L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Admn gives in to riot victims
Condition of minimum income withdrawn

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
Buckling under pressure of riot victims who protested here yesterday, the state government has done away with the condition of minimum income for the allotment of flats. Announcing this here today, the Deputy Commissioner, Rahul Tewari, said the condition that every riot victim should not have a monthly income of Rs 1,536 if he applied for the allotment had been withdrawn.

With the withdrawal, only two conditions would have to be fulfilled by the victims. These include possession of a red card and a fresh proof of residence.

The DC said after a protest by the victims, who stated that the condition of minimum income was impractical, he had met the Chief Minister in Chandigarh today and briefed him on the issue. The CM then asked him to withdraw the condition.

Out of a total of 2,320 applications received by the district administration, 1,150 applicants had been verfied. They have been called on October 7 for verification and then the list would be sent to the PUDA for allotment.

“After making the allotments, we would send the report to the High Court on October 12. We are taking the cases on priority,” he said.

The administration had received 2,320 applications, including 1,700 in 2000, from 550 riot victims who had encroached on PUDA flats and 70 in CRPF flats. It could, however, verify only 1,150 cases. The rest had not been cleared yet as there were certain discrepancies.


Robbers strike yet again
Waylay bank staff, take away Rs 20 lakh

Tribune News Service

Robberies in the past

May 6 Armed youths rob an industri alist of his laptop and luxury watch in Phase-V, Focal Point

May 13 Robbers snatch Rs 29 lakh from the sarpanch of Seehra village on Bajra road

May 21 Robbers flee with an SUV at gunpoint in Sarabha Nagar

June 12 Robbers make away with bag containing Rs 10 lakh from a forex dealer at Hambra road; and take away a car at gun point near Sarabha Nagar

Unanswered Questions

  • Why did the bank employees opt for a deserted road to reach the bank branch at Sihar village when they could have easily reached the village by taking the national highway leading towards Ahmedgarh Mandi?
  • How did the robbers come to know that the cash was kept in the boot of the car?

Ludhiana, October 4
Two armed assailants waylaid a bank vehicle and took away around Rs 20 lakh by shooting at a security guard on the Alamgir road near Dhandra village here today. The incident took place at around 11 am when Sanjiv Kumar, cashier, Balbir Singh, driver, and Raj Kumar, security guard, working with Indian Overseas Bank (Malhar road) were going to Sihar village near Alamgir in an Indica car.

The driver said they were visiting the bank branch in connection with a monetary transaction. He said the incident took place near the level crossing near Dhandra village. “A white Palio (PB-10-BS-9285, which could be fake) came from behind and intercepted us. Two youths had their faces covered and were carrying pistols.

Sensing trouble, the security guard fired a shot at them, but missed the target. The robbers then shot at Raj Kumar. One of them snatched the car key and threw it towards his accomplice, who was standing near the rear of the car, the driver stated.

The accused then opened the trunk of the vehicle and took away the cash before driving towards Dhandra village.

The bank employees informed the police about the incident.

Senior police officials, along with a dog squad and fingerprint experts, rushed to the spot and started investigation.

According to the police, it was a well-planned robbery as the accused were probably following the movement of the employees over the past few days. The injured security guard was rushed to hospital from where he was referred to the DMCH. His condition is reported to be stable, but serious.

The ADCP, JS Sidhu, said: “The case is still at a preliminary stage and nothing is conclusive right now. We are exploring the case from every angle. Besides collecting circumstantial evidence, we are also investigating the involvement of an insider.”

The police has sounded an alert across the city and a major search operation has been launched. Vehicles leaving the city are being searched.



Woman commits suicide, 3 booked
Tribune News Service

Cops question the husband of the victim in Ludhiana
Cops question the husband of the victim in Ludhiana on Monday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, October 4
In yet another suspected case of dowry death, a 32-year-old woman committed suicide at Khud Mohalla, near Field Gunj, here today. The victim, identified as Narinder Kaur, reportedly consumed some poisonous substance early this morning.

Jagpreet Singh, husband of the victim, said he went to the health club in the morning and when he returned, he found his wife lying dead on the bed.

Jagpreet raised the alarm and other family members rushed to his room. Neighbours came to know about the incident. The family informed the police.

The police reached the spot and started an investigation. Jagpreet was arrested after cops spotted injuries on the head of the victim.

The police registered a case against Jagpreet and his parents under Section 306 of the IPC for abetment to suicide. Jagpreet’s parents were on the run. Investigating officer Mangat Ram said further amendments would be made in the FIR after receiving the post-mortem report. The couple got married 10 years ago.



Couple consumes poison, wife dies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
Strained relations and frequent fights led a couple to allegedly consume poison in the Kot Mangal Singh area here this afternoon. While the wife died, the condition of the husband is stated to be serious.

At around 1 pm, Minakshi (37) and Som Nath (40), a medical practitioner, consumed some poisonous substance following a fight. Their two children, who were witness to the incident, immediately informed neighbours about the suicide bid. The neighbours informed the police. While Minakshi died on the way to hospital, the condition of Som Nath is stated to be critical.

According to residents, they used to fight frequently and even inflict injuries on each other. The parents of Som Nath had reportedly left the house due to the fights.

The police is recording the statement of the children. The police suspects that Som Nath may have forced his wife to consume poison before taking it himself.



Drink out, face action
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
Anybody found drinking in the open and even outside liquor vends would be videographed and prosecuted. In a move that would help curb the menace of public drinking and resultant social problems, the Police Commissioner today passed an order under Section 144 of the CrPC, imposing restriction on the consumption of liquor in public.

Passing the orders ahead of the upcoming wedding season, the Commissioner said he had received numerous reports of public drinking and brawls from various parts of the city.

The order warns liquor vend owners to follow the directions or face action. The order will remain in force till December 3. The order says CCTV cameras should be set up to cover 50 metres in front of the shop. The CCTV system would have to become operational within 45 days from the date of the order.

A recording system would preserve a digital record of the CCTV coverage for not less than 10 days and the vend owner or his agent shall cause to copy the CCTV coverage on a CD on a daily basis, which shall then be handed over to the beat constable of the area.

The manger or anyone designated by the manager for monitoring the system shall immediately inform the police control room and also the nearest police station if any illegal drinking in public or unauthorised vend is noticed in the CCTV coverage area.

The vend owner shall display prominently in at least bilingual signboards, mentioning that drinking in a public place is an offence and standing outside a liquor shop and drinking is prohibited. The telephone number of the nearest police station shall also be mentioned on the signboards.



Simultaneous protests hit work
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
With the Punjab state ministerial employees going on indefinite fast today, work in government offices was suspended for the fourth consecutive day. More than 21 employees from various government departments observed hunger strike from 10 am to 4 pm outside the mini secretariat here.

The strike initiated today is an add-on to the pen-down strike being observed by the employees since Wednesday.

The offices wore a deserted and public dealing suffered.

Senior officials in all departments had a difficult time as they did not have access to files and folders handled by the ministerial staff.

People visiting the DC’s office and departments of health and family welfare, excise and taxation and public works for their work were inconvenienced.

Vijay Marjara, district president of the union, stated that the agitation would continue till October 6 followed by mass leave on October 7.

Meanwhile, the executive council of the PAU Employees Union today decided to extend support to the striking employees and will hold a rally on October 6 in this regard.

The union president, Harbans Singh Mundi, said different pay scales being awarded to clerks who were graduates with knowledge of computers tantamount to “exploitation”.



Traders bear brunt of clerical strike
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
Traders are having a tough time with the clerical staff of the excise and taxation department observing a strike. Though the filing of the quarterly VAT return has begun, the ongoing strike is making it difficult for traders and businessmen. The strike began on September 30 and will continue till October 10.

Arun Kanwal, president of the District Taxation Bar Association (sales tax), said it was the busiest time for the department as it was the time to file the quarterly return. “Traders are facing inconvenience due to the strike as they are not getting the new VAT numbers. If any trader’s VAT number is locked, it is not going to get unlocked due to the strike,” he said.

Satish Gupta, a trader, said he had come from Mandi Gobindgarh to get his VAT number unlocked, but after coming to the department he learnt about the strike. “In case the strike continues for a few more days, the return will get delayed and I may be fined,” he said.

Ashish Thaman, press secretary of the association, said the staff should accept the Traders bear brunt of clerical strike necessary documents. “Quarterly VAT returns of many people will be delayed due to the strike. The department should fix responsibility for emergency situations,” he said.

Another trader said he was to get the registration certificate from the department, but had not been able to get it. “The whole procedure of getting the RC will now get delayed,” he added.



Traders seek change in master plan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
The Small-Scale Industrialists and Traders’ Association today urged cabinet minister Hira Singh Gabria to make necessary amendments to the master plan of Ludhiana so that residential status of New Janta Nagar, Shimlapuri and adjoining colonies could be changed to facilitate the small-scale industries and traders of the area.

Gabria said he was aware of the fact that 90 per cent of the small-scale industries in the area were inhabited and used by residents as their place of work and residences jointly.

Only those units that were put under red category for causing pollution had to be moved out, he added.

Association chairman Ramesh Rattan termed the master plan an incomplete document that had no clear perspective and had nothing to offer to the growth of normal residents, businessmen and industry.



MCPI (U) leaders raise concern over corruption, inflation
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 4
The two-day Punjab State conference of the MCPI (U) concluded at Comrade Krishan Kumar Memorial Hall here today. In all, 150 delegates from various districts of Punjab participated in the conference. Condolence resolutions were passed to offer tributes to Shiv Ram, Parichay Das Gupta, Kirpal Singh Hans, Amarmeet Singh, Ganda Singh and Balbir Singh.

Communist leader and freedom fighter Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, national general secretary of the MCPI (U), inaugurated the conference by hoisting the flag.

The presiding team constituted of Prem Singh Nanoa, Jora Singh, Lakhwinder Singh Bowani,Mangat Ram Longowal, Ajit Singh and Hardev Singh Kheri, while the steering committee included Kuldip Singh, Prem Singh Bhangu, Malkit Singh, Kiranjit Singh Sekhon and Labh Singh.

Lyallpuri condemned the “anti- people and pro-imperialist” move of the ruling parties that were leading the country towards recession.

He blamed the “corrupt politics and the self-centered modes” of ruling for the existing recession. He added that the policies of the central and state governments were making the common man pay through their nose, apart from dragging the nation towards unemployment, inflation and starvation.

Taking a serious note of corruption charges in the Commonwealth Games, Kuldeep Singh, secretary of Punjab State Committee of MCPI (U) said it reflected the prevalence of dishonesty and deceit even at the time when nation’s honour and integrity were at stake.

He criticised the authoritarian tactics and dictatorial strategies being followed by the main parties.

Pawan Kumar Kaushal, state committee member, blamed the existing government for the current economic and political crisis.

He also condemned the GAIL authorities for laying of a gas pipeline through the farmland and asked the government to change its course along the banks of canals, roads, drains and through baron land.

Lakhwinder Singh Bowani, district secretary of Ludhiana MCPI (U), said: “The common man has been burdened with huge taxes by rising prices.”

He expressed concern over the sky-rocketing prices of all essential commodities “which are hitting the people hard”.

“Further the cost of living has risen to the extent that it has become difficult for the common man to make both ends meet,” he added.

International, national and state affairs formed the agenda of the two-day conference in which the economic crisis relating to the US meltdown, US imperialism, its aggressive intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, neo-liberal policies of the central government, widening of gap between rich and poor, the issue of unemployment, de-industrialization, poor state of health and education, rising prices, land acquisition of farmers by government and multinational corporations, problem of Punjabis at home and abroad were discussed.

The report of the past five years was read out by Kuldeep Singh. A 28-member team was constituted for the current session. They were: Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, Kuldeep Singh, Prem Singh Bhangoo, Malkeet Singh, Zora Singh, Hakam Singh, Hardev Singh Kheri, Ajit Singh, Baldev Singh, Pawan Kumar, Kaushal, Lakhwinder Singh Bowani, Balkrishan, Sukhdev Singh, Prem Singh, Nanwa, Labh Singh, Pawan Kumar Gosalpur, Malkeet Singh Budail, Sabjinder Singh Kedar, Raj Singh, Mangat Ram, Harmail Singh, Niranjan Singh, Gurtej Singh, Gurmail Singh, Kiranjeet Singh Sekhon, Surinder Singh and Sehzad Iqbal Singh.



Platelets for dengue patients
NGO opens helpdesk at DMCH
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
The Salaam Zindagi Foundation, an NGO working for promoting voluntary blood donation and supporting thalassaemic children, launched a 24-hour helpdesk outside the emergency of the DMCH for providing SDP (platelets) to needy dengue patients here today.

DMCH secretary Prem Kumar Gupta, DMC Principal Dr Daljeet Singh, vice-principal Dr Jagdeep Whig, medical superintendent Dr Rajoo Singh Chinna, Dr BS Shah, Dr Amarjeet Kaur inaugurated the event.

NGO patrons Ashok Dawar and Ashok Marwaha stated that they had accepted the challenge of saving dengue patients by providing platelets to the needy patients and saving precious lives being lost due to the shortage.

Foundation president Manjit Saini appealed residents to come forward and get themselves registered as blood donor at the helpdesk to save precious lives.

Members of the Punjab Medical Representative Association, Wholesale Chemists’ Association, Youth Chemists Welfare Club, various colleges of the city have extended support to the foundation for the cause.



Problems of auto spares industry discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
Problems being faced by industry in general and auto sector in particular were discussed during an interactive session organsied by the Federation of Auto Parts Manufacturers (FAPMA). A large number of industrial community from all over Punjab attended the meet.

Initiating the discussion, FAPMA president Surinder Singh Ryait and general secretary Jagtar Singh Bhambra said with the help of GM District Industry Centre, the association was in the process of developing a cluster for auto parts industry wherein latest CNC machines and other modern testing equipment required in metallurgical laboratory would be set up.

Bhambra said any spares manufacturer could invest in such a cluster wherein research and development of auto components would be carried out to benefit the auto industry.

Auto component manufacturing company GS Auto International Ltd has voluntarily offered land and building for the cluster, he added.

Association chairman Subash Bajaj, Jasbir Singh Ryait, Charan Singh Kohli and Rajnesh Ahuja highlighted the problems like VAT refund, power shortage and cuts, fluctuation in steel prices, bad roads, and permanent centre for exhibiting auto components.

They also urged the authorities concerned to find a solution to the problems so that the progress of the industry was not affected.

The problem of sewerage for industries located along GT Road and Dhandari Kalan village was also raised. Chief guest Harbhjan Singh, commissioner, income tax, apprised the members about the various schemes of the IT department that benefitted the industry.

Shamsher Singh Gansi, former deputy excise and taxation commissioner, Vishav Bandhu, general manager, District Industry Centre, and RC Chopra, former director, MSMS, also spoke.



Promise of easy bucks lures residents
Pay Rs 5500, get Rs 47 lakh, says ad
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 4
Having a 50-square-yard plot? You can hit the jackpot. At least, this is what a luring advertisement, appearing frequently in some vernacular dailies, is saying. Though nobody knows what the outcome will be, residents of this town are leaving no stone unturned to grab the opportunity.

The advertisement, apparently inserted on behalf of some telecommunications company, promises to pay handsome rent, huge amount in advance and attractive salary to the person who pays Rs 5,500 as advance to the company.

“Once you get registered with us by depositing Rs 5,500 in our account, we will send a cheque for Rs 47 lakh in your favour after verifying ownership rights,” says a female voice when contacted on the telephone number mentioned in the advertisement.

An amount of Rs 90,000 will be paid as rent every month and one member of the family, who will be appointed to supervise the functioning of the tower, will get Rs 32,000 per month as salary, she claims. Any plot measuring 50 square yards is enough for installing the tower.

Assuming that the interest on the amount, Rs 90,000 as rent and Rs 32,000 as salary will fetch them regular and assured income of over Rs 2 lakh, the owners agree to deposit the registration fee with the agent, to be sent by the company.

Though apparently, it seems that many persons or firms are engaged in this business of mediating a deal between land owners and prospective lease holders, the same account numbers are referred to for depositing registration fee.

For obvious reasons of concealing identity, the advertisers have not mentioned their addresses in the advertisement. It has been claimed that their offices are at all major metros, including Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. The same rent is quoted for every caller, irrespective of location of the property.

Bimal Kumar Sharma, a social activist, said he was asked to deposit the registration fee in an account in the name of Vineet Kumar. He became suspicious when the respondent continued calling him to ask why he had not deposited the amount.

The respondents could not cite a single case wherein Rs 47 lakh had been paid in advance. A perusal of accounts showed that small amounts deposited by aspirants were withdrawn shortly after each deposit.

Though no official had taken notice of the trend, senior police officials expected that there would be a hue and cry in case a large number of aspirants were duped.



Move to shift call centre girls
Protest hits power complaint booking
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 4
Work at the centralised call centre set up by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) at its Janta Nagar division here for booking of complaints came to a halt this morning as operators deployed to receive telephone calls and enter complaints into the computers went on a strike against the proposed shifting of some of them to other locations.

Some girls who reported for the morning shift refused to go to their work stations and assembled in front of the main gate and raised slogans against the management. For several hours, calls of consumers regarding the failure of power supply were not attended to and no complaints were booked.

It was only after the company running the call centre summoned a few operators of the evening and night shift that some order was restored.

A spokesperson for the protesting employees said some of them were asked to shift to other locations of the company which was not convenient. It was not possible to go to distant places as most of the girls came from surrounding localities.

Bandneshwar Sharma, manager of the Jaipur-based Data Infosys and in charge of the call centre, said due to operational reasons, some girls had been asked to report at other locations within the city which had evoked a protest.

He claimed that normal working had been restored and the evening shift had reported on duty. The grievances of the operators of the morning shift would be sorted out, he said.



Lawyers protest against colleague’s booking
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
Bringing the routine work at the district courts to a screeching halt today, lawyers protested against the registration of a criminal case by Ludhiana rural police against a city lawyer, Surinder Dogra, here.

Dogra was booked under Sections 420, 465, 467,468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC along with seven others on the compliant of Jagtar Singh of Ayali Khurd in a cheating and forgery case.

The lawyers boycotted work and were seen whiling away time watching TV in the complex.

District Bar Association (DBA) president Naval Kishore Chhibber said they would remain on an indefinite strike till the case was withdrawn.

He claimed that Dogra had been falsely implicated in the case.

The complainant had claimed that he was attorney of Gurdial Singh of Jabalpur, who had entered into the sale of land situated at Birmi village with Janpath Estates in November, 2007. However, they could not make the payment and the sale deed was not registered.

It was alleged that the accused later on hatched a conspiracy and prepared a forged and fabricated agreement to purchase the land through Gurdial Singh’s son Sukdev Singh. On the basis of the agreement, a civil suit was filed in the court.



Farmers seek more steps to safeguard paddy
Mahesh Sharma

Jagroan/Raikot/Mullanpur Dakha, October 4
Apprehending mismanagement during procurement and lifting of paddy arriving in mandis, farmers of the area have urged higher authorities to direct commission agents to make necessary arrangements for saving their produce from the vagaries of nature.

The administration on the other hand claims to have made adequate arrangements for smooth procurement of the produce at all grain markets and purchase centres under Sangrur and Ludhiana districts.

Raj Pal Dhaliwal, district mandi officer at Ludhiana, claimed that he had directed officials of market committees and procurement agencies to ensure that all commission agents had arranged PVC sheets for protecting heaps of paddy in case of adverse weather conditions.

Officials have been directed to ensure that all commission agents get sufficient jute bags to felicitate proper lifting of the produce.

Referring to information collected from officials at various offices, Dhalliwal claimed that adequate arrangements had been made at yards located under all 13 market committees and 101 purchase centers.

Meanwhile, the arrival of paddy has been poor in mandis of the area.

Alleged indifference of commission agents towards handling of agricultural produce arriving in mandis and reports of exploitation of farmers at the hands of private traders during the past years have made peasants skeptical of realising the full value of their produce.

A group of farmers led by Punjab Kissan Sabha leader Baldev Singh Latala alleged that officials of procurement agencies and commission agents had failed to complete arrangements at grain markets and purchase centres even after commencement of procurement.

The lackadaisical attitude of commission agents has farmers apprehend that their produce will be susceptible to vagaries of nature, including precipitation and dust.

“While earlier officials and commission agents used to get their plots cleaned much before the commencement of procurement, they seem to be least interested in making arrangements this time,” alleged Latala.

He urged the higher authorities to impress upon commission agents to make extra arrangements in view of anticipated glut of produce during weeks to follow.

This year, the agencies are not expecting early paddy in mandis because the government has been strict in checking its early sowing.

Meanwhile, ceremonial opening of procurement started at mandis at Mullanpur, Raikot and Jagraon.

Zila Parishad chairman Manpreet Singh Ayali and District Planning Board chairman Bhag Singh Malla inaugurated procurement at Jagroan and Mullanpur, respectively on Saturday.



‘Harassment’ by officials harries farmers, rice millers
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
The forthcomming paddy procurement has added to the apprehension of farmers who are fearing harassment by officials of the district food, civil supplies and consumer affairs (DFSC) in the name of moisture content.

Accusing DFSC inspectors of exploitation, farmers of the district stated that in spite of the permissible limit of “below 17 per cent” moisture content in the paddy, their produce had been rejected in the past.

“This, because we were asked to pay hefty amount to bribe commission agents and inspectors working hand in glove with each other,” rued Hazara Singh, a farmer from Pullanwal village.

To save farmers from the harassment, the PAU Kisan Club has urged the Punjab Mandi Board to bring digital meters in circulation followed by training to farmers to use these.

The procurements pangs are not just causing unrest among farmers but among rice millers, too, as they are unhappy over the ongoing tussle between the state agencies and the Food Corporation of India (FCI).

They allege that they along with state agencies are facing problems as the FCI was not accepting paddy procured by agencies like PUNGRAIN, PUNSUP, MARKFED, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation and Punjab Agro.

TS Sandhu, owner of a rice mill in Sahnewal, said: “It is unfortunate that farmers are suffering as their good-quality grain is being labelled poor. Millers are being asked to give quality grain at the rate of damaged grain, which is not acceptable to millers across the state. Consequently, millers are bearing heavy losses as their previous produce has been dumped for no fault of theirs.”

The government having failed to resolve the issue of mill owners will be responsible for the storage problem of the procured produce of paddy, this season, Sandhu adds.



Rising crime has residents worried
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, October 4
With the increase in number of incidents of murder and robbery in the past few months, local residents have been forced to live under the shadow of fear and insecurity.

Residents, especially women, who go for morning walk or run errands late in the evening, prefer to stay home these days. Some even wear artificial jewellary at marriages in the evening, as most robberies have taken place after dusk.

The police has been unable to crack most of the cases of robbery and murder that have taken place in the past two months.

The recent murders of businessman Narinder Sood and a migrant labourer besides double murder of Ravi and Sonu on the Peerkhana road have raised concerns over the security of residents.

Also, robbing of valuables from a woman at Subash Bazaar, jewellery from wife of a doctor of Model Town, and cash and jewellary from the house of Balwinder Kaur of Nand Singh Avenue in broad daylight has the residents worried.

Besides, several cases of theft have taken place in the recent past.

Balwinder Kaur, whose house was targeted by robbers, has demanded better patrolling in wards.

Another resident Usha Rani has expressed dissatisfaction over the working of the police, saying anti-social elements have little fear of the police.

The police has also failed to curb the activities of drug peddlers in the area.

Meanwhile, Khanna SSP DP Singh said the police was working hard to solve cases. He said police patrol had been intensified and anti-social elements would be dealt with sternly.



Bicycle industry offers Rs 1 lakh for cycling medal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
To promote cycling, the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Associations has announced to honour the Indian cycling team with a Rs 1-lakh award if any of their players wins a medal at the ongoing 19th Commonwealth Games.

“The Cycling Federation of India was formed in 1946 but it failed to serve the purpose of promoting cycling in India. The Indian team won two medals in the first Asian Games held in 1951 at Delhi but thereafter we have not been able to achieve any big target in the international cycling arena,” said federation president Badish K Jindal.

“This is just a step to promote the game. We are the second largest manufacturers of bicycles in the world but have not done anything so far to promote the sport related to our industry. This is a small gesture from our side to promote the sport. As of now, we have announced Rs 1 lakh for the team, but if masters of bicycle industry come forward to support our decision, we may decide to reward winning players individually,” he added.

Pinning hopes on the cycling team, Jindal said they had a good chance of winning medals in games. This year, a contingent of 27 cyclists, which is largest so far, is taking part in the games and will be accompanied by international coaches.



Gatka team honoured at railway station
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
Bir Khalsa Dal, the gatka group that has been making waves on Indian television, was accorded a warm welcome by the Akali Dal, Delhi, at the local railway station here today. The team finished second runners-up in reality show “India’s Got Talent” on Colors.

The team members, who were on their way to their hometown Tarn Taran, halted for a few minutes at the city’s railway station.

The team was greeted with showering of flowers. Team captain Kuldip Singh said the martial art was taught to the Sikhs by their tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.

“People around the world watched, appreciated and voted for us, enabling us to finish second runners-up,” he said.

The programme gave them a platform to showcase their martial art skills, he added.

“We have no regrets for not winning the first position. Coming in the first three is also a big achievement. We are happy that people appreciated our hard work and skills and it felt good to receive appreciation from all three judges and audience,” he added.



Lecturers’ Seniority
General category body to protest
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, October 3
The General Categories Welfare Federation, Punjab, has rejected the new seniority list of lecturers by the Director-General, Schools, recently and has decided to launch a statewide agitation against the decision.

This was announced by federation’s state president Nirmal Singh while talking to mediapersons here today. He demanded the immediate withdrawal of this seniority list, which he described as anti-general-category.

Nirmal Singh alleged that the state government had violated the Supreme Court ruling by ignoring the recommendations of Justice Ajit Singh Janjua and Justice S Nagraj.

He said several lecturers belonging to the general category had been waiting for promotion to principal for the past between 15 and 20 years.

He alleged that the state government was adopting an appeasement policy to please those from the Scheduled Castes. Federation leaders Harbans Singh Sidhu and Girish Sharma were present.



Reporters' Diary
Roads in posh areas cry for repair

— Photo: Inderjeet Verma With the rains having wreaked further havoc on city roads, almost the entire network of roads, streets and service lanes all over the city is in a pathetic state of disrepair. Deep potholes, chipped top coat, broken berms and layers of premix missing on long stretches tell the story of the apathetic attitude of the civic body towards the people.

It is not in slums or localities inhabited by migrants or the poor, but roads in posh areas like Dugri, Civil Lines, Model Town, BRS Nagar, Rishi Nagar and Rajguru Nagar are in such a sorry state that even some village link roads will be better.

No system seems in place under which supervisory officials of the municipal corporation initiate action for the repair and maintenance of roads at their own level. Residents have to repeatedly approach the authorities and the media has to highlight the negligence on the part of the corporation.

Only then does somebody wake from slumber and, at best, patch work is carried out to repair potholes. If a section of a road has to be recarpeted, much more effort at various levels has to be put in.

Callers hurt

With mobile phones becoming an integral part of the Indian lifestyle, not attending to calls has become an offence. Persistent callers cannot accept ‘no reply’ when it comes to mobile phones.

Some callers go to the extent of calling officials an umpteen number of times and later telling them in person, “You did not attend to 10 calls of mine yesterday.”

It was exasperating when the father of an ailing boy, after trying a philanthropist’s number for financial aid, called the facilitating correspondent to complain.

He said, “Sanjayji did not take my call, which is wrong on his part.” The correspondent replied, “I ask for forgiveness on his behalf as he should have saved your number.”

What respect!

Activists of an organisation which organised a function on Bhagat Singh’s birth anniversary at the Jagraon bridge threw used paper plates near the statues.

They were seen garlanding the statues when they were posing for photographs and dumped garbage near the statues soon after (see photo).

“I am disgusted with these people. They get themselves clicked showing reverence to martyrs while reality comes out afterwards,” said an activist of an NGO.

Ritual, wow!

A visitor to a local temple each evening used to see the head priest’s bedding placed neatly under a tall plaster of Paris ‘tree’ on the temple premises. The curious woman asked him why he slept under the ‘tree’.

The elderly priest replied in the most humble tone, “I am following an age-old Hindu ritual. The place for a Brahmin to sleep is under a tree.”

The woman was awestruck and astonished at the priest’s desire to follow age-old rituals and thought if those meant something in today’s modern world.

What Sunday?

Every person working the whole week waits for weekends and holidays to destress or spend some quality time with friends and family, but correspondents have neither weekends, nor holidays.

There are four holidays in an entire year. They sometimes lose those in covering events for the next edition. People ask them if they work on Sundays. This correspondent’s quick counter-question is: “Do you not want to read a newspaper on Monday?”

The sheepish look it evokes gives this correspondent a strange kind of pleasure.

The mere thought of not getting a newspaper on Monday scares people so much that they immediately reply, “It is good that you work on Sundays.”

Contributed by Anshu Seth, Charu Chhibber and Manav Mander



Hope for special children
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
The World Animal Day was celebrated by Hope Animal Society by organising a session for special children of Darpan, Centre for Autistic Children, here on Monday. The children enjoyed the company of pet dogs and parrots brought by Hope founder Poonam Kalra.

Children walked, groomed and caressed the animals as the event turned out to be a therapy for the special children.

“Such children gain confidence and their tactile senses increase as they come in contact with the four-legged friends who accept them unconditionally.”

The aim was to highlight the effectiveness in the growth and learning of these special children.

Animal activist Mukta Mahajan and Harwinder Kaur were also present.



From Colleges

Ramgarhia girls win laurels

Students of Ramgarhia Girls College brought laurels to the institution by securing 24 prizes, both group and individual, in the Ludhiana zone-B youth festival of Panjab University, hosted by the college.

The college bagged first prize in group folk orchestra, orchestra Indian, quiz, histrionics, skit, skit (individual), still life drawing, folk dance (sammi) and sammi (individual). The college won second prize in shabad, group song, classical vocal, folk instruments, drama, drama (individual) and clay modeling. The third prize was won in shabad (individual), folk song, mimicry, mehndi, vaar singing, vaar singing (individual), kavishri (individual) and group dance.

Competitions in instrumental music, group folk orchestra, folk instruments, embroidery, crochet work, knitting, mehndi designing, ladies traditional songs and ritualistic songs of Punjab and Punjabi folk dances in the youth and heritage festival were conducted on the concluding day today.

Ranjodh Singh, president, Ramgarhia Educational Council, Davinder Singh Panesar, Harvinder Singh Ruby, Jaswinder Singh Birdi, members, Ramgarhia Educational Council, former principal Harmit Kaur congratulated principal Dr Narinder Sandhu, organising secretary, staff and prize winners for the success.

Campus recruitment

HCL Infosystem Limited conducted a recruitment drive for MBA students on Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College campus here on Monday.

Jogvinder, regional manager of the group, Rajesh Sharma, branch head, Mandeep, BDM, and Randeep, HR manager, conducted the camp. Over 50 students from MBA final year took part in the drive. The selection procedure included group discussion followed by a personal interview round.

Nine students were shortlisted for the personal interview out of whom three finally got selected.

Prof KS Mann, dean, training and placement cell, said the initiative would help students to pursue a career in their field.

Such drives also provided an opportunity to students to interface with the industry, he added. — TNS



Man fights on to save son
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
Determined to save his 25-year-old, life is a constant battle for Som Prakash of Raison village, near Karnal in Haryana, for whom the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here has become a second home.

Gulshan Kumar, suffering from acute renal failure, has been undergoing treatment at CMCH for the past five years.

Despite having been given little hope by doctors, Som Prakash refused to give up on hope and manages to bring his son for the biweekly dialysis at the hospital.

As the patient’s family is reeling under a financial crunch, the hospital authorities have given generous discount to the patient, but still, the family needs financial help.

The weekly expenses on dialysis is about Rs 7,000, which comes up to Rs 28,000 every month, an amount that the family is unable to arrange even after getting help.

After renal failure in 2005, things have been tougher after Gulshan has tested positive for AIDS following transfusion of infected blood.

Som Prakash says, “The police has denied me justice. No action has been taken against the doctor guilty of transfusing infected blood. It is with the help of philanthropists that I have managed to save my son all these years. Now I need some amount from the government to continue Gulshan’s treatment.”



SAD wins bank poll unopposed

Machhiwara, October 4
All six Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidates for the Machhiwara Land Mortgage Bank were declared elected unopposed as the nominations of five Congress candidates were cancelled and the sixth withdrew his nomination.

According to returning officer Bikramjit Singh Brar, Balbir Singh (zone 1), Nishan Singh (zone 2), Deva Singh (zone 3), Avtar Singh Mithewal (zone 4), Joginder Singh Cheema (zone 5) and Joginder Singh Pola (zone 6) were declared elected after the verification of their forms.

Congress activists alleged that the nomination forms of their candidates were rejected without giving any reason.

Former MLA Amrik Singh Dhillon said they would go to court against this. The returning officer set aside all allegations of bias. — OC



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |