as the CGPA indicates), he has to eat a humble pie and be satisfied with 9.6 points, leaving aside the hard fact that his grand total is more than the former,” the frustrated student added.

“It gives me a real shock when I think that I would never be able to know my score in the papers I attempted and the marks I analysed for myself. I had always secured 10 to 15 marks more than my friend from the very beginning. It has been for the first time that she has got 10 points and I, 9.8, notwithstanding the fact that I was sure of securing above 95 in all but one,” was another bright student’s reply.

A brilliant student complained, “How is this justified that even though a student, who has been a topper throughout and can expect his or her marks to be in no case less than 95, is being placed in a lower grade point category and the other one, with a lesser aggregate, is getting 10 points and is in the limelight all of a sudden?”

“Majority of the hitherto toppers have been seriously hit by this grade point system as they complain that they have not been given their right due. Even though many of them are sure that they had a better aggregate than most of those getting 10 points, still they have been marginalised at the most crucial juncture of their lives i.e. at a stage when their whole 10-year labour is apparently put to test,” was a spontaneous reply of a student’s mother.

“We are dying for transparency today, but the very idea of transparency stands defeated when students are deprived of their actual score by creating suspense for them for the whole of their lives,” said a school head. 



Tax refunds in mismatched cases to be delayed
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
Tax refunds in those cases where the amount stated in a return does not tally with the figure recorded in the department's computerized system will take more time this year. Bitten by a Rs 14 crore tax refund scam last December, the income tax department had decided an assessee would only get the refund amount shown in its system. If the assessee claims a bigger amount it would only be refunded after filing for rectifying the figure and submitting relevant documents.

The scam, which was unearthed in January, involved a chartered accountant and his accomplices siphoning off the funds using the department's electronic clearing system. They reportedly gained access to the computerized system by stealing the password of an income tax assessing officer.

Jaspreet Singh, an assessee, said since the amount mentioned in the return he had filed did not match with the figure in the department's system he was asked to furnish his records. "Even after I submitted them I haven’t received the refund till yet," he said.

A senior income tax official said initially the officials had the power to clear a refund mentioned in the assessee's return without scrutiny, even if it did not tally with the figure in the department's system. Referring to the scam, he stated: "The suspect misused this process and used the assessing officer's password to clear the refund”.

After the scam the department decided it would refund only the amount mentioned in its system. However, later it felt many genuine cases would also lose their refunds and so decided to rectify the cases manually. The assessee will have to file for rectification and claim the differential amount. For this, the assessee will have to submit the relevant documents. The refunds will be delayed by two months.

Officials said while the new procedure will make the system foolproof and help in preventing another scam, it will require assessees to be “more patient”, given the resultant delay in the refund process. 



Railway Reservation
Advance booking tickets being sold on black market
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 1
With the summer rush of rail passengers swelling with each passing day, and there being no room in most of the trains running on trunk routes as also those bound for Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the nexus of railway booking agents and conniving railway employees have made things rather difficult for people seeking advance railway reservation.

To make the matters worse, the “tatkal” ticket booking facility is also practically out of bound for rail passengers as the limited number of tickets made available in select trains two days before the date of journey are exhausted within minutes of the opening of reservation counters at 8 am with most of these going to railway booking agents, who often jostle the bonafide rail passengers, waiting outside the railway complex since early in the morning.

Ironically, the government railway police (GRP) personnel, not only keep watching the highhandedness of touts and railway booking agents, but at times, they become party to such dubious dealings.

“Most of the times, the GRP personnel deployed at the reservation complex to check irregularities, act as go-between to get out of turn advance reservation or tatkal tickets, of course at a premium,” observed Ram Kumar Yadav, a passenger waiting at the reservation complex since 6.30 am for advance booking.

Another senior citizen Kulwant Singh who had made it to the reservation counter much before the opening time on Sunday to get tatkal tickets for Amritsar-New Delhi Shatabdi alleged that at least three persons, who had arrived much after him, pushed and shoved him backwards and obtained tickets while had was told that the tatkal tickets were all taken. “The GRP personnel and reservation clerk were closely watching the whole drama, but nobody uttered a word. Much to my shock, the reservation clerk gave me a friendly advice to seek the help of a railway booking agent who would do something in this regard,” he fumed.

Not that the senior railway officials are unaware of the goings-on at the railway reservation complex.

Reacting to increasing number of complaints of harassment of the public at the reservation counters, the divisional railway officials had directed the chief commercial inspector to carry out a spot checking at the reservation complex early in the morning on Sunday.

Finding that utter chaos and disorder prevailed at the reservation counters, and representatives of railway reservation agents being given a preferential treatment over waiting passengers, the inspecting official is said to have reprimanded those manning the counters as well as the GRP staff deployed to maintain order. According to sources, the chief reservation supervisor at the reservation complex has been asked to mark serial numbers at the requisition forms of waiting passengers before opening of counters, and further make sure that the advance journey and tatkal tickets are offered strictly as per the serial numbers.

Senior railway officials at divisional headquarters maintained that irregularities and indiscipline by any subordinate staff will not be tolerated and errant employees will be sternly dealt with.



Green cover under threat from vested interests
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
Due to vested interests the green cover in the city is steadily being depleted, with civic officials failing to take stringent action against those axing trees right under the nose of the municipal corporation’s horticulture wing.

In a shocking revelation, certain shopkeepers in Ghumar Mandi, opposite the Nand Kaur gurdwara, have been paying a ‘gardener’ for not letting plants and trees grow in the nearby MC park. The caretaker, who did not disclose his name, said he had been hired to maintain cleanliness in the area, but at the same time was being paid not to allow anyone to grow plants and trees in the park.

Satbir Singh Wahi, a ‘social activist’ in the area, said he had planted small plants in the park to provide fresh air and greenery to passers-by, but he found the plants were always uprooted later.

“I felt so bad - planting small plants is something that every one should welcome. However, the caretaker told me many shopkeepers did not want plants and trees to grow in the park, as they felt when the plants grew into trees they would block the view of their shops,” said Wahi.

In another such case in the city, shopkeepers near the Madhok complex on Ferozepur Road cut down three or four trees as they blocked the view of their shops. A full-grown tree was damaged by putting some chemical while several others were cut from top. Similarly, an old tree was cut from Malhar Road recently as it came in the way of construction of a commercial building.

SS Chana, head of the park management committees, said those who fell trees or otherwise are responsible for depleting the city’s green cover should be punished severely.

“The municipal corporation should take stern action against them to teach others a lesson. The green cover is considered as the city’s lungs that provide residents fresh air. Volunteers are coming forward to protect the green belts whereas people with vested interests have been damaging them, which is unfortunate,” he said.



Mineral water samples collected
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
A team of health officials today took samples of mineral water of various brands from four vends at Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Inter-State Bus Stand.

Four samples of Bisleri, Kinley and Kingfisher were taken from these vends and will be sent to a laboratory in Chandigarh for test.

The district health officer (DHO) said they were collecting water samples following reports of impure water being refilled in branded mineral water bottles. “A large number of people are falling sick after consuming impure water and it needs to be checked,” he said.

The team also visited the manufacturing unit of Bisleri near Kohara village and took samples. The DHO stated that they would take action against those guilty.



Magician challenges godmen, tantriks
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 1
Magician Jadugar Samrat Shankar today criticised “godmen” and tantriks for misleading the public. He said it was unethical to take advantage of poor people suffering from pain.

“Yoga is a respectable practice and magic a noble form of art. Cheating people using these and playing with their sentiments and faith is inappropriate. I oppose such practices and challenge these men to showcase their miracles in front of me,” he stated.

“Doubling currency notes, making something appear from air, cutting fruits into pieces without peeling them are nothing, but normal magic tricks but are portrayed as miracles,” he said.

He appealed to the public to understand the reality and not be misguided by such unscrupulous godmen and tantriks. Magic was only a form of art and no miracle. “Superstitions are the biggest hindrance in the progress of our society and we need to understand that,” he stated.

He added that he considered himself blessed to be able to provide a respectable standard of living to people associated with his shows and their families.

“Magic takes care of their monetary needs. The government must lend a helping hand to preserve this form of art so that people are encouraged to take it up as a profession,” he added.



Pratap Chowk Flyover
Fund crunch may delay new project
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
When Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal laid the foundation stone of the Rs 23.45 crore Pratap Chowk flyover project on May 25, he also announced a specific date (May 15, 2011) on which it would be opened to the public. However, as things stand the municipal corporation has funds amounting to only Rs 1 crore that the state government released recently to begin work on the project.

Technical experts feel that Rs 1 crore will be spent within a month on project drawings and consultancy. However, tight-lipped Municipal officials hope to get “timely inflow” of more funds from the government.

According to sources, after the project proposal was forwarded to the civic body’s finance and contract committee for approval about three months ago, its members wrote to the government that the MC did not have sufficient funds to execute the project. The government then provided Rs 1 crore for starting the work immediately, assuring the civic body funds “would not be a problem”

What matters most here is that all major projects undertaken in the city, including the elevated road, Gill Chowk flyover and now the Partap Chowk flyover begin with an announced budget. However, by the time they are completed there are huge cost overruns.

The original project cost of the elevated road was Rs 32 crore but, due to delays, it jumped to Rs 52 crore. Similarly, the Gill Chowk flyover was to be completed within a budget of Rs 16 crore but the cost went up much more than expected and the Municipal Corporation ended up spending Rs 23.5 crore on its completion. The estimated project cost of the Partap Chowk overbridge is about 23.45 crore but it is expected to reach Rs 30 crore after its completion, feel Municipal officials.

Ward no 42 councillor Gurdeep Singh Neetu asserted no project drawings and cost estimates were prepared on this particular project. “The Municipal Corporation has got nothing in hand on the project. Why should the cost escalate each time without any reason and contractors benefit unnecessarily? The projects should be finished within stipulated timeframe. And if dates of inauguration have been announced, then there is no point in increasing the cost. Everything gets the nod after depth discussions with contractors and all technical feasibilities”, he said.

A Municipal Corporation official said the civic body expected to get about Rs 25 crore from the state government within the next few days. “The amount will be spent on these two flyovers - Lakkar Bridge and Pratap Chowk - only. We won’t be having any funding problem”, the official claimed, refusing to comment on whether the latter project would be completed within the Rs 23.5 crore budget as announced by the Deputy Chief Minister.



MC to plant 10,000 saplings
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
The municipal corporation (MC) will plant about 10,000 saplings over the next two-three months. The tenders will be floated within 10 days. This was decided during a meeting of the F and CC meeting of the MC here today.

MC Commissioner AK Sinha said the saplings would be planted in all four zones. “The work will be given to two-three contractors, who will follow it up for two years. If the saplings die, the contractor will have to replace it. The contractors will be given about Rs 25 lakh each for the job,” he said, adding that the beautification drive would be accomplished by July-August.

Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Kumar Bansal said almost all development projects were approved at the meeting. “About 250 works have been cleared today. A majority of these works are from O and M cell and B and R departments,” he said.



Fix loose power cables: Redress panel
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 1
In the wake of a narrow escape of 26 children when their van touched low-tension cables at Kali Sarak here yesterday, Varun Mehta, a member of the district panel for redress of grievances, has urged the DC to initiate action against employees of Powercom if guilty and also take steps to revamp the power distribution network in the city to check the recurrence of such accidents.

He said even as the school management and Powercom officials were blaming one another for the mishap, the fact remained that loose cables from electric poles and transformers could be spotted in the city. “Shopkeepers, traders and customers in commercial centres of the old city face grave danger from such cables,” he said.

The DC was urged to prevail upon senior officials of Powercom to conduct a survey of the city localities and identify points where cables were posing a threat, and carry out maintenance work.



June is anti-malaria month
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
With an aim to intensify preventive healthcare services, employees of the health & family welfare department today took out an ‘awareness rally’ to formally declare June as ‘Anti-Malaria Month’. The rally was flagged off by Ludhiana civil surgeon Dr Satwant Bhalla who called upon the health workers to carry out awareness drive against malaria in the city’s low lying areas.

District epidemiologist Dr GP Mangla, who also heads the anti-larvae wing in the city, said area councillors, ‘mohalla pradhans’ and members of various welfare bodies will be roped in to carry on the drive in an effective manner.

“We’ll focus on the city’s malaria prone areas that include localities near Sherpur Chowk, Tajpur Road, Gyaspura, Haibowal and villages adjoining Ludhiana. Also, we have called upon the municipal corporation to begin fogging operations in the city well in time in order to eliminate mosquitoes in residential areas”, Mangla stated.



Samples taken from Reliance stores'
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
Under the campaign against food adulteration, a team of health officials headed by the district health officer, Dr DS Kochar, yesterday checked two Reliance Fresh stores situated at Kidwai Nagar and Kailash Cinema Chowk here.

The Reliance Fresh store at Kidwai Nagar was selling rotten fruits and vegetables, which were destroyed by the team.

“We also found weevil in rice and pulses at the store. We have taken samples of rice and pulses, which would be sent to a laboratory in Chandigarh for test,” Dr Kochar said.

The team also took samples of milk, coriander seeds and porridge from the store at Kailash Cinema Chowk.



Summer camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
The extravaganza of summer break started at Love Dale Montessori here today. Students learnt western dance, folk dance and personality development skills.

Giving details, Preetima Behl, principal of the school, said: “The main focus of the camp is to give a chance to students so they could use their vacations constructively. In all activities we have 10 students in different batches so that each student gets personalised attention and could be groomed in a better way.” The camp will go on for 25 days. 



Denied transplant, kidney patient in dire straits
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Jasbir Singh, who suffers from acute renal failure, with his mother Amrit Kaur.
Jasbir Singh, who suffers from acute renal failure, with his mother Amrit Kaur. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, June 1
After the city’s kidney transplant committee rejected his first cousin’s offer to donate his kidney, Jasbir Singh, 21, who suffers from renal failure, has been left at the mercy of fate as his family does not have adequate funds to pay for his weekly dialysis.

“Every week I’ve to dispense with Rs 3,000 (for the treatment), which is my father’s sole income that he earns by pulling a ‘rehra’ (cart). Despite being an optimist I feel helpless as our house, my mother's jewellery and all other assets have already been sold off for my treatment”, rues the young boy.

A resident of the Basti Jodhewal locality, Jasbir is undergoing treatment at the city’s Dayanand Medical College & Hospital for the past five years. While talking to The Tribune he said the district kidney transplant committee's "uncalled for” rejection of his cousin's offer to donate a kidney had cost him dear.

Aggrieved over her son's condition, Jasbir's mother, Amrit Kaur, has called upon the district administration to provide the family some money from the Red Cross fund.

"Jasbir is a young boy who wants to live like any other normal human being, but owing to his sickness he is unable to work. We respect the Supreme Court’s decision on kidney transplantation but there should be a way out for the young patients suffering from chronic kidney diseases who can live a normal life after kidney transplant," lamented Amrit.

“We’re in debt as we have borrowed money from all our relatives and friends and have even taken a loan on interest. However, the worst part is that we have to skip one meal every day to save money for our son's dialysis”, said the distressed mother.

Appreciating the discount of 20 per cent being offered by the Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, Daljit Singh, the boy's father, said: “Had it not been for this help the family would not been unable to continue with Jabir's treatment”.



Singing away to glory
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
City lad Arvind Gujaral, who was among the top 16 in the Indian Idol contest, wants to be a playback singer. Recollecting the memories of the contest, he said it was the most pleasant experience of his life and he got to learn a lot. He was also the winner of Vaar-Parivar contest on Zee TV.

An alumnus of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Arvind is settled in Mumbai and is looking for good offers. “I have been approached by some music directors. Lets see if it turns out well,” he says.

“These days, people recognise playback singers. There are not behind the scene anymore,” he says.

Commenting on the voting system in reality shows, he says that the system is fair enough. “It is the public who makes or mars an artiste. It is good that the public decides our fate, but people must vote for the best singer and not as per regional preferences. Sometimes real gems are lost just because the public prefers a singer from a certain state,” he says.

Sharing his experience with the judges, he says all three were good to him. “Anu Malik had asked me to concentrate more on my singing and I took their advice seriously. They were our mentors and I always respected them for their advice,” he adds.



Theft at NGO’s office
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
About four unidentified persons decamped with cash, a motorbike and a laptop from an office-cum-NGO - Anti-Corruption and Crime Investigation Cell -- at 126, Model Gram, here last night. An FIR has been lodged against the thieves under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC at the police station number 5 here.

Rohit Sabharwal, whose office was ransacked, told The Tribune that seeing the empty juice, milk and soft drink bottles, it was clear that thieves must have spent good time in the office.

“First they broke the grill and then the digital safe before breaking the almirah where cash and laptop were kept. As an NGO, we get lot many guests in routine and soft drinks were kept in refrigerator in the office. All the bottles of Coke and milk were empty,” said Sabharwal. He suspected the involvement of somebody who knew the place well.



Six cars, 8 mobikes recovered
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 1
Striking a major success today the Ludhiana (rural) police nabbed four persons of three different gangs involved in selling vehicles with fake registrations. The police has recovered six cars from on of the gangs and three motorcycles from another. The Raikot police also claims to have nabbed two thieves and recovered five stolen motorcycles sold by them to unsuspecting persons of the area.

The police laid a special naka at Sherpur Chowk and arrested Lakhvir Singh, alias Lucky, of Shimla Puri, Ludhiana, along with a white Swift Dzire having a fake registration number.

On searching the car the police recovered seven fake rubber stamps of the DTO, Muktsar, four fake registration copies of different vehicles, fake licence of Major Singh, four blank registration copies and four mobile sets.

The police later recovered five more cars, on interrogating Lakhvir Singh, with fake registration numbers, including a maroon coloured Verna (PB 41 A 8661), a white Verna (HR 51 AA 7886), a silver Zen (DL 3 CAA 7761), an Innova (DL 4 CAE 8704) and a white Swift (PB 10 CN (T) 2266).

The police had laid a trap at the T-point near Aliwal bridge on May 26 to nab Lakhvir Singh and Major Singh of Saravan village, near Kot Kapura, when it got a tip off that the duo was coming to Jagraon to make a car sale deal. However, the accused did not turn up.

The police stated that the brother and the son of Major Singh, identified as Daljit Singh and Parminder Singh, respectively, were also in the gang and were the mastermind in fabricating documents.

The gang was operational in Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Punjab and had hired a big godown at Bhammian village on Tajpur road, Ludhiana which acted as the ‘showroom’ of the accused and the deals were finalised here after the potential customer was satisfied on examining the vehicle.

SSP Harinder Singh Chahal, while addressing a press conference today, revealed that it was a 24-member inter-state gang which used to procure cars by paying a small amount as initial payment and after getting it financed on the basis of fake papers took the delivery. Thereafter, the gang member would disappear and after fabricating registration numbers of the cars they sold them in Punjab to unsuspecting customers at nearly half of the market price.

He said there were chances that about 10 per cent cars in Punjab would be having fake registration numbers.

In another case, the Jagraon police nabbed Bheema Singh of Moga riding a stolen motorcycle without registration plate. After interrogating Bheema, the police recovered two more motorcycles in the bushes near the canal at Bardeke village near here. All motorcycles were stolen from Moga city.

In yet another case, the Raikot police nabbed two motorcycle thieves who had stolen 14 motorcycles from Barnala city during the last three months. The police arrested Vijay Kumar, alias Kala, of Bajigar Basti, Raikot, and a 16-year-old boy from Barnala. On the information provided by them, the police had recovered five motorcycles sold by them to unsuspecting buyers at a cheaper price.

Other accused, including Baljit Singh of Lakha village, Hardeep Singh, alias Deepa, and Rohit Kumar, are at large.

The police has booked the accused under the appropriate sections of the IPC and is carrying out raids to nab the other accused in the related cases. Though the police, did not book the buyers of the vehicles, it had given them warning assuming them to be innocent.


14-yr-old bike thief

One of the bike thieve nabbed by the police is only 14 years old and has just passed Class VII from Bal Bharti School in Barnala. The boy has acquired such notoriety that no school is willing to give him admission. He also used to steal from classmates and teachers. His father owns a cloth shop and a provisional store at Barnala. The boy reportedly confessed to have stolen three bikes from the Civil Hospital



Possession of farm land
Villagers gherao police station, BDPO’s office
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 1
The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case against 100 persons, including women, for obstructing the BDPO of Sidhwan Bet, Amarjit Singh, from performing his duty under various sections of the IPC. Six persons were nabbed in this connection while others were stated to be absconding. Those who were arrested include Shinder Singh, Amar Singh, Amarjit Singh, Surinder Singh, Jaspal Singh and Malkait Singh.

Taking a note of the police action, leaders of the Kisan Sabha, the CPI, the CPS and the Khet Majdoor Union and others yesterday held an emergency meeting with the affected families at Talwandi Nau Abad and announced a direct struggle against the authorities starting with the gherao of the Sidhwan Bet police station and the BDPO office.

Around 500 villagers from various villages here today gathered at Sidhwan Bet and gheraoed the office of the BDPO, naib tehsildar and the police station for three hours and raised anti-government slogans.

They said they would fight till justice was availed for the affected families and the cases registered against the villagers were withdrawn unconditionally. On Saturday the police and residents of Talwandi Nau Abad village had a conflict in which the police had to fire eight rounds in the air and had resorted to cane-charging a group of around 100 persons, including women and children of various age groups. Two policemen, along with 20 villagers, sustained injuries in the clash.

The panchayat department, along with the duty magistrate and the Sidhwan Bet police, took possession of about 33 acres of agriculture land at Talwandi Nau Abad village on Saturday evening from 17 families that were occupying it since 1947. Defying the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the sarpanch of the village, Manjit Kaur, in support of other panches, stood against the process of possession as she said families had developed this barren land since 1947.



Photographer killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Khamano, June 1
Thirtytwo-year-old Rajwinder Singh Raju, a resident of nearby Chari village and owner of a photo studio at Khamano, died in an accident on the Khamano-Khanna road here last night.

He was returning home after closing his photo studio when a speeding truck hit him near Farour village. He sustained serious injuries and died on the spot.

The police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A, IPC, against the driver.

The victim’s body was handed over to his family after a postmortem. All photo studios were closed today as a mark of respect.



Kabaddi body to go global
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 1
The Punjab Kabaddi Association (PKA) has been making concerted efforts to include the game of circle-style kabaddi in the Asian Games besides deciding to start a professional kabaddi league with the help of the Punjab government.

Stating this, Sikandar Singh Malooka, former Punjab minister and president of the PKA, said the association was the only recognised body which had been authorised to bring about changes in the game rules. Sikandar Singh and Pehalwan Gurmail Singh, senior vice-president of the PKA, further said kabaddi wings would be opened in different countries across the globe and teams to participate in the World Kabaddi Cup would be finalised with the consultations of office-bearers of these wings.



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