L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Widow strangled at Indra Colony
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
A 73-year-old woman was strangulated to death and bundled in a double bed in her house at Indra Colony near the Tajpur road.

The victim has been identified as Amarjit Kaur. She was living alone in the house following the death of her husband Om Parkash, a retired GRP officer, who died in 2001.

The incident came to light this morning when a neighbour, who runs a grocery store in the locality, informed Umesh Kumar, a relative of the victim, about the stench emanating from the house of Amarjit.

“I told the neighbour to open the door and ask Amarjit about the cause of the smell, but he replied that the house was locked and he called me assuming that she -- Amarjit -- was staying at my house,” said Umesh.

Umesh got suspicious and reached the house along with Prince, maternal grandson of Amrajit, and broke the locks.

On entering the house, the relatives opened the bed, which was emitting the foul smell, and found the mutilated body of Amarit. The family members further informed the police about the incident and took the body out of the double bed.

According to investigating officer, the victim was strangulated to death with an electrical wire. The assailant then tied her legs and hands and bundled her body in a double bed.

The accused even locked the door from outside so the neighbours could not get inkling about the incident and he gets time to escape.

“It was a meticulously planned murder. The accused might have committed the crime four or five days ago. We suspect that the accused might have fled the city by now,” said an official on the condition of anonymity.

The body was taken to the civil hospital for the postmortem. In the meantime the fingerprint experts and dog squad were also pressed into service. The police was questioning the neighbours about the presence of suspect. Umesh said the assailants might have laid their hands on jewellery and cash.

The family members categorically slammed the theory of property dispute or any internal strife to be the reason behind the murder of the septuagenarian.

The victim had two daughters and both of them were married long ago.

In the meantime, division number 7 police has registered the murder case against unidentified assailants and started the investigation.

However, the theory of murder for money did not go down well with the police. “Robbers could have easily robed a 73-year-old woman by simply overpowering her as the fragile victim could not pose any restriction. What was the need of killing her? There is something else to the story,” said a cop.


Armed robbers kill two, critically injure 2
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, September 23
Two people including a teenaged boy were murdered in cold blood by robbers who broke into a house in Muneem colony here at midnight and decamped with Rs 3 lakh in cash and a car. Two women were seriously injured in the incident.

The deceased have been identified as Sonu, 32, and his nephew, Ravi Kumar, 15, and the injured as Sonu's wife, Shallu, 27, and Ravi's mother, Kamlesh Rani. This is the third homicide in the town in the past 15 days.

The robbers entered the house belonging to Om Parkash, who is in his sixties, last night and asked him to hand over the keys of a steel cabinet in one of the rooms. The elderly man told them he was ill and unable to stand up.

In the meantime, the intruders entered the other room where they attacked his son, Sonu, and his daughter-in-law, Shalu, with sharp edged weapons. They also attacked Ravi and Kamlesh. Both Sonu and Ravi died before they could be taken to hospital.

The assailants then took cash amounting to about Rs 3 and some other valuables by breaking open the steel cabinet and fled in a Maruti car that was parked outside the house. Shalu then raised hue and cry and later became unconscious.

Parkash said he had recently concluded an agreement to sell his house for Rs 24 lakh and had taken Rs 3 lakh as advance. He said the attackers were well aware there was cash in the house.

Police officials later arrived at the scene and the injured women, who were in a critical condition, were taken to Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana. A dog squad was also pressed into service.

The cops registered a case under section 302 of the IPC against Gurjeet Singh Bittu, a resident of Kalal Majra, and his servant, Jashan, following a statement submitted to them by Kamlesh. The police is working on different theories after it learnt that Kamlesh knew Bittu.



Bike-borne snatchers rob 4
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
Two motorcycle borne snatchers robbed four people at different locations in the old city area in the wee hours today before the police reportedly arrested one of them. The duo is said to be behind 50 snatching incidents in the city during the past few months.

A taxi driver, Nikka, who was their first victim, narrated his experience: “It was about 4 am and I was waiting for passengers near the Pandit Parantha Wala eatery on Chauri Sarak to take them to Delhi. In the meantime two youths on a motorbike arrived where I was sitting in my taxi and began abusing me. The moment I rolled down the window to ask them the reason the one sitting on the pillion put a knife to my neck and ordered me not to raise an alarm. They took my mobile phone and my wallet containing Rs 4,500”.

While the snatchers were fleeing Nikka jotted down the of the motorbike’s registration number. A tea vendor who witnessed the incident offered his cellphone to the taxi driver, who rang up the police helpline number -100 - lodged a complaint.

Nikka later went to the division no 1 police station to file a written complaint but the cops refused to register the case. They told him the incident had occurred in the Ghas Mandi area, which was under the jurisdiction of the division no 3 police.

While the hapless taxi driver was shuttling between the two police stations, the two suspects committed three more snatchings in the Khud Mohalla, CMC Chowk and Kidwai Nagar areas.

The suspects also reportedly stabbed a man near Sanglan Wale Shivale. According to sources one of them was nabbed near Kidwai Nagar. The police said it was investigating the matter.

The snatchers operated in the old city area and used to target their victims during the wee hours. Their “modus operandi” was to pick up a fight with the victim on minor issues. While one of them was engaged in a heated argument with the victim the other used to put a knife to the latter’s neck and rob him of his cash and valuable belongings.

Two days ago the suspects, who are said to be chronic drug addicts, reportedly snatched a laptop and cash from a youth after putting a knife to his neck.



Seven business premises surveyed
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
After a halt of nearly two months, the income tax department has once again geared up for surveys and raids. Nearly 150 companies are on the list of the department and the proceedings have begun from today.

Under the directions of the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, GS Randhawa, surveys were conducted in ranges I, II and VII.

Surveys were held at Sewak Forging Pvt Ltd, Sethi Garments, King’s Villa resort, RS Builders, Gurbir Builders Pvt Ltd, Royal Developers and Builders and Cigal Builders.

Surveys were carried till late in the evening and the department suspects that undisclosed income worth crores will be unearthed from these surveys.

The non-cooperation by gazetted officers and staff due to their long-pending demands had brought the surveys to a standstill and then the missing Additional Commissioner, Umesh Chandra, had left the staff disturbed.

Worried about their targets, senior officials realised this was the time to swing into action. “Surveys and raids were delayed due to the non-cooperation of the staff. We alone cannot hold raids or surveys and need the staff by our side to conduct the raids,” an official said.

Raids and surveys will be carried on tax payees who had shown less income in papers while in actual there income was more.

Panic has gripped traders who are trying to find out the names/premises on the list that have to be raided and surveyed.

Survey or raid?

Tax professional Jatinder Khurana said there was a thin line between raid and survey. A survey is conducted under Section 133 (a) and officials can only search the business premises, but if the assessee himself says that cash books and other records are kept at his residence, the raiding team can visit the residential premises as well. Raid is conducted under Section 132 and under this, a unit, office, factory, shop, godown and residential premises can be raided. The raiding team also takes into account the bank accounts and lockers



Man dies of H1N1, another tests positive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
Mandher Singh (51), who was tested positive for swine flu, died yesterday at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

The patient was a resident of Bathinda and was admitted in the DMCH earlier this week following the symptoms of H1N1 influenza.

Another youth from Ludhiana was tested positive at the DMCH, who is undergoing treatment at the hospital.

His swab sample was sent for testing at the PGI, Chandigarh. The patient has been kept in quarantine care at the hospital and the health authorities have also started the preventive treatment for the contacts of the patient.

The total number of swine flu deaths in the state has gone up to 12 out of which three deaths were from Ludhiana.

During this season, a total of 52 samples of swine flu were sent from various hospitals of Ludhiana for testing at the PGI. Six out of 11 samples that tested positive for H1N1 infection were from Ludhiana while the remaining five were from other districts of Punjab.

District epidemiologist Dr GP Mangla, when contacted, said the coming season was conducive for the spread of swine flu. He added that, “People should take precautions while going out as they should refrain from interacting with people with symptoms of swine flu.”

Dr Mangla said hand washing hygiene was the best prevention against all infections.



Babri verdict delay comes as relief for cops
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
The Supreme Court’s decision to delay the high court judgment on the Babri Masjid issue till September 28 has given a much-needed breather to the police. Its concern was heightened by the fact that the verdict was due to be pronounced on Friday, the day when Muslims gather at Jama Masjid in the old city to offer ‘namaz’ (prayers).

A cop said on condition of anonymity: "Already emotions are running high and possible mischief by antisocial elements following the pronouncement of the verdict could have led to an ugly situation."

An uneasy calm prevailed in the old city, which is considered to be a "communally sensitive" area.

The local police, after successfully handling the angry protests a few days ago after a church was burnt in Malerkotla, is again on tenterhooks. With tension brewing in the old city, the police has begun conducting flag marches in the city’s “sensitive areas” and has even imposed section 144 CrPC, restricting the assembly of over five people.

Extra cops have been deployed in the old city area to ensure peace ahead of the verdict. Doorframe metal detectors have also been installed at places of worship.

"It all depends upon the high court’s judgment on the issue. I hope and pray everything goes well. The city has already seen a lot of violence during the past year," said Sarabjit Singh, a resident of BRS Nagar.



Villages on alert as Sutlej swells
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
Following a sudden surge in the water level of the Sutlej last evening, the district administration has put villages located near the Garhi-Mattewara dhussi bundh on high alert.

At least 70,000 cusecs of water was released by the BBMB in the past 24 hours, resulting in constant erosion of the Garhi-Mattewara dhussi bundh.

With water flowing just one foot below the level of fields, villagers are living under constant threat of flood.

A team of workers hired by the drainage department, assisted by villagers, have been making every effort to save the bundh from giving way.

Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari is supervising the ongoing work to fix the bundh. Trees, sand bags and earth are being used to reinforce the bundh.

“It is unfortunate that the bundh was not repaired for so many years but we are grateful to the administration for taking steps to save it,” said Bhupinder Singh, a resident of Katiana village.

“The Deputy Commissioner along with senior officials from the drainage department and the municipal corporation was here till wee hours to keep the work going at the bundh site,” the villager went on to add.

Desperation was writ large on the face of Mukhtiar Singh, who owns eight acres of land near Mattewara, as, after having diversified to maize and vegetable crop, the farmer was expecting good returns from his produce.

Dr Vinod Jindal, deputy director, department of animal husbandry, said following the rise in water level in the Sutlej, they had shifted sheep from their farm to a buffalo farm on the other side of the road.



’84 Riots
Body seeks relief for all affected families
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 23
The Danga Peerit Welfare Society, Punjab, has called for implementation of the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court with regard to immediate allotment of residential houses/booths to victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in letter and spirit.

They also reiterated their demand for disbursement of Rs 2 lakh grant to eligible families whose cases were rejected by the administration on frivolous grounds.

Addressing mediapersons here today, society president Surjit Singh expressed his reservation on the intention of the district authorities in making allotment to each of the 1,700 eligible riot-hit families.

“Even though the High Court has reprimanded the district administration for delay caused in allotment of residential flats to riot victims, the officials still appear to be reluctant to provide relief and rehabilitation to each and every eligible family.”

He made it clear that any further delay in allotment of flats/booths or else, leaving even a portion of the intended beneficiaries in the lurch, would not be tolerated.

“In case the authorities failed to give effect to explicit directions of the High Court and decision of the state government made at the highest level, the riot victims will be forced to take other steps to seek dispensation of justice.”

Surjit Singh challenged the decision of the administration vide which some 200 red-card holders (proof of being riot affected) out of 670-odd cases were denied the one-time cash grant of Rs 2 lakh without assigning any valid reasons.

“The administration has overstepped its authority in refusing cash assistance to riot-affected families on frivolous grounds and the decision ought to be reviewed.”

He announced that the society had formed a 21-member action committee to oversee all work relating to allotment of flats/booths and verification of red cards.

The committee will submit its detailed report by September 30 after which all related issues will be taken up with the authorities concerned.



Government staff strike hits work
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
Visitors to various public offices were inconvenienced as public work was boycotted by government employees, who observed a pen-down strike under the banner of the Punjab State Ministerial Services Union here today.

The employees led by outfit president Vijay Marajara sat in their offices and boycotted work.

Consequently, visitors had to go back without getting their works done.

All public offices, including those in the mini secretariat, sewerage and water supply department, treasury, etc. witnessed the strike.

The striking employees have been demanding a rise in the pay scale of clerks, who despite being graduates were being paid on matriculate’s grade.

The employees will continue with their strike tomorrow.



Ethiopia invites farmers to cultivate land
Our Correspondent

Samrala, September 23
Ethiopian minister Mehreteab Mulugeta has said the his government will provide guarantee of life and property to those investors from India, mainly from Punjab, who invest in that country in agriculture sector.

The counsellor of economics and business said: “We are offering this as we know Punjab farmers are hard working and are capable of making virgin land fertile.”

He was interacting with a group of farmers here to apprise them of the offer made by his government.

He said the Ethiopian Government had an agreement with the Government of India to insure investment in that country.

He said their government offered 5,000 to 50,000 hectares to a company at the rate of $ 10 per hectare per year.

They could import machinery meant for agriculture tax-free.

He said although the entrepreneurs could bring along labour, it was available at cheap rates in their country as well.

They had excess electricity, generated from hydro projects, at economical rates, he added. Also, investors were exempt from income tax for seven years.

He said power connection or any type of licence or permit was provided within 12 hours.

The government had identified around 107 lakh hectares and constituted a land bank to allocate the land to investors.

He added that crops like coffee, tea, sugarcane, flowers, horticulture and pulses could be grown on the land there.

The land offered by the government was located around 700 km from capital Adis Ababa.

The investors would initially be given business visa for three months and later issued permanent residence visa.

The minister along with Mandi Board chairman Ajmer Singh Lakhowal later toured villages like Lakhowal and Mehlon and inspected crops.



Chhapar drowns in festive colour
Anshu Seth/Mahesh Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chhapar/Ludhiana, September 23
Woven in the rainbow colours of festivity, hundreds of devotees of “Naag Devta” from Malwa region offered prayers at the Guha Marhi on the concluding day of three-day Chappar Mela at Chappar village of Ludhiana district.

An amalgamation of diverse cultures, the mela was visited by people belonging to Hindu, Sikh and Muslim communities, who could be seen worshipping together at the historic peer of Gugga Marhi.

The recreational mood of visitors was marked by their “Up for the grabs” attitude as right from completing the ritual of taking out soil at the peer and watching the stuntman on the bike driving in “maut ka kuan”, they were seen savouring conventional sweets.

The tribal groups from Haryana and Rajasthan, the ardent followers of Gugga peer are among the regular visitors, who added to the fervour of the Chappar Mela.

Maina said, “We belong to the Baghria tribe in Haryana and have settled in Chappar for the past 25 years. But, Chappar Mela is a reunion for us with our tribe.”

Simplicity was the distinct element in the mela as a majority of men were dressed in white and blue kurta-pajamas, while women were attired in Punjabi salwar-kameez in vibrant colours.

Interestingly, people were oblivious to the repeated announcements made by the police department on the “security alerts” in favour of the public safety.

Cops on toes

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Shifting of venues of conferences of political parties, including the SAD and Congress last evening, kept cops on toes throughout the night.

While the venues announced earlier fell under the jurisdiction of Ludhiana (rural) police district, with headquarters at Jagraon, the palace, where apex leaders of the SAD were to address activists fell under the jurisdiction of Khanna police district.

Officials in the Ludhiana police district remained on their toes and heightened the security outside a private rice mill, where copters of the Deputy CM and other VIPs were to land. The changed site for the Congress conference falls under the jurisdiction of Sangrur police.

Cops from at least four districts swung into action after they came to know about the shifting of venues. Earlier, the conferences were to be held at Chhapar village, but due to adverse weather conditions there, the venues had to be changed. Though the rain had started pouring late in the evening yesterday, organisers hoped that it would stop after a few hours. Failing to find some suitable place in vicinity of the venue of the mela, the SAD leaders announced to organise the conference at Milap Palace near Jagera Bridge, which falls under Payal sub-division of the Khanna police district. DSP Payal was directed to make necessary arrangements. The Dehlon police kept on guarding the compound of the rice mill till late night.

Politicians unmoved by farmers’ loss

As if the incessant rain was not enough to give sleepless nights to farmers, false promises of politicians have just added to their woes.

A number of politicians held press conferences at Chhapar and Jagera villages, but none of them bothered to lend a helping hand to farmers, who lost their paddy crop in the rain.

Accusing leaders of exploiting the occasion for harnessing political mileage only, farmers regretted that none of them showed concern over massive losses suffered by them.

The administration, including revenue officials, too, remained busy making arrangements for political leaders and no action was initiated to assess the damage caused to the crops.

Organisations fighting for interests of peasants have urged the higher authorities to order special girdwaries to asses the losses and give compensation to the affected paddy producers.

Farmers said the incessant rain had dashed their hopes.

While fields in the vicinity of habitations remained unaffected, showers had caused massive damage to ripened paddy crop in fields situated along highways and link roads.

Farmers of Jitwal, Kup Kalan, Jandali Kalan, Jandali Khurad, Chhapar, Latala, Jartoli, Pakhowal, Rachhin, Barundi, Andaloo, Rauni, Kalakh, Ghungrana, Dhulkot, Khera, Jurahan and Pohir villages were the worst affected.

Farmers apprehended losses due to qualitative and quantitative degradation.

Jasbir Singh Sekhon, a botanist, said yield and quality of the crop would be affected equally in case of early and late-sown varieties.

Kuldeep Singh Grewal, a farmer of Pakhowal village, said vegetative and floral parts of paddy crop had been immersed in standing water in fields.

“While wetting and quality degradation will damage early-sown varieties, yield would decrease substantially in case of late-sown varieties,” said Grewal.

Accusing political leaders of turning a blind eye to the core issues of farmers, office-bearers of Kissan Organisations led by Baldev Singh urged the higher authorities, including the Prime Minister and Union Agriculture Minister, to impress upon the state government to initiate process for compensating farmers.

Cattle market loses sheen

The Chhapar cattle market, once known as the biggest cattle markets of the North India, is losing its sheen among suppliers to organised forces.

Alleged pathetic role of the state government was cited as major reason behind the tendency. Instead of promoting the trade, the state government had left the cattle lovers on the mercy of private contractors, who failed to provide facilities to them, alleged animal lovers.

Surjit Singh, an employee of a contractor, on the other hand, maintained that they had been providing all facilities to cattle and traders. The contractor maintained that they had been suffering losses due to poor turnover at the mandis in the district.

Babu Khan Taggar, who has been undertaking horse trade for five decades, told The Tribune that the site, which used to be left for stay, display and demonstration of horses and other cattle, had since been occupied for organising conferences and other commercial purposes. The dealers and horse lovers now had been shifted to a remote area at the mela site.

The new site, besides being unmanageable, was not accessible to public visiting the mela. There was no arrangement of drinking water or fodder for animals.

“Though we have to pay Rs 50 per horse as entry fee and 4 per cent on all transactions, we have to make our own arrangements for the stay of horses,” anguished Taggar.

Karamjit Singh of Bhadson who had been visiting cattle fair for many years regretted the number of animals arriving here had decreased substantially during past years.

Around 200 animals, including 50-60 horses, 50 mares and 30-35 colts and fillies had arrived this year for sale. But only a few transactions materialised.

Like many other animal owners, he criticised the contractors for charging Rs 50 and Rs 100 as rent for tempos and trucks and carrying cattle to the mela site.

Horses and mule suppliers led by Ramesh Behal from Dehradoon demanded that adequate arrangements should be made for animals that were brought here for display and pay obeisance at Gugga Mari. At least temporary veterinary dispensary should be organised, demanded the traders.

All loss, no gain

Goods worth lakhs were reportedly damaged and financial losses worth lakhs were incurred due to rain on the occasion of Chhapar Mela yesterday. The shifting of venues for political conferences to faraway places was also cited as another reason for the losses.

Goods and fixtures worth lakhs were damaged at the mela venue due to heavy rain during the past two days. Owners of vends who had spent huge amounts on setting up the stalls apprehended massive losses.

Rent for the land acquired for a stall, labour charges and advance payment of rent for tents and fixtures are expenses that cannot be adjusted in future events.

Owners of stalls selling traditional sweets feared that their unsold stocks would be unsuitable for consumption. Organisers of mini circuses, joyrides and “maut ka kuan” were among the biggest losers.

Gurcharan Singh claimed that he had already spent more than Rs 10 lakh on erecting fun rides and swings. He had also spent quite a bit on transportation and labour charges.

“While possession of land was delayed due to confusion over the right to auction the common land, fabrication of structures was staggered due to restrictions by the administration,” he said, urging the authorities to allow the owners to continue business for some more days beyond the scheduled conclusion tomorrow.

Ashok Kumar, a tent house owner from Ambala who has been camping at the mela site for three weeks, said he would not be able to make good the expenses incurred on shifting the material here.

Owners of tent houses who had pitched tents for political conferences said they had suffered huge losses due to the damage caused to the tents and electrical equipment, including fans.

Chinese toys take over conventional ones

China made cheap plastic toys replaced the conventional wooden replicas of trucks, tractors and jeeps, which were once the most-sought after toys for the rural children coming to the Chappar Mela. So much so that the algoza, bugdu, toomba, dhol, dafli were nowhere to be seen, but it was just the noise of the machines running the giant wheels, merry go rounds and the car racers

People outsmart political leaders

Having used the vehicles of the SAD and Congress parties for coming to the political rallies, people ditched leaders, as instead of listening to the speeches, they went ahead to enjoy the fair.The youth after getting down from the buses and SUVs arranged by the MLAs of respective areas took a u-turn from the rally venues and went to enjoy the festivities of the mela. However, they were wise enough to come back to their respective vehicles soon after the political rallies were over

Plea to admn

Apprehending huge losses due to rain at Chhappar Mela, contractors and organisers of conferences, stalls and joyrides have urged the administration to extend the fair for more days so that the losses could be contained.



Wave Cinema owner fined ` 11,500
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 23
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered the owner of Wave Cinema, Westend Mall, to pay Rs 11,500 to a person whose stereo was stolen from their parking, when he went there to see a movie.

Pronouncing the order, members of forum, Rajesh Kumar and Priti Malhotra, also ordered them to pay Rs 2,000 for causing harassment and thrusting litigation upon the consumer.

The orders came on a complaint moved by Arun Mehra of Upkar Nagar, Civil Lines, Ludhiana. The complainant had submitted before the forum that on October 1 last year he had parked his car (PB-22-C-0078) in authorised parking place of Wave Cinema at Westend Mall, Ferozepur Road, Ludhiana.

The authorised person concerned at parking place also issued a receipt in this regard to him.

Around 9.30 pm, on the same day, the complainant took his car after making the payment of the parking charges. When he tried to put on the car stereo he was shocked to see that it was stolen. It was of the make JVC amounting to Rs 11,500.

He immediately informed the security in charge about the theft and on his advice general manager Prabhjot Singh was contacted on his mobile. The GM assured Mehra that he would help him and also assured to compensate.

A written complaint was handed over to the security in charge, but he refused to acknowledge the same. He also told the complainant that it was a routine matter and he would be compensated on account of theft, added Mehra.

Thereafter, the complainant constantly tried to contact the GM but he deliberately did not attend the phone calls. At last he got issued a legal notice on October 6, 2009 calling upon to make the payment of stolen articles. But the opposite party did not respond, alleged the complainant.

The consumer forum issued notice of the complaint to the owner of Wave Cinema but they failed to appear despite issuance of repeated registered notices. Consequently, they were proceeded ex-parte on August 6.

After appreciating the evidence on record, the forum observed that the complainant succeeded in proving the allegations levelled in the case. The forum also took note of the conduct of the owner of Wave Cinema in not responding to the legal notice served by the consumer and notices sent by the forum itself.



Ayodhya Case Verdict
400 cops take out flag march
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 23
To instil sense of security and confidence among residents of the region inhabited by members of two communities waiting for the verdict on the Ayodhya case, a convoy of at least 30 vehicles carrying about 400 cops organised a flag march in localities falling under jurisdiction of Amargarh police circle.

The march, organised under supervision of SSP, Sangrur, HS Bhullar, was led by Gurpreet Singh Sikand, DSP, Amargarh.

Addressing residents, Sikand said the district police had deputed an adequate number of patrolling parties to keep an eye on miscreants in their respective beats.

Cautioning residents against spread of rumours, Sikand called upon officers of social and political organisations to inform beat in charges about any anti-social activities taking place in their respective areas.

The flag march passed through Momnabad, Akbarpur, Jandali Kalan, Jandali Khurad, Chhanna, Malikpur, Rohira, Baurhai Kalan, Kanganwal, Dulma and Kup villages.



INIFD students try hand at clay pottery
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
A six-day workshops “India Haat” on photography, pottery and sculpture making is being organised at International Institute of Fashion Design. The workshop will help students discover and express their individual style of creativity.

The aim of the workshop is to make budding designers feel close to the nature; its resources available to them and how natural things can be moulded in different ways to create unique designs.

Skilled artisans have been invited to teach students about clay pottery. The spirit of excitement and enthusiasm can be seen in the eyes of budding designers. Budding designers will make use of the pottery wheel and clay to create functional objects in clay like vases, pots, earthen lamps and many more.

For fashion students, the photography workshop is proving to be an asset, as they are learning how to capture drapes and embroideries in their frame. Sonal Kalra, a first year student, excitedly added that she had started developing her interest in fashion photography as an addition to her degree course in fashion designing.

For students learning interior designing, it is an opportunity to learn how lighting and its use can make difference to their usual design portfolio. They are also gaining knowledge about different perspectives, vanishing points and angles, which in turn will be a big help to them in understanding the visual appearance of different elements of designs.

“Making art and craft is my hobby as well as my profession,” says Surmeet Kaur, who has done postgraduation in computer animation (England Bedfordshire). She is also an expert in sculpture making. She has been invited by INIFD Ludhiana to teach one of the most interesting forms of art, which involves shaping and moulding versatile materials into different shapes and forms. The workshop commenced yesterday.



Plywood prices head north
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
Prices of commercial and waterproof plywood have gone up by 5 and 8 per cent, respectively, following an increase in the prices of raw material.

Plywood manufacturers blame the rising prices of phenol for the same. Plywood prices were hiked by 7 per cent in July alone.

“The price of phenol had gone up by 30 per cent recently. We have urged the central government to look into the matter. The three major companies that manufacture phenol have increased the prices,” said Inderjit Singh Sohal, president of the Punjab Plywood Manufacturers Association.

“The input cost of wood has gone up by 25 to 35 per cent in the past four months, forcing us to raise the prices of plywood and board by seven per cent,” he added.

Nagesh, another plywood manufacturer at Bharat Nagar, said the hike in fuel prices had particularly hit them hard, as the chemicals they used were petro-based. Wood prices, too, have been following an upward trend due to shortage of poplar and other wood. In addition, a significant increase has taken place in labour charges in the past few months,” he said.

Even after the 8 per cent hike, they would not be able to cover the losses, he added.

According to another plywood maker Kartar Singh, they were already in trouble due to shortage of labour and the increase would involve investment of extra capital in the business.

Also, the prices of eucalyptus and poplar tree wood have shot up considerably in the past few months because of shortage.

“The price of eucalyptus wood has jumped to Rs 800 per quintal from Rs 600 per quintal, while that of poplar from Rs 800 per quintal to Rs 1,000 per quintal in the past four months,” he added.

Farmers should be advocated to grow more eucalyptus and poplar trees to control the rising prices, he opined.



CMC doc delivers lectures in Oz
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 23
Dr Jeyaraj D Pandian, professor of neurology at Christian Medical College (CMC), delivered a series of lectures in Melbourne recently.

He delivered a talk at the United Nations, department of public information, and NGO's 63rd annual meeting held in Melbourne, Australia.

He spoke on “stroke care services in developing countries” at a symposium on “cardiovascular diseases and stroke”. The symposium at the UN meeting was organised by the World Stroke Organisation, Australian Stroke Foundation and Australian Heart Foundation.

The visiting doctor from CMC delivered another invited lecture during a plenary session of the Stroke Society of Australasia annual meeting held in Melbourne. He spoke on the “organisation of stroke care services: an Indian perspective”. He dwelt on various aspects of “Indian Neurology”.

In his address at the Monash Medical Centre, Dr Pandian threw light on various interesting aspects of neurological diseases seen in India. He also had discussions with stroke experts at the Centre about collaborative research projects and exchange programmes.

During his visit, Dr Pandian also spoke during the CMC Ludhiana meetings that were held in Brisbane and Melbourne.



Vet scientist gets scholarship
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
Dr Jasbir Singh Bedi, assistant professor in the department of veterinary public health of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, has been awarded the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship-2010 by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK.

He will enrol as a doctorate scholar from October 4 for a period of one year at the School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton, the UK. His research project is proposed on endocrine disruptor chemicals in milk and milk products: analysis and risk assessment.

Dr JPS Gill, head of the department of veterinary public health, stated that the exposure on latest research on endocrine disruptor chemicals would immensely help him in the field of chemical residues detection and validation of analytical methods.

He will also work on techniques to delineate these compounds from the environment and focus on remediation measures. Dr Bedi is working in the area of pesticide residue analysis for the past seven years and he is associated with various research projects on environmental contaminants in food of animal origin. His professional competence and experience will further strengthen the research activities of the department on environment pollutants.



PAU Notes
Newsletter out

Ludhiana, September 23
The Entomology Club at the PAU brought out a semi-annual newsletter-Entomology Reporter which was released by Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, today.

Dr Kang said the department of entomology at the PAU had created a creditable niche at the national level.

“The toxicology lab of the department has been recognised as a referral laboratory for agro-chemical residue analysis at the national level,” he added.

He said the newsletter would connect entomologists not only from the PAU and its outstations, but also from rest of the state agricultural universities in the country.

AK Dhawan, president of the club, and head, department of entomology, said the publication would serve as an interesting medium for dissemination of highlights in research, teaching, extension education and extra-curricular programmes of the department.

Additional director of communication Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman said the department of entomology released two research journals-Indian Journal of Ecology and Advances in insect science. He said Entomology Reporter would serve as a potent instrument for projecting the entomological activities of the PAU.

Earlier, general secretary of the club Dr JS Virk welcomed Dr Kang and the faculty members of the department.


Students of College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology at PAU are getting attractive job offers even before the completion of their course.

Multinational companies (MNCs), manufacturing tractors, harvesters and other farm machines and those dealing with agro-processing visited the campus. Seven final year students of BTech (agricultural engineering) have been selected.

Dean of the college Dr PPS Lubana said two students-Gurjeet Virk and Varun Chaudhary had been selected by Mahindra and Mahindra Group, while five students-Navreet Kaur, Rajwant Kaur, Anu Gilhotra, Harsimran Singh and Sushant Mehan had been selected by John Deere, Pune. — TNS



From Colleges
Teachers awarded

Ludhiana, September 23
On the second day of Koshish Intra-Institutional Cultural Festival of Punjab College of Technical Education (PCTE), the highlight was the “best teacher” award function, in which 10 teachers from various schools of the region were selected. Dr KNS Kang, director-general, PCTE, gave away awards to teachers.

The teachers were selected through a survey. During the survey, the first year students of different courses participated and nominated the best teacher. Data was compiled and teachers who received the maximum nominations were awarded. For the year 2010, Amrik Singh Nagra from Baba Isher Singh Senior Secondary Public School, Bimla Devi and Balwinder Kaur, both from Government Senior Secondary School, Hasanpur, Kuldeep Kaur from Government Senior Secondary School, Threke, Parminder Singh Toor from Shaheed CHS Government Senior Secondary School, Dakha, Vandana Sharma from GNPS, Mullanpur, Kawaljit Singh from Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, Deepika Nathewiel from St Thomas Senior Secondary School, Ramandeep Kaur from Tagore Public School and Rashpal Singh from Swami Ganga Giri Janta Girls College were the proud teachers who received the award.


The department of English, Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, organised a UGC sponsored national-level seminar on “Rediscovering Humanities in Literature and Classroom Teaching”. Eminent scholars and academicians from all over India discussed in detail the loss of human aspect of art and the exactness for urban perfection. “Calculative approach has replaced the beauty and compassion which formed a major part of the traditional course reading. There has been a dearth of humanitarian values in the reading of literature for the past few decades.”

Freshers’ party

The Students Chapter of Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE) at Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT) organised a freshers party “Jab we met” to welcome the new students of MBA and MCA. Shivani Mehta and Gurjit Singh were respectively declared Miss and Mr Freshers. Mehak Jain from girls and Rishav from boys were first runners-up, while Shina Ahuja and Harkerat Singh were declared second runners-up, respectively. Shefali Sharma and Gurdeepak Singh were adjudged Miss and Mr Well Dressed, respectively.

International conference

Jasmeen Gill Sohi, assistant professor in the department of computer science and engineering, RIMT-IET, Mandi Gobindgarh, has done her institute proud by successfully presenting her paper at the international conference recently organised in Subotica, Serbia. She presented a paper-Training Back Propagation Networks with Genetic Algorithm for Weather Forecasting in the eighth IEEE International Symposium on Intelligent Systems and Informatics (SISY-2010) . The main idea of the paper was to develop an intelligent weather forecasting system based on a hybrid neural network approach. Delegates from different countries like Romania, Hungary, the USA, Russia, Serbia and India deliberated upon the topic of “Intelligent Systems and Informatics”. Harsh Sadawarti, principal and Sushil Garg, head, department of computer science, congratulated Jasmeen on her achievement.

Interactive session

Synetic Business School (SBS) in collaboration with Apex Cluster Development Services organised an interactive session with the leading knitwear industries as part of the project-Development of better marketing channels for the Ludhiana knitwear industry. Chairman of the institute Dr MA Zahir said the knitwear industry had assumed great significance for the industrial development of Punjab. The knitwear cluster has tremendous scope both in the international and domestic markets,” he added. Dr Zahir spoke on the role and importance of textile parks for the knitwear industry with some common eco-friendly facilities like affluent treatment, R and D, training and development. — TNS



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