L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Unaccommodating PAU Hostels
Girl students voice anger
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
To register their anger over the inadequate accommodation in the girls hostel at Punjab Agricultural University, students of all colleges of the varsity boycotted classes today. Those residing in hostel no 6 staged a protest march on the campus beginning 10 am and were gradually joined by students of other hostels as well as day scholars.

Raising slogans against the PAU administration, the students demanded provision of “proper rooms” for girls enrolled in various courses. "Our hostel has become nothing more than a refugee camp where we can't move around without bumping into each other. Living and studying here in such conditions is out of the question," rued a student of hostel no 6.

A delegation of students led by PAU Students Association president Ravinder Singh Randhawa met varsity officials to discuss the issue. "The varsity administration doesn’t have any answer to our problems which is why they remain unresolved. We’ll resume classes only after the authorities come out with a solution," said Randhawa.

PAU officials term the shortage of hostel accommodation as a "teething problem" that has occurred with the commencement of new academic session, whereas students and their parents have accused the officials of having a “lack of vision”.

A large number of new students who had come from far-flung places like Jammu, Pathankot, Abohar and Gurdaspur were unable to get hostel rooms. As a result they were asked by the varsity to look for private accommodation outside the campus.

However, taking note of the resentment of students and their parents, PAU officials have accommodated the newcomers with old students, which has resulted in more problems.

"Four girls are being forced to share a room meant for only two, leaving us with hardly any breathing space. The move is completely arbitrary,” said another female student who took part in the protest march.

Similarly, students as well their parents are objecting to the inadequate classrooms in PAU colleges. Those enrolled in the BSc biotechnology (honours) course are facing an acute problem as classes of second-year students are being held in those of the horticulture department.

"As we’re paying hefty fees for the courses it’s for the varsity administration to provide enough classrooms as makeshift arrangements only hamper academic sessions," rued a biotechnology student.

‘Look for private accommodation’

Dr SS Gosal, director of PAU’s school of biotechnology, said the varsity had made it clear during counselling sessions that students would have to rent private accommodation outside the campus if there was not enough space in hostels. "At that time their parents had agreed, but now they are creating problems," he added. On the issue of shortage of classrooms, he said it was a “temporary” problem. "We have plans to construct a new wing for the school of biotechnology but until then we have had to make alternative arrangements." 


Students line up to learn the language of love
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
"L'amour est la poésie des sens", the quote by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac, which means "love is the poetry of senses," has become the expression of young French learners, taking lessons in the language at the department of communication, languages & international linkages at Punjab Agricultural University.

Bidding adieu to their respective colleges, students interested in pursuing higher studies in foreign institutions are seizing an opportunity to get enrolled in the one-year certificate course at PAU.

Also, it is an opportunity for couples in love to voice "endearments" in a language acknowledged as the "language of love".

Learning French may be a professional obligation for marketing executives, engineers working with multinationals and MBA students, but it is a "breather" for many seeking a break from the dreary, dry and dull dialogue who include some doctors from the city.

"Our trips to Britain, Canada and the US made us fall in love with the French language and the sensitivity of the French community further inspired us to learn and understand the language," shared Anchal Samra and her husband Ranjodh Singh Samra.

For Loveleen, who is pursuing a PhD in microbiology, the one-year certificate course in French has been the best learning experience of her life. "Every class was a gateway to the new world and I enjoyed every moment of it. Now, I can enjoy French movies without having to read the English subtitles," said the beaming scholar.

Sharing the passion of her students, Harpreet Kaur Bains, who has a masters degree in French, puts her soul into every word spoken in the classroom. "I’ve dedicated my life to the language and am ecstatic to see that over 90 percent of my students are serious learners. So much so, they even attempt to communicate in French in the first week of the course," she added.

Common French love expressions

l Mon coeur for ‘my love’

l Je t'aime for ‘I love you’

l Je suis amoureux de vous for ‘I’m in love with you’

l Tu es tout pour moi for ‘you mean everything to me’

l Je pense a' toi tous les temps for ‘I think of you all the time’ 



Jilted nephew kills friend
All for ‘lover aunt’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
A youth allegedly killed his friend for stealing the affection of his “lover aunt”. Twenty-year-old Buta Singh reportedly had illicit relations with his maternal aunt Renu, a widow. Buta Singh was working as a security guard.

The ADCP, Raj Kumar (West), said Shamsher Singh, Buta Singh’s friend, also worked as a guard. Buta Singh would often visit Renu at her house and sometimes, would take Shamsher Singh along.

Gradually, her attention drifted towards Shamsher and she distanced herself from Buta Singh, following which his relations with Shamsher Singh got strained.

Also, Buta Singh had lent some money to Shamsher Singh, but he had been evading payment for long.

On July 16, Shamsher Singh was on his way back home from work when the accused intercepted him near the Government College for Women and thrashed him before stabbing him. The victim died on the spot.

Buta Singh then took Shamsher Singh’s bag containing courier items, his mobile phone and the knife and dumped these in the wild growth near the Ballowal canal.

The incident came to light this morning when someone told the police about the bag. The police nabbed the accused from Railway Colony.

Buta Singh had obtained his job on the basis of certificates of another friend, Hakam Singh, and was posing as Devinder Singh. He had been working for over two years on the basis of a fake name and bogus certificates. A case has been registered.



IAF pilot killed in road accident 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 29
A pilot of the Indian Air Force posted at Halwara Air Force Station, who had manoeuvred many flights, died after his car was hit by truck trailer near Lalton on the Pakhowal-Ludhinana road near here last night.

Gurpreet Singh of Avas Vikas Colony, Udham Singh Nagar in Uttarakhand, and presently posted at Halwara, was returning from Ludhiana to the base depot around 11.30 last night when the car he was driving collided with a trailer coming from the opposite side.

Some passersby and the police took profusely bleeding Gurpreet to a multi-specialty hospital at Ludhiana where he breathed his last this morning.

The body was handed over to Gurpreet’s parents who had come from their home state. Gurpreet was an ambitious pilot of the IAF and his seniors had high expectations from him. He hailed from a middle-class family.

Unable to bear the shock, Gurpreet’s father Bhajan Singh cursed the bad roads of the state, which had taken away the life of his son who never stood second in air shows.

“What pains us most is that my son lost his life at the hands of a careless driver. The death of our son is not only our personal loss, the nation has, too, lost a fighter pilot,” said Bhajan Singh.

Investigation revealed that Gurpreet was returning from the house of his fiancé at Ludhiana. She had reportedly invited him for dinner. His body was shifted to his native place with honour.



GLADA takes the easy way
Shuns acquisition, invites offers to buy land
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 29
The new land purchase policy of the state government seems to have come handy for Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) which has initiated steps to purchase land from single or joint owners as well as registered power of attorney holders through sealed bids for development of residential urban estates in five localities around the city.

The GLADA has invited offers from owners of 100 acres or more on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur road up to Mullanpur road along Sidhwan Canal from Sanghowal to Issewal villages; Ludhiana-Pakhowal road up to Jodhan; Ludhiana-Malerkotla road up to Sarinh; and Ludhiana-Jalandhar GT Road from Ladhowal to Nurpur Bet.

According to GLADA officials, the land offered for development into residential urban estates should be located along main roads or at the most a kilometre inside, with access of at least 80 ft in width. The land owners have been asked to send the offer for sale by August 6. The financial bids will be opened only if details of location and other records pertaining to land are found suitable.

“The policy for the purchase of land through negotiation or the sealed bid system is better than the complex process of acquisition of land,” a senior official remarked, adding that many projects conceived by government agencies had failed to see the light of the day due to litigation involved in land acquisition.

Although the response to invitation of offers for purchase of land was yet to be seen, the new land purchase policy would prove to be of immense benefit both to land owners, who would get appropriate price for their land, and government agencies (GLADA in this case) which would be able to take immediate possession of the land and start work for execution of the proposed projects, the official added.


l Offers invited from owners of 100 acres or more

l The land should be located on main roads or a kilometre inside

l Offer for sale by August 6

l To benefit both land owners and GLADA



Youth accuses cops of assault, abuse
Bid to avoid action, says police
Our Correspondent

Raikot, July 29
A youth of Mohhamad Pura village has accused policemen posted at the the Lohatbaddi police post of assault and handing out inhuman treatment.

Gurlal Singh has alleged that on June 30, head constable Balwinder Singh of Lohatbaddi police station approached him while he was irrigating his fields. He sought Rs 1,000 from him and asked him to stop the motor of the pump, as it was overloaded. On refusal, the policeman allegedly abused him and left.

He later returned in a police vehicle with two others, identified as constables Lakhvir Singh and Daljit Singh, also of the Lohatbaddi police post.

They allegedly thrashed him with sticks and abused him for using a motor heavier the sanctioned load.

Gurlal alleged that the policemen then they took him to the police post and humiliated him by disrobing him and pulling him by his hair.

He was released the following morning after being threatened with dire consequences if he revealed the matter to anyone, he alleged.

Victim’s cousin Rajwant Singh took him to the Raikot civil hospital, where he was treated for some days.

Gurlal claimed that he lodged a complaint against the accused with the Raikot police station but no action was taken against any of the accused.

So far, the police had not even recorded his statement, he alleged. He accused the police of issuing threats of getting him eliminated if he did not stop perusing the case.

Gurlal has now approached the Punjab State Human Rights Commission to seek justice.

However, Lohatbaddi police post in charge Davinder Singh Chakoi termed the allegations baseless and an attempt to save himself from police action.

He claimed that Gurlal had assaulted Amar Singh of Kalsan village, near here, in 2008 and later inflicted self-injuries to get himself admitted to the hospital. A case was pending against him since then.

In the inquiry, Gurlal was found to have given false information to the police and was recently booked under Section 182, IPC.

On June 30, when Amar Singh was irrigating his fields, Gurlal along with four of others in an inebriated condition challenged the former.

Amar informed the police and head constable Balwinder Singh was sent to the scene to resolve the issue. He asked them to come to the police post the next day.

However, Gurlal and his accomplices abused the head constable, who returned to the police post.

Amar informed senior police authorities about the incident and on their orders, Balwinder Singh arrived again at the scene in an official vehicle along with two other policemen.

However, Gurlal Singh and his accomplices had already left by then, forcing the police team to return to their post.



MC staff remove encroachments
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
The tehbazari wing of the municipal corporation removed encroachments along various roads in zone A here today.

MC workers, accompanied by policemen, faced some resistance from encroachers during the drive in the area.

As angry protesters argued with workers, area councillors intervened and convinced them to allow the staff to remove encroachments.

Tehbazari wing in charge Naveen Malhotra said the drive covered areas from Field Ganj to Baba Than Singh Chowk, near Fire Brigade office, Lakshmi theatre, Samrala Chowk, Chimney Road, etc.

Illegal carts, counters and benches put up on roads were removed by the staff.

Encroachments were also removed from Jawaharnagar Camp, Ferozpur Road and Kochar Market.



Free consultation for poor patients
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 29
The Sibia Medical Centre announced free consultation and diagnostic facilities for economically poor patients during evenings on all weekdays.

Announcement was made on conclusion of a free medical and health awareness camp organised here recently.

A team of experts led by directors of the organisation warned the patients against factors responsible for increased incidences of cardiovascular diseases. They were advised to abstain from smoking and avoid junk food and high salt intake, besides adopting stress-free lifestyle.

Showing concern over increasing cost of treatment of heart ailments, the organisers announced that the economically poor patients would be provided free consultation and ECG facility from 5 pm to 7 pm on all weekdays.



Destined to design
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
Designer couple Monika and Kapil Arora could well have been leading the life of an average Delhi industrialist had it not been for a quirk of fate.

They were destined to step into the world of fashion. The two will be in the city on July 30 to showcase their collection during “Wedding Asia”.

“During a trip to Goa, we just decided to start something creative and since Monika was always interested in designing, we started with our designer label,” they say.

Working together is an added advantage for both as they try to keep their egos aside while working.

The marketing part is looked after by Kapil, while Monika takes care of the production aspect. “When it comes to designing, both of us work it out together,” they quip.

Their collection comprises heavily embellished lehengas, sarees, cocktail gowns, tunics. India is ruled by women of different skin tones, so does their collection, which is a medley of pinks, beige, mauve, reds, black, blues and white.

Among fabrics, there is an extensive play of velvet, brocades, chandelier net for the inners and many other imported fabrics that are designed in such a way that they are easy to drape.

“Most of the outfits are ready to wear, making it just perfect for the women of today. The embroideries done are very modern and bold where Swarvoski rules the embellishment, which makes the sarees and gowns light yet dazzling. Our philosophy is to not to just design but give a second skin to those who wear our clothes,” said Monika.

After starting their first store in April, 2007, Kapil and Monika have been a regular presence at fashion shows and fairs and their works can be seen showcased at events like Vivaha, not to mention exhibitions in Dubai and Oman, which are big international markets for the company.

In fact, an exhibition held in Muscat recently, attended by both well-heeled NRI crowd as well as Oman’s royal family, was quite well received.

Bollywood Diva Karisma Kapoor, Mugdha Godse, Mahie Gill, Diana Hayden along with popular TV and film actress Prachi Desai have been draped by them and their client list includes names like Yukta Mookhey and Femina Miss India Ekta Choudhary from the world of films and society.

Despite their celebrity clients, the designers are also clear that their work remains for the “real woman and men” of today.



Educationists condemn direct admissions
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
In an attempt to secure their “business”, small-time professional institutes in the region are encouraging direct admissions of students. However, educationists feel the practice tantamounts commercialisation of education.

They say it is detrimental to the spirit of competition as well as to the system of entrance test-based admissions, which are “fair, transparent and based on merit”.

The revelation is based on a survey which found that a rising number of students in Punjab are going in for direct admissions for engineering and management courses in the institutes of their choice despite the fact that seats are available through counselling, which takes place on the basis of various entrance tests.

“This is happening because many institutes are offering direct admissions to students in order to fill their seats, which would otherwise, remain vacant in case the managements depended on the counselling system of admissions,” Dr KNS Kang, director-general, Punjab College of Technical Education, states.

He terms the practice as being detrimental to the education system. “While the institutes want to ensure the filling of all seats, students prefer the system because it eases the burden of entrance tests. Moreover, not everybody is able to crack the entrance test and for them, direct admission is the easiest way to get into a professional course,” he says.

It was doing more harm than good. “The quality of MBAs, MCAs and engineering students is going down,” he claims.

“The fact that direct admissions have more takers has been corroborated by the decreasing number of participation of students in CET and MBA/MCA counselling sessions conducted across Punjab.

The number of students who apply for entrance tests may be rising each year, but the number decreases when the students actually appear for the test. The number of students further falls at the time of counselling,” says Dr MP Kaushal, principal of the Ludhiana Group of Colleges.

Though the students have dreams of joining prestigious universities, they do not prepare enough for the entrance tests. “Low ranks in tests compel them to go in for admissions in colleges near their place and the colleges cash in on this fact,” he says.

Moreover, the fee structure is the same for direct admissions as through counselling, he remarks, adding that over 500 students have already visited his campus.

“Students from other states also visit local colleges. Hence, the participation in counselling for outside Punjab quota seats also decreases,” he adds.

Subhash Grover, who owns several engineering, management and dental colleges in Punjab, including the Ludhiana Group of Colleges, says unfortunately, most colleges rely on direct admissions. Favouring the counselling system of admission, he says: “Counselling gives an equal chance to all students to join the college of their choice.”



Spring Dale school annex titles
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 29
The students of Spring Dale Public School, Sherpur road, performed well to annex titles in the Ludhiana Inter-School Zonal Tournament held at different venues here yesterday.

In the boys’ under-14 and under-17 categories (volleyball), the players from the school romped home champions.

In the under-14 category, Spring Dale Public School defeated DAV Public School and in the under-17 group, Spring Dale Public School outnumbered DAV Public School, Sarabha Nagar, to emerge victorious.

In handball (boys’ U-19) event, Spring Dale Public School secured the second position, while in the under-14 and under-17 categories, the students of Spring Dale Public School finished at the third place.

Spring Dale Public School director and founder-principal Avinash Kaur Walia along with headmistress Kamalpreet appreciated the students for their achievements.



10-month-old murder case cracked, one held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
The local police has cracked a 10-month-old murder case with the arrest of a Sherpur Kalan resident.

Accused Gurpreet Singh, alias Ganja, was arrested yesterday by Focal Point police station SHO Sandeep Kumar Wadera and Sherpur police station in charge Dalip Singh following a tip-off.

Addressing mediapersons here today, ADCP Sushil Kumar said: “Gurpreet Singh confessed to the crime during interrogation and told the police that he had killed Ashok Kumar to meet his needs for drugs. He had robbed the victim of Rs 500 and a mobile phone.”

The ADCP added that a number of theft and snatching cases had already been registered against the accused at the Shimlapuri and Focal Point police stations.

The murder had taken place on September 26 last year. “Ashok Kumar, a resident of Muslim Colony, Sherpur Kalan, was found murdered in the area. The victim’s chest bore injury marks inflicted with a sharp-edged weapon,” he said.

He said on September 28, a case under Section 302 of the IPC was registered against unknown persons at the Focal Point police station following a complaint by victim’s brother Mukesh Kumar.

“Considering the nature of the injuries on Ashok’s body, we had registered a case of murder.”

The victim belonged to Fatehpur district in Uttar Pradesh and was a factory worker.

“The police had been groping in the dark due to lack of evidence in the case but investigations finally bore fruit,” he added.



2 women among 5 booked 
Our Correspondent

Raikot, July 29
The Jhorran shooting case that left one injured has taken a twist as the accused, Beant Singh, has confessed to having shot the youth, Murli, who along with his other accomplices, had been blackmailing him for a year with regard to some objectionable photographs with a woman.

Beant Singh (52), who was arrested under various sections of the Arms Act, told the police that he was being blackmailed by Murli and his accomplices. They demanded Rs 2 lakh from him for not circulating the photographs and the video. The deal was struck at Rs 1 lakh, which he paid. But they again approached him and sought Rs 2 lakh. When he refused to do so, they reached his home and threatened to expose him in front of his family and villagers. He relented and gave Rs 1.4 lakh, but later when they refused to hand over the material to him and demanded more money, he called them at a gurdwara to settle the issue. When they refused to stop bothering him, he fired a shot.

The police, on the statement of Beant Singh, has booked Anwar Kumar, Murli, an unidentified person and two women for blackmailing.

The women have been identified as Jinder Kaur (40) of Jhorran village and Mona (25), a neighbour of Jinder Kaur. The women have reportedly corroborated the statement of Beant Singh and confessed that they were part of the blackmailing gang with Murli heading it.

They said Murli would send them to “clients” and later take photographs.



Akali leader’s brother held with illicit liquor
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 29
An Excise Inspector yesterday intercepted an Alto owned by the general secretary of the Youth Akali Dal, Ludhiana, and being driven by his brother. As many as 72 bottles of country-made liquor were seized.

The naka was laid at Sherpur Chowk. The car is owned by an Akali leader of Ramgarh Bhullar village and even bore his designation plate. The car was being driven by his brother Rajpal Singh who had allegedly bought liquor from a vend at Ajitwal to sell in his village at a premium.

Sources revealed that the accused had been nabbed several times earlier, too, for smuggling opium, poppy husk and liquor, but escaped police action.

The car was intercepted in the morning, but it took the police over 12 hours to register a case against him. Rajpal Singh has been booked under various sections of the Excise Act.



1 killed in road mishap

Jagraon, July 29
A boy was killed today when the driver of the car in which he was travelling lost control over the car and rammed it into a truck going in front of them near Lela Megh Singh village near here.

In the road mishap, Gagandeep Singh, alias Mehar (17) died on the spot. The accident occurred today afternoon when Gagandeep Singh along with Raj Singh of Sheikh Daulat village and Jasmail Singh of Sherpur Kalan village were trailing in Swift car (PB-59-1233) behind a wheat chaff loaded (overloaded) truck (PB-29-9983) from Jagraon towards Sidhwan Bet.

When the car driver tried to take over the truck, another vehicle came from the front. The driver got confused and rammed the car into the truck killing Gagandeep on the spot. The driver of the truck fled from the spot leaving the truck behind. The police has registered a case against the unidentified truck driver. — OC



Courts complex gets 2 elevators 
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 29
In a much-needed relief to lawyers and visitors, two elevators were inaugurated in the eight-storey lawyers’ chamber complex-II to the at the district courts here today.

District and Sessions Judge SP Bangarh inaugurated the elevators and inspected the newly constructed building for lawyers.

There had been a growing need for elevators as it was getting difficult for lawyers and public to access the upper floors through stairs.

Chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for members of the District Bar Association.

Earlier, District Bar Association president Naval Kishore Chhibber, vice-president ND Chopra, secretary Gurpreet Singh Virk, joint secretary Jaspreet Singh Jassowal and former DBA president Parupkar Singh Ghumman extended a warm welcome to the Sessions Judge and Dhanda.

Chhiber said the process of joining the newly constructed building with the judicial complex on each floor was in progress.

It would help lawyers having chambers in the complex get an easy access to the judicial complex.



Shingaar blast accused in police remand
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 29
The court of Judicial Magistrate Vikrant Kumar today remanded the alleged conspirator of Shingar Cinema blast case, Harminder Singh, in police custody till August 4.

He was arrested with the permission of a Khanna court, before which he was produced in some other case.

The trial of Shingaar Cinema blast case had been going on in a local court. He was declared a proclaimed offender in the case.

The additional public prosecutor had sought his remand to unravel the entire conspiracy.

It was argued that the police wanted to know about those who had helped the accused in carrying out the blast.

Besides, it was not yet known as to who extended financial assistance to the accused or taught him how to make a bomb.



Doraha Public School eves net trophies
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 29
Doraha Public School, Doraha, won titles in the girls’ under-14 and 17 categories in the Ludhiana Zonal Level Inter-School Basketball Tournament organised by the education department at Doraha today.

In the u-14 as well as u-17 years sections, Sri Guru Harkishan Public School, Doraha, finished runners-up, while Kalangidhar Academy, Dugri, secured third position in the under-17 group.

In the under-19 category, Mehta Gurukul Senior Secondary School, Doraha, and Tagore International School, Sahnewal, secured first and second positions, respectively.

Umal Kaur and Jitender Kaur, chairperson and principal, respectively, of Doraha Public School congratulated the girls and their teachers for bringing fame to the school.



BVM lads corner glory
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 29
Bhartiya Vidya Mandir (BVM), Kitchlu Nagar branch, added another title to their kitty by registering a 1-0 victory over Sutlej Public School, Ludhiana, to come out triumphant in the Ludhiana Inter-Zonal Football Tournament for boys u-17 organised by the education department at Amrit Indo Canadian Academy, Ladiyan, near here, today.

Earlier, in the quarterfinal, BVM boys defeated BVM, Udham Singh Nagar branch, 2-0 to advance into the last-four stage.

In the semifinal, BVM beat Government Senior Secondary School, Noorpur, 3-0.

In the final, BVM pipped Sutlej Public School 1-0 to emerge as winners. The all-important goal came in the 37th minute through Gautam.



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