L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Disabled train passenger harassed by rly staff
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 25
When Parvinder Singh, a physically challenged resident of the city’s Fatehganj locality, booked a journey-cum-reservation ticket for travelling from Moradabad to Ludhiana by the 3307 Ganga Sutlej Express on June 23, he had no inkling this particular journey would turn out to be a painful experience that he would not forget for the rest of his life.

The journey-cum-reservation ticket of Parvinder Singh, showing a confirmed booking.











As Parvinder, along with his son Inderjit Singh, arrived at Moradabad station to board the train at its scheduled departure time of 21:30 hrs last Tuesday, he was unable to locate the coach (SD 1 - sleeper disabled) mentioned on his reservation ticket. After a frantic search, the duo enquired from the sleeper coach’s conductor. The latter confirmed the reservation chart did show the booking with berth numbers 1 and 2, but added the SD-1 coach had not been attached to the train on that particular day.

Desperate to board the train before it left them stranded at the station, the harassed passengers went to the guard accompanying the train, who did not care much for the predicament of the disabled passenger and his son. "The guard told us to search for the coach adding if we couldn’t find it may be it wasn’t attached to the train," said Parvinder.

In stark contrast to the extreme apathy shown by the railway staff to the handicapped passenger and his son, a passenger travelling to Ferozepur by that train, Amritpal, offered a berth to both of them just as the train was about to leave the station. "It was solely due to an act of kindness and compassion by a co-passenger that the two of us could undertake the journey, albeit with some discomfort during the night," Parvinder stated.

When contacted, Moradabad train station superintendent RK Sharma said the reservation chart did show that coach SD-1 was attached to the train that arrived in the city on the morning of June 24. "The guard who had gone with the train from Ludhiana to Ferozepur had also confirmed the coach was there. It was just the insensitivity and carelessness on the part of the railway staff that the bona fide passengers, one of them physically challenged, had to suffer”, he said.

Parvinder has filed a formal complaint with the Northern Railway divisional headquarters at Ferozepur demanding action against the railway employees, who he said had caused mental agony and physical discomfort to him and his son.



‘International Day against drug abuse a farce’
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
Failure of government agencies to implement Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and Drugs and Cosmetics Act has resulted in manifold increase in number of drug addiction cases among youth. Establishing the fact, city-based psychiatrists and de-addiction centres termed the "International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking" a farce, while pointing towards the increase in number of "young patients" coming to them for counselling and de-addiction.

Professionals alleged that "working" of drug inspectors in the department of health and family welfare, Punjab, and narcotic commissioner at district-level is an eyewash.

MS Gill, president of a city-based NGO further alleged: "Conducting raids on the retail chemists and confiscating small quantity of scheduled H drugs is an eyewash, as the drug control authorities give a free hand to wholesalers to sell drugs worth crores every day. Those who are booked under Drug and Cosmetics Act one day, next day they are back on their counters making money in drug trade," alleged Gill.

Dr SK Prabhakar, a neuro psychiatrist, said: "It’s impossible to end the problem by targeting chemists, as drug nexus is run by politicians, along with criminals and cops. The vulnerable, unemployed youth fall prey to the nexus as they are given drugs free initially and gradually they become a part of the mafia," said Dr Prabhakar.

Another psychiatrist Dr PS Khurana said doctors/psychiatrists were working on "demand reduction" but the easy accessibility of drugs zeroes the efforts made by professionals, thus it is must to implement the above acts. "No drug should be sold without medical practitioner’s prescription and a short course should be prescribed by the doctor concerned," Dr Khurana added.


More women than men are hooked on to drugs
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, June 25
Not only men but women also are getting addicted to psychotropic and pharmaceutical drugs.The startling fact came to the fore recently when the number of women outnumbered their counterparts at different camps against drug abuse organised by the city police.

During the six camps organised by the police at different places, many women confessed to the doctors that they were hooked on to drugs and needed help.

It came to the fore that majority of the women were addicted to shoe-polish smell, nail paint while others were taking cough syrups and even capsules.

"I am addicted to shoe polish. Its fumes give me high. When I am at home I even apply it on my nose. In a week, I finish three to five small sachets of shoe polish," said a woman while requesting anonymity, who wanted a remedy for it from the doctor.

Most women who were addicted to drugs belonged to the lower-middle class families and lived in densely populated areas, where narcotics were very common. They got hooked on to drugs seeing the youths in their neighbourhood.

Darshan Lal, a labourers’ leader in Jawahar Nagar camp, who brought many people from his area to the de-addiction camps said unabated supply of pharmaceutical drugs plagued his area. He said capsules like proxyvon could be spotted in almost every household in Jawahar Nagar.

While narrating the tragic story of one family, which perished due to drug addiction, he said, “An auto rickshaw driver in our acquaintance was addicted to psychotropic drugs and eventually died. He wife too got addicted and succumbed sometime ago. Their two daughters are now living with their maternal grandparents in Jagadari. What future has is store for them you can well imagine.”

ACP (East) Bhupinder Singh said, “These are minor problems which can be handled through awareness camps. Right now, the major challenge before us is to keep a tab on the spread of HIV. As the addicts generally share syringes which result in the spreading of dangerous viruses like HIV. These viruses are further transmitted to their wives and their offspring. We are trying to spread awareness through the medium of plays and de- addiction camps.”

He further said that addiction is the root cause behind the petty crimes like chain snatching and vehicle lifting.

What you sow, so shall you reap

The chemist selling the pharmaceutical drugs to the youths is now bearing the brunt as they have now become addicts and are giving him a tough time. Recently, the alleged drug addicts staged a dharna in front of the chemist shop located near the Bus Stand. It is alleged that the chemist used to sell cough syrups and pharmaceutical tablets to the youths residing in Jawhar Nagar and the surrounding area. The youths did not stop here. They allegedly ransacked the shop and attacked the chemist with sharp-edged weapons. Though the police booked the youths, none of the accused has been arrested so far. The chemist is now regretting his decision to sell pharmaceutical drugs to them.

It’s unemployment

Cops said it was found that unemployment was the main cause behind addiction. A majority of the auto-rickshaw drivers, rickshaw pullers and people who work at odd hours are addicts.



‘Drug abuse largest factor in spreading HIV’

Ludhiana, June 25
District health department, private hospitals and NGOs organised lecturers against drug abuse on the eve of International day against drug abuse at Civil Lines here today.

A lecture against drug abuse was organised at Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, which was attended by hospital staff, patients and their attendants.

Dr NK Kaushal, Dr Sushil Jain and Dr Pradeep Sharma were keynote speakers who called upon people to be cautious, while observing the habits of their adolescent children who were falling prey to the menace.

The lecture was organised on the directions of civil surgeon Dr Satwant Kaur Bhalla.

Rising Youth Association also organised a lecture against drug abuse at Civil Lines, wherein Dr Naresh Bansal and Dr Anooj Chatley delivered a lecture.

Dr Naresh Bansal said: "Drug abuse is the single largest factor in the spread of HIV and Hepatitis infections. Research done by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has shown that drugs and alcohol use interfere with judgment about sexual behaviour thereby engaging in unplanned and unprotected sex. This increases the risk for contracting HIV from infected sex partners, the doctor added.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis of HIV surveillance, data reveals that 25 per cent were among injection drug users (IDUs). Non-injection drugs such as "crack" cocaine also contribute to the spread of HIV when users trade sex for money, said Dr Bansal.

Dr Anooj Chatley said teenage depression was one of the important signs of substance abuse. He referred to studies, which have established that, more than half, and possibly up to 80 per cent of property offences have some drug involvement.

Preet Kamal Grewal, Gaurav Sharma, Vaneet Behal, Prem Grover, Baljit Sharma, Surinderpal Singh, Sanjay Dhanda, Darshan, Raman, Sumesh, Sandeep Thapar, Simran Chahal, Bir Sukhpal Singh and JB Singh, were also present. — TNS



No stopping currency garlands at weddings
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
The ‘big fat’ Punjabi weddings can never be complete without the tasteless show of opulence. Among other things Punjabis love to flaunt is their wealth through garlands made of Indian currency bills that the bridegrooms are overloaded with. The denomination of the notes is directly proportional to the prosperity of the groom’s relatives.

This ritual that has been an indispensable part of north Indian weddings has left the Reserve Bank of India fuming as the practice is a clear violation of its regulations, which prohibit folding and stapling of currency notes. However, this has not deterred the penchant of Punjabis to show off.

Garlands made of currency notes worth Rs 501 to Rs 5,001 are presented to bridegrooms with bills of denominations between Rs 10, Rs 50 and Rs 100. ‘‘People don’t use Rs 500 notes as they want the garland to look heavier. So they ask us to use smaller denominations”, said Rajesh Kumar, a shopkeeper.

These garlands are used by affluent, middle class and lower middle class people depending upon their budget. The rich want garlands made of bills worth Rs 5,001 and at times even more. The middle class makes do with Rs 2001 and 1001 and the lower middle class goes for Rs 501.

"I’m not aware there is a ban on this practice. It’s an important ritual in a Punjabi wedding and giving garlands made of currency notes is considered auspicious on the wedding day. To demonstrate our love and affection towards the newlywed couple, we prefer to present these garlands to them," said Shallu Kawatra, who recently attended her brother's wedding.

Despite the RBI prohibition on stapling currency notes a number of dealers in the city are openly selling garlands made from Indian currency notes. These shopkeepers are least concerned about deforming currency notes. Some of them are not even aware of the RBI regulations and say no official had approached them to stop selling these garlands.

People involved in selling currency note garlands have been engaged in this traditional activity for the past several decades and are doing business as usual in the city’s the busy Basati Bazar, Field Gunj, Ghumar Mandi and Model Town markets.

Rajesh Kumar, a shopkeeper at Basati Bazar, said, "I’m doing this business for the past many decades and no one has come here to stop us. I purchase new currency notes from banks by paying 5 per cent extra”.

"We’re making several efforts to make people aware stapling or folding of currency notes is prohibited. But no one seems to be paying heed as in most weddings, especially in north India, the use of such garlands is a prerequisite," said a senior bank official.



Flaunt your love’s name in ‘choora’
Has taken wedding scene by storm
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
Taking a cue from the age-old adage about wearing one's love on the sleeve, enterprising brides-to-be are going all out to make the men in their lives feel special by wearing their love, quite literally, around their delicate wrists.

So the next time you spot "Rahul", "Amit", "Sumit" or "Saurabh" and the likes, shimmering among the red and white bangles adorning the new bride's wrists, don't be surprised! That is her husband's name, written beautifully in stones to match and become an important part of her bridal "choora".

Yes, getting the name of one's beloved engraved in precious and semi-precious stones in the bridal 'choora' is the latest fad among the young girls on the brink of holy matrimony.

Confirming this, Rahul Bunti, owner, Laxmi Store, reveals, "With every wedding season, come a number of trends. This year, it is the innovative 'naami choora' that has taken the wedding scene by storm. Every bride-to-be wants her husband's name engraved in the red and white bangles of her 'choora'."

"Some girls are more experimenting. Along with their would-be husband's name on one side of the middle bangle of the 'choora', they get their own name, too, engraved on the other side," informed Surinder, a local artisan involved in making designer 'chooras'.

A specialist in made-to-order bridal 'chooras', Rahul revealed that the latest style 'choora' comes with an additional broad bangle on which the names can be engraved in stones.

"A pair of these bangles are made to order and added to any normal trendy 'choora'

that the clients select,” he remarked. The best part about these bangles is that they come for as less as Rs 900 a pair.

The ‘naami choora’ surely has caught the fancy of one and all. Its exclusivity is what sets it apart from the rest.

“Moreover, the thought of wearing her (husband’s) name in ‘choora’, the age-old symbol of love and eternal bond of holy matrimony, is so exciting. I can’t wait to see my would-be husband’s surprised expression when he sees his name in my ‘choora’. I am sure he will be very happy,” smiles soon-to-be-bride Jasmeet Kaur, who has ordered for a ‘naami choora’ in semi-precious stones.



Road in LIT colony turns into garbage dump
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 25
For a long time one side of a 100 feet wide road in Bhagat Singh Nagar Colony, a housing scheme of Ludhiana Improvement Trust, has remained out of bounds for area residents. The reason - due to the prolonged disuse of the stretch from the Sunet rail crossing towards D block, the road has become a garbage dumping ground. Not only the colony’s residents but also municipal corporation employees have been dumping garbage on this road.

Taking up a complaint filed on this matter filed by BJP leader and former councilor Pran Nath Bhatia, a district grievances redressal committee meeting convened by deputy commissioner Rahul Tiwari here today asked both the LIT and the civic body to take remedial steps by providing a garbage dump in the locality and clearing the road so that it could be used by residents. In his complaint, Bhatia said the road was constructed in 2004 at a cost of Rs 19.24 lakh.

“A central verge, footpaths and streetlights were also provided on the road. However, perhaps due to people choosing to use only one side of the road, the other side gradually turned into a garbage dumping ground with heaps of pebbles, garbage and proliferating growth of weeds. An unfinished portion of the road was another factor that came in the way of movement of traffic on one part of the road,” the complaint stated.

In a written reply submitted at the meeting, LIT officials said only one side of the double laned road was being presently used by people with the result that the other lane had become a dumping ground for garbage. “The road has since been cleared of debris and garbage, the streetlights have been made functional and a cost estimate for the unfinished portion of the road has been prepared, which is pending for approval with the trust," the officials informed.

In the wake of the report on work carried out by the LIT to make both lanes of the road usable, the item was kept pending till the next meeting when a status report will be sought and the complaint finally disposed of.

Other complaints taken up

Among other complaints dealt with at today’s district grievances redressal committee meeting were dumping of garbage in the Sidhwan canal on Ferozepur Road, pollution caused by discharge of effluents by an industrial unit located on Chawa Road, unlawful sale of liquor "rehris" of eatables, increasing incidents of snatching and erratic supply of LPG cooking gas. The meeting was attended by Darshan Singh Shivalik and Harmohinder Singh, both legislators, police commissioner Ishwar Singh and MC Commissioner AK Sinha.



Dairy waste poses health risk
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 25
Sewers have been overflowing around Hira Singh Road near the Raikot bus stop area for a long time thanks to a diary set up in the densely populated area. Interestingly the dairy is situated near the house of former councillor Harprit Singh Dhaliwal.

In the recent past the municipal council had made several attempts to solve the problem. It also passed a resolution to shift the diaries out of the town but the decision has not been implemented strictly.

Some dairies are still running within populated areas and disposing all the wastes in the sewage system, blocking many of the pipes. Sewage in such localities continues to overflow, which is posing a health hazard to residents.

These diaries breed the larvae of deadly insects. Some time back there was an outbreak of jaundice in the area due to stagnant sewage system. Incidence of gastroenteritis is another common problem in this area. Cowdung can often be seen overflowing in the streets, attracting various species of mosquitoes.



Petro Hike
People feel the pinch
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
The common man, already suffering due to the steep increase in the prices of essential commodities, has got another blow with the UPA government’s decision to inflict a steep rise in the prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and cooking gas.

The price of petrol has gone up by Rs 3.50 per litre, diesel by Rs 2 per litre, kerosene by Rs 3 per litre and cooking gas by Rs 35 per cylinder.

“The food inflation rate is around 17 per cent and with the increase in prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and cooking gas will prove disastrous for the public. Now that the government is going to decontrol prices of all petroleum products, including diesel, it will prove disastrous for the economy and the country,” said Sant Singh, a retired government employee.

The prices of petrol and diesel were increased by Rs 3 per litre at the time of the Union Budget. International oil prices had not risen substantially in this period.

“But the prices in India has been increasing like anything. An increase of Rs 35 for an LPG cyclinder is too much,” said Monika, a housewife.

“By increasing the price of diesel and kerosene, farmers and poor sections will be badly hit. The LPG price hike will further burden the middle class. Petrol has become an essential commodity and nobody can live a day without it as everybody commutes through their own vehicles,” said Kanwalpreet, a bank employee.

Damanpreet, a housewife, said her house budget would go haywire after the hike in the prices. “Every other day prices of essesntial commodities are hiked. Sometimes it is milk, then vegetables and pulses, and now, it is the turn of petro products. The hike of Rs 35 for a cylinder is too much. The government should roll back the hike as the inflation rate in the country is already too high,” she said.



CPI flays fuel price hike
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 25
The Communist Party of India (CPI) has condemned the hike in prices of petrol and diesel and their linkage with the prevailing market prices.

District unit secretary Kartar Singh Bowani, assistant secretary Arun Mitra, Ramesh Rattan and DP Maur said in a press note here today that the rise in oil prices will hit the common man hard as the people, especially those from the weaker sections, were already reeling under the high prices of essential items.

“It is an irony that instead of thinking of the common man, to whom the government owes moral and constitutional responsibility, it is more concerned about the profits of the oil companies,” they said, demanding an immediate rollback.



Passport office to become functional next month
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 25
The passport office here is all set to become functional within a fortnight as all the infrastructure and other arrangements have been put in place for the same at Gian Singh Rarewala Market, adjacent to the General Bus Stand here.

Ludhiana MP and the national spokesperson of the All-India Congress Committee Manish Tewari accompanied by the Chandigarh Regional Passport Officer Vithul Kumar today reviewed the final arrangements being made before the formal inauguration of the passport office.

The officials told Tewari that the passport office here would be operated by the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and would be headed by a passport officer from the Ministry Of External Affairs. The passport office will provide all services to the applicants under one roof. Tewari went around the office and inquired about all the services to be provided to the people.

He was told that the whole process for an applicant to submit his or her application would take about an hour and there would not be much waiting. The entire passport office is centrally air conditioned with a lot of waiting area and comfortable seating arrangements.

The refreshments are also available within the office premises.

Besides, the MP was told, a special escalating chair has been arranged for the old and differently abled.

Briefing Tewari, Kumar and the TCS officials maintained that the Ludhiana office would cater to the people of entire Punjab. It will be their discretion to apply for a passport at Ludhiana office or Chandigarh. "Once Ludhiana passport office becomes functional, it will take a lot of load off the Chandigarh office," Kumar said.

Talking to reporters at the passport office after reviewing the arrangements, Tewari said, it was a long pending demand of the people, not only from Ludhiana, but the surrounding areas as well, that there should be a passport office in the city. 



‘Punjab important business destination for Australia’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
The Australian Trade Commission and the Australian trade and investment development agency of the Australian federal government presented business and investment opportunities with Australia for businesses based in Punjab at the seminar on "Doing Business with Australia".

The seminar showcased the potential business and investment opportunities in Australia and potential joint venture partnership and investments.

The seminar specifically highlighted Australian expertise in wool, textiles, fashion; food and beverage; agri business; hospitality; infrastructure, building and construction; clean energy; financial services; health and medical; machinery, manufacturing and nanotechnology; urban infrastructure; automotive; water management and waste disposal; film and television; professional and business services (legal and HR services), education and training, franchising and sports services of Australian companies to businesses in Punjab.

Speaking at the seminar, Michael Carter, Trade Commissioner, North India, Australian High Commission said, "Punjab is a very significant business destination for Australian companies. Australia can provide value-added competitive solutions and expertise both in traditional and emerging sectors for businesses in Punjab".

Speaking at the seminar, Akshay Bector, chairman, CII, Punjab State Council, mentioned "There is immense untapped potential for trade and commerce between North India and Australia, which could be leveraged through people to people contacts. The MoU between the CII, Northern Region, and The Australian Trade Commission encourages bilateral trade and investments and facilitates business opportunities to the industry in North India.

The CII looks forward to working closely with Australia in realising the potential that exists for two-way trade and investments and strategic partnerships for the benefit of both. Some of the sectors which could gain considerably from enhanced engagement with Australia include agriculture and food processing, tourism, education and clean energy. This seminar is an important step to opening up potential areas of cooperation between Northern India and Australia."



Remembering Michael Jackson
First Death Anniversary
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
Music lovers in the city observed the first death anniversary of ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson today in their own different ways.

While some lit candles in their hero's memory, others sang and danced to his immortal melodies and some others narrated his life story, as known to the world, to the young ones, with an aim to keep the Moonwalker alive in their hearts, forever.

One thing common to all events marked to observe Jackson's death anniversary was the reverence with which his fans remembered him.

Their emotions pouring out almost bordered on hero worship, gave one a feeling that the greatest of the world's singers is still alive, as much in his songs as in his millions of fans' hearts.

Talking to The Tribune, Harpreet Happy, director, Happy Beat 'n' Dance Academy, said: "Staff members and students observed the day at our academy with lighting of candles."

Happy added that during the day, he narrated the life story of Michael Jackson to his students with his songs playing in the backdrop at the academy throughout.

Aradhna Suri, who runs a dance school in NCR, said for her, Michael Jackson was the best. "There has never been nor will be, any singer and dancer greater than him," she said adding that his death was a shock to the entire world.

"Students back at my school will today see Jackson's various videos and pay tribute to him in the evening in a show named after the King of Pop himself," said Aradhna, who is in the city to meet her sister.

Aradhna added that she organised a get together for children in the vicinity of her sister's house in Model Town Extension wherein Jackson's famous numbers like "Bad", "Black or White", "Heel the World" and many more were played to commemorate his first death anniversary.

Renowned local DJ Bhanu, too, held a small solemn event to observe the immortal singer's first death anniversary. He, along with his team members, lit candles at his office, to pay homage to Michael Jackson.



Reality show auditions held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
Mahua TV Channel organised its reality show audition in Punjab.

This has been after the successful conduct of the first season of TV reality show "Sur Sangram", Sai Baba Tele films, Mumbai, organised music auditions at Baba Ishar Singh Public School for the second season of "Sur Sangram".

Renowned music directors Sujeet Mishra and Satish Tripathi were the judges. Singers from Punjab and other states between 17 to 28 year participated. Shortlisted singers will be invited for auditions in Mumbai for the reality show "Sur Sangram" to be telecast on Mahua TV Channel. During Sur Sangram TV show, contestants would sing Hindi and Bhojpuri songs.

Executive producer of Mahua TV channel Urmika Rai and Sujit Singh of Sai Baba Tele Films were also present. Dr Charan Kamal Singh, director of upcoming Ishmeet Singh Music Institute is co-ordinating the auditions.



Ban on Smoking
Changes in SGPC forms condemned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
"The election commission should not have made changes in the SGPC forms pertaining to prohibition of tobacco as the ban is not just restricted to smoking, but it is an embargo on consumption of tobacco in every form," said SGPC member Kiranjot Kaur, granddaughter of SGPC founder secretary, late master Tara Singh.

Kiranjot was in the city to attend state-level function on 126th birth anniversary of master Tara Singh. The function was organised by state government at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan, Ludhiana.

"A chair should be established in his name in one of the state universities wherein research should be done on the ideologies of Master Tara Singh," SGPC member said.

Punjab cabinet minister, Sewa Singh Sekhwan, referring to Master Tara Singh as "Panth Rattan" said he was a legendary who was born into a Hindu family and went on to become a true "Gursikh" thereby fighting for the rights of the community till his last breath. He said he would request the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to establish a chair in the name of Master Tara Singh soon.

Member Parliament in Rajya Sabha BS Bhunder recalled the lines of Master Tara Singh "Mein Maran Te Path Jeeve" adding that each SGPC member should follow his selflessness while serving the community.

Punjab minister for jails, tourism and cultural affairs minister Hira Singh Gabria said Master Tara Singh was a man of words who despite his simplicity was an able "leader" with a history of serving the path for five decades.

Chief parliamentary secretary Harsh Rai Dhanda, MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik, Prof Rajinder Bhandari and Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar were present. 



PAU notes
Former agronomist dead

Dr JS Sawhney, former senior agronomist at PAU, passed away today. Faculty members, non-teaching staff and students attended the condolence meeting, organised in the department of agronomy. Dr US Walia, head of the department, described Dr Sawhney as an industrious, helpful and committed worker, who generated a number of farm worthy recommendations for farmers. Dr Manjit Singh Kang, PAU Vice-Chancellor, condoled Dr Sawhney's demise.


Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and the National Research Centre for Citrus (NRCC) at Nagpur have signed an accord for academic collaboration.

The agreement was signed by PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang and Dr VJ Shivankar, director, NRCC.

Under the agreed programme both organisations will be involved in the PhD programme. The nature of research undertaken by students will be related to citrus and students will be allowed to use facilities and infrastructure of NRCC.

Sweet water distributed

PAU security staff distributed  sweet water and offered langar to visitors on the campus. Supervisory staff, including security inspectors, Inderjit Singh and Ram ji Dass, other staffers S Ranbir Singh, S Jasbir Singh, Shiv Kumar, Bal  Krishan, Hakam Singh and S Gurmukh Singh volunteered to serve visitors. — TNS



Blood donation camp by Cyberstar colleges
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
Cyberstar Group of Institutions today organised a blood donation camp on its premises at Basti Jodhewal, Ludhiana.

Dr GP Mangla from the Red Cross Society in Ludhiana, along with his team collected the blood and motivated students to voluntarily donate blood.

Dr Mangla said proper care was being taken while scrutinising the donor as right from the medical history, the prospective donor was examined for ailments. The blood then collected was also screened for infectious agents such as Hepatitis B, C and HIV, he added.

The director of institution Umesh Sharma, Member of Parliament Manish Tewari and former parliamentary secretary Surinder Dawar also attended the camp.

Tewari asked students to donate blood, “Donating blood voluntarily shows responsibility towards society, which youth understands now.”

He shared his association with All-India Youth Congress during which he played a vital role to organise largest blood donation camp.



Two held for vehicle theft
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, June 25
The CIA-II police arrested two persons for vehicle theft and seized seven stolen motorcycles besides a scooter from their possession here today.

The accused, Munish Kumar and Shibu Kumar, both residents of Arjan Dev Nagar, were arrested from Basti Jodhwal Chowk.

According to CIA-II in-charge Varunjit, the two had been active in the city for the past six months. The accused were produced in a local court, which remanded them in police custody.

Man held with opium

Jagraon: The city police arrested a youth and seized 6 kg opium from his possession.

Ludhiana (rural) SSP Harinder Singh Chahal said SI Mohan Dass, in-charge of bus stand police post, along with SI Hari Mittar, during routine patrol in the Khothe Khajooran area spotted the suspect on the banks of a drain.

On seeing the police team, the suspect tried to flee but was overpowered. He was later identified as Gurdeep Singh, alias Baba, of Rampura Phool, Bathinda.

On search, the police seized 6 kg opium from his possession. The contraband was concealed in a steel case kept in a cloth bag.

The SSP said the contraband was worth Rs 3.6 lakh in the market and the accused had procured it from a dealer, Meharban of Ramganj Mandi, Rajasthan.

He was to distribute it to different peddlers in the area.The police has booked the accused under Sections 16, 61, 85, NDPS Act.



Man bludgeons wife to death
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
Following a quarrel a man said to be a drug addict reportedly bludgeoned his wife to death in Mundian Kalan village near Chandigarh Road. The woman, identified as Baljeet Kaur, 35, succumbed to injuries at Civil Hospital here this morning.

According to the Jamalpur police, the incident took place late last night when Baljeet and her husband, Soma Singh, 37 had a heated argument.

The victim’s relatives said the quarrel turned ugly when Soma voiced doubts about his wife’s “character”. Baljeet reacted strongly, calling her husband a drug addict. This led to a scuffle between the couple. In a fit of rage Soma got hold of a wooden log and smashed it on his wife’s head.

Baljeet was rushed to hospital where she succumbed to her injury this morning. Following the incident the police launched a manhunt and nabbed the suspect. Baljeet, a native of Mansa, got married to Soma 17 years ago and the couple has three children. The victim’s relatives later staged a ‘dharna’ outside the suspect’s house.



Stolen goods worth Rs 24 lakh recovered

Jagraon, June 25
The police today busted a nine-member inter-state gang wanted in connection with dacoity cases, especially at state-owned foodgrain godowns.

The police recovered stolen goods worth Rs 24 lakh, including 216 bags of rice and 100 bags of wheat, from their possession.

They were equipped with firearms and sharp-edged weapons. The police booked them under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.

Ludhiana Rural SSP Harinder Singh Chahal said at a press conference that more than 30 cases were solved with these arrests.

The Raikot police had also recovered a Tempo Trax (PB10U-9076), a truck and a Mahindra jeep carrying stolen rice. — OC



Relay of Queen’s baton, a test for veteran Olympians today
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
Relaying Queen's baton would be a test of patience, endurance and stamina for the veteran Olympians and prominent personalities when it reaches the city in noon tomorrow as in the fag ends of their life they would have to run for three kilometers in scorching heat.

As the Queen's Baton- the Commonwealth torch- is expected to arrive in the city at 12:30pm, the former Olympian mostly octagenarians would have to run out of their skins amidst mercury expected to touch 45 degrees C.

As per the schedule, the Queen's Baton would arrive in the city at 12: 30pm after a brief ceremony the torch would be handed over to the players at 3pm, who would further cover the distance of 3km. The run would finish at Government College for Women from where it would be further handed over to the Commonwealth games officials, who would take it to Patiala.

"It would be advisable for the administration not to take risk of making the octogenarians run in the scorching heat as chances are that veteran Olympians might faint due to heatstroke," said one of the Commonwealth organisers, while requesting anonymity.

The gaffe does not end here, the administration has no idea how many national and international players would attend function.

One of the Olympian, while complaining over the callous attitude of the administration and sports department said, "Why the "Babus" treat every occasion as a liability. The arrival of Queen's Baton is a matter of pride and they arrangements for this function would have been made in advance. You would witness players arguing over the size of T- shit and the administration have not taken their measurements in advance. What is more frustrating is the fact that the administration is oblivious of how many people to take the Baton."

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari said the Baton would be received from the boundaries of the city and would taken to Parker's House in PAU. Around 100 volunteers, who were assorting the Baton would take lunch and plant saplings. They would be joined by nearly 30 prominent figures of the city, who would further take the torch to Government College for Women. 

There is a lot of confusion over the sizes of special Commonwealth T- shirts and lowers.

The players said that the kits would be handed over to them on the spot, which in turn could result in confusion.


n Reception at Phillaur-Laddowal boundary (12: 30 p.m. to 1 p.m. )

n Jalandhar Bypass

n Elevated road

n Jagraon bridge

n Ferozepore Road


n Back on Ferozepore road for relay (3: 30 p.m. to 4 p.m.)

n Bhai wala Chowk

n Bharat Nagar Chowk

n Government College for Women (conclude) 



Athletics trials on June 29
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 25
The Ludhiana District Athletics Association (LDAA) will conduct trials to selet the Ludhiana junior boys and girls as well as senior men and women atheltes here at Guru Nanak Stadium on June 29 at 7.30 am, according to association general secretary SS Pannu.

Aspirants have been advised to bring their date of birth proof. They may contact athletic coaches Sita Kapila and Sanjiv Sharma at the venue.The selected athletes will represent the district in the Punjab State Open Athletics Meet scheduled to be held on July 3 and 4 at Sangrur.



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